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Thread: fan

  1. #1
    3 Star Lounger
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    My main pc is a 7-year-old Gateway 710XL. [I still cannot find a newer model with raw processor speed faster than the 3.4 GHz on this pc, although modern pcs have faster channels, multiple cores, etc.]

    Recently I noticed that the pc became very quiet and I rightly suspected the fan. Whenever I start the pc, the fan comes on with its usual high speed and high noise level. However, after a few seconds the fan stops instead of coming down to its normal low level. This is repeatable whether I start from "off," with a reboot, or even after detaching all but the essential connections (leaving the keyboard, display, and mouse).

    This sounds to me like a thermostat or fan control problem, rather than a fan issue, but I have no expertise in this area.

    Any suggestions?

    [While I have automatic real-time backup to an NAS on this pc, I opened the side panel and directed an external fan on the interior so that I could move some of the most important files to my laptop so that I could continue with some basic work.]

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    It could be that the fan doesn't need to spin that fast right when you boot up and after the initial full speed mode. When it slows down to it's slow speed mode, maybe the fan bearings are going bad and the fan stops instead of running at slow speed.

    Also, yes, newer PCs don't run at the 3.4GHz speed but a new Core i7 at 2.66 GHz will run faster than a single core CPU at 3.4GHz. Four cores at 2.66 is almost like 2.66 X 4 GHz. And on a 7 year old PC your hard drives run slower and video cards are slower. If you're happy with the speed for now, then fine, but I find I need to upgrade about every 3 years of the computer is too slow for me.

  3. #3
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    Thanks, Frank. I replaced the fan and changed it to be always on slow. Seems to work fine. [The original fan went from fast to off in a very few seconds, and it was diagnosed as being a problem on the mother board -- too expensive to fix.]

    Re multicore processors: Has the challenge of effective use of the multicores been solved? Of the software I use, only Adobe seemd to take advantage of the hyperthreading on my currect pc, and I've seen it rendering using a 4-core processor while keeping all four processors fully occupied.

    I recognize that I do not have the faster disks (although I have upgraded the C: and D: disk drives), channels, etc My laptop is four years old and performs some i/o tasks much faster. Although long retired, I'm still associated with a company which makes (among many other things) test setups for the upcoming USB 3 capability, and that whizzes!

  4. #4
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    CPU speed is much more than simple megahertz ratings. I am not entirely impressed with adding cores for all applications, as many of them still don't take advantage of the multiple cores.

    However, at least a dual core has significant advantages over any single core chip, simply because Windows has so much OS overhead and you'd be crazy not to be running a suite of security software--which can mean the second core is quite busy even if only one is running your primary apps at any given time. A quad core is very nice if you happen to run multiple primary apps at the same time, though.

    The best dual core chips, rated at a bit over 3 GHz, also have very large cache memory arrays that increase performance substantially. We had a machine built for my stepson last March, and used such a dual core--with, IIRC, 6 MB of cache memory. I daresay it would pretty much blow your current machine away in most situations. A further reason they are so fast is that they use *MUCH* faster RAM, more efficient memory controllers, etc. It would be simple to find any number of machines that would be faster in nearly everything than what you have.

    There are also many motherboards these days that will support some fairly substantial overclocking if you want to goose them up even farther.

    This said, there is little argument that the I7, with its three channels of DDR3 memory, is incredibly fast...and the upcoming I9 should be even faster, with six cores as I understand it. As usual, it all depends on how many bucks you want to invest. As a custom race boat builder in Florida told a potential customer a few years ago when asked how fast would the boat he wanted built would be: "That depends. How much do you want to spend?"

    Still, it is far better than when I was marketing and sales VP for a little firm with the first full 486 some years ago. They usually wound up between $7,000 and $10,000 fully dressed. For half the lower figure, you can go crazy these days.

    David

  5. #5
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    ...and don't forget the all important bus speed! Surprisingly, it's overlooked by many "tech savy" people.
    Mike

  6. #6
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    If globalist is not interested in buying a new pc, I have no argument with him. I don't buy new hardware or software unless I have to either.

    That being said, there are a few ways to get the most out of what you have.

    - Run chkdsk once in a while. From a command prompt, type: chkdsk /f Answer yes to the question, then reboot. It will run, then start windows.

    - RAM is ridiculouly cheap. Add as much as the hardware can handle. 32bit Windows can handle a max of 4GB; but some hardware cannot take that much. On crucial.com you can answer a few questions to locate your pc, then see their recommendations. They are very reliable, their prices are low, and they handle returns with no hassle. I only needed to return one piece over the last 10 years, and I've bought a lot from them.

    - Make sure you have more than 25% free space on your hard drive. New hard drives are cheap and easy to install - even on laptops these days.

    - Clean out the junk files. Then run a good defragger. I like the excellent, safe, and free "jkdefrag" or "mydefrag" (same company, still free - more choices).

    - When Windows manages the size of the pagefile, it can become fragmented. Nothing program I know of can defrag it except "pagefiledefrag" from sysinternals (now owned by microsoft but still available - free). Run this as the last step in your cleanup.

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