The Importance of Cooling

March 30, 2006

This is just a case-in-point on the significance of properly cooling your computers. The other day, I was encoding some video for my dad when my comp locked up. I checked the system logs and everything looked good. I tried again and it locks up. I tried Memtest on it and it locked up during a test. I went to the bios to check the temperature and the CPU temperature was at 70°C/153°F, the shutdown temperature that I've set beforehand. I've been too lazy to open up my case to see if my CPU fan did indeed bite the dust, but I'm pretty sure that's the case. As computers become more powerful and consume more power, the importance of cooling becomes more evident. Obviously, higher system specs may lead to better performance, but the issue that most people ignore is cooling. Always remember to properly cool your system. You can have a high end system, but it will always underperform if not properly treated.

ATI Makes Things “Better”

February 2, 2006

I’m not really knowledgeable in the world of video cards, but I know what I like. I used to prefer the Radeons to the Geforces. First of all, there was better support for Linux from ATI than from Nvidia. That was one of the pluses. I also had less trouble with my Radeon than with my Geforce. Spec-wise, I didn’t care very much. I didn’t know which one was “better.” I did know which one was easier to use. I’m more interested in compatibility and support than with how many pipes the thing has. Unfortunately, my preference for ATI was a bit short-lived. I reformatted over the break and so I needed to reinstall the ATI drivers so I can get my TV-out working properly. When I went to download the new drivers, I found out that they dropped support for Control Panel in the new Catalyst. Why?! Instead, they force you to use the Catalyst Control Center, which is a pain. It’s a resource hog and it’s slow. It was horrible. Theater Mode locked me into overscan so I was constantly missing parts of the picture. Some people might have TVs where overscan would be preferable, but I don’t. ATI seriously needs to consider the people who aren’t exactly involved in high performance and would much rather have something low-profile that does its job. I did some research to find a minimalistic driver for my Radeon. Seems like they broke TV-out in one of the versions. Then, they fixed it in the version that I had before I formatted. Finally, they locked overscan in the current version. I wound up just getting the version of Control Panel before they dropped support for it. I’m seriously disappointed in ATI. If things continue like this, I would rather ATI stop improving their drivers.