Random Acts Of Senseless Violence

This test of no return is a little different from our usual destructive outings. Normally we'll take a piece of hardware and extract its component parts with extreme prejudice. The whole thing is premeditated. Sometimes however things go wrong, and in this situation there was only one thing to do....decimate! But before I get carried away lets start at the beginning.

Take a brand new boxed Pentium III 850E and a Thermaltake Golden Orb. It sounds like a match made in heaven right? Wrong. There's a little matter of the OEM heat sink... it's in the way. In the past I have had no difficulties in whipping the little blighters off with the aid of my trusty rechargeable drill. Simply drill into the plastic clasps that hold the heat sink on and rip the whole stinking assembly off. My track record for this procedure at the time was 8 for 8. Unfortunately my faithful drill was unavailable for this particular 'operation' so I had to borrow Nightmares. I am attributing this fact to the absolutely skill-less way in which I succeeded in drilling through the main PCB and cutting 2 tracks.

At this point I was presented with a completely dead 850. Now sure enough Voodoo is an expert at this whole electronics mumbo jumbo and assures me that he could have repaired it. But as far as I was concerned I'd just flushed 200 quid down the drain and god-damn it I was going to get my moneys worth. Since it was already dead in spirit it seemed right for it's physical demise to be a truly wondrous spectacle.

Now I'll be first to admit that I have an unhealthy enjoyment of irony. The very fact that all this sprung from the simple act of replacing a heat sink sealed this silicon's fate. Lots of heat! Now where was I going to get lots of heat at such short notice? FIRE! One baking tray and various aerosols later we noticed that it just wasn't going to be enough. Out came the furniture wax! This stuff is great. Not only does the propellant go up like a bitch but it also continues to burn on contact. Great stuff. But alas, ten minutes later and still in the possession of one rather unscathed processor it was clear that we needed something a little more extreme.


I got on the blower to voodoo. 30 minutes later he turned up armed with our secret weapon... Sherman. Sherman being a 1979 LandRover weighing in at 1 ton. This little black box was going to experience true pain.

But No! We drove over the little bastard 3 or 4 times and aside from the plastic casing cracking and coming off there was no damage... not even scratch. Now I was beginning to get desperate, was this demonic little item going to prove more than match for us?

There was only one thing for it. A hockey mask, a baseball bat and an increasingly unstable Spooky. I beat the living crap out of it, I totally removed the upper layer of the chip cover exposing the core. I smashed almost every surface mounted component clean off.

As the adrenaline began to subside I realised that simply smashing it wasn't a fitting end. Enter once again into the arena of destruction - Sherman.

We tied the now bashed and broken remnants of our valiant foe to the tow bar of Sherman and proceeded on the 4 mile drive back to my humble abode. Now I'm sure I could work out the exact forces exerted on the chip as we dragged its worthless ass along at 60mph but to be honest I can't be bothered and I wouldn't want to bore you with the maths. Suffice to say that what started off as rectangular hunk of core and PCB ended up as a more elliptical bare PCB.

The only positive conclusion I can pull from this experience is that I guess they do build processors like they used to!

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