CPU coolers: copper or aluminum?

May 25, 2023 – 07:01 am

Not so recent boom problem appeared before the dissipation of the heat produced in microprocessors, memory chip, graphics, audio, etc.. In the PC. The user and computer buff is lost among so many offers of materials, designs, aesthetic and prices. Clearly the proliferation of all copper sinks made entirely even silver. We assess whether improvements in terms of thermal conductivity that provide each other, should make us rule out the use made of aluminum or aluminum with copper base.

The purpose of this essay is to reconsider the efficiency of the latter to not forget its main advantages are the cost of production and especially its low weight. Regarding this last factor-dissipating fans to see microprocessors reach values ​​in excess of 700g, far above recommended, for example, by the manufacturer AMD. This overweight can put you at risk to micro or socket which are fixed, especially if they move the PC without prior disassembly.

The basic factors for the efficiency of a heat sink, fan qualities excluding this incorporated therein are:

  • The construction material.
  • The density of this, due to the manufacturing process.
  • The total area of ​​dissipation.
  • The design to facilitate optimal thermal radiation and the airflow.
  • The thickness and extent of its base and dissipation elements.
  • Construction and surface finish of the base (surface contact with the hot part of microprocessor, which can be the same material as the other or different.)


Regarding building materials see any numbers on its thermal characteristics;-called noble metals have generally improved thermal conductivity characteristics, others such as lead or iron. But this statement is not strict as we shall see. For example the thermal conductivity of platinum is very low (0.73 watts / cm ° C) and gold (3.15 watts / cm ° C) is lower than that of copper or silver. Therefore we can say that the metals would be ideal in this order Plata (4.27 watts / cm ° C), copper (3.98 watts / cm ° C), if we discard the gold because of its prohibitive cost for these uses, and aluminum (2.37 watts / cm ° C). Therefore Aluminum is also a good driver despite being a current and abundant metal.

But no other hue peculiar to consider is that the thermal conductivity varies depending on the temperature at which the metal is located. Because of this silver still better thermal conductor than copper at 25 ° C., is less than this if it is found at 100 ° C (silver 4.5 watts / cm ° C to 100 ° C and copper 4.83 watts / cm ° C to 100 ° C.

We can therefore conclude that copper is the metal building suitable for sinks in relation to their physical characteristics.

Only good construction and design of an aluminum sink efficiency can exceed one manufactured in copper. Manufacturing processes and different mechanical characteristics of both materials in dispute, copper and aluminum, make the appearance and thickness of the arrester elements are different and therefore mixed results.

Today, as recommended by the manufacturer of microprocessors AMD K7, sink base, ie the contact surface must be copper. Following this pattern have a good balance: good transfer of heat from the surface of the micro (today very small, for example in the AMD K7 Thoroughbred 80mm2 which is intended to dissipate 60-70 watts.) Due to copper due aluminum, a low price and a weight that can meet the specifications of the manufacturer of microphones, without having to resort to anchor sinks to the motherboard.

Source: mundopc.net

Multiple.  Distributed through American National Standards Institute (ANSI) IEC 60115-4-3 Ed. 1.0 b:1993, Fixed resistors for use in electronic equipment - Part 4: Blank detail specification: Fixed power resistors, heat-sink types. Assessment level H
Book (Multiple. Distributed through American National Standards Institute (ANSI))

Tip: Mac minis, miniStacks, and heat.

2007-03-03 17:15:21 by MacinUser

A few weeks ago I bought an Intel Mac mini to replace my old AGP G4 tower as my server. At the same time I also bought a trio of Newer Tech "miniStack" hard drive enclosures for the three hard drives that were in my G4. Setup was a breeze.
The miniStack enclosures are well designed but there's almost no room inside for ventilation. The drive attaches to a metal plate which doubles as a heat sink, plus there's a small horizontally-mounted cooling fan on a thermal circuit (the sensor is taped to the top of the drive). I stacked the three drives on top of the mini and within half an hour the fans on all three drives were going full blast, and the heat sinks were too hot to touch

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