So, here I am, trying to play whatever game I have, and suddenly the main fan would kick in, really hard, causing my system to 'hiccup'. The game would hang for a split second, and usually crash, or at least cause the game to fuck up. Needless to say, this was REALLY FUCKIN' ANNOYING. I took off the side of the case, and placed a small desk fan next to it, blowing in. That cured the worst of it. The problem pretty much went away...for a while.
Well, recently, it started coming back again. It was worst with really graphic heavy games (no surprise there), which made playing 'Doom 3' damn near impossible. With the ambient temperature less than the summer, I couldn't figure out what it was. I shifted the case further from the wall, promoting better airflow through the fan. I even blocked part of the window that was near it, to cut down on convection heat ("dutch oven" effect). Still happening. Grrrrr....
Well, time to prove that even techie guys can overlook stupid things.
Pissed at having to shut down "Prince Of Persia: Warrior Within" a couple days ago...AGAIN...due to all the music stopping form the latest cooling fan kick-in, I stared at the case. I stared at the fans, daring them to piss me off again. And I noticed something...a scary amount of dust and crap built up, on the heat sink over the main processor, under the fan. For all that I'd taken my canned air and blasted the dust, etc., out of the case, I'd missed that.
Gee, you think? Maybe, just maybe, all that crap clogging the heatsink could make it not exactly cool the chip properly? Uh DUH.
Well, needed new air anyway. And, half a canister later, it's nice and clean under there. Haven't had a hiccup since...and there was quite a bit of "Prince of Persia" this morning.
Jury is still out, but so far, it looks like this might have been the issue. Needless to say, this causes mixed emotions. Good ones that my system is working better, low ones that I was such a dunce. ;)