Archive for August, 2011

Bad Design from Intel (Reprinted)

August 21, 2011

Not the chips. Intel CPU and chip sets are among the best in the business. However, their cooling fans suck!

The fan blades are fine. The fan motor is excellent. The heatsink is more than adequate. The four plastic clips that hold the fan to the motherboard are cheap pieces of crap!

Intel i3, i5, i7 cooling fanThe CPU is the heart of the computer. If the fan/heatsink comes loose from the motherboard, the system fails and the chip dies. A $300.00 (US) CPU.  All because of  a rinky-dink push-pin that doesn’t  screw into anything.

Intel fan clip

It wouldn’t be so bad if the fan were mounted horizontally in the computer. But most modern cases mount it vertically, as if it were nailed to a wall. The combination of vibration and weight pulling on those horrid little plastic clips makes this an accident waiting to happen.

I’ve been reading posts on other forums where people have been having issues either installing these fans or upgrading, and the consensus is that you have to remove the motherboard and then install the new unit to make sure that the fan is properly connected on the backside. That’s ridiculous!

If this was a car or a baby’s crib or child safety seat, it would have been recalled. I won’t put up with an inferior OS, so why should I tolerate inferior hardware?

One loose connector might not make a significant difference. But if two consecutive connectors fail, the heatsink will lose enough contact with the CPU to cause the chip to overheat.  The end user will never even be aware of this until their computer stops working.

There needs to be a mechanism that applies constant tension between the fan/heatsink and the motherboard. These plastic clips are not exerting a constant spring-loaded tension, making the connection much weaker than it ought to be.

Another problem with using plastic lies in the fact that plastic becomes softer as it heats up. This can also weaken the bond as gravity pulls on the fan/heatsink. Someone didn’t think this through at all. They just looked at the cost and ease of manufacturing.

There is no excuse for bad design. And this isn’t just bad design, this is class-action-lawsuit bad design.


Unity Presentation Now Available (Reprinted)

August 17, 2011

Unity, the new default Graphical User Interface (GUI) found in Ubuntu 11.04, is a controversial subject among Linux users. In this PDF presentation, I examine this topic in detail.

The Unity Presentation

Presented by
Computer Forumz Logo