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Posted: November 27, 2000
Written by: Tuan "Solace" Nguyen
We here at Tweak3D are always looking for new ways to get the most out of our machines. And if we canít do it one way, weíre going to look for another. We always feel that our machines can run a little faster without actually buying anything extra. Whether itís a hardware tweak or a software tweak, any sort of tweak will surely speed up your machine just a bit.
But letís say you have a brand new gigahertz machine fresh out-of-the-box, why would you even bother tweaking it? The answer is that every machine has a latent potential to go further and run faster. Think of tweaking and souping up your machine like a hot rodder souping up a car. Even though it may be fast, there is always that feeling that it can go even faster.
The pride and joy of tweaking and modifying your computer is a feeling you wouldnít know unless you tried it.
That said, today Iím going to touch down on a hot subject -- heatsinks and fans -- and how they affect your computer.
In the early days of speedy 486 computing, big heatsink and fan combos werenít necessary, and neither was a bare heatsink. Things just werenít hot enough for anyone or any company to put extra cooling measures inside a computer. But things have changed. Now weíre in the hundreds of megahertz and gigahertz range, and thereís nothing more important than cooling your computer. Sure, a component may be tested to withstand extreme temperatures that your bedroom may never reach, but common sense says constant operation at extreme temperatures isnít such a wonderful idea.
In fact, electricity flows better in a cool environment. So if youíre thinking of tweaking your machine, make sure it starts off chilled. There is no point tweaking other things if your computer is crashing and BSODing all over the place, spilling its guts in the form of Illegal Operations and Page Faults. You must always start at the root, the most basic tweaking measure, even before overclocking. You must ventilate your machine.
Everything inside your computer generates heat. Whether itís the motherboard, hard drive, RAM modules, or your processor -- it just depends on the degree. The most effective way to make sure your machine is running cool is to make sure the ambient temperature is cooler than its internal temperature. This means making sure the air in and around your computer is at room temperature or cooler.
Overheating is the worst cause of electronic component death. You may also want to keep in mind that repeated cooling and heating of any component is bad. When something heats up it expands, and it will contract when it cools down. If this process is always repeated, you risk cracking the device. This is why I personally always keep my computer running. All the components are in a constant, and donít go through temperature changes often. However, I do let the hard drives spin down after a certain amount of time.