The CPU of computers tends to get heated up fast due to handling hundreds and thousands of processes simultaneously. As such, it needs to get cooled off quickly and adequately. Now, there are various ways of cooling down a CPU. The most common way is fan cooling. But liquid cooling is still used as well. However, another method that’s used is heat pipe cooling. So you must be asking- Which type of CPU cooler contains heat pipes? And what is heat pipe cooling?
So let me tell you about it in detail below.
Electronic components, especially microprocessors and integrated circuits in a computer’s CPU, need to be cooled off fast. If these parts aren’t cooled down immediately, they can get damaged and shorten a machine’s life. So to cool down these systems, heat pipes are being seen as a viable option nowadays.
This is because heat pipes have a thermal conductivity that exceeds the effectiveness of copper rods thousands of times. Heat pipes work using a two-phase passive heat transfer. This process can effectively transfer a huge heat quantity with a minimum decrease in temperature. After all, the internal systems can get damaged if the internal temperature of a CPU falls too much and too drastically.
The entire structure of a heat pipe consists of a sufficient working fluid, an envelope, and a great wick-structure. When the working fluid present inside the wick structure comes into contact with heat, it gets vaporized. The resultant vapor then flows towards the colder condensation area. Now, in that condenser, the vapor cools down and releases all latent heat. After this action, the liquid again travels through the wick structure right back to the evaporator. It does this through capillary action.
This complete evaporation and condensation two-phase process keeps on continuing to keep the machine cool. Due to this, there are high local rates of heat removal. Not to mention that this allows the heat to dissipate uniformly.
Heat pipes aren’t a new invention. They have been used in various computers and mechanized systems since the 1990s. They are still used in modern CPU systems to remove heat from GPUs and then deposit it in the heat sinks to dissipate outside. For example: In Noctua CPUs, we can see the use of heat pipes.
Typically a modern CPU cooler comes with heat pipes, a heat sink, and a base. There’s also the heat plate and some good quality thermal paste found in between the CPU cooler and CPU. The base of copper connects to the CPU heat plate from where the heat gets transferred with thermal paste help. Now, the base connects to the heat pipes found in the cooler.
Since the heat pipes and base most commonly contain copper, their heat conductivity is high. Then, as explained in the sub-heading above, heat pipes cool down the heat and send it to the heat sink. This sink comes with aluminum fins that dissipate the heat over a large area. The heat sink covers a large area, so they don’t need the high thermal conductivity levels that the base and heat pipes need. This entire process gets repeated again and again to cool down the system.
So this is how heat pipes work along with the entire CPU cooling unit. These heat pipes are so effective in their function that they are still used in modern systems. They are even considered a useful alternative for liquid cooling and fan cooling systems. However, it’s advised that you consider all kinds of cooling systems before deciding on a heat pipes based one.
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