Sunday, February 22, 2009

Cool your gigahertz

Still haven't forgotten about the blog here. Things should be normalizing soon, though. I just thought I'd make a random post.

Why get a fancy cooler for your CPU? Because most CPUs can be overclocked safely to speeds rivaling or outperforming top of the line versions as long as they don't get too hot. Also, generally speaking, the stock cooler is louder and less efficient than a decent 3rd party option. I went a little bonkers and got a more expensive cooler, the Coolermaster V10 (picture at bottom), but the results are great. Plus, no more noise than before the swap, and the system was dead silent before.

Here's my Intel Core i7 940 (comes clocked at 2.93GHz) running at ~3.4GHz with what could be considered regular load (all the usual startup apps, browser, email, bit torrent, iTunes all open):

Stock cooler:

with Coolermaster V10:

It looks like the fans should be louder, but there is zero difference in noise. I dunno. There is some sort of control built into this (v10) Peltier cooler unit, so I'm not sure if this is reporting accurately. The NB fan speed makes me think it might not be, since they aren't scaling together at all. Still, look at those temps - and that's just air cooling. I could probably bump this baby up to 4GHz, but that will take more research to do properly (minor bumps can be kinda hack-ish without causing much trouble). The i7 940 (2.93GHz) costs ~$500, the 965 (3.2GHz) goes for ~$1000. The 920 (2.66GHz) is ~$250 and performs just about as well as the 940 from what I've heard (wish I had known that before buying mine), and unless you plan to overclock the 965 and do a bunch of tweaking, it just doesn't make sense to opt for it over a modest overclock on either of the other i7 chips.

Anyhow, this was my yay of the day. Here is a pic of the V10 cooler - try not to look directly at it, cuz it angers easily.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A tool and a shout out

First, since Google has released Mobile Sync for iPhones and WinMo devices, I thought I would point out that there are still some annoying bugs. I'm probably going to try out Nuevasync instead, which is more mature (still free, but doesn't do undesirable things like remove pics from contacts, etc.) Thought I would let people know about the option...

And thanks to the interviewing students this past week for a fun time (especially the parts I remember from Friday night). I don't usually say this, but it was a great group, so hopefully we'll see a bunch of you back here in August/September. And hey, it only took 3 Roomba runs and 2 wet Swiffer passes to clean the place, and nothing important was destroyed, meaning the night was a win from my perspective.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Couple quickies

Two things before I return to lurk mode:

1) Stimulus bill looks to be losing science funding, rural broadband, and a bunch of other provisions for schools. The NIH escaped unscathed, but the NSF and NASA got the chop, big time. More details here here here here here.

2) Tech item. I'm getting back into using Miro again (link to the v2 RC3), and thought I would mention it. Miro is a cross platform video and audio rss feed aggregator without the need to really understand anything about rss. Basically, you can browse their catalog of shows, subscribe to any of them (all free), and add websites, making Miro a nice all-in-one video program. I like to keep my video and audio separate, so audio podcasts go with iTunes, vidcasts go with Miro, and the world is at peace. I don't have a dedicated video library program (thinking about using VLC for that).

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Brief hiatus

I know that the number of posts has slowly dwindled over the past 6 months. There have been a number of other time draws, so i am gonna try to put a cap on a few of them to clear up time for DNI. So, I'll be taking a brief break, probably not more than a week. In the meantime, the RSS feeds will still be in full effect (links in the sidebar), and I might be throwing a few curveballs in there just to keep it interesting.