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An Introduction to Adequate Cooling Methods
By: Barzan "Tony" Antal
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    Table of Contents:
  • An Introduction to Adequate Cooling Methods
  • Deciding What Kind of Cooling to Use
  • Air Cooling
  • Water Cooling
  • Extreme Cooling

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    An Introduction to Adequate Cooling Methods

    (Page 1 of 5 )

    Computer cooling is a really advanced technology. Its purpose is to relieve heat from electronic components. There are many components in a computer that produce an enormous amount of heat during operation. These include components such as processors, chipsets, graphics cards, power supply units, hard drives, and optical devices.

    When these components are produced they are rated and have a relatively long lifespan. This should be more than enough for everybody, not just the casual user, but this only happens when the components operate under their ideal working conditions and this certainly does not include overheating. Overheating generally reduces a component's maximum lifespan.

    The most common cooling method is air cooling. This is done primarily using heat sinks to simply increase the surface area of the component which allows heat to dissipate more quickly. Then a simple fan can speed up the exchange of air. These fans can be either very loud, very quiet, or somewhere in between. Air cooling without the use of fans is known as passive cooling.

    Obviously, these methods are dependent upon the ambient air, which should be cooler, to help this procedure. Otherwise, the warm air would only recycle. It's not the most effective way to cool down a system, but it shouldn't be underrated. It should satisfy the needs of an average user.

    The second way is water cooling. It's exotic and still considered to be for enthusiasts. The components needed for water cooling are one or more water blocks, one or more pumps, sometimes a reservoir, and at least one radiator. This again is not the best cooling solution, but it is more effective for the average computer user.

    Other methods include chilled water cooling using a standard water cooling setup, Peltier cooling (or TECs, as they are also known), phase-change cooling, cascades, and dry ice or liquid nitrogen. These are cooling methods for enthusiasts and extreme overclockers. Let's move on and discuss these solutions in greater detail so you can understand them and determine which will perform most effectively in your system without the need for overkill.

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