Saturday, November 28


If It's Not Too Hot To Touch, It's Not Too Hot

So I was binkling merrily away in Snap Art 2 and found an oil painting effect which I quite liked, and applied it to a sample photo to see the results full scale, and


What the?!

Okay, it's stopped now.  Sounded like maybe something got stuck in a fan?  Don't know.  I mean, it couldn't have been anything to do with the program, after all, if I undo it and do it ag-



Where's that coming from?  I didn't think I had the case speaker hooked up.  It doesn't seem to be coming from the main speakers.  Let's crank this image up to 4x size and redo the filter, so that I have time to track it down -


It's coming from the motherboard.  Aha!  It's the CPU temperature alarm.  It's the first time I've run heavily multi-threaded floating-point code, and it's been a warm day, so I've probably had the alarm set too low all along and this is just the first time I've tripped it.  I'll just reboot, bump up the temperature alarm in BIOS to whatever the next higher setting is, and all should be well.

Hmm, currently set to go off at 70°C.  I can bump that up to 80°C, but that seems rather high.  Still, my CPU is rated to run at what, 85°C?  So that's okay. 

(Actually, it's not - after rebooting and looking it up, it's only rated for 61°C.  Older AMD chips were indeed rated that high, but more recent chips are generally in the 60-70°C range.  Anyway...)

La la la...  (Prepares dinner while Windows boots.)

So open Photoshop, open the image, run the filter ag-



Well, let's find a program that will tell me what the CPU temperature is so I can see what the alarm should be set to.

Okay, CPU temperature is 35°C (and ambient is 25°C), and it jumps up to


43°C for a couple of seconds when I run the filter.  In other words, the temperature alarm is worse than useless.

So I'm going to shoot it.

Update: Yup, that did the trick.  Bumped the image up to 5x size (so 25x the number of pixels) and re-ran the filter, which took a while.  Temperature climbed to 53°C, which tells me not to run heavy multi-threaded floating-point apps when the ambient temperature is over 33°C.  (If it's linear that way, which it almost certainly isn't.)  But if room temperature is comfortable for me, it's comfortable for my CPU, no matter what I do to it.

Also of interest is that my CPU is spending most of its time running at half speed.  The little temperature monitoring app I downloaded shows me the clock speed of each core.  I thought it had it wrong, because it showed them at 1.2GHz.  But when Photoshop gets busy, they go up to 2.4GHz, and then drop back down again afterwards.  And single-threaded apps push just one of the cores up to full speed.  So AMD Cool&Quietâ„¢ really is good for something other than messing up the clock in VMWare.

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