March 2006


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Archive for March 7th, 2006

Pros, Cons and Amateurs

Posted in Geekery on March 7th, 2006

Online shopping:
Pro: Usually the lowest price; the ability to get exactly what you want, not what they have on the shelf.
Cons: Having your shipment delayed due to “inclement weather”. (It was coming from SoCal – what kind of weather were they having? A sprinkle?) Having to then fight your way through the shipper’s phone menu on Friday just to find out there is no Saturday pickup. The soonest a re-deliver can be attempted is Monday, and they might not leave it on the porch despite my instructions.

Well, after all that, I got the fan controller for Hyperion today. I remember when I first saw these things, and thought to myself, “Fan speed control? If I slow these things down any, this thing is going Chernobyl on me!” Yes, Rodimus Prime ran just a wee bit hot. With that lousy case it was housed in, I had the CPU fan, an exhaust fan, an exhaust blower below the GPU and an intake fan just for good measure. Of course, it didn’t help that these were all only 60mm. Damn thing sounded like a Cessna.

Hyperion, on the other paw, came with an enormous tri-speed fan in the back, and then I put my beautiful Zalman cooler on the CPU. Those two 120mm fans (plus the ones in the power unit) keep the system at 42/34C (107/92F processor/case) at idle at their lowest spin. Under full load, though, things heat up a bit and I have to crank up the revs on those two fans. No problem, right? Wrong. The CPU is ok, because the rheostat had a long enough cable on it to reach to the top of the case. The tri-speed, though, has a 4-inch cable – it doesn’t even make it outside the case, so adjusting that fan means opening the hatch.

Seemed kinda silly.

So, I just got done installing the front panel fan controller. I went with a Zalman model, both to make sure I had a compatable speed control for the CPU fan, and because it has 4 speed control knobs as well as two three-position switches to route +5V and +12V DC for other devices. (Ok, I have no use for these, but they’re cool *lol*) After the requisite monkeying with cable-end adapters, I am happy to report that I can now adjust all my fans with neat little aluminum knobs instead of having to bend over the back of my desk one-handed to dig out that control switch.

This is good, because I have to finish the Dr. Who-to-DVD project and re-burn two of the discs from the first batch. It seems that somehow the second episode on two of those discs lost sync on the audio by almost a full minute, making them unwatchable. (This would be the amateur part of the entry.) I can’t be certain, but the two bad burns are likely from me getting bored of watching it cook DVDs and launching a web browser. So, next time I’ll bring a book instead.