Juniperus macrocarpa

posted 6 years ago by Ben Cordero

... or 'How I upgraded my computer'

It all started a few months ago. I've been trying to figure out what to do with my shiny Hex-Core processor.

Juniper can idle very happily at 35° C, portage runs go as high as 40-50° C. Games are fine, most of the heavy lifting is offloaded to the GPU, rarely do they take up all the cores all the time. This usually leaves some cycles free to run media and a single threaded jobbie behind the scenes.

I love this computer, it is one of the few in the set of computers that can keep up with me. Other "lesser" computers require me to use two or more of them at the same time, so that I don't get bored, just to keep me productive.

Usually, I can chuck lots of compile jobs at it and watch the CPU load go crazy. With Icecream, it can even handle all my computer's jobs easily. What tends to happen is that the jobs finish. When compiling programs in parallel, one of the consequences is that it takes up much less time.

At the end of that time period, portage moves onto the next package. There are files to download, harddrives to thrash, checksums to calculate, configure scripts to run. All of which are nice, peaceful singlethreaded procedures which give the processor time to cool off.

In short, CPU performance is never at true 100% for long periods of time. But what about when I try a different computational task. A single program, allowed to spawn multiple (computational) threads attempting to solve a problem that is expected to run for days.

Well... I tried running one of these (I won't say what for). I found something different. Half an hour in to these runs, core temperatures start to skyrocket. I have a soft thermal limit of 60° C when the graceful shutdown is triggered.

Recently, I've been doing more of these highly parallel jobs, seeing what happens. Of course, I find the thermal shutdown occurring more often.

What would any other geek in my position do?

Two weeks ago, I placed an order for the Corsair H70, multiple reliable reviews point to this being the most efficient pre-assembled all-in-one kit with the best thermal properties without needing a custom rig.

It arrived last Wednesday so I (as any other geek) attempted this upgrade. Alas disaster. The H70 has 120mm fans, Juniper only has 80mm vents. It just wouldn't fit.

Saturday was a good day, it involved me finding out that no longer sells CPU Cases in store, but instead that there are some very good computer shops between on the walk home. It is in one of these places that I found Juniper's new skin.

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