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A Look At The World of Heatsinks

Hemos posted more than 12 years ago | from the sales-folks dept.

Hardware 117

A reader writes: "There's an interview with Glenn Summerfield, Senior Sales Associate for Alpha Novatech (USA) that talks about heat sinks and where some of it is going." Alpha Novatech is one of the big boys in the field of heat sinks - the responses do have a bit of "salestalk" for Alpha Novatech, but seeing industry thoughts on watercooling vs. aircooling and such is interesting, nonetheless.

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I Hate Em... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2438872)

I hate heat sinks.

Re:I Hate Em... (-1)

linux4life (525779) | more than 12 years ago | (#2438877)

props to all my dead heatsinks.

i use the heat to heat up some hot grits then pour them down my pants while watching the olsen twins.



Re:I Hate Em... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2438881)

omg I can't believe I've lost my fp cherry... yay!

Sheikh Usamah Bin-Muhammad Bin-Ladin for President (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2438878)

Yee haw

Arab power!

Suck it Taco! (-1)

Pr0n K1ng (160688) | more than 12 years ago | (#2438885)

After reimplementing the erase the contents of the post window on hitting the back arrow, and making the 20 second count start over, the trolls have decided that Rob "Cmdr Taco" Malda is officially an idiot.

Suck it Taco!

Proprietary process? (2)

sllort (442574) | more than 12 years ago | (#2438894)

ALPHA: I can't go in to too much detail, as it's a highly proprietary process. However, the copper is embedded in the base at the same time that the fins are formed during the forging process. This takes place under a tremendous force.

That's their way of saying they've got Superman locked in the basement crushing heatsinks with his fists. They're holding him hostage with Kryptonite.

Free Superman!

Seriously though, here's the megacorp [ke-alpha.co.jp] that just got some free but arguably useless press.

I like the graph (2, Funny)

jamesdood (468240) | more than 12 years ago | (#2438911)

Obviously while sucking is good, blowing is better!

Re:I like the graph (0)

Marticus (128290) | more than 12 years ago | (#2439342)

I didn't think it was possible, but this both sucks and blows.

Re:I like the graph (0)

dinivin (444905) | more than 12 years ago | (#2439466)

Let's give credit where it is due... The actual quote is: "I didn't think it was physically possible, but this both sucks and blows."

It's from The Simpson's episode Screaming Yellow Honkers (aka. Marge Simpson in 'Screaming Yellow Honkers').


Re:I like the graph (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2440142)

you are right, i suck

- M

Wow! Old-school! (3, Insightful)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 12 years ago | (#2438921)

Boy, this story was like a blast from the past!

Fogey mode: You used to see stories like this posted to Slashdot all the time back in the day. Back then, there was no Katz or fluffy BS, just hardcore tech geekiness and Microsoft bashing (yeah, well, some things never change).

Reading over this article was like seeing an old friend again.

Re:Wow! Old-school! (-1)

Trollificus (253741) | more than 12 years ago | (#2439394)

"Reading over this article was like seeing an old friend again."

Or an old girlfriend who cheated on you.
I can't help but feel bitter that the old style of Slashdot writing has long since been forgotten in the eyes of our esteemed editors. And when it does rear it's head again, it serves only as a reminder that I have nothing but utter shite to look forward to in tomorrow's articles.

Meh. So is life, I guess.

Re:Wow! Old-school! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2441310)

If I wanted to take the kiddies to see a Komodo Dragon, where could I go?

Ten points to anyone who gets the reference and the relevance to the interview.

Of course... (0)

Shoeboy (16224) | more than 12 years ago | (#2438925)

If you don't want to take out a 2nd mortgage to add a screamingly loud, 35 lb. heat sink/fan combo to your box, you can go with a superior processor design that doesn't produce as much heat.

Need a hint? Try this [slashdot.org].


Re:Of course... (1)

TheOnlyCoolTim (264997) | more than 12 years ago | (#2439067)

Of course - you would prefer that your second mortgage go towards a strange and overdesigned clear/translucent colored case.


Re:Of course... (1)

AssFace (118098) | more than 12 years ago | (#2441057)

okay, I could spend $1000 and have a kick ass system, spend an extra $100 and get one of the best heatsink and fan systems.
Where can I get a sweet mortgage deal like that?


I could buy a Mac (where your link points) for twice as much, and have it be slower, and less accessible (let me clarify that, my grandmother might be able to stumble through it - but if something goes wrong, you have to reboot, you can't get into the inner workings).
Also, if you have ever used the apple Ti laptop, then you will know that the "superior processor design" will burn your legs if you are wearing shorts and have the "laptop" on your "lap" - yeah, that's fucking brilliant design.

the mac religion is tiresome and boring to listen to

Not quite sure I understand the appeal... (4, Interesting)

Telek (410366) | more than 12 years ago | (#2438926)

or at least for right now.

So I have a TBird 1.5GHz machine, and it hits 100% processing capacity for 0.02% of the time that it's in use. Save the time that I do mpeg compressing, but that's rare and the difference in speed that a watercooled system would give me over this would be negligable.

Using an expensive watercooler solution (well, expensive compared to a $30 air cooler that will work perfectly fine) to squeeze out a few extra megahertz, is that really worth all of the hassle?

Even at work I had an P3/800 (don't start with the intel bashing) and did a lot of work daily including compiling, and was upgraded to a P3/933 (at the expense of my friend who was away for a week, and I ... kinda forgot to return the processor) and guess what? Neither one of us really noticed much of a difference. That's 133 MHz difference, a full 33MHz FSB boost too, and for just about everything that we did, we didn't notice a difference.

If you're just so keen that you need to go from 33FPS to 33.8FPS in your Quake3 games, then, well, your choice... But is there really any good practical applications where the cost of a watercooled solution is worth the price? Keep in mind that you're comparing not the marked speed of the chip, but the speed that you could overclock to with air vs the speed that you can overclock to with water. I'd be surprised if you can see more than a 5MHz FSB difference there, even if 10MHz difference at a 15x multiplier (which means that you're already at 1.5GHz) you can gain 150MHz, which will do what for you? Practically nothing. Now add int he factor that you could just add the money of the watercooled solution to the cost of the chip to get the next higher up model, and ... well frankly I don't see the point other than just the coolness factor of having glow-in-the-dark coolant running through your PC =)

And before someone starts on the noise levels, we have a Dell 1.5GHz P4 at work that you have to put your ear right next to the bloody box to hear anything at all, they are VERY quiet. They have 2 fans too (1 case that blows across a heatsink on the proc through a tube, and 1 for the power supply). They are both thermally throttled and the hard drives are mounted on a thin strip of rubber too. Trust me, these babies are SWEET boxes and QUIET too.

So, who can explain to me why this would be worth it? I'm curious to know =)

-- Sean

Re:Not quite sure I understand the appeal... (1)

gooberguy (453295) | more than 12 years ago | (#2438983)

So, who can explain to me why this would be worth it? I'm curious to know =)

A water cooled system makes MUCH less noise than an air cooled system. There is no constant fan blowing like crazy.

D/\ Gooberguy

Re:Not quite sure I understand the appeal... (1)

yesthatguy (69509) | more than 12 years ago | (#2439240)

Nope, only a noisy electric pump.

Re:Not quite sure I understand the appeal... (1)

BLAG-blast (302533) | more than 12 years ago | (#2439385)

Nope, only a noisy electric pump

well, if you'd like to pop off down to your local aquarium shop dohickee and check out the pumps. They are pretty quiet, well they are unless you are putting air in as well, that's kind of noisy. Good aquarium could run you $100 piece so even the do it your self water cool system isn't going to be cheap if your looking for quality.

Of course if you want a laugh think about a water cooled laptop. Every where you go you've gotta hook up to the water or maybe use a small foot pump if you are near some water. This could make business trips some what trouble some...

The only time I could imagine doing this is if I had built a big ass cluster (where adding more machine wouldn't improve the speed) and Intel or AMD had gone bust and I need more crunching speed....

Re:Not quite sure I understand the appeal... (2)

MentlFlos (7345) | more than 12 years ago | (#2440681)

My pump is by far the quietest noise producing part of my computer. I say it this way because if I claimed that it was the quietest part then someone would start going off about how my NIC is making so much noise that it is louder than my pump yadda yadda yadda.

My point is these things are damn quiet. My home pc is watercooled and it cost me around $80 total. I am watercooling my dual tbird box and that cost me around $140 to do.

Why you ask? I didn't want to hear some CPU fans blaring away. Instead I have 120mm fan(s) on the radiator. Do I overclock? Not the server (or the home box for right now). I just wanted quiet.

Where I got my stuff [aquastealth.com]

Re:Not quite sure I understand the appeal... (0)

CTho9305 (264265) | more than 12 years ago | (#2438990)

a) it is fun to overclock. kinda like people who work on cars. not necessarily especially productive, but we do it anyway

b) some CPUs do produce noticeable gains. Duron 600's are known for their ability to OC to up to 1ghz, which when you are playing games, WILL help significantly in UT - it will be noticeably smoother. Of course, my tbird 700 doesn't do 800 on air, so OC'ing it is really not worth it unless I went with watercooling.

One clear advantage of water is noise. With a good pump, and a large, slow radiator fan, a water-cooled system can be silent.

Re:Not quite sure I understand the appeal... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2439007)

Do you happen to know the model number of the
super quiet Dell ?


Re:Not quite sure I understand the appeal... (3, Informative)

T.i.m (149429) | more than 12 years ago | (#2439018)

Actually some people think 0.1 GHz is worth about $400.
Prise comparision from a randomly selected computerstore: (http://www.chapsat.com/)

Intel P4 1.9GHz 478pin FC-PGA $910
Intel P4 2.0GHz 478pin FC-PGA $1330

Okey I know it is kind of extreme but my point is people can do alot for some mhz.
(Just look at the amount of work they put in to opverclock their high end PC:s.

Yup... thats my point

Re:Not quite sure I understand the appeal... (1)

pmz (462998) | more than 12 years ago | (#2441150)

A graph of $/MHz for a particular CPU quickly reveals that pricing is non-linear. CPU manufacturers and/or retailers are very aware of the "feel good" value of owning the latest and greatest.

The best values are always a couple notches down from top-of-the-line. Once I learned this, I always buy older technology. The money savings can be put to important stuff like a professional-grade monitor, which is more important to my computing experience than having a few extra MHz to lie idle.

Re:Not quite sure I understand the appeal... (4, Interesting)

Peter H.S. (38077) | more than 12 years ago | (#2439134)

So, who can explain to me why this would be worth it? I'm curious to know =) [About water cooling]

Personally I hope not to deal with watercooled client pc's. But such extreme cooling measures might be necessary: A worst case 1.8 P4 consumes aprox. 88 Watts. It looks like future generation CPUs could be even greedier than that (Transmeta is a noticeable exception).
I Imagine that people buying 4-way servers, do so because they expect signicant CPU load for long periods. But 4 x 90 /120 Watts (or 8 x 90 /120 watts) really generate a lot of heat inside a cabinet. A single future 8 GigaHZ Intel /AMD CPU could also be a challenge for traditionel cooling systems.
However, I find it likely that CPU designers in the future, will sacrifice some speed gains, in order to avoid costly coling systems, such as watercoolers.

Re:Not quite sure I understand the appeal... (1)

Rob.Mathers (527086) | more than 12 years ago | (#2439469)

If you check out some hardware/overclocking/modding sites, you'll see that often it's not about how much real world performance you get, it's about how much you can crank out of your system in terms of the oh-so-inaccurate mhz/ghz numbers. Also, of course you're not going to notice a difference of 133mhz boost, esp. when staying in the same cpu class.

Re:Not quite sure I understand the appeal... (2)

Tassach (137772) | more than 12 years ago | (#2440859)

It's the same attitude that leads gearheads to spend endless time & money souping up their cars. For a car enthusiast, getting an extra 10HP out of their engine is a big deal, even if it doesn't make any noticeable difference on the road. It's mostly about bragging rights. Is it silly? Sure it is. But, like any other silly hobby, it's a harmless way to kill time.

Re:Not quite sure I understand the appeal... (1)

denzo (113290) | more than 12 years ago | (#2439857)

Using an expensive watercooler solution (well, expensive compared to a $30 air cooler that will work perfectly fine) to squeeze out a few extra megahertz, is that really worth all of the hassle?

At this point in the game, it doesn't look like it makes much difference if you take the fastest CPU today and stuck a watercooler on it. People just aren't seeing as high as a gain in speed as the older Celerons and PIIs. Watercooled setups use to give people as high as a legendary 100% increase in speed from the fastest CPUs of yesteryear, which r0x0rd a Quake player's world. Now, people would be extremely lucky to see 50%.

And I think this trend is basically being reflected in the overclocking market. We don't hear the Kryotech machines being hyped as much as two years ago for that very reason. Intel and AMD are ramping up processors at close to their theoretical (yield) speeds, unlike the older Celerons which were just fast PIIs that were underclocked. That's not to say that there aren't anymore CPUs out there that have a high overclocking potential, they're just less common. And we also no longer see as much of a price gap between lower and higher performing CPUs.

So you're right, it's hardly worth the investment in watercooler equipment. But two years ago, it made a lot of difference for hardcore gamers.

Now we're seeing a shift from watercooled CPUs to watercooled graphics cards (can we guess where the bottleneck has gone?), which seems to yield a bit more performance for those highly ambitious hardware enthusiasts.

Some people keep their PCs at full load 24/7 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2440053)

Sean said: "So I have a TBird 1.5GHz machine, and it hits 100% processing capacity for 0.02% of the time that it's in use."

There's all those distributed computing projects to choose from.
I like to keep whatever PC I buy busy 24/7.
Esp. when electricity and bandwidth are fixed costs. (living in sch dorm)

Re:Not quite sure I understand the appeal... (1)

mark_lybarger (199098) | more than 12 years ago | (#2441181)

did you notice a difference between the 900 p3, and the 1.5tbird?

when amd starts manufacturing those tbirds at 3.5gz, they'll probably have to come self-equipped inside a water cooling solution.

BOOZE (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2438927)


Stick a shot of tequila into a highball glass
Put in another ounce of French vanilla cream
Add a splash of Jaggermeister
Fill it up with tomato juice, stir, and serve warm

This is probably the most disgusting thing I've ever created in the drink department. The cream breaks up and looks like something very questionable. The fact that it's floating about in red liquid doesn't help. I first served this to a Jew buddy of mine. He didn't like it.


The following is a list of liquor that is worth your hard earned money.

As you've probably guessed, both myself and Pendejito are madly in love with Tic Tack. It is imported from El Salvador, but don't hold that against it. It is the smoothest thing I know of that contains 36% alcohol, and it gets you rather blotto. If you happen to find any, buy it. It is perfect when you mix it with a bit of lime juice, or put a chunk of lime in a shot glass and pour the tic tack over it.

If I'm in the mood for something drinkable that'll get me good and drunk, I usually drink sake, or vino. If you like really tame stuff buy some Mogen David Jew wine. One time I got together with the Justice militia and drank a whole bottle of it, as well as some shitty tequila and tic tack. Anyway, I got really pissed and had a blast. The evening ended with me cold and afraid waiting for my mother to pick me up on some street that is supposed to be famous for male prostitutes. It was terrifying. Needless to say, it was a perfect end to a perfect outing.

Good tequila is hard to come by. More often than not, I see uneducated hoodlums drinking Jose Cuervo, or Sauza or some other tequila that is complete shit. If you want good tequila, I suggest Zafarrancho, Don Alberto, or Dos Dedos (Two Fingers). Tequila is my first love, and although many people dislike the taste, the same people do not realise the superior effects that it has. Drinking a lot of tequila is often more similar to being high than drunk and as it is legal, it is worth the extra money.

Like tequila, mescal is considered too rough by most people. The main problem with mescal is its availability. If you find some and it looks good, you should buy it as it gets you really minked out. Mescal supplies an effect which is uncomparable to that of any other liquor. It is rougher than a lot of stuff, but the effects are worth suffering through the shitty raw taste.

Alpha (-1)

Genghis Troll (158585) | more than 12 years ago | (#2438928)

Alpha is a has-been in the heatsink world. They were the king of the hill in the Celeron 300a days, but they haven't kept up with the higher-watt times at all. Their heatsinks are now middle-of-the-road at high-end prices. Have a look at an all-copper Thermalright Sk6 or a fancy-schmancy Zalman instead. Or just buy a big-ass Globalwin aluminan heatsink and stick a 7k rpm Delta on there, for half the price of an Alpha. Don't forget to jam your dick into the Delta, too; even the most anus-hardened cock is bound to feel something.

Ban the fan! (3, Funny)

PopeAlien (164869) | more than 12 years ago | (#2438947)

I would have liked to see more focus on using the heatsinks without fans. I wish we could get away from moving the air past the heatsink with a big-ass whirring fan.. Between the fans and drives in my systems I can barely hear the phone ring. I've started putting foam and dynamat in my boxes to quiet them down, but I'm thinking it would be cheaper and simpler to just duck-tape the foam to my ears..

Re:Ban the fan! (2)

augustz (18082) | more than 12 years ago | (#2439037)

I agree, let's hear some more about totally passive cooling solutions. I'd trade speed for quiet any day of the year.

Re:Ban the fan! (1)

wideangle (169366) | more than 12 years ago | (#2439138)

Then water cool your PC.

Or use a Zalman passive heat sink:
http://www.dansdata.com/coolercomp_p4.htm#CNPS31 00 G

Re:Ban the fan! (1)

Ziviyr (95582) | more than 12 years ago | (#2439196)

I want to see a picture entitled "Water cooled PC", which is a picture of an expensive looking computer diving into a pool.

I wish I could pull that off...

You're missing the point. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2439439)

My boss is an electronics engineer, he started his own computer repair business in 1981, when PETs and other behemoths ruled the earth... he's moved more and more into managerial roles, and hasn't touched the inside of a "modern" PC in a few years.. although he's still a true geek - he built (and programmed) a computer interface for his model railroad, and regulary expands it with spare computer components..

Recently, while looking at a TNT video card, he asked why it needed a fan - when we told him that the chip would fry without it, his response was "any chip that needs a fan to dissipate heat is poorly designed."

And I agree with him. If your chip generates so much heat that it can't get rid of it without a fan, then there is something fundamentally wrong with the design.

The point isn't to try water cooling, or liquid nitrogen, but to better engineer the chips.

Check out Tom's Hardware - they have nifty MPEG that compares a P4 with an AMD (the AMD is at a lower clock speed). When the P4's heatsink is removed, the machine keeps on ticking.. when the AMD's heatsink and fan are removed, the chip starts on fire almost instantly, and kills the motherboard!

This is just poor engineering, plain and simple.

Re:You're missing the point. (2)

Bishop (4500) | more than 12 years ago | (#2439769)

No disrespect to your boss, but he is wrong. If you want high speed with a high transistor count you are going to pay for it in heat. It is a valid tradeoff. A designer made the decision to disipate heat with a heat sink and fan so that the chip could run faster. Now there is room for improvement. The Intel chips produce less heat then Athlons. The PowerPC chips are, last I checked, much better still. But look at the very power hungry, liquid cooled, and very fast old CRAY machines. Those machines were fast for many reasons, but a big one is the crazy research Cray did in liquid cooling. The Cray engineers knew that if they wanted fast they were going to pay for it in heat. If one of your design criteria is low power/low heat they yes the chip is poorly designed. But in this case the criteria is high speed and the tradeoff is 30-80+ watts of heat.

Zalman noiseless fan (1)

falser (11170) | more than 12 years ago | (#2439446)

I read on Anandtech.com (September Cooler roundup) there is a Zalman (sp?) fan that has the option of running in noiseless (passive) mode. It wouldn't be enough to cool an Athlon, but perhaps the Pentium 4 1.4Ghz would be stable with it.

Re:Zalman noiseless fan (1)

falser (11170) | more than 12 years ago | (#2439452)

Sorry I meant passive heatsink, the fan is an option. Gotta stop drinking beer when posting...

Here is the article:
http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.html?i=1532&p=2 2

One step ahead of ya' (1)

PopeAlien (164869) | more than 12 years ago | (#2439589)

I ordered the Zalman on Friday along with some 'quiet' case fans - I hope they do the trick!

Noisy Fan? Try this! (1)

mestreBimba (449437) | more than 12 years ago | (#2439573)

Great Fan w/ low noise!
http://www4.tomshardware.com/cpu/01q1/010306/coole r-10.html

As they used to say where I grew up... It's not that Idaho is windy, it's just that Utah sucks.

Re:Noisy Fan? Try this! (1)

mestreBimba (449437) | more than 12 years ago | (#2439599)

This link shows the noise level for various fans tested at Tom's http://www6.tomshardware.com/cpu/01q2/010521/coole r-30.html

Re:Ban the fan! (1)

-tji (139690) | more than 12 years ago | (#2440151)

I had the same complaint.. It's compounded by the fact that I have three machines running (Windows desktop, Linux server, and Linux firewall).

I just ordered a VIA C3 800MHz CPU. It's a 0.13 micron manufactured chip, so it runs cool enough to use only passive cooling. But, it's performance is comparable to a Celeron in everything but gaming (floating point is weak). Toss a quiet power supply in there, with a Seagate Barracuda IV quiet drive, and it's a pretty quiet box.

So, for my Windows box that spends 95% of the time doing WWW Browsing, E-Mail, Word Processing, Winamp, etc. This chip does fine. It will also be great for the firewall box. I'll keep my P3 box around for the occasional game.

Re:Ban the fan! (1)

pmz (462998) | more than 12 years ago | (#2441178)

Not to mention that the extra moving parts are a liability for reliability. The CPU fan is often the first thing to break down in my computers.


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#6)xXgeneric nicknameXx
2608 Clubhouse Rd.
Mobile, AL 36605

STEP 2: Now take the #1 name off the list that you see above, move the other
names up (6 becomes 5, 5 becomes 4, etc...) and add YOUR Name as number 6
on the list. STEP 3: Change anything you need to, but try to keep this article as
close to original as possible. Now, post your amended article to at least 200
newsgroups. (I think there are close to 24,000 groups) All you need is 200, but
remember, the more you post, the more money you make! You won't get very
much unless you post like crazy. :) This is perfectly legal! If you have any doubts,
refer to Title 18 Sec. 1302 & 1341 of the Postal lottery laws.

Keep a copy of these steps for yourself and, whenever you need money, you can
use it again, and again.

PLEASE REMEMBER that this program remains successful because of the
honesty and integrity of the participants and by their carefully adhering to the
directions. Look at it this way. If you are of integrity, the program will continue and
the money that so many others have received will come your way.

NOTE: You may want to retain every name and address sent to you, either on a
computer or hard copy and keep the notes people send you. This VERIFIES that
you are truly providing a service. (Also, it might be a good idea to wrap the $1 bill
in dark paper to reduce the risk of mail theft.)

So, as each post is downloaded and the directions carefully followed, six members
will be reimbursed for their participation as a List Developer with one dollar each.
Your name will move up the list geometrically so that when your name reaches the
#1 position you will be receiving thousands of dollars in CASH!!! What an
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it now, add your own name to the list and you're in business!

do not need to re-type this entire letter to do your own posting. Simply put your
cursor at the beginning of this letter and drag your cursor to the bottom of this
document, and select 'copy' from the edit menu. This will copy the entire letter into
the computer's memory. Step 2) Open a blank 'notepad' file and place your cursor
at the top of the blank page. From the 'edit' menu select 'paste'. This will paste a
copy of the letter into notepad so that you can add your name to the list. Step 3)
Save your new notepad file as a .txt file. If you want to do your postings in
different settings, you'll always have this file to go back to. Step 4) Use Netscape
or Internet explorer and try searching for various newsgroups (on-line forums,
message boards, chat sites, discussions.) Step 5) Visit these message boards and
post this article as a new message by highlighting the text of this letter and
selecting paste from the edit menu. Fill in the Subject, this will be the header that
everyone sees as they scroll through the list of postings in a particular group, click
the post message button. You're done with your first one!
Congratulations...THAT'S IT! All you have to do is jump to different newsgroups
and post away, after you get the hang of it, it will take about 30 seconds for each

200** That's it! You will begin receiving money from around the world within
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you will receive. If you wish to stay anonymous, you can invent a name to use, as
long as the postman will deliver it. **JUST MAKE SURE ALL THE

Each of the 5 persons who just sent me $1.00 make the MINIMUM 200 postings,
each with my name at #5 and only 5 persons respond to each of the original 5, that
is another $25.00 for me, now those 25 each make 200 MINIMUM posts with my
name at #4 and only 5 replies each, I will bring in an additional $125.00! Now,
those 125 persons turn around and post the MINIMUM 200 with my name at #3
and only receive 5 replies each, I will make an additional $625.00! OK, now here is
the fun part, each of those 625 persons post a MINIMUM 200 letters with my
name at #2 and they each only receive 5 replies, that just made me $3,125.00!!!
Those 3,125 persons will all deliver this message to 200 newsgroups with my name
at #1 and if still 5 persons per 200 newsgroups react I will receive $15,625,00!
With an original investment of only $6.00! AMAZING! When your name is no
longer on the list, you just take the latest posting in the newsgroups, and send out
another $6.00 to names on the list, putting your name at number 6 again. And start
posting again. The thing to remember is: do you realize that thousands of people all
over the world are joining the internet and reading these articles everyday, JUST
LIKE YOU are now!! So, can you afford $6.00 and see if it really works?? I think
so... People have said, "what if the plan is played out and no one sends you the
money? So what! What are the chances of that happening when there are tons of
new honest users and new honest people who are joining the internet and
newsgroups everyday and are willing to give it a try? Estimates are at 20,000 to
50,000 new users, every day, with thousands of those joining the actual internet.
Remember, play FAIRLY and HONESTLY and this will really work.

Alpha heat syncs kick ass. (2)

A_Non_Moose (413034) | more than 12 years ago | (#2438971)

I read several reviews when building a Tbrird 1.333 system for where I used to work to compare to the latest and greatest Cow-boxen p4's we were getting.

Most of the Reviews said the FOP38 was the most common found to cool Ghz Tbirds, but if you can find an Alpha, get it!
Well, I did (pcnut.com, if you are interested) and it works like a beauty...even had a disclaimer "caution: loud!"...mild understatement.

Under a full load for 5 hours (decoding/converting DVD's to DivX, highest thread priority) the max temp of the processor was 111 degrees F. Some of the newer ones average 110 to 115...not bad for an "oldie but a goodie".

Tho I do admit some of the reviews now use thermal diodes under *and* above/near the top of the processor.

Another reason to go for the alpha is it won't crack those poor durons/tbirds...not so much a problem with the Athlon XP, or so the common wisdom/thinking goes because the new chips use a fiber composite (IIRC) instead of ceramic. So if the chip is under excessive pressure, the base will flex.

Just a satisfied customer here...I plan on getting 2 for a Dualie system I want to build.
MP or XP Tboids (heh, I like saying it tha way, mad props to N.Y. for enhancing the english language!) or whatever their new names will be (sledge/clawhammer?).

Heat sync technology has had to keep pace with the current procs (and the proc's current..err..watttage), so far so good, but a 1lbs heat sync on the P4...oye.

We can only hope they keep up the good work making better syncs, ducts, fans lest things all go up in smoke.


Re:Alpha heat syncs kick ass. (1)

jooniqzb1tch (246498) | more than 12 years ago | (#2440234)

Yeah the alpha's great, I use one as well.
The FOP38 is actually even better, but completely unusable as you prolly wouldn't hear a vacuum cleaner while your box is running.
The Alpha is relatively quiet when you compare it to other good coolers.

This is a good thing. (3, Funny)

narfbot (515956) | more than 12 years ago | (#2439053)

It's a good thing they're looking into better heatsink design. Because what if one happens to fall off, guess what happens? [tomshardware.com]

And you can't blame my AMD for that! It was the heatsink not being there!!!

Re:This is a good thing. (2, Interesting)

Rob.Mathers (527086) | more than 12 years ago | (#2439507)

I'd like to see heatsink manufacturers get together with mobo peeps, and have a nice long talk about mounting HSFs. IMHO, there are two major issues that need to be ironed out. First, a better and easier way to secure heatsinks is needed. The current clip system is pretty annoying, as you have to either make a huge dent in your thumb pushing the thing down, or use a screwdriver, which a careful person can get right 95%+ of the time, but there's always that fraction of the time when something distracts you, and you end up punching a hole through your m/b. I've seen nice systems in a few m/b's for a 4 screw mount system, which i imagine would work well, but it needs to be standardised. Second, m/b manufacturers need to try and make more room around the socket for larger HSFs. Obviously this is rather hard, as they want to try and squese more and more circuitry into a smaller area, but I think many people would be a lot happier if big capacitors weren't crowded around the socket.

Re:This is a good thing. (2)

svirre (39068) | more than 12 years ago | (#2440254)

I've seen nice systems in a few m/b's for a 4 screw mount system, which i imagine would work well, but it needs to be standardised.

They are standardized. I believe the standard (hole geometry and keep-out zone) was set by intel with the launch of the P4. However most new socketA mainboards also support them. (One caveat may be that there are two different hole dimensions used. This can be compensated for though.

Both the 8045 heatsink mentioned in the article and some swiftech models use these holes, there propably are some others as well.

Please Mod Parent up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2439513)

Excellent link!

Loudness of HSF units (4, Insightful)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 12 years ago | (#2439063)

Keep in mind the noise comes from the FANs in your system (well, okay, the HDs, too, but mainly the fans). There _are_ fans that are quiet! Oftentimes the HSF fan is the loudest one in the system, too, so check your system carefully.

The neat thing about high-end coolers like the Alpha PAL8045 is that the heatsink itself is so efficient that a 'whisper' fan with low airflow can still effectively cool a CPU. I just won a free Athlon XP 1800+ (1.53gHz) last week, and I'll probably be doing just that - a PAL8045 with a quiet CPU. I don't plan to bother overclocking the CPU, as it's already freaking fast.

I went to some sites that specialize in cooling products, and when you buy an HSF at some of them, they let you choose the fan that comes with it, which is nice.

And if you're 'stuck' with a really loud HSF - just replace the fan itself - they usually cost less than US$10.

Dual fans=better? (2, Insightful)

Mac Nazgul (196332) | more than 12 years ago | (#2439066)

I recently set up a server at work and had a bunch of old pentium class PCs to do it with. Swapping parts I was able to put together a P233 with 256 MB SDRAM w/2 HDs (a whopping 3 and 2 GB) FIguring that this server was going to be running 24/7 I decided it would be good to add some more cooling capabilities to the unit.
With the extra parts I had, I removed the small stock aluminum heatsink and replaced it with a heatsink with 3 inch riser. Then the voltage regulator (I think this was what it was- it was a "clip in" unit that got very hot and had its own small heatsink), which was located directly next to the CPU, was so hot that I replaced it's small 1" square heatsink with a medium sized heatsink from another PCs CPU. Now I had a big riser on the CPU with a .3 A fan and a medium riser on the voltage regulator next to it. Looking at my spare parts, i had another CPU fan of .2 A, which I decided to mount directly on top of the other fan on the CPU. So Now I had a double-decker fan system on the CPU, that was loud but pushed some serious air down onto the CPU. Across from the CPU was a fan on the front of the case with a duct that pointed towards the CPU heatsink. The crappy case design was choking this fan and it was hardly moving any air. So I cut away the grill on the case (the plastic front cover would act as a plenum and a guard) and removed the duct. This gave me enough room to install 2 fans (power supply size- about 3"across) again both blowing towards the CPU. Under full load the CPU would only rise about 10-15 degrees from ambient.
What I am wondering is just how effecient my design is. You rarely see any mods with dual fans. Maybe the noise is bothersome, but this was a server that was going to sit in a corner so I don't care. So, would two fans (presumably the stronger pulling through the weaker is the best) mounted together both blowing in the same direction be effecient? What do fellow slashdotters think?

Re:Dual fans=better? (2)

haruharaharu (443975) | more than 12 years ago | (#2439888)

, would two fans (presumably the stronger pulling through the weaker is the best) mounted together both blowing in the same direction be effecient?

Your design probably isn't the most efficient, but it gets results, so who cares. The dual fan thing doesn't strike me as a performance thing so much as a redundacy thing - lose one fan and you still have active cooling

Re:Dual fans=better? (1)

slashbaby (261784) | more than 12 years ago | (#2440039)

Dual fans are not seen often because the bearing on your bottom fan will "go" rather quickly....

Re:Dual fans=better? (1)

Drakin (415182) | more than 12 years ago | (#2440089)

I know some of the more recent orb coolers have dual fan set ups, with the lower fan foing at a much higher RPM.

So dual fan setups are out there, and yes, the weaker fan pushing to the stronger one would work better.

Personally, I just stick wth stock on my computer. It runs fairly cool as is, so other than the getting the extra 10 mhz out of it, it's not worth useing a second fan.

Re:Dual fans=better? (1)

digitalmonkey2k1 (521301) | more than 12 years ago | (#2440116)

no matter how long you keep a p233 running you wont need that many fans.... the idea its self is just insane. With the better heatsink on the cpu and then the single system fan you have more than enough... Whats next, drill a whole in the side of your fridge and run the wires through? I've actually pulled apart 1 p166mmx ibm machine ::shutters::(possibly the worst designed systems out there) that had 1/3inch of dust and dog fur blanketing the thing. it took two hours of cleaning to get done. And that system had never overheated, they kept it running for weeks at a time with no real problems they said. damn, that was a side track. but i had to get that injustice off my cheast.

Re:Dual fans=better? (1)

Spameroni (158440) | more than 12 years ago | (#2441092)

Old superorb has dual fans. It's not a mod because many stock heatsink/fans come with dual fans.

thermoacoustic heatsink (4, Interesting)

pforce (127543) | more than 12 years ago | (#2439171)

There was recently a physics presentation at my University about thermoacoustics and its ability to be used for heatsinks. The basic idea behind it was that a thermoacoustic engine could be made to take the heat from the processor and convert it into sound, dissipating the heat more effectively than conventional heatsinks. The group [utah.edu] working on the project already has a number of prototypes and showed some of them at the presentation and they were quite impressive! These 'engines' are already being made smaller than a penny in order to fit a number of them on a processor to increase cooling ability. And if you're worried about the sound coming out of them (the heat is converted to sound), the engines are converting it to high enough frequencies that it's undetectable to the human ear. They also told us that they're working on converting the sound back into electricity, perhaps to be used to cool the processor even further. I can't wait until these are commercially available...

Re:thermoacoustic heatsink (1)

homer_ca (144738) | more than 12 years ago | (#2439210)

"the engines are converting it to high enough frequencies that it's undetectable to the human ear"

I hope you don't have any pets around the house. Dogs are gonna freak when they hear it.

Re:thermoacoustic heatsink (1)

addaon (41825) | more than 12 years ago | (#2439897)

I've actually done some work with this research group. The stuff they're looking at for chip cooling (not my area, I was looking at organ-pipe sized doodads) is really high frequency. Your dog can't hear it. Maybe it's fleas can, if they're young. Very young.

Re:thermoacoustic heatsink (1)

ugliness (325797) | more than 12 years ago | (#2440035)

Dogs are gonna freak when they hear it

Yep, but it will add a new meaning to "dogs on heat".

Re:thermoacoustic heatsink (1)

NevarMore (248971) | more than 12 years ago | (#2439548)

well someone did the dog joke already.

what about those ultra sonic pest repellers?

Im not intending to bash this invention but,id be more wary of these than liquid. the constant high frequency vibrations may disrupt the ever more precise moving parts of disk drives. And sound is the motion of molecules in a longitudinal wave, heat energy is also the motion of molecules so this could lead to a hotter case than presently normal.

but on the upside, fun with harmonic resonance could come into play with a harware hack....

Re:thermoacoustic heatsink (2)

vrt3 (62368) | more than 12 years ago | (#2440227)

The basic idea behind it was that a thermoacoustic engine could be made to take the heat from the processor and convert it into sound

I just read the webpage you referred to, and I think your description of the thermoacoustic cooler is not correct. It doesn't convert heat into sound (besides, converting heat into sound into electricity violates the fundamental laws of thermodynamics and would enable you to build a perpetuum mobile). The sound is generated by a speaker (getting its energy from the power supply). The way I understand it is that the whole setup has the same functionality as e.g. a Peltier element, but more efficient.

Re:thermoacoustic heatsink (1)

Aguila (235963) | more than 12 years ago | (#2441111)

The fundamental laws of thermodynamics do not prevent converting heat into sound into electricity. They only prevent you from gaining more than a certain amount of energy (the Carnot Cycle limit) in the process, which is dependant upon the ratio in temperature of the Cold temperature bath to the heat source.


This means that you can only use heat to generate sound to generate electricity as long as you have a temperature differential, which you certainly do in this case.

Re:thermoacoustic heatsink (2)

vrt3 (62368) | more than 12 years ago | (#2441204)

We can generate energy when heat flows from a heat source to a heat sink, that's true.

But cooling is something different: we _add_ energy in the process to _increase_ the flow of heat from the heat source to the sink.

Heat is somewhat abstract, so I like the water analogy to explain these things.
Using a turbine, we can generate electricity when water flows from a high reservoir to a lower reservoir.
But, if the high reservoir is constantly refilled at a high rate, it's possible that the natural flow from high to low is not enough, and we need a pump to make the water flow more rapidly. That's cooling. Adding a turbine to that would slow the flow of water, and the generated electricity would not be enough to power the extra pump capacity needed to overcome that (if all energy conversions would be 100% efficient, it would be just enough).

Re:thermoacoustic heatsink (2, Funny)

pangur (95072) | more than 12 years ago | (#2440245)

"Lassie, what's wrong boy?"
"What's that?"
"Our mail server's heatsink just failed and the processors gonna blow up?"
"Thanks boy, you just saved the day."
"Whadyamean Timmy's in a well again? Serves him right for playing near that thing."

Of course, if its an AMD processor, then the thing is fried by the time Lassie hears it anyway...but you get the idea.

the state of computing (3, Insightful)

green pizza (159161) | more than 12 years ago | (#2439203)

Once upon a time software engineers would go through great lengths to optimize their code. Hardware engineers would work closely with the software folks to develop efficent and useful fast paths. Oft-cursed quality assurance teams would spend months hunting down elusive bugs and areas of poor performance. Physical equipment was both elegent and overengineered.

Today we have copper heatsinks that have undergone more engineering than the typical Formula One racecar.

Nevermind that we have to reinstall Windows every eight months or constatnly watch Bugtraq regardless of our platform.

Re:the state of computing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2440019)

>> we have to reinstall Windows every eight months

Oh, please, we do not! When was the last time you
heard about a *BSD crashing and inconveniencing anyone.

Re:the state of computing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2440256)

>Nevermind that we have to reinstall Windows every eight months

Every eight months?? Hell, I have to reinstall Win2kPro almost every 8 weeks.

Now, on the other hand, all the many heatsinks I've had over the years...never one problem. In fact, I don't actually know of anyone who has had a problem, regardless of overclocking or even having the cpu located in a tiny lab (full of 8 NeXTs, 2 Sparcstations, 2 VAXen, and 10 stinky students) with no air conditioning in 120 degree weather.

Oh well, when future archaeologists excavate our remains, at least they'll know we had damn good heatsinks!


Re:the state of computing (2)

Troed (102527) | more than 12 years ago | (#2440324)

We're still doing all that, in the embedded/telecom/PDA sector.

Home computers are as far as I'm concerned, dead. I want something for my home-cinema set that allows me to browse the web, read my email and do my banking. I also want a PDA/phone combo that I always carry with me, about the size of the Ericsson T68 [sonyericssonmobile.com] where I can be reached via Instant Messaging, check my net-synched calendar etc.

Playing games? Dedicated machinery - just as I have separate components for playing DVDs, amplifying sounds and decoding digital cable.

... I work full-time as a software engineer. I _hate_ going home to yet another one of those hated machines that make a lot of noise, look ugly in my living room and tries to be everything but not really good at anything. PCs.

Water Cooling..... (2)

Peridriga (308995) | more than 12 years ago | (#2439215)

Hey... ya know what...

I have a water cooled Athlon and aside from the cost and complexity (true.. not fun) it just looks friggin cool...It's completely worth it to me when people see it and stare for that extra 30 seconds...

The best question I here is "What they hell is that?"

And sorry but, I just have to add...

It's gone from suck to blow!

Gas cooling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2439939)

Hey! Whatever happened to gas cooling? Nothing leaking and ruining your day.

A hot story from the archives (4, Interesting)

NewtonsLaw (409638) | more than 12 years ago | (#2439224)

Way back in the dark dawn of the desktop PC age, I was a programmer and service tech for the local importer of Intertec Superbrain computers. [columbia.edu]

These were a CP/M based machine with two Z80 processors (the second one was dedicated to disk I/O but configured so that the main CPU was placed in a busy-wait loop while the IO occured. Obviously this was a crappy hardware solution to a problem caused by an inability to write decent firmware on Intertec's part.

Anyway -- these machines were originally designed for the US market, so the PSUs were all 110V. Around these parts the mains voltage is 230V so they included a 230V-110V transformer with machines shipped here -- and it was mounted inside the all-encompassing case that also incorporated the screen and keyboard.

Cooling on the machines was by way of a weak fan that exhausted down onto the table beneathe the machine. It was barely adequate for the 110V machine so when the extra heat from the transformer was added to the thermal input -- the machines began to overheat.

The manufacturer was useless -- offering no suggestions and losing all interest in supporting the product.

The solution was pretty simple -- use a bigger fan.

However -- there was a rather unfortunate side-effect. When you turned on the computer, the fan-blast would blow every single piece of paper off your desk. Funny as hell -- the first time.

Although attempts were made with the fan reversed so that it blew up into the machine, a couple of machines expired after a sheet of paper found its way under the case and got sucked up against the fan grill -- effectively stopping all cooling.

Re:A hot story from the archives (1)

chuckfee (93392) | more than 12 years ago | (#2439790)

Must be something about those z-80's.

I used to work for a seriously underfunded
pbs tv station in ohio. When I went to our
broadcast engineering facility for the first
time, I noticed a 19" rackmount pc with a
20" box fan(like the kind you put in windows
on a hot day) laying down on top of the computer.

I noticed it was on and asked if I should put
fan back in its upright position. The engineers
all wigged out and said that it was like that
for a reason - all that airflow just barely kept
the old cranky proprietary z-80 based broadcast
system in working order. without it, it would
overheat instantly.

I guess things never really change.


Re:A hot story from the archives (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 12 years ago | (#2440018)

Mind you, if you run the Z-80 at the speeds for which it was originally designed - a MHz or two - It doesn't need a heat sink, let alone a fan. Hell, many many adaptec SCSI controllers have Z80 chips on them.

Kind of makes you want to run CP/M on them just for laughs.

I Recall Sega Dropped Liquid Cooling (2, Interesting)

mutantcamel (213431) | more than 12 years ago | (#2439267)

Pah! I laugh in the face of using a heatsink, a real man would use liquid nitrogen [octools.com].

Originally the Dreamcast was supposed to be liquid-cooled. We were pretty excited to open up the case and check that out -- no doubt it would involve hundreds of tiny valves and pipes and pumps and very small migrant laborers to work them. However, Sega seems to have engineered the Dreamcast to run without overheating and scrapped the liquid-cooling -- we saw no evidence of it when we poked around.

Instead, heat is distributed out through a large metal plate that acts as both shielding as well as a heat sink. A sizable fan runs when the system is on to circulate air -- it's both effective and a little noisy. We've had no overheating problems with the Dreamcast, even after extended 12-hour or more sessions.

- PlannetDreamcast [planetdreamcast.com]

Silent fans get louder (2)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 12 years ago | (#2439337)

I've purchased various super-silent heatsink/fan combos before, but they never remain silent for long. After about a year of leaving my PC on, the fans get louder and louder. I hope someone can find an simple, economical, non-fan alternative.

Re:Silent fans get louder (1)

mlosh (18885) | more than 12 years ago | (#2439562)

How about a VIA C3 (Ezra) CPU and mainboard? These can run with a passive heatsink -- no fan. This can run office productivity software okay, but they are poor for FP-heavy number cruncher software. Anyway, here is a review: [realworldtech.com] [realworldtech.com] -- Mike

Re:Silent fans get louder (1)

Detritus (11846) | more than 12 years ago | (#2440090)

Get rid of the fan. I would like to see a system that used heat pipes and a large, convection cooled heatsink. I've seen this done with tactical military radio systems. The electronics are inside a waterproof box and the heat is conducted to a large cast aluminum heatsink on the outside of the box.

Re:Silent fans get louder (2)

Technician (215283) | more than 12 years ago | (#2440274)

Some high end pro audio gear also uses heat pipes to large heat sinks. Getting the geometry right to sit on a socketed CPU is probably why they are not used. Big 3 lead transistors can simply be bolted to a copper block on the heat pipe. I've also seen convection oil cooled equipment.

Re:Silent fans get louder (1)

billanderson71 (176280) | more than 12 years ago | (#2441144)

A lot of laptops use heat pipes to eliminate the fan (not for noise, but to increase battery life). The heat pipe transfers the heat to the RF shield at the bottom of the laptop, giving you a much larger area to dissipate the heat. Its the reason that many laptops get really warm your lap :)

We don't think water is going to be popular... (0)

Brad Wilson (462844) | more than 12 years ago | (#2439611)

...because we don't make water coolers. <smirk>

Already people are using water coolers for Athons and GeForce chips because of the extreme case interior heat, and heating the hard drive and power supply can't hurt, either. I'm pretty sure my next case will be water cooled.

Re:We don't think water is going to be popular... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2439629)

Are you new to Linux?

Re:We don't think water is going to be popular... (1)

Brad Wilson (462844) | more than 12 years ago | (#2439656)

New to Linux? No. What does that have to do with my comment about water cooled cases?

How can you best get heat to an Al case? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 12 years ago | (#2440024)

With all these aluminum cases running around (Dot Com Depot has some nice 4U rackmounts for $169, or did last I checked) I'd like to transfer heat from my CPU to my case and dissipate it there. I've got plenty of fans blowing through it already, but if my CPU fan fails there might not be enough airflow. How do I transfer the heat without liquid cooling?

inexpensive DIY water cooling (2)

davidnicol (513153) | more than 12 years ago | (#2440072)

A neighbor in an apartment building I was in in
1999 built a water-cooling extension for the heat
sink in his PC by soldering small copper tubes
between the fins of the heat sink that was already
there and running tubes from them to a jar of
water that was above the board.

As anyone who has worked with pumpless solar water
heating knows (I myself read an article on this in
popular science in the early eighties) to have
thermal circulation you want the reservoir of cool
water to be above your umm, solar panel.

postercommently diagram available [davidnicol.com]

A passive water cooling system can be built on
the same principles: substitute a heat sink with
tubing attached to it for the solar panel and
there you are.

During periods of intense load you can throw some
ice into your cooling tank -- but then there is a
danger of condensation.

As long as the whole system is at ambient temp.
or above, condensation will not happen.

It is easy to imagine a server farm with cooling
hoses running from each machine to a large central
cooling tank with lots and lots of fins on it
or more aggressive cooling strategies. Once the
heat is out of the enclosure, size considerations
are no longer as important.

Rack mounted automotive radiators, anyone?

buzzword! (1)

Magius_AR (198796) | more than 12 years ago | (#2440769)

Our process, "MicroForging" is unique to our company

Managerial eyecandy! In other words, a useless term that means nothing. Bet whoever came up with THAT term got a nice raise.


Bad Processors (1)

m_evanchik (398143) | more than 12 years ago | (#2441062)

When you get down to it, better heatsinks are necessary because the engineering of processors is getting worse vis-a-vis heat production/dissipation.

Only transmeta is approaching processor production with low-power-consumption/heat-production as a priority and they are not shipping in large enough volume to really affect the market, plus their newer chips have manufacturing problems.

Instead of just touting gigahertz, there should be some inverse scale (so that higher is better) showing cool operation being marketed by the chipmakers. I can see the tagline: the hot chip that runs cool.

heat sinks and where some of it is going (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2441235)

Woow, now that is truly a interesting subject...
for me to POOP ON!!!!

snap out of it, if you find that interesting, you must either be a heatsink reseller or a looser with no life!!!!
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