Thermaltake Pacific TF1

Here is my first ever half-assed review of something. The good, the bad, and the leaky.

What is it?

The Thermaltake Pacific TF1 is a monitor, that watches the health of your cooling system, and alarms when there are any issues. I love this idea, because I’m super super paranoid that I’m going to have a failure, and I’m not going to know. I’ll just be sitting here gaming, or editing, or working on a 3d project, and all of a sudden my machine will thermal shutdown. What a terrible thought! I’ve had that happen to me before, so I know the disappointment of having a thermal shutdown, or overpowering a power supply.(Which is why I got the Corsair AX1600i, shut down the paranoia!) My last major malfunction with thermal shutdowns was with the AMD FX 8350, which is the build before this one. Long leap from 8 cores to 32, wow! I ran the FX 8350 this long, and skipped all the other Ryzen fun, because it kept on trucking at a very comfortable speed. So that’s what it is, the hey dude your computer is hot, machine.

Why do I need it?

Well, you could say that you don’t, but it’s definitely a piece of mind. You can watch your water temp, which is great. You can rearrange your cooling system, add and remove radiators, change fans push/pull configurations, see what flow is best for you, where your gains drop off from flow, and see what your water temp looks like compared to your CPU/GPU temps.

You can also see the flow rate, which is super helpful to see what you’re putting out. Do you need another pump? Is your pump failing? Is the pump putting out what spec says it should? Is there a bottleneck? Maybe you need to make some adjustments.

It’s pretty much the ultimate, when it comes to tweaking your cooling system to get the most out of it. I used the hell out of mine for that.

2 Failed Thermaltake Pacific TF1

Why do I not use it anymore?

What about the bad? there’s a bad side to everything, right? Yes, unfortunately there is. With the Termaltake Pacific TF1, I experienced leaking, twice! Two different units, both leaked after about 10 days each. Each time, I redid my bends, and tried to see if there was pressure being pushed towards one side of it, or what the deal is. I couldn’t figure out how to make it not leak. It’s a leaker, that’s not what I want in my system, not for long anyways. I can say, it’s a great diagnostic tool, leaks or not. I enjoyed using it to figure out what optimal looks like for my system.

Second poopy thing that drove me crazy is the alarm, on the first one that is. I shouldn’t say the alarm, it was actually the flow rate sensor, it was inaccurate. It showed flow way low, and kept alarming. When I say low, like 20-30 lph, when I’m running 160-200 lph. That was not right out of the box, it ran about 5 days before having that problem. Bearings? I don’t know, I’m not going to diagnose it, I didn’t get any use out of it.

Conclusion

I love the idea. Love it! I love the Thermaltake Pacific TF1 as well, honestly. I just can’t run it in a daily driver, I’ll keep it around as a diagnostic tool though. I’ve been a huge fan of Thermaltake for years. I’ve always run Thermaltake/Gigabyte in all my machines, and never had a problem. This is my first custom loop, though, and apparently they don’t have their head in that game. Anybody else have the same problem? Last thing I can say is, like a holy bucket – it does not hold water.

Bucket with holes
Card, video, graphics.

RTX 2080 Coming Soon – What will you do?

With the RTX line of graphics cards coming soon, everybody is flipping out. Can you really afford a brand new graphics card? I can’t! So WTF am I posting for? I’m posting to see who else is hoping the RTX line will drop prices of last line graphics cards. I see the 10 series being relevant for quite a while longer, I’m going to be keeping an eye on Amazon 1080 prices for price drops. After all, the 1080 is still going to dominate the market for a long time.

Card, video, graphics.

Are you patient enough to wait for prices to drop?

As a gamer, and most likely a millennial, we all want the shiniest and newest GPU. Most of us can’t afford it, though! Most of us don’t have patience either! What are we to do? I, for one, do have the patience. I’m going to wait for price drops, watching every place I can to hopefully get a new one. I’m not looking for used, because – mining. There’s too many used GPUs out there that have been beat up for months, then resold. You’ll not be happy if you get a new-used GPU, and it craps out on you in 3 weeks.

What can you do to satisfy the urge?

I just got a new SSD to satisfy my urge. A couple hundo got me the Samsung 970 Pro 512 GB, and it did not disappoint. What if you want to bring the price down, while you wait? How about Intel Optane? Heard of it? You can boost your existing hard drive’s performance with wicked caching voodoo magic, and Intel Optane Memory. I haven’t tried Optane Memory yet, personally, but it’s been in my cart about a hundred times now.

Upgrade SSD Drive

Are your pockets overflowing with cash, and you’re buying the new GPU?

Can I get an application for wherever you work? Just kidding, but seriously. What are your plans with the new GPU? Are you going to be number one on a benchmark site, do some CAD/3D modeling, or just poop on everybody in Roblox? I’m excited for the new cards to drop, and I can’t wait to hear about everybody’s experience with them!

Surface Book 2 15 Inch – In a mobile design environment

Current Setups

I take a TLDR approach to my reviews here, I don’t want to bore you with 15 pages of junk, that you’ll never read. If you don’t want to read all the juicy stuff, skip to the bottom part, labeled “The TLDR Part”. So here’s the scoop!

I’ve been using the Microsoft Surface Book 2 15″ lately, as a machine that I work on projects when I’m not in the office or at home. I have a design machine at work with a Quadro P5000 and an i7 7700k, and one at home with SLI GeForce1070s and an AMD FX 8350. These machines are great for what I do in Unity 3D, and many other applications. I can say the 1070s are slower in light baking, but I paid personal money for that – so it’s going to stay that way until the RTX Quadros release, and prices drop for other GPUs.

Enough about me, what about the Surface Book 2 15″?

Specs:

Display – 15” PixelSense™ Display with up to 3240 x 2160 resolution, 3:2 aspect ratio, 10 point multi-touch, and ink

Storage – 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB PCIe SSD

CPU – 8th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-8650U quad-core processor, 4.2GHz Max Turbo

GPU – NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1060 discrete GPU w/6GB GDDR5 graphics memory

Usability:

  • General Feel
    • Keyboard is about as good as it gets, for a laptop – amazing feel to it.
    • Touchpad is great, you get more gestures than you’d expect, and the size of the touchpad is about perfect.
    • Weight is a little much, but if you look at teardowns, it has batteries to justify the weight.
    • Size is magical, very slim machine, doesn’t feel huge like a 17″ mobile workstation.
    • Noise, when you’re under heavy work loads with the CPU, noise isn’t too bad, GPU is another story – sounds like a jet engine taking off
    • Battery life, is amazing! Just as advertised, and I’m impressed.
    • Speed, surprisingly good! I did notice going from a desktop 7700k, or 8350, to the 8650 laptop i7, light baking is a little slower, but not bad.
  • Peripherals
    • Mouse, I’d recommend a Surface Precision Mouse, the other options are not awesome for a design(or gaming) environment.
    • Dial, Have you heard of the Surface Dial? It’s pretty cool, but I’d wait until the gen 2 dial comes out, it will have a 3D joystick feel to it.
    • Pen, I didn’t think I’d have a need for a pen on a computer, what for? But when I use tablet mode, I use the Surface Pen for sure, I love it.
    • Dock, this is less of a mobile experience thing, but the Surface Dock is nice for connecting 2 screens super fast.
    • THE BEST PART! They all match. This is super satisfying for the OCD, thank the gods of Microsoft for matchyness!

The TLDR Part:

So the conclusion? I have used the Surface Book 2 15″ for a few months now, and I can say that the experience is much different than I expected. Normally you try to look past the marketing stuff, because they’re just trying to make it look good, but it is good. Mind blown by the 1060 in the Surface Book 2 15″. I imagined that anything less than a 1070 would have been garbage for the torment that I put my computers through, but man was I wrong! Between the Gen 8 i7, and the 1060, you have enough power to do pretty much anything you’d like, without lag ruining your day.

If you’re looking for an extremely portable, workstation worthy, consumer grade, super laptop, get the Surface Book 2 15″. You will not be disappointed!

Budget Internet Security Gateway for Home and Small Business

Internet security is becoming increasingly important, in our quickly growing world of technology. You definitely want to keep your data safe from people on the internet with malicious intent. This is especially important for outward facing networks, and networks allowing users to freely browse any sites. The intent of this write-up is to provide guidance for those curious about network security, and how you can lock down your network from attackers outside, and inside, your network.

The following build is going to provide the security necessary to allow you to monitor usage, watch for incoming malicious attacks, monitor data flowing through for potentially malicious softwares being downloaded, bandwidth usage, mitigate DDoS attacks, and use one workstation/desktop as a router. All of these things will happen on one computer, and I’ll walk you through the things necessary to implement each of these features. This post will provide information about the build, upcoming posts, over the next week(ish), will provide additional information about how exactly you can implement each of these services. Additionally, I’ll teach you how to set up a web interface for each of these services, so you can manage everything in one place without having to remote in to the machine.

The build

Recommended ComputerAdamant Desktop

This computer will provide the necessary performance needed to perform all of these tasks, without running into any bottlenecks in performance. A substitute for this machine is this computer, it’s the same setup without the GTX 1070(not required).

Adamant Mini Desktop

Recommended Operating System – CentOs

This is the operating system I will be using during this whole walkthrough. I’ve always preferred CentOs, as RedHat Enterprise Linux is based off of community contributions to this OS. You will be able to use other operating systems, but the commands will be different when using others.

Intrusion Detection – Snort and ntopng

Snort will monitor the network for potential threats, this includes viruses that are in files being downloaded. It can be a replacement for antivirus software, but it’s not recommended. I would use this as a replacement for antivirus, when you don’t have control over what users are installing on their machines.

ntopng will analyze and log traffic, and has a web interface for viewing what is going on in your network.

DDoS Prevention – Following This Tutorial

This is a tutorial on a different blog, but I’ll write up a new one later on. We’ll be using IPTables, which is built in to Linux, for DDoS prevention. These will be guidelines to provide hardened security to our Linux system, and our network.

Linux Hardening – Following This Tutorial

This is another tutorial on a different blog. I’ll write my own version of this one as well. What we’re doing here is hardening CentOs, and removing any possible holes in our security.

CentOS Router – Following This Tutorial

You guessed it, another external blog link. I’m going to rewrite this one, and go a little more in depth with it. This tutorial kind of does a very brief overview of what we’ll actually be doing.

Optional

WebUI for Snort – Snorby

Snorby is a web interface for Snort, and we’ll be using this to access snort without having to remote into the Linux machine.

Uptime Monitoring – Monit

Monit provides a solution for monitoring of services, and reporting via email or sms when a service has been interrupted.

Next

This is just the plan for the build, I have parts coming in today – and I’ll be adding more info regarding the usage and build for everything. Please subscribe below to watch it all unfold!

Immersion Cooling – The COOLEST Cooling System I’ve Ever Seen… NEED IT!

Today, I stumbled across something called immersion cooling. WTF is that!?!? You’ve heard of air cooling with fans and heatsinks, you’ve heard of liquid cooling with waterblocks and radiators, even refrigerated cooling – immersion cooling though? Do you know what the word immersion means? That means we’re putting our frickin components inside a liquid. I need to do this. I feel like it’s so wrong that I need it in my life.

Why though?

Coolness Factor

Of course this is pretty cool. It may be messy, and I could see that being a downfall. Maybe we can add a filter to remove any contaminates from the oil, and keep the coolant looking pretty. I’d like to do one where I keep the waterblocks on GPUs, with pumps in the waterblocks, so there’s extra circulation, rather than an open GPU. What kind of effects can we have using lighting in the oil? Probably pretty sweet ones, do you think we could put some glitter in there that circulates with lighting, to make a snowglobe affect? Probably. Let’s not shake it when it’s full of oil though. I think the biggest reason to do this, is because it’s frickin cool! What else? The oil will make your parts stand out more, shiny! You ever seen oiled up parts? They look nice!

Cost Effective

Believe it, or not, you’ll probably be able to set up an immersion cooling system much cheaper than buying water blocks, coolant, radiators, pumps, reservoirs, tubing, etc, for a water cooling system. Weird, right? Isn’t this going to use some of the same components? Yes, and no. We can do a build without using application specific parts in this case. You’ll have to do some research, but I’m going to try to do that for you! We’ll explore some parts that can be generic, pretty dang cool, without having to purchase parts from companies that make you spend extra because they are made for a computer. For example, the oil, 1/2 gallon of coolant for 10 bucks? What would you normally spend for that much? 50? You may be able to even salvage parts from things you have laying around. What about a windshield washer fluid pump from an old car? Or an old fish tank pump? If it can pump water, it can pump low viscosity oil. I think in my case, I’ll be using an air to water intercooler coolant pump that I have laying around, because I’m a car guy.

Think about how much it would normally cost to set up a water cooling system that cools your cpu, multiple gpus, both chipsets, each stick of ram, and everything else in your machine. That can start to add up. Like thousands of dollars easily.

Efficiency

Immersion cooling is probably going to be the most efficient cooling source you’ll ever use, and I’m going to demonstrate that as I get this project rolling. The idea here is that you’re getting rid of the heat transfer crap, that could be bogging your cooling system down, and cutting right to the coolant. Imagine the coolant jetting right across your cpu/gpu, rather than flowing through a water block. Your regular water cooling system is only as efficient as your thermal compound, and your water block. Additionally, you’re not just cooling the things that are normally cooled, every component in your machine is being cooled this way!

What am I going to do to prove it?

Build coming soon

I’m going to start building soon, so keep an eye out for it! Subscribe, and you’ll get emails as my build progresses.

Current Proposed build

Water Pump – This is an electric water pump that would normally be used in a vehicle.

Hose – This is clear fish tank tubing.

Radiator – This is a heater core, that’s how you get heat in your vehicle. Great at dissipating heat, small form factor.(Slightly bigger than 1 140mm fan)

140mm fan – Regular, quiet, 140mm fan from a PC. 120mm may work as well, if you have one laying around.

Push through ties – For mounting the fan to the radiator

Plexi Glass – To make a case. I chose 1/4″, for simplicity sake, you can go thinner for cheaper.

Self Tapping Screws – Makes it easier to put it together without having to drill holes.

Silicon/Caulk – For making things water tight

Fitting – For input and output of oil through the pump, need 2 of these.

Hose clamps – For holding the hose on to the fittings.

Molex Extension – Extend power from power supply, out to pump and fan. 18″ long, need to probably get 3 of these.

Molex Fan Adapter – Adapt molex to plug the fan in to it.

Price in cart = $237.24

I think that’s a fair price for what is possibly the best cooling system available. Don’t you? That’s normally the price of one water block for a graphics card! Look at this one, $179.12 for just a water block – and that’s an off brand! It’s crazy the prices we pay for things that aren’t even giving us the best cooling possible. Why are we not all throwing our computers in tubs of oil? So, I say screw you vendors, immersion cooling is what I need!

What do you guys think?

Is immersion cooling a little ridiculous? I can see that, maybe. I’m a man of many rediculouses though, so I feel like this is more than a possible solution, it’s THE solution for me.

What other uses are there?

I think the following are possible uses for this cooling system:

  • ASIC Cooling
  • Bitcoin Miner Cooling
  • GPU Miner Cooling
  • FPGA Cooling
  • Overclocked Raspberry Pi Cooling
  • Server Cooling

Any other ideas?