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   Review : Senfu Digital Thermometer »  


Senfu Digital Thermometer - Preamble
 Date  : Aug 25th, 2001
 Category  : Cooling
 Manufacturer   : Senfu
 Author  : Jin-Wei Tioh
Temperature monitoring is important, not only in industrial settings, but in your computer as well. This is especially true given the rise of overclocking, which results in drastically increased CPU operating temperatures. Increasing amounts of heat are also generated by other components within the system. With the plunging costs of high RPM HDDs, CD-R/W drives, and the advent of literally hot graphics accelerators, heat management becomes a critical issue.

All computer components have a operating temperature range. Obviously, we're not concerned with the lower limits (unless you live in Alaska, that is). However, exceed the upper limits, and at best, the lifespan of a particular component is shortened. At worst, the consequences can be downright disastrous. So how do you know what temperature your components are running at?

In the case of CPUs, the CPU core temperature is probably the most important parameter. Intel processors since the Pentium II all incorporate a thermal diode in the core, which in conjunction with some minor system monitoring hardware on the motherboard, is able to give you core temperature readings via some system monitoring software. However, AMD processors lack this feature, thus being completely dependant on the motherboard to supply thermal probes to monitor the processor temperature, usually via a thermistor in the middle of the socket.

In addition to this, some motherboards support an "external" thermistor, like the old ABIT BX6 Rev 2, which you can use to monitor the surface temperature of whichever component that you fancy. So, you CPU and let's say your intake air temperature are covered. But what about your HDD, graphics card, etc? That's where Senfu steps in with their digital thermometer, kindly supplied by Scott Brown of HighSpeeed PC.

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