Along with the other computer build last week I was doing other hardware related work. I tried to get a Dell machine to fit into an old Hewlett-Packard tower case. The power supply from the Dell wouldn’t fit into the case properly. So unfortunately the person I was doing the work for will be getting a Dell case now. This was goodwill work being done for no money. In the end however they will end up with twice the processing power and a lot more RAM than they had before. I’m just always concerned about heat build up in those small cases. Dell never had good cooling design in their older machines. Not sure what the situation is now. I’ve not done any work on a newer model Dell. Either way I’m weeks behind on getting a working pc back to this person. It would have been back to them last week if I hadn’t run into issues with the new build. I really should have just seen if the CPU in the Dell would work in their motherboard. I may end up and do yet another transplant. Either way the end result was I built two machines last week. Only one from the ground up though. With every day life things these two projects just took a lot of time away from doing any work here.
I did make time to do some work on my machine. The picture above shows the new case fans I installed in that computer. Only three of them are new. The main fan on the Thermaltake Big Typhoon heatsink is not the original. That has been replaced with a Antec TriCool 120mm Trilight LED Fan. The fans you see on the far left and right are the same. Only the fan in the back was colored previously. That was a ThermalTake Smart Blue 120mm LED Case Fan Blue that recently started making a rattling noise. So I had an idea that the fan was most likely about to give out. Unfortunately over the years TigerDirect’s selection of cooling products especially those that offer color has dwindled. So I had to purchase the Antec’s from Circuit City. I won’t do business with the popular Newegg until they decide to allow me as an affiliate. The case fan attached to the window is the original ThermalTake Smart Blue 90mm LED Case Fan Blue I purchased years ago. It’s hard to find 90mm fans that offer multiple colors. All the retailers only seem to carry 80mm fans or maybe a small selection of 92mm.
Installing new fans wasn’t all that I did in regards to this pc last week. I also took off the Big Typhoon and gave everything a cleaning. After reading the new Arctic Silver applying instructions I figured it would be good to clean everything up and reapply the thermal compound. For those who might not know what thermal compound is. That is the pad or gel like substance that sits between your heatsink and your CPU ( central processor unit ). If the setup is done properly this allows for better heat conductivity. Meaning more heat will be leaving this area and allowing your CPU to run at cooler temperatures. Which is a good thing when it comes to electronics. The part of installing the heatsink properly with the thermal compound is important. This is a task that I have not fully mastered. Applying the Arctic Silver is easy enough especially with the newer instructions I read. However placing the heatsink gently back onto the CPU and thermal compound without to much movement is something I just can’t seem to do. This has the unfortunate effect of lowering the effectiveness of the bond between the thermal compound and the components.
This time around I thought I would put the retention bar concept to use. The first time I installed the Thermaltake Big Typhoon I used two screws to mount it to the motherboard. Personally I thought this method was easier than the retention method. But there was a problem. Since the Typhoon lives up to it’s name of being big it is in fact hard to access the screws to tighten them down. I’m still not in possession of the proper tools to get the job done easily. So I fought with the old school retention method and remembered why I thoroughly hate it. In the end I went back to using the screws. During this process I know there was movement which will effect the actual cooling results. The bottom of the Big Typhoon actually needed lapped. Lapping is a process where you try to create a smooth and flat surface to improve the effectiveness of the heatsink. Why do I know my Thermaltake Big Typhoon needed lapped? Because I could see scratch marks on the bottom. This also lets me know that the first time I put the heatsink on all the trouble I had caused minor damage to the unit. Keep in mind this won’t stop the hardware from doing it’s job. The job might not get done as good. Which for a normal everyday user this wouldn’t matter. If your overclocking you want your machine as cool as it can be. My current CPU and case temperatures aren’t much better than previous. This lets me know that it would be wise to try lapping the Big Typhoon in the future. Keep in mind that for the amount of overclock I currently have these temperatures are actually pretty low. I just have a feeling they could be much better. After almost two years of operation it was time to take off the heatsink and do some cleaning. From time to time it is always good to open your case and clean out the dust that has accumulated. It is also a good idea every few years if you have the skills to take the heatsink off, then clean things up and reapply thermal compound. My machine was definitely in need of having this process done. Keep in mind that it does take a little time for the thermal compound to fully cure. So you may see a slightly lower temperature result a few weeks down the road.