Sunday, May 20, 2007

A Crack in my Phylactery

Ever since the bizarre events of my computers death and rebirth its had a problem. When running multiple high media processes for a long duration (World of Warcraft and iTunes for example) or when multitasking two high processor load programs it begins to overheat. It doesn't stop me from the key basic functions, but it's an issue while gaming. After running a series of poorly designed Chernobyl style tests (if I turn off the alarm on all of the voltage monitors but leave the alarms for the heat monitors on, then run CoV WoW and BF2142 at the same time I can find out which it is. If it beeps it's heat, and if the system locks up and performs and emergency shut down it's voltage. What could go wrong?) I came to the conclusion that it was a heat issue, and probably CPU heat.

I've now acquired a heat gauge program that logs everything that runs through uGuru and after only one of these intelligent tests I had confirmation of my theory. So I'm going to need a new CPU fan, and the aid of someone who can reliably install a CPU fan. I've taken the seven or eight dollars that was my computer upgrades fund and converted them into a computer repairs fund, but my labels don't change my lack of actual money. I'll find a solution to that before long...

In the meantime I'm doing a number of ill advised things in order to keep my rig running. First of all I've set the alarm temperature to 80 instead of 75, although I've left 85 the emergency shut down temperature. In addition to that I've set the fan to go psycho whenever the CPU is above room temperature. It's failing but isn't broken, so it might as well blow it's failing heart out. In my one smart move I've under clocked my CPU. The heat gauge program also has settings for restricting maximum CPU use. I've got mine running at half speed and I'm not really having any issues. Everything takes a little longer to load, but it's nothing big. Luckily my video card fan is unharmed.

The last thing that I'm doing, and the thing which is almost hilariously ill advised is that I'm running my machine with the case open. The giant alienware case is designed for accessibility, so you can remove one entire side of it. That side normally has a small fan that pumps air out of the case, but I've disconnected that fan and opted for a more breezy square foot hole in my computer. It seems, and feels, and probably is crazy; but it's really effective. I'm thinking of leaving that panel off and replacing it with duct tape and mosquito wire.

Geez, even my computer has become a minimalist hodgepodge. I've gotta get a job. Well a real job.


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