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Mission Cooldown: Reign in on the burning Hellforge! [Aka: How I cleaned up the crud off my CPU heat sink/fan]

It’s been about 4 years since I built Hellforge. It’s gotten some updates:

  • Replaced Gigabyte 7750 with an Asus Strix 970
  • Added on a Samsung Evo 840 256GB
  • Memory upped to 16GB
  • Replaced the Logitech K210 keyboard with a Corsair K70 Lux RGB
  • Replaced the CM default case fans with Bitfenix Spectre

But the one thing that has remained constant: the CPU heat sink and cooler. My old house was dusty and no matter how much I cleaned, within a week or two there’d be quite a lot of dust. I did a  bit of superficial cleaning on the insides but never bothered cleaning the CPU heat sink/fan.

The hesitation comes mainly because I had a torrid time when installing the heat sink the first time and didn’t want to damage it. Off late the processor’s been running hot and the CPU fan’s been on overdrive pretty much all the time. Last week I was curious about the temperatures it was running at and HWMonitor – I wasn’t prepared for this.

Basically the temperatures were close to Tj Max and I wonder how come the CPU wasn’t throttling. With temperatures at this level, I had to do something about this. And egged on with support of Alpha, I decided it’s time to clean it up.

Here’s what I bought to clean up:

  • Compressed air can –  A blast of this can get a lot of dust off but you need to keep this straight, so difficult to use this for hard to reach surfaces
  • Hand pump – really useful for the hard-to-reach surfaces which can’t be reached above
  • Isopropyl Alcohol – You’re going to use this to wipe off the remaining gunk off the heat sink and the CPU.
  • Some tissues/cotton swabs to clean up the gunk
  • CoolerMaster MasterGel – I settled on this after extensive discussion with Alpha. He suggested to get the cheaper one, since the higher priced version is more suited for overclockers

Now, for the pictures. You’ve been warned. This was how it was when I opened the cabinet

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Hellforge: my desktop after a long time

I’ve been tinkering with computers for well over 15 years now – and since 2007 I’ve been using laptops almost exclusively – prime reason being space(or the lack of it) since I moved away from my home, to a new city. Staying in a PG meant there was no space.

Since the past year and half I’ve been in Bangalore, staying in a rented house and though wanted to own a desktop, there wasn’t a decent justification to get it, especially since my laptop, HP Envy 14 was coping well. Till November, my Envy’s main system fan died and my laptop was running on GPU fan – which meant running any application would result in temperatures shooting to 80-90 – could barely run a game for 10-15 minutes.

In mid Jan I finally decided to get a new desktop than fix my laptop. Anyway, after doing some research and settling on a budget(which was stretched by over 6k) here’s what I got: (disclaimer: Flipkart affiliate links follow)

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Diablo III! Diablo III! It’s Going to Be Diablo III!!!

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If you’ve been following Blizzard’s mysterious splash screens for the past several days, then you must have known that Blizzard is upto their sneaky best, updating a splash-screen on a daily basis, teasing the fans. There were several speculations as to what the splash screen could be: a new series, World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, Starcraft 2 or even Diablo III. After 5 days of torture and tease here’s the final splash:

Diablo III Splash

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YEAH BABY!!! I’m SUUUUUPER excited, I’ve been a huge fan of Diablo, Diablo II in particular since I’ve only played the demo of Diablo. Diablo II had me addicted to it for like 3 years – my friend picked up the original, he didn’t like it.I gave it a try and was INSTANTLY addicted to it.

So what will Diablo 3 be like? What will be the camera? Same isometric perspective as that of Diablo II or something different? Multiplayer: Will it be based on Battle.Net, Free or like WoW? When will it be out? What will the system requirements? Oooh so many questions!

Check out Blizzard’s Diablo 3 page for some gameplay videos and here’s a Cinematic Trailer of it.

Update: Kotaku has a 19-minute gameplay video, the trailer and artwork clip.
Check it out here

Ubisoft Demonstrates over 20 Minutes of Far Cry 2 Gameplay

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Yeah that’s right, twenty freakin’ minutes, and this is just a “teaser”. The devs claim that FarCry 2 has over 50 square kilometers of open area, over 100 missions, and over 50 hours of gameplay(what’s with everything being a multiple of 50, I wonder).

The game looks awesome though, and devs claim that still lot of work needs to be done – which was apparent from the demo, as it crashed mid-way during the demo, and there was lot of tearing and. lagging.

Based on the Dunia engine,  the gameplay demo was pretty awesome – specially the physics.

So, will this be the new Crysis – in terms of hogging system resources that is? Will the question shift from “Will this run Crysis” to “Will this run FarCry2” now ?

Your guess is good as mine.

Till then, enjoy the video

A Look At Codemasters' GRID

I’m a huge fan of Sports/GT-Racing genre of games. Recently Codemasters had released their newest game, GRID, and I’d downloaded the demo version of GRID couple of days ago and decided to check it out.

And yes the visual presentation just blew me away! Everything looks gorgeous, from the menu screens which are alive in 3D, to the loading screens which, instead of the usual flat progress bar, show your accomplishments in your career.

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