Monday, November 10, 2008

Beware the gift horse

Some time ago, a Dell Optiplex GX280 was donated to me through my office. I brought it home and installed it for the kids to play on. It's actually spec'd out very nicely. I turned it on, and it sounded like a huge jet preparing for takeoff. After it started booting, though, the fan inside calmed to respectable level.

And then I fired up "Battlefield 1942." Yes, the gamers out there will scoff, I'm sure, but my kids and I love playing the game. Tyler likes to help kill off the baddies (or me if he chooses the other side) and Emily likes to fly the planes. You have not lived until you let a six-year old fly a plane in a game.

The computer's fan(s?) started up and I couldn't hear myself think. It was so loud, you couldn't hear the game. I quickly shut the game down, and started poking around the Internet. Sure enough, the GX280's are notorious for being loud as it was Dell's first real foray into 'liquid-cooled' cases. Funny, I thought liquid-cooled meant NO FANS. WRONG! The fans they use are set up to suck the air out of the case, rather than blow cool air across the chips. Stupid design. Stupid free computer. Well, unless I buy a heatsink/fan for it. Frankly by the time I do that, I can just get them a new gaming machine.

This is one 'gift horse' that will go back to the company that 'donated' it... Pronto!

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