Wednesday, December 06, 2006

At the Mercy of Fans

The ATI Radeon graphics cards are really solid cost-effective cards but their onboard fans are on the "py" end of crappy -- both of the Radeons I've owned since 2004 worked perfectly until the day the fan snapped off and flew through the case like a child-safe plastic throwing star. Graphics cards generate a ridiculous amount of heat, and when the computer case is kept so close to a sexy man such as myself, you really need a dependent cooling solution. Booty agrees.

I last bought a Radeon 9800Pro in April '05, and it managed to last a whole year before the fan exploded like a mosher at a Bin Laden concert. I then prolonged the life of the card for another eight months by leaving the case open and blowing a small circulator fan across all the hot bits. This worked until last month when the dial on the fan snapped off, leaving behind a plastic spindle and making the act of turning it on and off an arthritic litmus test. Realizing it was time to finally upgrade, I browsed NewEgg and found an ATI Radeon x1650pro AGP 512MB (con sizzle) for under $200 and had it delivered.

This isn't your normal off-the-shelf card -- it's made by HIS and has a gigantic after-market cooling fan attached to the card. The fan takes up an entire slot next to the card and weighs more than the card itself. It could easily double as a hair dyer for my long, lustrous hair, if I ever had occasion to have my head stuck in a computer case after a shower. Installation was a snap, and it only took a quick driver update to get things running again. Now my computer case is once again closed, cool, and quiet.

It also doesn't hurt that in a game like World of Warcraft, I can stand at the Ironforge Mailbox and get a solid 30 frames per second running at 1600x1200 with all the settings cranked up and no overclocking. Amber is very happy with my new purchase, and so am I!

Happy Birthday Kim's Mom!

Child arrested after opening Christmas presents early
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