CPU Cooling

CPU cooling is all about removing waste heat generated by the central processing unit (CPU). High temperatures damage semiconductor components and cause them to operate at reduced speeds. In addition, the reliability of computer components decreases proportionally to the square of their increase in temperature.

To keep the temperature as low as possible, the processor is mounted on a large metal heat sink that draws air through a fan. This system is known as an air-bearing heat exchanger. This type of cooling was common on early computers, but the mass and size of these heat sinks has risen with the speed of processors.

The heat sinks are made from copper or aluminum, and a thermal paste is used to fill any gaps between the processor and the CPU cooler base. The thermal paste transfers the heat to the heat pipes, which then transfer the heat to a larger metal piece with ridges and a much greater surface area, dispersing it more quickly. The fan blows cool air over this piece to expel the waste heat and bring in new, cooler air.

A better alternative to this system is a liquid-cooling unit, which uses tubes filled with a thermally conductive liquid that are pumped to a radiator. The liquid vaporizes at one end of the tube, and the latent heat in it travels to the other end where it condenses. The liquid then moves back to the hot end by capillary action, absorbing more heat, and repeating the cycle. This process is very efficient, and the thermal conductivity of the liquid is many times higher than that of copper or aluminum.Thermal compound

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