Another kind of bug. The thermal bug

During the evolution of ExtIO_sddc code the Co-Authors and I made many  tests on different computers to verify operation. 

One of the PC candidate was the laptop (Asus UX330U | 2017 | i7-7500U cpu) that I used during early development of BBRF013 / ExtIO_sddc.dll.

Starting January 2021 I noticed something very strange. The application HDSDR was on but the  audio stream was discontinuous and sometimes crashed. 

I thought about some software bugs.  After some testing with different code versions and on other PCs I installed Open Hardware Monitor on this PC and I noticed that the problem was related to CPU temperature.
I thought that the CPU cooling was not efficient even though the internal fan was spinning. When the CPU temperature reaches high value the CPU clock is decreased to dissipate less heat. The behavior modulates speed performance of the CPU. The PC is 4 years old so I fear dust inside, not good thermal conductivity of the heat pipe and many other nightmares.

I opened the laptop  carefully and I found not so much dust, the fan was spinning and the heat pipe looked fine. In every case I cleaned the heat pipe and fan with an air compressed can, nevertheless I did not disassemble the heat-pipe and did not replace the heat transfer paste on the CPU. I decided to try to replace the fan before changing the CPU thermal paste so I bought a spare fan with the exact Asus number on Aliexpress . While waiting for the delivery I cleaned and closed the laptop that I used for editing tasks and video communication without big problems while it continued to show thermal problems when running demanding apps like SDR.
The fan arrived today. I opened the laptop and replaced the fan. It solved the thermal problem without requiring me to disconnect the pipe and replace the heat transfer paste.
I tested the v1.1.0 and the v1.2RC1 see hereafter.  

The lesson learned is that Open Hardware Monitor can be of help in testing strange bugs of our PC. As the Gamers' community teaches, the thermal behavior of CPU is important for demanding applications.


Popular posts from this blog

A look into the RX-888 mkII


HF103 rc1