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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Complete Guide to Modding and Custom PC’s

There are many other factors to bear in mind when choosing the correct cooling method for your components. When it comes to cooling specific parts of your PC, such as your CPU and graphics card, the fanwill also be attached to a heatsink (known as an HSF—heatsink fan), which is there to help shift as much heataway from the chip in the shortest amount of time. With this in mind, you need to make sure that the HSFs you buyare up to the job of cooling your components, which you can do by finding out their thermal design power (TDP).The TDP is basically the amount of heat energy(in watts) that needs to be removed from a component in order for it to function correctly. This information is usually fairly easy to find with some quick research on the Web, and if you can track down the TDP foryour component, you can then add the most suitable HSF. Intel’s latest chips have a particularly high TDP(often way in excess of 100W), which is why they need a lot more in the way of cooling than AMD’schips. You also need to bear in mind that overclocking these components will push the TDP even higher, so overclockers need to install coolers that can remove well over and above the required TDP. The TDP is likea worst-case scenario, and your chip will be producingless energy most of the time, but you need to make sure that you have the required cooling headroom for the occasions when your PC is running at full tilt. TIM stands for “thermal interface material,” and it’sbasically the gunk that sits between a chip (be it a CPU,GPU, or Northbridge) and the heatsink (or water block)that it’s attached to.So why do you need it? After all, heatsinks are made of metal (one of the best heat conductors available), and CPUs usually have a metal heat spreader attached to them, too. Why do you need anything else? Well, that should be enough in theory, but it relies on both your heatsink and your CPU’s heat spreader having completely flat surfaces to ensure that all of the heat is transferred efficiently.Unfortunately, though, completely flat heatsinks are about as common as polar bears in Texas. With just the two bits of metal touching, you’re not going to shift as much heat as you need.This is where TIM comes in; filling in all the gaps to ensure that there is a larger surface area to transfer the heat, and that as much heat is translated from the chip to the heatsink as possible. TIM is cheap,even for the top quality stuff, such as Arctic Silver 5, sothere’s no excuse not to use it.

Download The Complete Guide to Modding and Custom PC’s.


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