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CPU Cooling

Date Article Written: August 2, 2000
Written By:
Mark Torres


Duh, why is it getting hotter? Well, over clocking your CPU generates more heat, and puts more of a strain on your chip. Just like when you ride a bike, and some big guy comes along and over clocks you with a big dog, now your peddling your ass off trying not to get bit, and when the dog finally gives up, your hot. You need to stay cool or you just pass out and die, just like your CPU can. So how do you do such a thing? A person can go dive in a pool and get wet, or sit down in a room with AC and cool off. Well, people and computers are almost alike, just don't throw your computer in water, it isn't good.

Like people, computers love fans. There are so many different kinds of fans out there on the market, now you just have to pick which one you want. Besides fans, there are also things called head sinks. A heat sink is a piece of aluminum crap, but serves its purpose. If you look at the shape, they all in some way or another, get smaller towards the top, and have a smooth bottom. The smooth bottom sticks onto your CPU with the aid of thermal grease. The heat is attracted to what ever is can pass through easiest, and that is where the heat sink comes in. The heat sink is a conductor, which allows heat to pass through it, and it travels up the fins, thus taking it away from the CPU. So a heat sink is definitely a good cooling apparatus.

The fan works in almost the same way, you stick it on the chip, and it pulls the hot air away. Simple enough. So that is two ways to keep your chip cool, why not make one great way. Haha, it has been done. At any computer place, you can buy heat sinks with fans attached. The heat sink draws the heat away from the CPU, then the fan blows the hot air away completely, cool shit eh? For those who don't know, I am going to tell you proper installation of a heat sink and fan.

For this example, sorry no pictures, I am going to use a simple little socket 7 Pentium chip, and a little combination heat sink fan. When you buy your fan and heat sink, you also want to get a tube of Thermal Grease. This grease just helps attract the heat. Take it home, rip every thing open and look at the bottom of the heat sink. It should be smooth, but may have notches or a guide, because some of them are made for a specific place. So without using any grease, test fit the head sink to your CPU, and make sure you know which way it goes. Then remove it, and put a thin, but not to generous, layer of thermal grease on the bottom of the heat sink, then stick it on the CPU. Usually the fan just sets on top of it, with a couple clips that lock that puppy down. You have to go easy with the grease because it is sticky messy crap and you don't want it all over. Wipe off any extra grease that came out the side when you mounted the heat sink then your good to go. Extra grease attracts dust, which will lock in heat close to the CPU. Just like a motor, the cleaner it is, the cooler it stays.

So that is pretty much all you need to know how to keep your CPU cool. There are many different combinations of fans and heat sinks, in different shapes sizes and forms. You can get multiple fans or even multiple heats sinks and stick them all on to your little hearts content. One other thing you can do to help, is keep your case cool. Now I don't suggest trying to go find a big ass heat sink and sticking it on the side of your case, but you can get plenty of little fans and place them inside the case so that they can move the air out an exhaust vent, and let cool air in. You may want to even open up your case after it has been running for a while, and see if u can spot any one chip that is putting out a lot of heat, and buy a small heat sink and slap it on.

Who knows what  Mark will write about next, if there is anything in particular, drop him a line...


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