CPU Showdown For Pancakes

If you ask people how they rate as a driver, most of them will say they are better than average. At first, that seems improbable until you realize one thing: people judge themselves by different criteria. So Sally thinks she’s a good driver because she goes fast. Tom’s never had a wreck. Alice never gets lost. You can see the same effect with CPUs. Some are faster or have more memory bandwidth or more instruction issues per cycle. But [Andrew] and [Scharon] at Tom’s Hardware wanted to do the real test of a CPU. How well can it cook pancakes? If you want to know, see the video below.

While your CPU might be great for playing video games, it has a surprisingly small cooking surface, so the guys needed a very small pan. The pan had grooves in it, so they slathered it with thermal grease. We doubt that’s food-grade grease, either.

With all the trouble we take to move heat away from the CPUs, you’d think they’d cook faster. The chefs set up the BIOS on an Intel CPU to turn thermal throttling to 105C. Even so, it took 16 minutes to cook a cake while running a stress program.

How would AMD fare? Apparently, not so well. While the Threadripper CPU had a larger cooktop, something made it shut down when it got too hot and so, the pancake barely cooked. Granted, the Intel chip shut down once, but with some help from an external fan, it finished the task.

We prefer pancakes on a CNC machine, honestly. If you search for pancakes, you’ll be surprised that there are many similar projects. But none that used a CPU as a cooktop. Maybe we should try with a Raspberry Pi 4.

27 thoughts on “CPU Showdown For Pancakes

      1. guess its not my type of humor then…. i might be biassed because when you work with pcs and machines on a daily basis that cost between 7k and 180k mishandling equipment in no laughing matter. so sorry i don’t find this stupid shit funny in anyway.

      2. Obviously [snow] doesn’t understand the practical implications. Think of all the heat being wasted every day by CPUs! And think of how many people are NOT currently eating pancakes!
        These people are heroes. If they can perfect their waste-heat recovery method, think of the advancements we could make in the Breakfast Science field!

  1. Legit criticism here – They don’t know how to cook.
    You can’t cook a pancake at that low temperature, it’s barely above boiling. Throttling it killed any real data they may have unintentionally gathered. Let’s see them get it up to 180C and try again.

    And yes, these stories aren’t what I come here looking for – especially if they’re not even trying properly.

    1. Usually with a cpu fan, the sudden lack of tachometer signal sounds the klaxons and sometimes also auto-shutdown the computer to save the hardware, but the thermal mass of a big ol’ aftermarket heatsink also helps.

      Though some sealed all-in-one liquid cooling systems have a problem with corrosion buildup that ends up acting like a blood clot but for the coolant system.
      That has lead to damage with some big boy modern AMD’s.

  2. I’m amazed at all the hurt feelings over a post that was intended to be humorous. It’s as if these hurt people want others to apologize for having fun in ways they can’t understand.

  3. I can’t decide if this looks more like an outtake from Terminator VIII(?) (tunnel camp scene #1) or Idocracy-The Sequel. ;^)

    I sort of would liked to see an old water block decapped and mini cake layers baked in it.

    and may I throw in my absolute hatred for riveted handles on skillets!!
    Damned things are nothing but in the way of a good sweep of your spatula. And then the crap you have to continually pick from around them.
    Love my Greenware ceramic coated pans, for not having rivets.
    But they’re also lasting as well as any teflon coated I’ve ever owned.

  4. This comment won’t link (thanks ass-kiss-met) But to tekkieneets cast iron comment.
    Oh, there’s nothing else like that sound of dropping a couple of eggs into a hot, wet greased cast iron skillet!
    I’ve just drifted from the diet of fried food, the I grew up on.
    So the iron got a bit prone to sticking from lack of use and the coated pans were just too easy to grab and go.
    Actually have a family member who’s been saying bring me your iron (it’s heirloom) and I’ll re-season it.
    I truly should take them up on it.

  5. The vast majority of humans have above the average number of fingers. The observation that most people think they’re above-average drivers appears to be ridiculous only because we assume that driving has a normal/Gaussian distribution. I’ve never seen any good evidence that this assumption is true. I suspect that the distribution is more similar to a Boltzmann distribution with the lower tail cut off (because of people who are such poor drivers they can’t get or have lost a driving license.) Which is to say: I suspect the majority of people are, in fact, above average drivers, and a minority are somewhat or very poor drivers. This doesn’t even touch upon the possibility that many people are good drivers until they start drinking alcohol, and there’s plenty of evidence and statistics to support this. (Roughly 1/3 of accidents, in the US, involve alcohol.)

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