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BF3 Computer Games over clocking Preperation Tips and Tricks upgrades

Let the over clocking begin…

I have been ramping up to do some overclocking on my CPU. Now that my video projects have been cleared, and BF3 is only a couple days away, its time to look into the finer details of what it takes to run a computer faster than stock settings.

The first thing I needed was a big heat sink. I went with the Scythe Ninja 3 because of its massive surface area. It has been keeping my CPU cool for a couple weeks now. Idle temps are around 18-22C, normal loads bring it up to about 35C. But what I really need to do is find the peak load temperature.

To do this I found the over-clockers secret weapon. Its a little program called prime95 and it is the basis for most testing. The program runs your CPU and RAM at peak levels until it encounters an error. The longer the test can run the better off you are. From what I have read, most people do the stress test for 12 to 24 hours. If you can run 24 hours at 100% with 0 errors, then your settings are considered stable.

This is how the numbers looked after 1 hour of testing. All fans set to minimum flow.

 

I then decided to see what kind of cooling performance I could get from maximum flow. So I set ALL fans to max speed and let it go for 3 more hours.

 

 I was surprised that my average temp only dropped by 4 degrees. The computer was making alot of noise from the amount of air it was moving. I don’t think its worth it. I like the quite computer, even if it runs a little hotter.

With the base line set at 41C, I can now look foreward to upping the power to see what kind of stability I can get.

 AM3 AMD Phenom II X6 1100T processor @ 3.3 Ghz, 9.0 MB total cache.

Voltages 1.0-1.475V
Max Temps (C) 62
Wattage 125 W
AMD Virtualization Technology Yes
L1 Cache Size (KB) 128
L1 Cache Count 6
L2 Cache Size (KB) 512
L2 Cache Count 6
L3 Cache Size (KB) 6144
CMOS 45nm SOI
Socket AM3
AMD Business Class No
Black Edition Yes

Categories
BF3 Computer Games Preperation Tips and Tricks upgrades

New Heat Sink

I decided it was time to upgrade my gaming computers heat sink in preparation for overclocking the CPU. I decided to go with the Scythe Ninja 3. This thing is massive and is rated to be used WITHOUT a fan on stock / non-overclocked CPU. Compared to the AMD supplied heat sink, I can see why :

My computer case comes with a back wall cut-out to aid in the installation of such beasts. Unfortunately, the cutout does not line up and I had to dismount the motherboard anyways to get at the top two screws.

Install is pretty easy. First you need to clean off the old thermal compound and squeeze on the new.

Make sure that you get enough on so that it squeezes out the sides a bit.

Careful with the torque, it doesn’t take much to hold that thing in place and we don’t want to crack the PCB material of the motherboard. Here’s what it looks like mounted up.

The new heat sink eats up a ton of space, which makes it difficult to reinstall the motherboard. As you can see here, I now had minimal clearance for screw driver access to the mount.

With the heat sink installed, it was time for a test run. This is the inside after everything was up and running.

I have no idea what kind of cooling performance upgrade I have achieved. I did not record the temperatures before and after. However, the computer is much quieter now. I can once again hear the hard drives ticking over the hum of the fans.

NOTE : Before you buy something like this, check the dimensions. This heat sink will NOT fit into all cases. You will need an Enthusiasts case. Other wise you may not have enough clearance between the heat sink and the side wall. My case only leaves about a half inch of breathing room.

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Aviation Photography Tips and Tricks

HDR

High Dynamic Range photography is something I am just starting to play with. You take 3 images and use a computer to blend them together. Each image is about 1 F-stop apart which makes one under exposed, one correct exposure, and the last over exposed.

The beauty of this, is that you can use the dark areas from the over exposed and the highlights from the under exposed to really create a dramatic enhancement of the main image.

This is my first real try :