All the wonderful colours of warm electronics

Why do we like Saunas and steam baths so much, when computers don’t? Was Alan Turing wrong in thinking that our mind is just a computer? (Since computers don’t like saunas) Why does things go wrong with technology when it gets too hot?

The picture above is of my trusty Radeon 9700 Graphics card, that all of a sudden decided the world needed pink stripes running up and down. And so it created some, five of them to be exact. It also decided that no matter what I did, the stripes would stay. HIS, the makers of the card told me it was a memory issue, so i returned the card for a new one. One without this somewhat annoying fashion statement.

Other times, my computer has managed to produce images making you think it’s not only dust that’s being sucked through the computer’s lungs.

This picture clearly shows, the computer, or at least the graphics card is pretty high… Anyone recognize the game? It’s Microsoft Simulator’s flying Circus, it is!

So what happens with electronics when they get too warm? And how warm can they get?

A normal AMD processor has a critical point at somewhere around 90 degrees Celcius, Memory has to be cooler. GPU’s can top around the same as a CPU, but these temperatures are not recommended.

Well then, what is the recommended sauna temperature? I usually go for around 65-70 degrees C, this way the body can last a bit longer. The same with a CPU. In some saunas a temperature of 110-120 degrees is completely comfortable because of air flow! -Air flow, aha! you think, that’s why I have a big noisy fan in my computer case! -Exactly! There are a myriad of ways how to get better airflow in a computer case. Just like a human, the computer needs to be within a certain temperature to work fine, otherwise… well… the pictures above…

Finally, why does electronic equipment like to be cold? Well i honestly don’t know exactly, other than a temperature too high may cause components to behave differently, or change value causing all kinds of ruckus. In this case, beautiful art.


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