Almost every component of a PC generates heat. The CPU, graphics card, and the power supply, however, generate more heat than any other PC element. Cooling components are an essential part of the modern computer. With the increased computing power and powerful graphics, your PC needs just the right cooling component to keep temperatures at a safe level – especially if planning to overclock it. Manufacturers and custom PC builders use a wide range of PC cooling components to help prevent heat build-up. Some PCs will not only start malfunctioning but also shut down if they reach potentially unsafe heat levels. Some of the main components used for PC cooling are outlined below.
1. Heat Sinks
Heat sinks are widespread in personal computers. They provide a passive way to keep components cool by dissipating heat away. Most heat sinks are made of highly conductive material with fins to help conduct and release heat efficiently. This is the light metallic part you will find on top of the processor, graphics card, and capacitors that produce lots of heat.
2. Thermal Compound
Commonly known as thermal paste, this is the compound smeared on top of the CPU and graphics card chip to fill out any air gaps between the chip and the heat sink. Thanks to the thermal compound, heat is transferred from the CPU and other chips much faster, thus making the cooling process fast and efficient. The thermal compound’s effectiveness might deteriorate with time; one of the reasons experts recommend reapplying fresh thermal paste.
Fans work by increasing air flow inside the PC casing, as well as blow out hot air from the PC. This creates a serene environment for the PC to operate without the risk of overheating. Most computers will come with fans mounted on heat sinks to boost the cooling process and keep CPU temperatures as low as possible. Unlike passive cooling methods such as heat sinks, fans provide an active cooling solution. They need to be powered all the time to work efficiently.
A typical personal computer will come with multiple fans. One fan will be on the CPU itself, another in the power supply, an exhaust fan, and an inlet fan as well. Dedicated graphics cards also come with fans fitted for better cooling. Although some of these PC cooling components come individually, they all work hand in hand to ensure the PC remains cool. For instance, the PC might overheat if it only has a heat sink on. Fans help blow the hot air away, thus preventing component damage among other heating issues.
While your personal computer might have all these cooling components installed, there are times when it will start heating. Issues such as blocked air flow, dust buildup, or even a malfunctioning fan could be the reason for this. Checking to ensure the PC vents aren’t blocked in any way, and that every component is working correctly might help. You should also consider cleaning the air vents with a powerful enough blower to get rid of the dust. If your budget allows it, you could invest in power powerful and efficient PC cooling components such as immersion cooling and water cooling.