Cooling A Computer With Oil

Oil-cooled PCStrip Out The Fans, Add 8 Gallons of Cooking Oil:

Common sense dictates that submerging your high-end PC in cooking oil is not a good idea. But, of course, engineering feats and science breakthroughs were made possible by those who dared to explore the realms of the non-conventional.

They recommend motor oil, although they used vegetable oil. I wonder when you’d have to change the oil?

There’s A Bee In My…

ASUS A8NE motherboardMy new computer is dying. There are three fans in it: one on the CPU, one on the video card, and one for the motherboard’s chipset (NVIDIA nForce4). A month ago a loud buzzing sound started emanating from the computer case, sounding like a big-ass bee stuck in a glass jar; and then a few days later the computer froze with the BIOS message: Chip fan is running at a low, unsafe speed. I turned it off then back on, and the buzzing went away.

The buzzing came back today. This time I took the case apart and good clearly see the cooling fan for the nForce4 chip was spinning irregularly, almost stopping every second; and it’s loud; annoyingly loud.

I emailed ASUS, the motherboard manufacturer, the following:

The nForce4 ultra chip fan on the motherboard has recently started making a loud buzzing sound, with the BIOS giving alerts that its RPMs is low. I disabled the chip fan warning alarm, but the buzzing continues; it sounds like a loud bee stuck in a glass jar. Looking at the fan itself, it’s obvious that it isn’t spinning at a consistent rate.
I bought and installed the motherboard in May, 2005 and had no problems until this started to occur about a month ago. The system is behaving normally except for the loud buzzing sound the fan is making.
Does this require warranty work? Is there anything I can do to fix it? No changes have been made to the system since I first installed the motherboard.
I look forward to your response.

So if SWT is down, it’s probably because my PC’s motherboard has melted.

Update: ASUS sent me a free replacement motherboard in the end. See my comments below for how their excellent service dealt with the situation.

Another Update (Jan. 17, 2007): The fan failed AGAIN. It started humming loudly, and looking at it you could see it slowing down, trying to spin quickly. This time I replaced it with a heat-sink – no more damn fan to deal with.

Building A Computer

new computer partsI finally bought a new computer. I bought it in pieces from NCIX.com (I’ll post about them later), who are on the other side of Canada, but with shipping it was still cheaper than buying the equivalent pre-assembled PC. It arrived in less than a week. Here’s the important stuff:

bloody knuckleIt took me five hours and two beers. The part I worried about the most was the easiest: attaching the CPU and its fan onto the motherboard. AMD included a poster-size diagram on how to do it. The hardest part was fitting the DVD burner and hard-drive into their drive bays. That’s how I got the blooded knuckles.

assembled computerThe last step in the process was plugging the power supply into the motherboard. Easy. Well, I discovered the power supply had a 20-pin connector but the motherboard had a 24-pin connector; there would’ve have been four empty slots if I tried to plug it in (if it even fitted). The specifications for both were “ATX”, which is some kind of standard; neither said anything about the pins required! Pissed me off.

The next morning while running weekly errands, I dropped into a few computer shops and no one had a 20 to 24-pin adapter, and some hadn’t even heard of one. Exasperated, I went home and decided to start phoning shops I didn’t visit. The first place said I didn’t need an adapter. I was incredulous. He said the power supply’s connector would fit in only one position; that is, it was dummy proof. Their shop did it ALL the time. He guaranteed it wouldn’t blow up my motherboard, asking if I had a PCI Express card and what my power supply wattage was, to be sure. So a big thanks to Ron at PCMedic in Dieppe for saving me 10 bucks. Seriously.

Putting together a PC from its pieces is a pain in the arse, but it IS cheaper buying the parts that way. I’d only recommend it if you’re tech-savy.

So the PC is up and running now except I haven’t hooked it up to the net yet.

Update: The motherboard’s chip failed six months after this. ASUS sent me a replacement motherboard.