Blowing stuff up

I ordered a new graphics card this week, a Radeon HD6870. Identical to the one I've got, I planned to run it in my main system to crunch bitcoins. Added benefit of course is that there will be practically no game in existence that would run slowly on this combination. Except GTA IV, because the port from consoleland is just shit. Framerate did not increase one bit. So I tried crunching some bitcoins. That turned out to be a bad idea.

Two HD 6870s in a single system, air-cooled only by one casefan, is not good. When both cards are at 99% usage the bottom card runs at about 90 degrees Celcius, and is stable. The top card has no airflow whatsoever and overheats. It reaches 100+C in no time flat, and then starts throttling down its speed to keep cool. Its fan keeps switching between 66% and 100% just about every second, which sounds like a hyperventilating person blowing on his soup. Rejected.

My next attempt was to put in an old system I had lying around, an Athlon XP dual-core-ish system. Rather slow, but quite suitable for bitcoining. It ran just fine, not getting too hot at all. I underclocked the CPU and decreased the voltage so it used less power and it was all set to go. It crunched bitcoins for about 3 hours and then it turned itself off. It didn't overheat, it didn't crash, it just switched off. I highly suspect that the power supply (480W) couldn't take the load, but I don't have the spare components lying around to prove it. So now I have a fancy new graphics card but no place to put it...


Posted in Tech