Friday, August 6, 2010

Computer Offline

Written 6 August, 2010

Computer Offline

For nearly four years I've been in World with my Sony VAIO desktop. And it has been growing increasingly sick.

I bought the VAIO in December 2006, after I blew up my alien computer trying to update my video drivers (don't ask, just read here).

The VAIO was great at first, but then I started getting messages saying it was overheating. It was, in fact, with the processor running at +/- 63 degrees C.

It wasn't long after that that I bought a new video card because I thought mine had fried. I was getting a mere 5-7 frames per second, with 120 meter draw distance and most options maxed out. Previously, it had hummed along at nearly 20 fps. It seemed to work for a while, then I was back to 5 fps.

I've no idea why I've not taken care of the overheating problem until now. I guess, since the computer would log me into Second Life and get me around after a fashion, I just put it off. For more than a year.

It wasn't until got a new laptop last fall that I realized just how much my VAIO was ailing. With settings maxed, my laptop, with its onboard graphics, hummed along just below 20 fps. My desktop, with settings somewhat lower, never got more than 6.5.

Over the last week, my desktop has shut down suddenly on three occasions. When I rebooted today I noticed a warning about processor overheating. I started the free program SpeedFan and found the processor chugging along at 94-96 degrees C-- at nearly the boiling point of water.

So today I will be unplugging my desktop and putting it on a table, where I'll blow away the dust with compressed air and then remove the heat sink and replace it with a new one. Hopefully, that will bring the temperature down and my frame rate up.


Melissa Yeuxdoux said...

Laptops especially need cleaning; the hardware runs in very close quarters, sometimes in dusty environments, with tiny fans that can't blow that much air around and through.

Take a peek into the BIOS and take advantage of any settings that will warn you of impending overheating or just plain shut the system down if it gets too hot. There are also programs that will monitor sensors and keep a display of temperature of the CPU, hard drive, and graphics card updated in real time.

Cheyenne Palisades said...

This is the first time ever I've had to clean out a computer. Even the ones I had for years. they got a bit dusty, but performance wasn't affected. I'm sure it has to do with the increased heat put out by multiple core processors.

I never even thought about cleaning out my laptops! I'm sure my older one needs a de-dusting badly by now.

Melissa Yeuxdoux said...

You must do an excellent job of keeping your computers' surroundings clean. A little searching turns up some truly scary examples of computers that didn't get cleaned.