[conspire] looking for good FAQ Websites for CPU heatsink/Fan hardware

Eric De MUND ead-conspire at ixian.com
Fri Apr 4 01:34:47 PDT 2008


David Fox:
] Back when I researched my present system, www.tomshardware.com was a
] big help.

I can echo what David Fox says because it's true for me, as well. That
is, I too haven't put together a system from scratch in a while. For me,
the 3 sites that I used to visit for this kind of information were:

1.  http://www.tomshardware.com/
2.  http://www.anandtech.com/
3.  http://www.kuro5hin.org/

Now, I don't know if they're still good for this kind of thing; all I
can tell you is that they're still in existence. Personally, I get at
least equal mileage from tapping the hard-earned wisdom of a group like

David Fox:
] Back when I researched my present system, www.tomshardware.com was a
] big help. Currently there is a write up on building low and medium
] cost systems and putting them through their paces. It's a bit long,
] but probably a good read.
] Link here: http://www.tomshardware.com/2008/03/24/system_builder_marathon/

> website that I review and research CPU hardware? I would like to know
> what to look for before I go agreeing to use some "standard-issue" and
> possibly very CHEAP cpu fan/heatsink.

Speeze CPU fans are the only ones I recommended and used myself. Origi-
nally, it might even have been on the recommendation of CABALists Ross
or Rick.

> How do you know when you are having RAM Memory Issues? What kind of
> symptoms suggest a RAM Memory problem?

Though I've found memtest86 to be a superbly useful tool, getting myself
to actually suspect RAM problems has sometimes been a tricky hump to get
over. That is, outside of, say, testing clients' used memory sticks of
unknown origin/history, I think I've only suspected RAM problems and run
memtest86 on my own RAM when the system was behaving strangely (e.g.
seemingly random OS crashes/reboots) and I just couldn't pin it down to
any other cause.

Regardless, when I want to feel very, very confident about RAM going
into a client's machine or into a friend's machine that's going to live
hundreds of miles from me, I run all of memtest86's tests on it. In the
past, this could take upwards of a day, but the peace of mind was worth

David Fox:
] There's always memtest86, the ubiquitous memory tester, but I still
] think (based on reliable hardware advice) that prime95 is a better
] stressor / revealer of memory problems.

I've heard tell that some folks have used prime95 for this purpose, but
I don't know that I ever knew the particulars. I just felt that mem-
test86 was better, given that its tests were designed to induce memory
failures based on the various types of dynamic failure modes. Prior to
reading memtest86's documentation, I'd only known of static failures.
By analogy, I thought that if memory locations were squares on a chess-
board, bad memory was simply a particular square not being able to hold
its state properly. Not so; there are particular dynamic failures, such
as, "When these particular eight squares go from being empty to each
holding a white pawn, then the eighth square frequently fails to ''hold
its pawn'', instead stubbornly remaining empty. Whereas in all other
cases, that square holds its state just fine."

[several minutes later]

Ok. The thread at:

o   How to guide: Memtest86+, Prime95, and SP2004

includes folks speaking about using Prime95 and SP2004 for general
stability testing, which rings a bell. Though memtest86 was great for
RAM testing, the second part of the equation when dealing with iffy
hardware was overall stability testing. That is, not just memory but
CPU, too. This involves stressing the CPU and hopefully not seeing any
squirrelly behavior in response. Prime95, I now recall, was good for

Note that this anandtech.com thread was simply the first one that I came
across in a Google search; I'm sure there are thousands of such useful
threads elsewhere on the web. This one just happens to report tests that
I myself recall putting systems through a couple of years back.

David Fox:
] I noticed that your case does not contain any fans. I don't know if
] they can be added after purchase, or if the motherboard has fan
] headers (those are the little plugs that you plug power connections
] onto the motherboard).

If your case has spaces for case fans, I highly recommend them. Cooler
is better; cooler air translates to longer life of parts. Enermax 80mm
fans have worked very, very well for me. Again, these might have been on
the recommendation of Rick or Ross, way back when.

By the way, the Enermax case fans [1], and the Speeze CPU fan [2] (all
from newegg.com) that I put in my girlfriend's system back in November
2003 are all still going strong. And all are very quiet.


[1] Enermax Thermal Control 80MM cooling fan.
[2] Speeze CPU Fan Model 5F263B1M3 for AMD/Intel Socket A/370.
Eric De MUND
ead at ixian.com

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