This week, Avram Piltch discusses a pair of interesting science experiments that have been conducted by Tom's Hardware over the past few weeks. The first involves the publication's favorite tech gadgets: the Raspberry Pi. The site has done a lot of projects using the board, but this one was unique. Rather than building something with it, they waterproofed it and used it completely submerged underwater. The result is accomplished by dipping the board into a bath of a chemical called CorrosionX. This chemical is incredibly toxic and should be used with care.
From a usefulness perspective, this project probably doesn't rank high for most consumers. However, there are some real-world applications. Raspberry Pi boards are used in a lot of robotic applications, and robots can get themselves into potentially damaging situations, completely outside of their control. Even if the case is already waterproof, adding this process on top of the case can protect the board in the event the case is damaged. Think of a product like a Roomba where the electronics could be protected from moisture even if the body is damaged.
The second experiment, which will be published this week, involved AMD, Intel, and pancakes. It's common knowledge that a computer CPU gets hot, and the chips have been used to cook before, but Tom's Hardware decided to test which manufacturer cooks better. They used comparable processors, one from Intel and one from AMD, and removed their processor fans. Adding thermal compound to a skillet, they placed it over the processor and ran a test to kick the processor to 100%. While both have similar operating temperatures, the Intel processor continued to run through the heat while the AMD Threadripper turned off for protection.
Again, the usefulness of the test is probably pretty low, but it is an interesting experiment. From a results perspective, it's important to know that an Intel processor will continue to run without proper heat dissipation. If you're building a computer and need it to keep running in extreme heat, potentially to the detriment of the hardware, Intel would be a good choice. If you're looking for a system with a strong self-preservation instinct, AMD might be the better choice.
Scott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLUGHITZ Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the rhythm game community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bay Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and helping with ROBOTICON Tampa Bay. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors, currently housed at AMRoC Fab Lab.
Avram's been in love with PCs since he played original Castle Wolfenstein on an Apple II+. Before joining Tom's Hardware, for 10 years, he served as Online Editorial Director for sister sites Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag, where he programmed the CMS and many of the benchmarks. When he's not editing, writing or stumbling around trade show halls, you'll find him building Arduino robots with his son and watching every single superhero show on the CW.