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Old 02-13-2006, 06:46 PM   #1
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Default WTF is a HEATSINK???

And do I need one? I have an X2 3800, an eVGA 7800GT, and 2GB Corsair XMS. My case does not support 120mm fans, so I think that may need to go into consideration... i'm not going to overclock at all, but i dont want my computer to be engulfed in flames... think i should get one?


If any of you can tell me at least what a heatsinks importance is, that would be great.
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Old 02-13-2006, 06:53 PM   #2
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Default Re: WTF is a HEATSINK???

a heatsink is a hunk of metal that you stick on ur cpu under ur fan that helps drive heat away from it.
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Old 02-13-2006, 06:55 PM   #3
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Default Re: WTF is a HEATSINK???

The heatsink is a block of metal which sits on top of your CPU. The fins disapate the heat evenly. The fan sits on top it. If you buy a CPU boxed, it comes with the heatsink/fan included.
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Old 02-13-2006, 06:56 PM   #4
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Default Re: WTF is a HEATSINK???

A heat sink is an environment or object capable of absorbing heat from another object with which it is in thermal contact (either direct contact or radiational "contact"). In common use, it is a device made of metal brought into contact with the hot surface of a component (in most cases, some kind of thermal interface material is put between the heat sink and the heat source to increase thermal throughput), such as a microprocessor chip or other power handling semiconductor in order to stablise its temperature through increased thermal mass and heat dissipation (primarily by conduction and convection and to a lesser extent by radiation). Heat sinks are widely used in electronics, and have become almost essential to modern central processing units.

A heat sink usually consists of a metal structure with one or more flat surfaces to ensure good thermal contact with the components to be cooled, and an array of comb or fin like protrusions to increase the surface contact with the air, and thus the rate of heat dissipation. A heat sink is often used in conjunction with a fan in order to increase the rate of airflow over the heat sink, thus maintaining a larger temperature gradient by replacing warmed air faster than would be by convection, this is known as a forced air system.


CPU heatsink with 40mm fan attachedHeat sinks are commonly made of a good thermal conductor such as copper or aluminum. Copper is significantly more expensive than aluminum but is also a better thermal conductor. The contact surface of a heat sink must be highly polished in order to ensure the best thermal contact with the object to be cooled. Sometimes a thermally conductive grease is employed to ensure the best thermal contact, such greases often contain colloidal silver (an even better thermal conductor than copper.) It is claimed that some brands of thermal grease that are advertised as containing silver or silver oxide actually contain neither, most notably that of CompUSA.

Due to recent technological developments and public interest, the market for commercial heat sink cooling for CPUs has reached an all time high; many companies now compete to make the best heat sink for PC overclocking enthusiasts. Some of the more prominent heat sink makers include: Thermalright, Thermaltake, Aero Cool, Cooler Master, Zalman, and Swiftech. A good heat sink is vital to overclocked computer systems because the cooler a microprocessor is, the faster it can be made to run without instability.

Temporary heat sinks are sometimes used in soldering circuit boards in order to prevent the heat from damaging sensitive nearby electronics - in the simplest case, this means gripping part of a component to be soldered with a crocodile clip or similar.

haha.... without one, your cpu would fry. Seriously.... Get this: your cpu get's hot, really hot. Intel chips can go up to 70+ degrees (C). That's hot. My amd runs around 33C idle. Yeah, big difference. You need one. Totally.
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Old 02-13-2006, 07:32 PM   #5
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Default Re: WTF is a HEATSINK???

I think the CPU i just got came with one... but it must be pretty small to fit in the box. Do you think that a stock heatsink would be enough?
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Old 02-13-2006, 07:48 PM   #6
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Default Re: WTF is a HEATSINK???

If you don't overclock, it'll work fine. Just monitor your temperatures the first few days to make sure. I have my Opteron overclocked pretty high using the stock cooler with fine temperatures, though.
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Old 02-13-2006, 09:14 PM   #7
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Default Re: WTF is a HEATSINK???

The retail heatsink that came with your X2 CPU should work fine. Even if you were to overclock it a little. I got mine OC'ed from 2.2 to 2.4 GHz with no problems at all and I'm using stock AMD heatsink and fan. Temps for my CPU hangs around 30-31 degrees Celsius. Don't you just love AMD?

Only reason why you would get a high performance aftermarket heatsink and other cooler is if you were to OC it like hell.
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Old 02-14-2006, 05:13 PM   #8
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Default Re: WTF is a HEATSINK???

Alright; since i'm not interested in overclocking at all, I guess it would be safe to say i'm staying with the stock cooler.

I have a second question, and instead of making another post, I would rather just introduce it now. My Rosewill Case only came with one fan, yet has room for one in the glass window and another two near the front. My PSU , while having built-in fans, can get pretty hot. Do you think I would be safe with just the PSU's fan and the one that came with my case? Or should I pick up three additional fans so my computer stays cool... I don't mind the extra money, I just want to get my computer set up all at once so I never need to add anything else in for a long time, and I dont want my computer to run really hot either. Also, my case dosent support 120mm fans, so what fans do you guys suggest I should get for my case (preferably LED).

Once again, much appreciated
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Old 02-14-2006, 10:18 PM   #9
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Default Re: WTF is a HEATSINK???

It should be ok with just the one rear fan and the PSU fan. Just don't OC it. It would be nice to add those additional fans where the side air duct is. I don't know what size they are. Perhaps they are 80mm fans too? You can try measuring your rear fan to the side panel duct to see if the holes match up. Then you'll know for sure that it's an 80mm fan you need for the vented area. The front probably use an 80mm fan as well. It's always nice to have more fans. Squeeze whatever you can get on there. You can even customize an area for a new fan by purchasing some velcro and attach the fan to it and glue it down to the case. My instructor did that with his customized rig. Neat.

Antec LED80XFAN 80mm Blue LED Light Case Cooling Fan - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16835129007

There's a whole bunch of different color ones. I made all mine blue. Plus I have the clear side window which makes the whole PC glow arctic blue. So cool, literally.
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