On Mon, 09 Jun 2014 04:16:24 +1000, Chris Angelico wrote:

> On Mon, Jun 9, 2014 at 4:09 AM, Sturla Molden <sturla.mol...@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> Chris Angelico <ros...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Kurdt: I wouldn't disturb the fan controller. Kurdt: Ever seen an AMD
>>> without a fan? ;) Leshrak: heh, yeah
>>> Leshrak: actually.  it's not a pretty smell Kurdt: Especially when
>>> it's overclocked. It goes FZZZZT in under two seconds.
>>> I think that's about right.
>> One would think that in 2014, a device called a "thermostat" would shut
>> down the power before expensive equipent goes up in a ball of smoke.
> That exchange actually happened back in 2005 (wow! ages ago now), but
> same difference. However, I think there are very few thermostats that
> can cut the power quickly enough for an overclocked chip that loses its
> heat sink. MAYBE if the heat sink is still on and the fan isn't, but not
> if the hs falls off. "Under two seconds" might become "the blink of an
> eye".

The fact that CPUs need anything more than a passive heat sink is 
*exactly* the problem. A car engine has to move anything up to a tonne of 
steel around at 100kph or more, and depending on the design, they can get 
away with air-cooling. In comparison, a CPU just moves around a trickle 
of electric current.

(No currently designed car with an internal combustion engine uses air-
cooling. The last mass market car that used it, the Citro├źn GS, ceased 
production in 1986. The Porsche 911 ceased production in 1998, making it, 
I think, the last air-cooled vehicle apart from custom machines. With the 
rise of all-electric vehicles, perhaps we will see a return to air-

CPU technology is the triumph of brute force over finesse.

Steven D'Aprano

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