Modern CPUs perform millions of calculations each second, but that processing power generates substantial heat. Without a system of fans and thermal management, the delicate electronics could overheat and shut down. Keeping computer systems cool is essential to extend their lives and reduce the risk of losing important business data or replacing expensive hardware that fails due to overheating.
In a typical computer, a fan pulls cool air from inside the case and blows hot air out through the case vents. There are also a variety of fans that are located on other components to help keep them cool as well. These include a motherboard fan that cools the central processor; a power supply fan that blows air out of the power supply; and video card fans, which pull and blow cooling air over more powerful graphics cards when they are working with graphically intensive programs.
Most modern CPUs are soldered to an integrated heat spreader (IHS), which is a large flat plate that sits on top of the processor and transfers heat locally. The IHS is the equivalent of a lightbulb, dissipating heat over a much larger surface area than the processor itself. Without an effective heatsink to draw the heat away, a CPU would burn itself to a crisp in minutes.
To avoid overheating, the IHS and the CPU core are coated with thermal paste, which helps conduct heat between the IHS and the CPU cooler. The cooler consists of a metal pipe with metal fins that sink into the paste and absorb the heat, then a fan draws air over the fins to disperse it. Different coolers use different materials for the heatsink, with aluminum being inexpensive and copper more expensive but more efficient at conducting heat. Cpu cooling