Space heater and gaming PC face off against the cold
Computers can put out some serious heat, especially gaming systems. If you think yours doesn't, try stressing your components for a length of time (Folding@Home will do the trick) and you'll feel hot air being expelled through your PC's exhaust ports. It begs the question, do you really need a space heater in the winter time, or can your PC effectively (and cost efficiently) heat up a room?
A handful of technological quandaries are keeping our small, yet powerful gadgets from becoming even smaller and powerful; one of those issues -- as any iPad or Asus Transformer Prime owner can tell you -- is heat dissipation. The copper technology found in most modern day doo-dads just ain't cutting it anymore. Fortunately, an NC State researcher has devised a new way to cool down hot electronics 25 percent faster than existing technology -- and at a lower price, to boot.
For as popular as Apple products are, the Cupertino outfit can't seem to launch a product without some sort of scandal attached. With the iPhone 4, it was antennagate and the notion that poor signals were the result of owners holding their devices wrong, and with the new iPad (iPad 3, if you will), critics have been hot under the collar over the bigger battery's heat output.
Apple CEO Tim Cook talked a lot about the post-PC era when introducing the new iPad tablet, but if reports are true that the device tops 100F in some situations, and you're male, you may want to steer clear of resting it on your lap, lest you fry your little swimmers and we start talking about the post-human race era. Or not. Conflicting reports abound on just how hot the new iPad gets.
Now that the space shuttle program has flown its last mission, the only things left skyrocketing in America are fuel prices and the number of companies hopping on the cloud services bandwagon. Some forward thinking engineers at Microsoft have proposed a radical new system that taps into the disadvantages of both of those issues, and hey! it's a Green one, too. Rather than stuffing OPEC's pockets to heat our homes in the winter, why not turn to the heat generated by all those cloud servers?
By now, pretty much everyone is aware that Nvidia's GTX 480 runs hot, but should you be concerned? Not at all, says Nvidia, who claims it designed its GF100 parts with high temps in mind.
"We wanted to let you know that we’ve also heard your concerns about GTX 480 with respect to power and heat," Nvidia state in a blog post. "When you build a high performance GPU like the GTX 480 it will consume a lot of power to enable the performance and features I listed above. It was a tradeoff for us, but we wanted it to be fast. The chip is designed to run at high temperature so there is no effect on quality or longevity. We think the tradeoff is right."
Whether or not consumers agree remains to be seen, and what Nvidia didn't address is that the added heat is a byproduct of higher power consumption. This is also an issue that could end up pushing enthusiasts in a different direction or putting them in a holding pattern.
Does the added heat bother you, or is it all about the performance?
IBM isn't exactly playing with fire, but it is playing with higher temps in its new North Carolina data center. At a glance, it might seem counterproductive to raise temperatures, but IBM is doing so in order to reduce its energy usage.
To make sure things don't get too far out of hand, IBM has equipped its 60,000 square-foot data center with thousands of sensors that dynamically keeps tabs on temps, humidity, air flow, and circuits. And to help with cooling, the company will rely largely on outside air.
"What we tried to do here is have a data center that is more instrumented, interconnected and intelligent than anything we have done before," said Joe Dzaluk, IBM's vice president of infrastructure and resource management at the Global Technology Services division.
Temps could rise as high as 80.6 degrees, which is exactly the latest environmental recommendation by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers, who recently raised the threshold from 77 degrees because of improvements in equipment design.