Sweat outside and then inside

My BP symptoms have been continuing to improve.  I don’t want to jinx myself but as of right now I would say I am about 80% normal.  Yesterday was last day of prednisone.  Hopefully the healing trend continues throughout the weekend without the use of steroids.

It seems that with a typical Florida day, the solar system out in the coop is kicking some ass.  When Cindy took this picture mid-day the panels were pumping around 230 watts into the Yeti, easily handling the real time load as well as recharging the 1000WH battery pack rapidly.  The battery was fully recharged by the time I got home and in the morning before I leave for work it shows as still having four hours of run time left which is great, as long as the sun comes out like it does 90% of the time.  This weekend I need to do some cleaning up of the wiring and connections but I think I have a pretty good handle on how this should all flow now.

As always I have a lot of things I want to get done this weekend.  I thought it would be smart to get a head start by knocking out some of the yard work last night.  I grabbed the weed whacker and did a full sweep, something I hadn’t done in 5 or 6 weeks.  While I worked on that Cindy got on the tractor and got the front part of the yard mowed which was a big help, meaning I can knock out the remainder pretty quickly tomorrow.

So after dinner, despite already doing enough work for a Thursday, I turned my attention to my PC.  I noticed several weeks ago that the CPU temps on my new system get quite high depending on load.  I have seen it cross into the 90C range for brief periods of time when doing CPU intensive tasks like video editing.  So when I looked up the specs of my i8700 processor it did show higher acceptable operating temperature ranges than I was accustomed to but still, that is really hot.

Nothing kills electronics more than excessive heat so I decided I was going to step up my CPU cooling game, abandoning a conventional fan cooler for a liquid cooled option.  A liquid color works much like any other cooling system, it circulates fluid to and from the CPU that goes through a radiator which has a huge fan blowing air out of it.  The end result is a constant cooling affect being applied to the chip, dramatically reducing temps.

I chose a simple but proven Intel cooling rig that I read others had used on their HP Omens.  I remember reading it required some “customization” to get in there.  Well I certainly got to customize my ass off.  The instructions for the cooler are not great, it’s only pictures which gets confusing because they include diagrams for a bunch of different processor types.  Getting the radiator and fan mounted on the top of my case was the first struggle.  The couple mounting holes in the case that were available did not align with the holes on the radiator.  I wound up doing some “customization” which included use of a drill and snips so I could get two screws on opposite corners holding the radiator in place.

After that struggle I thought the hardest part was behind me.  All I had to do was attach the cooler to the chip and screw it down.  Well when I cranked the hold downs to their limit the cooler was still loose and not making solid contact.  WTF….  So I spent a ton of time looking at the maddening pictures.  I determined that I needed to figure out what type CPU socket I had.  I had the box from the RGB cooler I installed a few weeks prior.  On it I saw “for LGA-115X”  So based on that information I went back to my pictures and dug around some more.  It turns out that with this style socket, a new base plate must be installed.  The plate that is in for the stock cooler extends up higher, which is why I was unable to get the required tension.

My desk area was an absolute disaster already at this point with tools, parts, manuals, and papers strewn about.  It was about to get a bit more chaotic as I now was going to have to rip out the system board to change this mounting plate.  I haven’t had to rip down a PC to this degree since the mid-2000’s.  Doing so on my nearly brand new $1500 PC was a leap of faith in my old PC builder skills.  Once I had the board up I had to carefully pry the old plate off which is stuck on with double sided tape and then install the mount for the cooler which has much shorter stand offs.

I got the new plate on and then carefully put back everything I had ripped out.  At this point I had over two hours into this job that I thought might take 30 minutes.  It was finally the moment of truth where I find out if I broke anything in the process.  A wave of relief came over me when the system booted normally.  I ran some of the same temp tests as before.  The difference was pretty amazing.  Instead of crossing 90, the temps never left the 60’s even at max CPU usage, a massive improvement. By the time I got done cleaning up all the shit on my desk from the ordeal it was after 11PM.  I collapsed into bed tired from the process but content that the effort will be well worth it down the road.


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