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Cutting Open a Heatsink Heatpipe To See Inside

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the well-lookie-here dept.

Upgrades 132

An anonymous reader writes "Frostytech gets to the heart of Zalman's CNPS11X heatsink by cutting a section of heatpipe from the CPU cooler to inspect its inner composite heatpipe wick structure. Now that's an in-depth heatsink review! Interesting photos of the dissected heatpipe's composite wick — sintered copper powder on top and axial groove wick below — that you're unlikely to see elsewhere. In the late 1960s the first commercial heatpipes were used by NASA to stabilize satellite temperatures; now they stabilize multi-core processors."

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Oblig Futurama reference (2)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 2 years ago | (#37860414)

That's pure heatsink pr0n, those heatsinks don't stay inside cases.

Re:Oblig Futurama reference (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#37861610)

hah.

Funny enough though, I get the feeling with the current generation of CPU's, we're just about at the end of basic air cooling. Especially since sealed liquid cooling units are becoming dirt cheap. For the price you pay for this one, you can pick up a sealed unit that has half the noise ratio. So if you really want to build a nice quiet system you can.

Re:Oblig Futurama reference (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#37861798)

Huh? with heatpipe tech I can go fanless, that's 800X quieter than a sealed liquid setup.

There are massive i5, i7 and amd heatpipe setups available. you nee a giant case for it, and some guys even add more supports, and if you set up the case right you get a chimney effect that causes good airflow without any fans AND still running full clock speeds.

Re:Oblig Futurama reference (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#37861830)

It looked like it might have been the end of basic air cooling with the Pentium 4.

Chips keep on getting more and more efficient, producing less and less heat for the same amount of work being performed.

It used to be that water cooling was almost required, but now people are getting over 4 ghz on air cooling.

Re:Oblig Futurama reference (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 2 years ago | (#37861844)

"we're just about at the end of basic air cooling"

Not even close.

See this? [imgur.com] This is 300w in a 30mm x 30mm package.

Regular aluminum/copper/combo heatsinks simply won't cool it.

A copper-cored heat sink covered with high-pressure blasted carbon dust has zero issues keeping it cool.

Bear in mind I had to use an Itanium II MX2 heat sink (already rated for 260+w TDP) and modify it a bit (pure copper wouldn't dissipate/radiate heat fast enough) but we're by NO means done with air cooling.

Especially with Mesophasic Carbon Pitch with 1,000w/mK+ TC (4x better than copper) coming out soon.

Re:Oblig Futurama reference (1)

AngryNick (891056) | more than 2 years ago | (#37862230)

That's pure heatsink pr0n, those heatsinks don't stay inside cases.

Sorry if this is a dumb question, but is this fancy heatsink stuff akin to audiophiles and their speaker wire? How much of a performance gain are we really talking about? I only have a bunch of crappy laptops, so I really have no idea.

heatsinks... (1)

Grog6 (85859) | more than 2 years ago | (#37862418)

No, heatsinks can either make you able to go fanless, or go to overclock heaven, your choice. :)

Speaker wire, however, is worth what you can get someone to pay for it, apparently.

I have actually had someone show me a car stereo system that he believed sounded better with 12awg stranded silver speaker wires. I wish I'd sold it to him, lol.

I'm an Analog Engineer, and listen mostly to mp3s from a sound card. Zip cord will work just fine... :)

Re:heatsinks... (1)

adolf (21054) | more than 2 years ago | (#37863726)

Depends on the zip cord. I've had common, clear vinyl-insulated zip cord turn all gross and corroded inside down the entire length, and while that may not actually affect things much, it does make good (clean) connections rather difficult to accomplish.

I use direct-burial low-voltage lighting cable a lot, these days. It's cheap, easy to find, heavily insulated (durable), has a high strand count (ie: flexible), is UV resistant, and it's always been bright and shiny when I cut into it. Oh, and it's black by default, as God intended wires to be. :)

But for very high-power stuff, very long runs, or stage use, there are far better options. (None of which, obviously, are made from silver...)

Interesting sig... (1)

Grog6 (85859) | more than 2 years ago | (#37862436)

"LostCluster as of 10/27/11 is being held in captivity involuntarily by Dr. McGarry of Worcester State Hospital."

So, is it for you or for us?

Before anyone else says it... (4, Funny)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37860488)

> In the late 1960s the first commercial heatpipes were used by NASA to stabilize satellite temperatures

Why didn't they just use fans? ...um, what? ...Really? Oh. Never mind.

Re:Before anyone else says it... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37860600)

fans move. everything u want a satellite not to do is to have an internal momentum which u would need to balance by energy using jets.

Re:Before anyone else says it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37860632)

Whoosh

Re:Before anyone else says it... (4, Funny)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37860698)

Or, rather, lack of Whoosh...

Re:Before anyone else says it... (4, Funny)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 2 years ago | (#37860718)

In space, no one can hear you Whoosh.

Re:Before anyone else says it... (1)

wagnerrp (1305589) | more than 2 years ago | (#37860752)

In space, nobody can hear the whoosh.

Re:Before anyone else says it... (2)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37860672)

That's either funny in a profoundly geeky way, or a perfect illustration of the perils of a public education. I don't know which.

Re:Before anyone else says it... (2)

wagnerrp (1305589) | more than 2 years ago | (#37860820)

Public education. You don't stabilize satellites with RCS jets. You use reaction wheels, or CMGs, or you just spin the whole thing up. RCS jets are fine for something like the shuttle and other low endurance space craft. For anything that stays up for years, you don't want to be wasting precious fuel for anything other than station keeping and potential orbit transfers.

Re:Before anyone else says it... (1)

sohmc (595388) | more than 2 years ago | (#37860862)

I graduated with a liberal arts degree so not all of us remember everything from science class...

which leads me to this question: I understand why you can't have fans in space (lack of air). But why couldn't you just expose the processor to the vacuum of space? Obviously, with some sort of shielding for radiation, space debris, etc.

I know that water-cooled processors pretty much just expose water-filled pipes to the actual processor and then cycle it around thus cooling it off. But with just a vacuum, couldn't that heat just go out as energy?

Re:Before anyone else says it... (1)

washort (6555) | more than 2 years ago | (#37861012)

You can, but remember that water cooling is more efficient than air cooling because water conducts heat better than air. Vacuum doesn't conduct heat at all, so all of your heat loss has to be via radiation, which is less efficient.

Re:Before anyone else says it... (0)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 2 years ago | (#37862234)

Actually no – water cooling is ultimately air cooling, but in a different place. All water cooling does is move the heat to a big radiator. The reason it's more efficient is because the radiator is bigger.

This is why things like the Corsair H60/70 are utterly pointless – the radiator is exactly as big as the radiators you get on cheaper air coolers.

Re:Before anyone else says it... (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 2 years ago | (#37861166)

But with just a vacuum, couldn't that heat just go out as energy?

Technically, you could, but radiation is far less efficient than conduction or convection for transferring heat.

Power transferred via thermal radiation is proportional to surface area, something a processor has very little of (a square inch or so). Given orbital temperatures, you would be able to radiate away about 0.35 watts, which is decidedly insufficient for most purposes.

Hence why you need a radiator with loads of surface area and a method of moving the heat from the processor to that radiation, such as a heat pipe.

Re:Before anyone else says it... (1)

sohmc (595388) | more than 2 years ago | (#37861402)

Ah. That makes sense. I figured heat from the sun makes it here, why doesn't the satelitr "cool off" the same way.

Then again the sun is frickin' huge.

If you ever need a deconstruction of Shakespearian plays, you can count on me.

Re:Before anyone else says it... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37861620)

If you ever need a deconstruction of Shakespearian plays, you can count on me.

It's OK, I've got this one.

"This play is a play written to appeal to as many people as possible in order to pay Shakespeare's bills and support his family. It was probably written over the course of a few weeks to months and thus we cannot assume that every word in it has the seventeen layers of intrigue and meaning that my professor told me they have. Furthermore, we probably cannot assume Shakespeare really did imbue it with every bizarre thread of subtextual meaning churned out over the intervening 400 years by countless thousands of English scholars and students desperate for a new slant for their book (required by tenure) or thesis (required to make the $100,000 education worthwhile)."

Re:Before anyone else says it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37861820)

The sun is also 6000 Kelvin at the surface (ignoring the chromosphere). The hotter something is relative to the surroundings (space is about 3K) the more it radiates per unit area. If your satellite electronics gets to 6000K, you have a problem that even the shiniest and heatsink might struggle with, even if it has blue LEDs in it. The sun is made of gases which don't care how hot they are (until they start fusing and making more heat), your processor is made of silicon with nanometre-scale microstructure with a top operating temperature of about 70 Celsius. Space systems probably are hardier, but even so, you'd have a box of slag long before you can radiate on the same scale as the Sun.

Re:Before anyone else says it... (1)

hankwang (413283) | more than 2 years ago | (#37861182)

But why couldn't you just expose the processor to the vacuum of space?

Radiative heat transfer at temperatures around room temperature (300 K) is about 6 W/(m^2K). For a CPU that is 10 cm2 that is allowed to be 50 K above environmental temperature, you would be able to radiate away around 0.3 watts, which is unpractical. If you could expose the CPU to the outside of the satellite, shaded from direct sunlight, it would see the 4 K background temperature in space and could radiate about 600 W/m^2, or about 0.6 W, which is still not much.

To make things even more complicated, a silicon chip does not only have a maximum temperature, but also a minimum temperature. You don't want the chip to cool down to 4 K when it's idle. I think a typical satellite is constructed as a thermos bottle (the silver or gold-colored foil wrapping that you see in science museums acts as an infrared reflector). I think they use heat pipes to transport excess heat to big radiators on the outside, although I'm not sure of that; maybe the heat needs to stay inside the satellite anyway to prevent it from cooling down too much.

Re:Before anyone else says it... (1)

zAPPzAPP (1207370) | more than 2 years ago | (#37861214)

Vacuum is an excellent heat isolator. It's used in between double glassed windows for example.
No heat can get through unless it's radiating over the vacuum gap.

Re:Before anyone else says it... (1)

hankwang (413283) | more than 2 years ago | (#37861462)

Vacuum is an excellent heat isolator. It's used in between double glassed windows for example.

No, it isn't, [wikipedia.org] at least not for regular cost-sensitive applications; they use argon or air. Vacuum insulated glass exists, but it has a lot of visible spacers between the glass panes to deal with the 10 tonnes per square meter (2000 lbs/sq ft) of atmospheric pressure.

Re:Before anyone else says it... (1)

zAPPzAPP (1207370) | more than 2 years ago | (#37862704)

Which means it is used... our lab oven has one.

Re:Before anyone else says it... (0)

TWX (665546) | more than 2 years ago | (#37861242)

I understand why you can't have fans in space (lack of air).

Lack of air, or vacuum as it's better called, does not prohibit one from having fans in space, it simply prevents the fan from functioning as designed...

I mean, you still could launch one into space and spin it, for all the good it'd do you...

Re:Before anyone else says it... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37862904)

Assume best Robert A. Heinlein voice: Even today people talk about "the bitter cold of outer space" -- but space is a vacuum, and if vacuum were cold, how could a Thermos jug keep hot coffee hot? Vacuum is nothing -- it has no temperature, it just insulates.

In other words, you lose some heat from radiation, but for substantial cooling you need something, like air for instance, to conduct the heat away.

Re:Before anyone else says it... (1)

dyingtolive (1393037) | more than 2 years ago | (#37860904)

You would use... no, nevermind. My head hurts too much already.

Re:Before anyone else says it... (1)

arglebargle_xiv (2212710) | more than 2 years ago | (#37861416)

fans move. everything u want a satellite not to do is to have an internal momentum which u would need to balance by energy using jets.

Exactly. What you'd really want then is to take advantage of the temperature difference between the hot satellite and cold space to drive a Stirling engine which would run a heatpump. Problem solved.

Re:Before anyone else says it... (1, Funny)

LastGunslinger (1976776) | more than 2 years ago | (#37860604)

The space program has been a giant government boondoggle that has produced nothing of value for the citizens of the United States. The free market certainly would've far surpassed the successes of NASA if not for regulations and taxation. /s

Re:Before anyone else says it... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37860686)

That is so incredibly untrue that I don't even know where to begin.

Re:Before anyone else says it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37860710)

FYA the /s at the end of the post denotes sarcasm...

Re:Before anyone else says it... (0)

MarkGriz (520778) | more than 2 years ago | (#37860748)

Damn, I thought Ron Paul was posting on slashdot

Re:Before anyone else says it... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37860782)

Seriously? Ron Paul said that? It's certainly not a Libertarian view.

Re:Before anyone else says it... (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 2 years ago | (#37861146)

See class: This is how FUD is spread...

Re:Before anyone else says it... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37861252)

That was me being skeptical, which if there was truth in it, the originator would follow up with a link or something. Nothing so far.

Re:Before anyone else says it... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37860756)

Ah. Ok, you got me.

Re:Before anyone else says it... (2)

LastGunslinger (1976776) | more than 2 years ago | (#37860852)

It's cool. I've noticed Poe's Law extends to most crackpot political stances. Impossible to tell the difference between sincerity and parody.

Re:Before anyone else says it... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37861274)

Especially these days.

Re:Before anyone else says it... (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#37861758)

Especially since it's a strategy of the GOP to attract the stupid and crazy away from the left.

Re:Before anyone else says it... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37862994)

Wow, you're following Slashdot from Zuccotti Park?

Re:Before anyone else says it... (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#37861398)

No, it doesn't. We don't have a typographical function to denote sarcasm. Sorry, but just making shit up on the spot doesn't work (unless you make it obvious and expand '/s' to '/sarcasm' - which makes the poster just lazy)

Re:Before anyone else says it... (1)

flosofl (626809) | more than 2 years ago | (#37861658)

We don't have a typographical function to denote sarcasm.

Maybe *you* don't, but almost every site with comments (forums, blogs, etc...) /s is pretty recognized as "the preceding is sarcasm and I wrote that so as not to invoke Poe's Law".

I'm serious. /s <---- Ooo, I'm being META!

Re:Before anyone else says it... (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#37861886)

... first time I've ever seen it, and I hardly live under a rock.

Re:Before anyone else says it... (1)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | more than 2 years ago | (#37863522)

There's your problem. If you lived under a rock (or in your parent's basement), you could spend your entire life online and you'd know these things.

Re:Before anyone else says it... (2)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | more than 2 years ago | (#37861816)

I like using ~ as opposed to /s. Of course no-one understands that either...

Re:Before anyone else says it... (1)

Richy_T (111409) | more than 2 years ago | (#37861170)

That's certainly an irrefutable argument you've got going for you there.

Re:Before anyone else says it... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37861296)

Nothing but the very best for slashdot.

Re:Before anyone else says it... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#37862150)

You might want to start with the /s at the end.

Re:Before anyone else says it... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#37861808)

The above post brought to you by the american Tea Party.

Re:Before anyone else says it... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37862776)

Not that I've ever heard. The Tea Partiers I know of understand that we got more than TANG from the space program, and are really excited about private space exploration.

Re:Before anyone else says it... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37862036)

> Why didn't they just use fans? ...

That is because the fans may act as propellers... and push/pull the satellite away? ...Oh wait,... may be solar wind is free up there so no fan is needed?

Excellent idea for overclocking (1)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 2 years ago | (#37860500)

Just cut the heat pipe open, so that the heat will flow out of it instead of being trapped inside. Now you're getting way more cooling!

Re:Excellent idea for overclocking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37860764)

Just cut the heat pipe open, so that the heat will flow out of it instead of being trapped inside. Now you're getting way more cooling!

I did that. Tomcat just crashed and and now dmesg is reporting:

5292.082495] CPU1: Core temperature above threshold, cpu clock throttled (total events = 43517)
[ 5292.082525] CPU0: Core temperature above threshold, cpu clock throttled (total events = 43518)
[ 5292.082663] CPU0: Core temperature above threshold, cpu clock throttled (total events = 43519)
[ 5292.082785] CPU0: Core temperature above threshold, cpu clock throttled (total events = 43520)

Help, Slashdot! This is a production box!

Re:Excellent idea for overclocking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37861280)

Quick go to the nearest fan in the box, wrap your lips around the edge of it, then blow as hard as you can. Repeat until you blackout.

Alternatively you can make a small pile of sticks near the machine, then proceed to burn a unused (virgin) floppy, amidst a pile of sticks.This is both a ritual computing sacrifice for luck, and a way to re-inject the magic smoke causing your machine to generate errors.

Re:Excellent idea for overclocking (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#37861584)

Guess I shouldn't use the floppy disks I have, they all date from around 1998.

Can you even buy floppies anymore?

Re:Excellent idea for overclocking (1)

Billlagr (931034) | more than 2 years ago | (#37863876)

Virgin floppy hmm...Does size matter? I have a box of virgin 5.25" SS/SD disks, being older and still virgin would they work better than say a 3.5" disk?

Re:Excellent idea for overclocking (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 2 years ago | (#37860854)

Nah, that doesn't work, then you've got heat spilling out all over the floor. That's no good.

Re:Excellent idea for overclocking (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#37861426)

Well, you've got a heat sink, a heat pipe... where's the heat toilet? It's probably backed up again.

Re:Excellent idea for overclocking (1)

md65536 (670240) | more than 2 years ago | (#37862172)

Cut a hole in the floor. Let the heat pour through it into the basement.
You can also set up a heat engine in the basement and use it to power the computer. The more heat you spill, the more power you'll generate, the faster your computer will be. No more electricity bills!

Re:Excellent idea for overclocking (1)

jschen (1249578) | more than 2 years ago | (#37862520)

That's silly. We all know that heat rises. It's true that you want to cut a hole in the floor, but it's to get the cold air. (Don't worry... that heat engine will still work.) You need another hole in the ceiling for the heat to escape. Straddle the hole and hold your laptop right there, and you'll get the best cooling. If you don't believe me, just try it!

Re:Excellent idea for overclocking (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#37863466)

You can't just dump the heat into the basement! That's heat pollution!

You need to dispose of it properly!

Re:Excellent idea for overclocking (1)

WorBlux (1751716) | more than 2 years ago | (#37860988)

The boundary effect will foil your evil plan.

Re:Excellent idea for overclocking (1)

md65536 (670240) | more than 2 years ago | (#37862294)

A better idea is to cut open the processor itself, so that its insides are exposed to the cool air, instead of having all that hot metal covering it.

Actually, why do they use hot metal for heat sinks anyway??? There must be better metals... most metal things that I know are cold. Something inside the computer must be heating up the metal. If they detach the heatsink from the rest of the computer and thermally insulate it, it should stay a lot cooler and thus remain much more effective.

If they do all these things -- cut open the heat sink, cut open the processor, insulate the heat sink -- that computer would probably be running pretty close to absolute zero.

Re:Excellent idea for overclocking (1)

c++0xFF (1758032) | more than 2 years ago | (#37862386)

True story:

I once helped a friend with his computer. He had recently built a computer and was trying to overclock it, but the thing was severely overheating constantly, even when not overclocked. He asked me to look at his setup. I expected to see an unplugged fan, or maybe missing thermal paste or something.

Well, it turned out that he decided to get the most massive heatsink/fan combo he could for his Core i7 (they had just come out, I think) ... and it was just a hair too big for his case.

He cut off the ends of the heat pipes to get it to fit.

He said he was surprised the pipe wasn't solid. I'm not sure what he thought about the fluid inside.

Re:Excellent idea for overclocking (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#37864362)

lesson for today: don't use heatpipes on your laser printer:

% tail /var/log/messages

...

  lp0 on fire

damn.
gotta go, now!

Love Zalman coolers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37860646)

I've been using them in my custom rigs for years. Though they might be the size of a small child, their coolers have never let me down.

Re:Love Zalman coolers (1)

MachDelta (704883) | more than 2 years ago | (#37861082)

Giant heatsinks are fun. I remember when I first strapped a Scythe Ninja to a Q6600. At first I was worried the case wouldn't close. Then I worried that the sheer mass of the thing (and both 120mm fans I strapped to it) would just pull the processor right out of it's socket. Then I closed the case and started to worry that I would never be able to open the thing again if it did fall off.

Fortunately, it never did break. And, of course, after about a year I ripped the puny stock HSF off the 8800GT (in the same box), and replaced it with a monster GPU heatsink from Arctic Cooling. Strapped two 120mm fans to that thing also.

I loved that box. It had lots of everything. Power, airflow, noise, dust... Good times.

Re:Love Zalman coolers (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 2 years ago | (#37861184)

I've been using them in my custom rigs for years. Though they might be the size of a small child, their coolers have never let me down.

And as a bonus, unlike a small child they don't get tired from spinning the fans.

Cleaning? (1)

Bigbutt (65939) | more than 2 years ago | (#37860696)

It looks like it makes it easier to clean than the Zalman I currently have. The fan is in the center of a loop with the fins between the fan and the pipe so it's a little harder to get in and clean out the misc dust and cat hairs.

[John]

Re:Cleaning? (1)

davewoods (2450314) | more than 2 years ago | (#37860834)

Tip: Own less cats?

Re:Cleaning? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37861604)

fewer*

Re:Cleaning? (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37861826)

You never know. Maybe he owns non-quantum cats.

Re:Cleaning? (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 2 years ago | (#37860876)

Yeah, but it gets taken to class by that radial design in terms of ability to actually cool stuff.

Yeah yeah (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37860892)

I've been told that 3D printing will change everything. After 3D printing my supper, I'll 3D print a copper heatsink, using only ABS as a feedstock, then I'll print the billion transistor CPU to go with it. Thanks, Bre Pettis for stealing the Rep Rap and charging 1300$ for a rickety wood frame and a glue gun! This revolutionizes manufacturing!

Gandalf disapproves (0)

washort (6555) | more than 2 years ago | (#37861026)

"He who breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom."

Re:Gandalf disapproves (1)

ThorGod (456163) | more than 2 years ago | (#37861086)

"He who breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom."

Gandalf lived in a land of make believe with faeries and hobbits. He's off the path of reality!

Re:Gandalf disapproves (1)

gauntletguy (923413) | more than 2 years ago | (#37861238)

obviously gandalf didn't know any hackers

Re:Gandalf disapproves (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37861512)

...unless you can just buy another one.

Re:Gandalf disapproves (2)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 2 years ago | (#37861612)

These guys [web.cern.ch] might take exception to Gandalf's advice :)

(completely disregarding the fact that the guy in TFA did, in fact, know what the thing was; he just wanted to find out what made it tick)

Where's that receipt? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37861058)

Do you think this will void the warranty?

Mercury (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37861590)

Too bad liquid mercury is so poisonous and has been banned. Simply filling those hollow heat pipes with it would've made for pretty good heat conduction.

Re:Mercury (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#37861722)

Wouldn't the mercury expand and pop the heatpipe?

Re:Mercury (2)

Khyber (864651) | more than 2 years ago | (#37861870)

Mercury has SHIT thermal conductivity, what are you talking about?

http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/mercury-d_1002.html [engineeringtoolbox.com]

Re:Mercury (1)

Grog6 (85859) | more than 2 years ago | (#37862556)

Hey, sodium and potassium are only 60-70ish and they used those to make liquid nuclear reactors.

Mercury is still way better than air...

However, water is bad enough; how bad is it going to be when the mercury leaks out all over the mobo? :)

let alone sodium... :>

Where's the juice? (2)

bromoseltzer (23292) | more than 2 years ago | (#37861596)

There's a working fluid there somewhere, it must have come out, and it might be toxic. Or it might give you a high. The review is silent on this.

Re:Where's the juice? (4, Informative)

Tjp($)pjT (266360) | more than 2 years ago | (#37862516)

The working fluid is often water. Sometimes ammonia but usually not for electronics. It is under lower pressure so that its boiling point is near the working temperature of the device. Boils off or evaporates, condenses in the cold side of the heat exchanger, then capillary action sucks it back faster than it would otherwise travel to the hot side. My favorite heat pipe was a flat grill ... awesomely uniform temperatures. Not sure what the working fluid was. Other ways besides fans are to immerse the cold side heat exchanger into more water at normal pressures and that can have even more surface area to cool the reservoir making an effective heatsink area that is HUGE...

Re:Where's the juice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37863808)

Why exactly is a fluid necessary? I don't think there is a fluid.

Re:Where's the juice? (1)

Christian Smith (3497) | more than 2 years ago | (#37863898)

Or it might just be water.

Re:Where's the juice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37863970)

Exotic coolers use things like ammonia. I believe most consumer coolers just use water.

Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37862464)

I'm trying not to be snarky here, but so long as your processor stays below the maximum operating temperature why does it matter what temperature it's operating at? Why spend $80 on a heat sink when the one from the manufacturer ought to work fine?

Blue Smoke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37862472)

You let the Heat Sink Faeries out!

But how does it compare to a solid heatpipe? (1)

Volund (1243160) | more than 2 years ago | (#37862694)

Does this hollow copper pipe, with grooved edges coated with sintered copper, actually conduct heat better than a solid copper pipe? Or transfer it to the fins better? Or is it simply a cost-cutting measure?

Re:But how does it compare to a solid heatpipe? (3, Informative)

AaronW (33736) | more than 2 years ago | (#37863224)

They work much better. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_pipe [wikipedia.org]

-Aaron

Re:But how does it compare to a solid heatpipe? (1)

Volund (1243160) | more than 2 years ago | (#37863384)

Ahh, I didn't realize that's what a heatpipe was. I always thought that kind of cooling was called "phase change" cooling. Thank you for for shedding light on the darkness of my ignorance. :) And d'oh to me for not thinking to consult the oracle before I posted that comment.

cooling speed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37864122)

The problem I've run into sooner is not how good a heatsink is, but how fast can it take heat?

you wouldn't believe the speed amd x2 64's go up in temperature.... i really mean it, less than 20 seconds from 60 celcius to 110 celcius, and that's it until it locks up and freezes!

I was using a scythe ShurikeN heatsink and kept trying over and over again to put it on the CPU right, and no matter what when running a CPU benchmark I had about 10 seconds until I hit 110 degrees. No matter how many ways I pushed it on harder or smudged the thermal paste.

Then I went out and bought a CPU Cooler 101 and it got ALOT better... now it hits 80 celcius at the most then hovers around there going up and down.

it really matters the speed it can take sudden heat away.

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