The work from 2/18 lacked a very simple test: I should have tried a burn-in with the XFX Double R9 290X without installing any drivers just to distinguish between a pure hardware problem and driver-related issue. Nevertheless, I consider myself ‘too old’ to be suffering with fundamental system problems so ‘rolling back’ to the original plan, the Sapphire Radeon R9 270X, seems to be the more stabilizing thing to do. The Sapphire passed my simple burn-in test and, with its latest drivers, produced no issues.
So how far did I ‘roll back’? The 290X has 4GB of DDR5 memory; the 270X has 2GB GDDR5—and I am sure that the 270X has no “…award-winning GCN Architecture for unrivalled performance and efficiency.” According a few YouTube videos, the 270X can handle anything 1080P can throw at it—but the cool kids these days are gaming for 4K and beyond.
The Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO is too tall for my HTPC case…
Spelunking with YouTube led me to the incredibly popular Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO—CPU Cooler with 120mm PWM Fan (RR-212E-20PK-R2)—an Amazon #1 best seller (even Jerry Neutron likes it; the HiTechLegion guys installs it; the Salesberg guy puts it through its paces).
Not learning anything with my previous days’ experience with graphics cards, I just ordered it (instead of ordering the original cooler, Scythe SCBSK-2100 BIG Shuriken 2 Rev. B CPU Cooler for LGA 2011/1366/1156/1155/1150/775 and Socket FM1/AM3+/AM3/AM2+/AM2 (SCBSK-2100), in my plan from last year). It turns out that the vertical design of the Cooler Master is designed for the thicknesses of tower cases—not my low-slung Silverstone HTPC case (blogged in 2012). So, again, I went back to the original plan. The Scythe BIG Shuriken has shipped.
Now, in the defense of Cooler Master, I am sure they would recommend the Cooler Master GeminII M4—CPU Cooler with 4 Direct Contact Heat Pipes (RR-GMM4-16PK-R2). The AdoptedMike guy shows us what it looks like—and complains about its size with respect to ITX motherboards. The Cooler Master (5.4 x 4.8 x 2.3 inches) has larger dimensions than the Scythe BIG Shuriken (4.9 x 5.3 x 2.3 inches).