You’ve removed the cover of your computer to examine the CPU, but you can’t see anything because of the large metal block attached to the top of the chip. The metal block is flat where it attaches to the CPU and has long thin fins that extend away from the processor. What is this odd looking piece of metal called?
A) Thermal paste
B) On-chip fan
C) Liquid cooling pump
D) Heat sink
The answer: D) Heat sink
The heat sink is a simple but very functional method of dissipating heat from the CPU chip through thermal conduction. The copper or aluminum alloy metal is used to move the heat from the chip into the long fins, extending the surface area of the heat sink. When cool air passes by, the heat is transferred to the air and moved out of the system.
Want to know more? Watch “Cooling System Overview.”|
Personal computers must be constantly cooled to ensure the system runs at peak efficiency. Without appropriate cooling in place, the computer’s life expectancy is shortened and in extreme cases the computer will halt due to overheating of the components. In this video, you’ll learn how computers are cooled through heat sinks, on-board fans, computer case fans, and liquid cooling systems.