The other day I was in the local comp shop returning a faulty graphics card (again ). The guy in front of me was complaining that his home-built AMD would post then crash out suddenly and power down, apparently, due to overheating. It was his first AMD effort and he was complaining about the chip temperature saying AMD was no good. I saw the chip and I must admit the top looked a little scorched and worse for wear. I sat and discussed his frustations with him while we waited for them to finish the test. They came back and, to my suprise, told him it was okay even with the apparent scorching. They asked to see his heatsink...and they found the problem. His heatsink (a ThermoEngine) had a one of those thermal pads on it (instead of grease). They generally aren't as good as grease like Artic Silver, but as the shop tried to explain to him, they work a lot better if you remove the protective plastic cover on them before fixing them to the processor! I wondered how the CPU had got to look so second hand, yet still worked.

He was lucky. because it still worked, they RMA'ed it.

The Captain

"I only use the best cod in my fish fingers"