Sunday, December 21, 2008

it's alive!

perhaps the most important issue with 3-SLI-like configuration is the thermal stability, not of the cards which, as both the Zalman and the nvidia utility nvidia-settings show, are relatively cool (under maximum strain, they heat up to mid-70 C, when air-cooled versions would go to 100 C.
likewise, there is never a danger of overheating the cpu, if watercooled.
rather, the issue is that radiators are supposedly working better when drawing air into the box.
in addition, that's a natural direction to support the power unit and the 12cm box fan both trying to blow the air out the back side of the box. so the radiator-WARMED air is blown into the box, not outside. this of course heats and cools the whole motherboard simulatneously. it heats the whole motherboard but efficiently cools its small chips, which are heating up during any intensive use. unfortunately but predictably, at maximum computational load, especially if the system is burdened with running multiple programs per physical card, something has to give. most probably the southbridge or northbridge overheats and the computer hangs. I wish there was some solution to this that allows the big fan to cool the radiator to the outside, while still providing a good flow of air near the motherboard..

however, many combinations of the workload, fully utilizing all the resources (gpu, cpu, memory) are stable. let's take a closer look...

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