What is a Heat Sink?

heat sink is a device that includes either a fan or a way to keep a hot component cooled. This includes things like a graphics card or processor. This is to keep the computer from heating up too much. Otherwise, a computer would burn itself and certain parts would cease to work properly.

Luckily, there are a few ways to avoid this unnecessary problem. One way is liquid cooling and another is having a heatsink. As we continue, I hope to explain what is a heat sink and how it can effect our computers performance.  

 Is a Heat Sink needed?

The short answer is yes. Unless choosing to take the route of liquid cooling, this will be by far the best investment for any computer. This reason alone is why a heat sink is even needed. It takes away A LOT of the high temperature that’s generated from multiple parts of the computer. 

In addition, this device presents an opportunity to learn more on where the heat is coming from. Mainly how to avoid it. A great example of this is knowing that a Graphics Card produces tons of heat. So being aware of that situation is a definite step on making sure to clean it regularly. This will prevent any dust build up your computer might accumulate over time. In the case is a heat sink even needed, this will effect a processor. But it becomes equally as hot if not more so. 

Different Types of Heat Sinks

There are two heat sink types: active and passive. The idea behind both types gives an advantage based on what a computer needs. This is great because there are tons of options to really invest in a computers health and add to its life span.

Active heat sinks utilize the computer’s power supply and may include a fan. Sometimes these types of heat sinks are referred to as an HSF, which is short for heat sink and fan. This type will not only distribute the heat inside of a computer but it will reduce the swelling of it by using the fan to push it out of the computer.

I would recommend this type of heat sink as I currently use it in one of my older computers and it has lasted me 5 going on 6 years now!

Passive heat sinks are those that have no mechanical components. Passive heat sinks are made of an aluminum finned radiator that dissipates heat through convection. For passive heat sinks to work to their full capacity, there should be a steady airflow moving across the fins.

To achieve this action, there will be a need for more space and strong fans to constantly be pushing the heat through and out of the computer. This is also a good heat sink, however I do believe it is way weaker of a method to get rid of the heat in a computer.

Heat spreaders should be a mention as they do the same thing as a normal heat sink. The idea behind them is to further add to reducing heat and enhancing air flow. But this kind of heat sink is used to help dissipate the heat produced by RAM modules.

A New Generation Cooling Method for the Computer

The last method which uses a heatsink indirectly, also reduces the amount of heat build up in the computer. This method is called Liquid Cooling. Liquid Cooling is the process of taking heat and transferring it into a coolant. Just like a radiator for a car, a liquid cooling system channels a liquid through the heat sink attached to the processor. As the liquid passes through the heat sink, heat is transferred from the hot processor to the liquid coolant.

Parts in a Computer that benefit from a Heat Sink

There are a small list of parts in a computer that produce enough heat to ask for a heat sink to be used. This includes:

  1. Processor
  2. Graphics Card
  3. Power Supply

Ways to reduce overall heat in computer

These parts in a computer are very important and need to be cooled down daily when the computer is in use. Unfortunately a heat sink cannot be used on every part. But by using a strategy to reduce over all heat, you allow for use of more hardware. With the aid of a heat sink and smart cord alignment, this can definitely be the better way to reduce heat in a computer. 

There is another way is to make sure that cords are not in the way of any fans or pathways. It would be so heat to escape while cooling down a computer quickly. This will aid tremendously by decreasing the amount of time between absorbing the heat and the fans dispersing that heat out of the computer.