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Author Topic: Exploding Computers
gjbloom
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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This popular video clip on Google Video shows some French-sounding guys overclocking an AMD Duron to over 4 GHz, then removing the heatsink. The CPU actually explodes. Not only that, but it appears to blow a hole through the motherboard as well as what looks like a 3/8" particleboard makeshift table it's sitting on.

I have personally managed to get silicon to glow red hot and have exploded plenty of discrete components. But nothing has ever detonated with enough force to blow a hole through a motherboard and 3/8" particleboard. Is this video for real? My boss thinks they added a small explosive charge under the chip to give it a little more punch.


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KentuckyGhostHunter
Deck the Malls


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I've never been a big overclocker, but after watching the vid a couple of times I have to vote fake...or at least misrepresented.

I'll buy into your boss' theory.

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glisp42
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I'd have to vote fake. And last I checked you overclocked your computer via the BIOS screen, not in Windows. I highly doubt it would blow up like that, it would just melt and fuse to the mainboard.

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Singing in the Drizzle
Jingle Bell Hock


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I vote very fake. The fan was not running and it was not glued to the processor. As stated above the you can change clock speeds using BIOS or jumpers on older computers. If the processor did explode, why would it go only up and not in all directions. It also managed to remove it self from the motherboard, pins and all.

To me it look like they placed a small explosive under the processor and set it off.

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Squishy
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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quote:
Originally posted by glisp42:
I'd have to vote fake. And last I checked you overclocked your computer via the BIOS screen, not in Windows. I highly doubt it would blow up like that, it would just melt and fuse to the mainboard.

The program they're using is CPU-Z, which only reports your computer speed; it doesn't actually do the overclocking. Here, it is shown that a P4 CPU can be overclocked to almost 7.5 GHz. A chip will crack if it rapidly cools or overheats (just lick your finger and touch a running chip). However, I seriously doubt it is violent enough to actually blow a hole in the motherboard and the table. Based on that, I vote fake; the chip should've stayed on the board with possibly a few centre fragments flying off.

ETA: Normally, from what I've seen, overheating CPUs tend to just deform and melt from the center; I've only seen one cracked from overheating, and it was nowhere as bad as in the video. I assume it takes a very rapid and drastic change in temperature for the chip to actually crack.

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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Overclocking might make the chip crack, especially without a cooler, but it will not explode.

However, it is perfectly possible to make components explode, I've made it. It usually requires you to make a wrong connection somewhere and works best with high power components like power transistors. Don't play with this, though, I've had a really scary incident with it.

So, it is barely possible that they have made it intentionally explode by messing with the connections, but I really doubt it. In either case, it would not start up enough to see windows if tampered with in this way.

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/Troberg

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Shadowduck
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quote:
Originally posted by Troberg:
It usually requires you to make a wrong connection somewhere and works best with high power components like power transistors.

Electrolytic capacitors can also go up like a party popper if reverse biased, I had great fun with that during my apprenticeship! [Big Grin]

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beaver_slayer
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I think it's fake. I bet they put some small firework under the processor so that it would blow up nicely - probably by remote detonation. In fact, with heatsink just lying on the stone it would work horribly due to bad thermal conductivity.
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beaver_slayer
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Yeah, and the monitor is connected to another computer.
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mgbdriver
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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I recall a few years ago a video on the web of someone removing the heat sink from an AMD processor while the computer was on. The processor almost immediately smoked, taking a few components with it, but did not explode.

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rwolff
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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As a "hardware hacker", I've "let the smoke out" of a few components in my day, and seen others do likewise. Worst example was in grade 9 electronics shop - someone plugged their project into a non-isolated outlet, hooked up the oscilliscope, and turned it on - dead short from 120 VAC hot, through the switch, a diode, and an SCR to 'scope ground (which is connected to power ground). This video definitely looks fake. In addition to the non-rotating fan, here are some inconsistencies:

- ZIF lever is up. You NEVER run a CPU with the lever unlatched, but if you're faking a blow-up and want the chip to fly out, you need to leave it unlatched.

- Damage is too localized. Any explosion big enough to blow a hole in the motherboard and the table would damage the CPU socket.

- Forces in the wrong direction. When a semiconductor performs a "rapid smoke release", a slab of the housing is blown off, rather than the entire device flying out of the socket in a few recognizable pieces.

- Breakage pattern of substrate. A blow-up from overheating would be concentrated in the heat-generating area of the CPU package, which is (by coincidence) under the small square where a heat sink can collect and dissipate the heat. When they show the broken pieces of the CPU, this area is virtually intact, with the fracture lines running around it and toward the periphery. This pattern is consistent with applying a force to the centre of the package while partially restraining the periphery. It could be the result of the explosion (drag from pins holding back the periphery while the pyro charge in the centre - where the hole in the table and opening in the socket are - forced the centre of the chip upward), or it could be the result of deliberate breakage (when they found that the CPU was disappoingingly intact after being ejected) - press down on the centre, while the pins support the periphery.

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Elwood
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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Diddo to pretty much everyone else. I've seen processors burn up due to mistakes by those working on them, either forgetting to plug in the cooling fan, improperly attaching the heatsink or overclocking the processor. The result was always a burning smell, a miminal amount of smoke and a ruined processor (and likely motherboard.) I could see a capacitor popping but even that wouldn't likely be the kind of violent explosioin we're talking about here.

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"If I didn't see it and didn't know it was a real news report, I wouldn't believe it. I mean, how nutty can you get?"-Pat Robertson Oct 26, 2006.

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mgbdriver
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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The entire thing is staged. In addition to the points brought up already, the hole in the motherboard and table are too perfect and there is no smouldering wood as there would be if the hole was blown through the table.

Eureka! I found the video I mentioned earlier.

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Posts: 2717 | From: Michigan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
   

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