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Sandia's Laptop Heatpipes Closer To Market

timothy posted about 11 years ago | from the add-a-switch-for-cold-days dept.

Portables 204

mckennabluedot.com writes "Laptops aren't truly portable until you can stand to sit with one on your lap for more than 30 minutes. Sandia National Labs has developed small copper 'wicks' to transport methanol--and waste heat--from one area of a computer to another, where it can be dispersed more efficiently, comfortably and compactly than with heat sinks. The technology is being licensed to an undisclosed startup." So this stuff (mentioned here previously) might soon make it to a lap near you.

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204 comments

i hate slashdot (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5541342)

slashdot is the worst website ever
everything about it is just horrible
fucking lame piece of junk
rob malda you are a failure

Re:i hate slashdot (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5541519)

I hate the fucking geeks that cum on their keyboards every time an article about Linux Torvalds is posted.
DIE! DIE! DIE, GEEKS!

Finally (3, Funny)

batboy78 (255178) | about 11 years ago | (#5541347)

I'm probably going to be sterile from having my new Powerbook on my laptop all day long. It gets unbelievably hot.

Re:Finally (0, Troll)

synaptic (4599) | about 11 years ago | (#5541355)

That would only matter if you had some opportunity to get laid, which you don't.

Re:Finally (2, Interesting)

SaraSmith (602197) | about 11 years ago | (#5541373)

Well... I have read about a man burning his penis and scrotum fairly severely from a laptop computer (through clothes)

So sterile may not be all ya get there.

Wish I could remember where I read that so it didn't sound so urban legendy, even though it probably still would/is.

Re:Finally (2, Informative)

iggymanz (596061) | about 11 years ago | (#5541451)

The story is here [news.com.au]

Though I don't know why anyone would put a laptop that close to their crotch. I kept mine close to my knees and to the left so the exhaust port (on my former company's T20) dumped heat far from me. No Rocky Mountain Oysters served on my train, thanks.

Let's call it LinGnux - Happy Birthday Richard, and thanks for the compiler & utilities that freed us.

Re:Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5541374)

I doubt your boyfriend will mind, it's not like you were going to get him pregnant.

Re:Finally (0)

JDWTopGuy (209256) | about 11 years ago | (#5541412)

My 667Mhz PowerBook G4 (see user bio for complete specs) is OK on my lap. The really annoying thing is the fan noise. One thing to note is it's hotter when it's plugged in.

Re:Finally (1)

xombo (628858) | about 11 years ago | (#5541644)

My 867 Mhz's PowerBook is pretty good when it comes to not scolding me to death. The best way to keep it cool is by not having it plugged in all the time, since it gets hotter when it is charging (the AC adapter is hotter while charging too) and it also gets hotter the greater the CPU usage, so keeping cpu trottling on is good too. I noticed my laptop seemed to get hotter the more Quake 3 Arena I played on it.

"Glowing Cyber Balls" considered harmful (4, Funny)

K-Man (4117) | about 11 years ago | (#5541517)

I want to make it clear to everyone here that any reference to the "glowing cyber balls" story, however indirect, is strictly forbidden in this forum.

Re:Finally (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5541548)

HahhAhaHAh! StErile From Yuor haWt P0warbook! Yuo ar verry funneY!

Honestly, you SHOULD try shoving your Powerbook up your ass. That's gonna be HOT!

Re:Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5541608)

Yeah.. I blamed that on my Powerbook too.

Re:Finally (3, Funny)

dirkdidit (550955) | about 11 years ago | (#5541625)

Like you were really going to use that sperm anyway. Remember, you are a member of Slashdot.

iBook (3, Interesting)

silvakow (91320) | about 11 years ago | (#5541351)

I don't mean to sound like "that guy", but my iBook really does not have any problems with heat. I can set it on my lap for a good long while and barely notice any heat. This is one of the reasons that apple has not moved up to the G4 yet, so my computer is quite slow, but at least I never think twice about setting it on my lap for a game of mid-class Starcraft.

Re:iBook (1)

k-0s (237787) | about 11 years ago | (#5541423)

I agree, I have no problem with any laptops on my lap. Sure it may get a little warm but not hot. Of course I wear pants regularly so others results my vary. I don't guarentee the same results for naked people or partially clothed people.

Re:iBook (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5541537)

Welcome to Slashdot - The only website in the known universe where you get modded up for mentioning that YOUR laptop DOESN'T BECOME HOT.

Re:iBook (1)

the uNF cola (657200) | about 11 years ago | (#5541611)

Aren't the new 12" Titaniums generating more heat than its 15" and 17" brothers? Or so i've heard on TechTV. The larger ones are supposedly fine.

non-waste heat? (3, Insightful)

heldlikesound (132717) | about 11 years ago | (#5541359)

Is there such thing as computer heat that is not waste? Unless you are recycling the heat somehow, which seems unfeasable, it seems that all heat would be waste.

Re:non-waste heat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5541399)

it seems that all heat would be waste.

Not if you can cook an egg with it.

Re:non-waste heat? (1)

NonSequor (230139) | about 11 years ago | (#5541402)

Well I don't know about computer heat, but it seems to me that any heat produced by a space heater couldn't be considered waste heat. Couldn't any device achieve 100% energy efficiency so long as you redefine the device's task to include providing heat?

Re:non-waste heat? (1)

MrEd (60684) | about 11 years ago | (#5541704)

Yes, you are correct. However it wouldn't achieve 100% exergy. [uwaterloo.ca].

Basically if you use (say) a flame at 2000F to heat a factory at 70F you are wasting a lot of potential energy. You could, for example, run a gas turbine generator at 2000F and then use the 300F waste heat from that to warm the factory instead. This particular example is called 'cogeneration' and is a big way to boost energy efficiency esp. when used between two businesses such as a power plant and a plastics factory that requires moderate-temperature heat supply for chemical processes.


While not strictly thermodynamically correct, one could say that anytime you are using electricity to heat a home you are wasting energy because not only are the power plant and transmission lines not 100% efficient (more like 40% for the whole process, or something) you could have done a lot more useful stuff with the electricity rather than just dumping it thru a resistor.


All this being said, I leave the heat off with my computer running when I go out and the temperature in my apartment doesn't get below 64. Cheep!

Re:non-waste heat? (3, Interesting)

neptuneb1 (261497) | about 11 years ago | (#5541653)

The supercomputer lab I worked at for a while actually used the "waste" heat to heat the building in the winter. Sure, it was just vented during the summer, but for eight months of the year (MN has long winters) they don't have to pay for heating!

Re:non-waste heat? (1)

swb (14022) | about 11 years ago | (#5541667)

It's too bad the waste heat couldn't be used as a catalyst for a chemical reaction that generated power.

Re:non-waste heat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5541699)

It's not all wasted. Depending where you live, a computer or two can reduce heating bills in the winter. Unless you use an electric heater, obviously.

Re:non-waste heat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5541762)

Is there such thing as computer heat that is not waste? Unless you are recycling the heat somehow, which seems unfeasable, it seems that all heat would be waste.

Nerd.

who gives a fuck (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5541361)

Anyone else of technology garbage that people dont need?

Wish (0, Troll)

djtrippin (613642) | about 11 years ago | (#5541364)

Remember that guy who burned his penis with his laptop? I bet he wishes he had one of these cooling systems...

heat dispersing (1)

trmj (579410) | about 11 years ago | (#5541365)

I guy I know simply uses a chunk of wood (the size of the laptop) to seat his laptop in his lap. It not only gives it a more staple surface, but also allows him to sit comfortably without his legs overheating.

As for myself, I don't have a laptop. Anybody donating?

Re:heat dispersing (1)

xao gypsie (641755) | about 11 years ago | (#5541453)

It not only gives it a more staple surface...

by that did you mean that it gives a more maple surface?
i know, i hate puns too....
xao

Re:heat dispersing (1)

trmj (579410) | about 11 years ago | (#5541650)

well, I meant stable, but staple also works, due to the fact that he works at the local staples store.

You can keep them on your lap... (3, Informative)

Bugaboo (266024) | about 11 years ago | (#5541369)

If you don't always buy the latest desktop replacement from Dell or whoever. My Toshiba Satellite Pro 4330, while getting a little long in the tooth nowadays (playing DivX movies and whatnot; I bought it in early 2001) doesn't break the 'quite warm' barrier and is comfortable for several hours of continued use, even when doing CPU-heavy things.

So remember, not everyone's trying to shove a desktop into a laptop and burning your legs off because of it.

Re:You can keep them on your lap... (1)

homer_ca (144738) | about 11 years ago | (#5541630)

It's not just the latest and greatest from Dell. I had an old Dell CP PII-266 laptop that melted a rubberband into my coffee table. I was smart enough to keep it off my lap.

Re:You can keep them on your lap... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5541680)

Older CPUs still get just as hot as today. I've got an old Celeron 433Mhz notebook which gets just as hot as my P4 1.6Ghz.

Re:You can keep them on your lap... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5541694)

That's because the P4 slows down if it gets "too hot".

Just wondering ... (2, Interesting)

shayborg (650364) | about 11 years ago | (#5541372)

If the heat isn't dispersed through the bottom, where exactly will it go? Are laptops going to feel cooler because the heat is dispersed better, or is most of the heat just going to be sent out of, say, the top of the laptop cover where it's less of a nuisance?

-- shayborg

Heatpipe coolers dont work (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5541376)

Neither will this.

But no doubt self-proclaimed 'uber geeks' will line up around the block for a shit-wick(tm) equipped laptop.

Eureka (1, Funny)

carpe_noctem (457178) | about 11 years ago | (#5541381)

The technology is being licensed to an undisclosed startup.

So THAT's what Dick Cheney has been up to this entire time!

Exhaust Pipes? (3, Funny)

wideBlueSkies (618979) | about 11 years ago | (#5541385)

So now I can have exhaust pipes coming off my laptop? Cool.

Can they be made to look like the pipes on a Harley [harley-davidson.com]?

Mmmmm chrome....

Re:Exhaust Pipes? (1)

Montgomery Burns III (642155) | about 11 years ago | (#5541437)

Not only exhaust pipes, but racing stripes and
flame decals too.

On a semi-serious note, I don't mind the heat too much in the winter, but it can be a real bummer in the summer.

Re:Exhaust Pipes? (4, Funny)

ejaw5 (570071) | about 11 years ago | (#5541444)

add on a fat coffee-can tip to the pipe and slap on a Type-R sticker and you 486 laptop will be running like a P-4!!

Re:Exhaust Pipes? (2, Funny)

MrEd (60684) | about 11 years ago | (#5541679)

Overclockers will be putting 6" Type R pipes on the side too, right?


I get this feeling that the noise reduction isn't going to be as much as some people think...

Tables? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5541388)

I've got an older G4 Powerbook. It's too hot to put on my lap w/o my sketchbook underneath, but I don't know - I've never found typing with something on my lap that comfortable outside of heat issues as it is. Isn't this what tables are for?

Related Technology: CoolPad (4, Insightful)

pheph (234655) | about 11 years ago | (#5541393)

Although I haven't received mine yet, I've read excellent reviews of the incredibly simple (and cheap) Laptop CoolPad [coolpad.com]. They offer Traveller [coolpad.com] and Podium [coolpad.com] (read: big and clunky) versions... Anyone had any experience with these?

Re:Related Technology: CoolPad (2, Insightful)

wideBlueSkies (618979) | about 11 years ago | (#5541418)

Couldn't you just do the same thing by leaning your laptop on a thin O'reilly book? OK, so maybe you's have to go to the craft store and spend 69 cents on rubber feet to keep the laptop from sliding.

Beats paying $19.99. And you already HAVE the O'reilly book.

Re:Related Technology: CoolPad (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5541584)

Actually, with many recent (and not so recent) laptops, well, "notebooks", it is important that there be some amount of space (that afforded by the spacing pads when sitting on a desk or table) between the bottom of the notebook and the surface it is on.

Some actually have fans on the bottom.

Flammable liquid in my lap? (3, Funny)

corebreech (469871) | about 11 years ago | (#5541398)

Thanks, but I'll pass on this one.

Medium-rare and well-done are adjectives I'd just as soon not see applied to my goodies.

Re:Flammable liquid in my lap? (5, Funny)

bugnuts (94678) | about 11 years ago | (#5541436)

The amount of "flammable liquid" probably is under a few ml.

Hope you're not driving home in a gasoline-burning vehicle. Reminds me of Archie Bunker, when presented with a meal of tongue exclaims, "I'm not eating anything that came out of a cow's mouth. Gimme some eggs."

Re:Flammable liquid in my lap? (1)

corebreech (469871) | about 11 years ago | (#5541514)

Under a few ml, eh?

You'd think for a guy with the name of "bugnuts" a few ml would be enough to cause concern.

Re:Flammable liquid in my lap? (2, Funny)

bugnuts (94678) | about 11 years ago | (#5541656)

The pipes would have to be tiny in order for capillary action to draw the liquid back through. As you can see in this article [sandia.gov], they are the size of fingerprint grooves.

Even with a name like bugnuts, I don't worry about carrying a lighter in my pocket :p

Re:Flammable liquid in my lap? (1)

L0k11 (617726) | about 11 years ago | (#5541460)

Methanols ignition temprature is 725 degrees F (455 Celsius) so i doubt you'd get a sudden fire unless you are playing with a lighter and stabbing holes in the casing.

The laptop would stop working way before it got dangerous.

Who wants hot pipes? (-1, Offtopic)

showmeshowyoukikoman (659208) | about 11 years ago | (#5541430)

This article was confusing to me. Well, the headline was anyway. I wouldn't want hot pipes anywhere near my laptop! I remember when I was young, I grew up in an apartment that had a boiler and radiators. Those were some hot pipes! They would bang and clang, and release a sort of watery smoke sometimes. Even the smoke was hot! Who wants that from their laptop? Not me, no sir! Don't sign me up for one of THOSE! Not to mention the banging and clanging -- think your neighbor would appreciate that if you were using one on a plane? Think again my friend! As I am fond of saying, next! Kikoman is good on shrimp!

Re:Who wants hot pipes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5541475)

They would bang and clang, and release a sort of watery smoke sometimes. Even the smoke was hot!

Steam? Steam. Steam! Steam.....

I can see the warnings already... (4, Funny)

dark-br (473115) | about 11 years ago | (#5541434)

If we can't trust society with a cup of hot McDonalds coffee how can we trust people with phase change methanol?

I can see the warnings stickered to future laptops: Do not use this laptop near an open flame. Smoking near this laptop is strictly prohibited!

Re: I can see the warnings already... (1)

wideBlueSkies (618979) | about 11 years ago | (#5541455)

Yeah. And guys who like to light their farts on fire are going to have a ball with this.

Actually.... (4, Informative)

Acidic_Diarrhea (641390) | about 11 years ago | (#5541543)

It appears that we can't trust society with information. I'm tired of everyone citing the infamous hot coffee case as the shining example of a frivolous lawsuit.

In the case that you're "citing" (I use quotes because you obviously don't know any of the facts.) the coffee was served at 180 F. This is quite a bit hotter than one expects to receive coffee at. For a fun experiment, try brewing some coffee and taking the temperature of it. Your experiment won't yield coffee at this temperature. Second of all, the McDonalds outlet had received over 700 complaints about their coffee being too hot. Other McDonalds have not and do not receive this many complaints about their coffee. It was partially because of these complaints that McDonalds was found negligent - they had plenty of information that the coffee was too hot but chose to ignore it because it was considered better for business to keep the coffee hot at all times so fewer fresh pots would have to be made. Furthermore, the woman in question (79 years old when the incident occured - your typical "victim" looking to get rich quick, right? Oh wait, she'd never filed a lawsuit before in her life.) received third degree burns on her groin, thighs, and buttocks. These burns required skin grafts and an extended stay in the hospital. The woman racked up medicals bill as a result of this. The award was also reduced from the original 2.6 million dollar settlement to 480,000 dollars.

Understanding law isn't quite as easy as just reading some headlines Mohammed.

Re:Actually.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5541739)

Are you trying to justify the amount of money paid to this woman? Is she your mother or something? 2.6 million dollars for third degree burns seems reasonable to you? Regardless of what it was reduced to, she was awarded 2.6 million dollars for spilling coffee, a liquid that is known to be hot most of the time, in her lap. How much of the 480,000 she actually recieved went towards medical bills. There is no way more than 60,000 of it was for medical.

Re:Actually.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5541765)

You've never heard of punitive damages? They are supposed to be big enough to be considered punishment to the corporation. Anything less than that would be considered trivial, and companies would have no incentive to clean up their act on a large scale. A mom-n-pop wouldn't have that large an award thrown against it, but a huge company like mcdonald's should.

but (4, Funny)

xao gypsie (641755) | about 11 years ago | (#5541438)

but that takes away from the good ol' days of snuggling by the laptop on a cold winter's night, surfing the internet wishing the laptop was a woman and the heat source was a real fire......*sigh*......im lonely...

xao

Re:but (4, Funny)

wideBlueSkies (618979) | about 11 years ago | (#5541518)

Yeah, and on those [b]really[/b] lonely nights you'd get a little thrill when the fan kicks in.

I know. I've been there.

Spontaneous combustion. (2, Funny)

index72 (591909) | about 11 years ago | (#5541441)

Whith all these heat sources and readily available combustible fuels around its only a matter of time before one of these computer heads is gonna get torched.

Computers shouldn't heat up. (3, Funny)

rice_burners_suck (243660) | about 11 years ago | (#5541443)

What I would like to see is a laptop that doesn't burn up in the first place. I have one of those Sony laptops where an internal fan comes on when it begins to overheat. The hotter the computer gets, the faster (and louder) this fan becomes. It is actually quite annoying.

Now I find it acceptable that a computer can heat up somewhat during computationally intensive functions, like performing a huge batch job with Photoshop or something, but what annoys me a lot about this fan thing is that it seems to come on at the darnedest times. For example, if some application crashes, the fan comes on, then goes faster, then goes even faster, and finally it's spinning at its maximum speed, which sounds like a bunch of banshees flying around when there are heavy winds. All of this while the computer remains totally unresponsive to any input.

This has annoyed me so much on many occasions that I often consider disassembling the computer and removing that stupid fan. Yeah, it'll overheat, but at least I don't have to listen to that shit.

My suggestion, as far as heat is concerned, is that laptops can be built utilizing processors that use little energy and stay cool. Yes, these are much slower than your Pentium CXXVCVXIIIXCIX, but if you put about 5 of them in there, it won't be so bad. In fact, it might even be a bit faster in some cases. I wish people would consider that. What annoys me the most about this is that the computer seems to heat up during computing-intensive

Re:Computers shouldn't heat up. (3, Interesting)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | about 11 years ago | (#5541499)

The best part of using heat pipes is that you can seal the box better and vent the heat where you choose. Heat pipes are increadibly conductive (up to approx 3000x the conductivity of copper). Fans are a problem because the draw dust etc into the laptop. This can form an insulating layer which prevents good heat transfer.

I agree with your sentiments that laptops should not heat up. Basically this is mainly an x86 problem. With more efficient code and using cooler chips (ARM, MIPS,...) you have a far better chance of making a cool device (as well as having your battery last longer).

Re:Computers shouldn't heat up. (1)

JUSTONEMORELATTE (584508) | about 11 years ago | (#5541742)

I have a Sony with the same variable-speed fan. Best part is playing GTA [slashdot.org] on the thing. As I speed up, the fan speeds up right along with me.

*Glowing* Hot* Cyber* Balls!* (4, Funny)

teamhasnoi (554944) | about 11 years ago | (#5541446)

Here in Minnesota, we like hot laptops. If your G4 Powerbook is bothering you in your not-so-frosty climes, please send it to me.

You will have done a good deed, and have the satifaction that some Minnesota girl is removing some of her clothing while using your old hardware. After me, that is.

Hot and Bothered? (4, Funny)

Myriad (89793) | about 11 years ago | (#5541449)

Laptops aren't truly portable until you can stand to sit with one on your lap for more than 30 minutes.

Wait a sec... isn't getting all hot and bothered down there supposed to be a good thing?

What? It's not? Do what with a girl?.....ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh I get it! So you're saying I've had it all wrong all this time? Damn...

Blockwars [blockwars.com]: a realtime, head-to-head game similar to Tetris.

Slashdot geeks are too used to the couch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5541467)

laptops aren't truly portable until you can stand to sit with one on your lap
How can you stand to sit with one on your lap?

Let me get this straight... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5541479)

The worst terrorist attack in recorded history occurred in September 2001, followed by a WAR against Islam in Afghanistan and now we're about to be involved in ANOTHER war against Islam in Iraq, and you people have the gall to be discussing laptop heat problems and their possible solutions???? My *god*, people, GET SOME PRIORITIES!

The bodies of the thousands of innocent civilians who died (and will die) in these unprecedented events could give a good god damn about obscure science fiction, your childish Lego models, your nerf toy guns and whining about the lack of a "fun" workplace, your Everquest/Diablo/D&D fixation, the latest Cowboy Bebop rerun, or any of the other ways you are "getting on with your life" (here's a hint: watching Cowboy Bebop in your jammies and eating a bowl of Shreddies is *not* "getting on with your life"). The souls of the victims are watching in horror as you people squander your finite, precious time on this earth playing video games!

You people disgust me!

Re:Let me get this straight... (2, Offtopic)

geogeek6_7 (566395) | about 11 years ago | (#5541610)

The bodies of the thousands of innocent civilians who died (and will die) in these unprecedented events could give a good god damn about obscure science fiction, your childish Lego models, your nerf toy guns and whining about the lack of a "fun" workplace, your Everquest/Diablo/D&D fixation, the latest Cowboy Bebop rerun, or any of the other ways you are "getting on with your life" (here's a hint: watching Cowboy Bebop in your jammies and eating a bowl of Shreddies is *not* "getting on with your life"). The souls of the victims are watching in horror as you people squander your finite, precious time on this earth playing video games!

I hate to say this but uh... if this is the case, those video gamers are squandering far less of thier life than those trolling slashdot. ;)

maybe YOUR laptop is too hot (3, Insightful)

anonymous loser (58627) | about 11 years ago | (#5541482)

I have a Sharp MV12W [cnet.com] and have had no trouble sitting for many hours (usually all day in my current situation) with it on my lap, even wearing shorts.

That being said, my previous laptop (or craptop, as I like to think of it) was a Dell 8000 series. Not only did the thing weigh a metric ton, it also produced enough heat to fry eggs.

The only thing I sorta regret with my current laptop is the lack of screen real estate. However, given that the screen size on the Dell actually prohibited me from opening the thing up all the way on an airplane (unless I was in first class), and the travelling weight of my current laptop is less than half (nearly 1/3)of the Dell, it's a trade-off I'm more than willing to make.

Old technology? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5541522)

Sounds awful like the heat pipes that NASA developed in the 60s to cool sattelites

I wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5541524)

This laptop heat cooling design uses very very small tubes, about the size of a hair folicule, to transport methane around...

So, let me get this straight... if I scratch my laptop, it will bleed!? Hmmm...

think...pad (1)

mboverload (657893) | about 11 years ago | (#5541539)

I have this crappy IBM ThinkPad. It MUST wiegh at least 13 pounds and its battery nw lasts about 15 minutes..... Its the uglist peice of crap the universe has ever produced....But i still use it =)

I refuse to get in iBook, it just SCREAMS "I'm a fruit." I need something ugly, like another thinkpad.....

apple's already done it... (3, Informative)

esoteric0 (105786) | about 11 years ago | (#5541546)

the lcd imac (and i think the Tibook aslo) already uses heat pipes. sandia is way behind.

Re:apple's already done it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5541715)

I believe most of the notebooks Dell makes use heat pipes too. Probably the same for other manufacturers too.
Heat pipes themselves aren't really new. This might just be a new type of heat pipe. Maybe current ones just use water or something other than methanol.

Heat pipes in the TiBooks (2, Interesting)

v1 (525388) | about 11 years ago | (#5541752)

Just lift the keyboard up on the tibook and you'll see five heat pipes running away from the processor heat sink. They go to various parts of the computer, and usually end bonded to a metal plate with holes in it, to dissipate the heat. I don't know if these are the same type of heat pipe the original poster is describing, but they serve the same purpose.

My previous powerbook, a 1998 "wallstreet", had no heat pipes, but used the keyboard to dissipate CPU heat. The back side of the keyboard was aluminum, and sat squarely on top of the CPU heat spreader. It made for a nice warm toasty feeling on the fingers while gaming with it in the winter. :-) That was a really good idea.

The problem the powerbooks have with heat seems to be the video... people always seem to forget that heat source in laptops. In both the ti and the wallstreet, that heats up the BOTTOM of the computer. I wouldn't even think of playing UT with the computer on my lap. The wallstreet had an interesting design on the bottom in that the sides where your legs would be were plastic - the center was the aluminum heat plate, and if you set it on your lap with your legs spread properly, you were free of any heat issues. Another excellent design idea not included in the new TiBooks. :(

I don't see a serious heat issue for most powerbook users. I'm sitting here typing up this post and I have, on average, one of the 19 bars lit up on my CPU monitor. The bottom of the tibook is only pleasantly warm to the touch, certainly not hot by anyone's opinion. I don't have any of the "power cycling" features turned on either... I'm sure it'd run even cooler if I enabled those. Now if I started ripping MP3s and compiling, the processor would get busy and the fan would spin up and she'd get warm.

How do PC laptops handle various workloads? I've used a few awhile back and they all seemed to be just as hot no matter if you were or weren't doing anything with them. I also noticed that if you pluged them into AC power, they'd crank up their CPU speed and get a lot warmer.

Hot Laptops (1)

kzg (634262) | about 11 years ago | (#5541560)

Funny. Not as many references to the burnt genitals story as I thought there would be.

Ignorant question? (2, Interesting)

Peapod (568493) | about 11 years ago | (#5541573)

This might be an ignorant question, but what happenes if you tilt it. No, granted, its sealed, but what if for some reason, you have it operating at some angle or you have it upside down. I realize this is not terribly common of a problem, but nevertheless. Probably a stupid question anyway.

Re:Ignorant question? (2, Insightful)

ejaw5 (570071) | about 11 years ago | (#5541750)

you mean not operating the laptop flat on your lap? interesting, to me using a laptop on your lap is sort of a balancing act. you got to have the base at the right position, and screen open not too far so it won't jump off your lap as soon as you take your hands off the keyboard. Then you have to also compensate for air openings on the side (or God forbid on the bottom), make sure your clothing don't block them.

Isn't this already being done? (1)

jridley (9305) | about 11 years ago | (#5541590)

My Dell laptop has heat pipes to move heat from the CPU out to a radiator in the back. Maybe this is more efficient than the ones we already have? I couldn't tell from the article.

How can the government preferentially license this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5541594)

This was developed by the government using tax payer dollars. How can it be selectively licensed? I can understand the government patenting it and licensing it free, or under reasonable and non-discriminatory terms, but to an undisclosed start up? Are the members of the start up employees from the lab?

death to Monkey Bush (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5541598)

death to Monkey Bush

Flamability and toxicity (1, Interesting)

n1ywb (555767) | about 11 years ago | (#5541620)

Methanol is a highly reactive, flamable, and toxic chemical. You thought spontaniously combusting laptops were bad before? Now're you're carrying around rocket fuel to boot. I wonder if they'd even allow one of these on an airplane? It can be absorbed right through your skin and cause permanent eye and liver damage. I don't understand why they can't use a less flamable/reactive/toxic alcohol, like ethanol or isopropanol.

In Soviet Russia... (-1, Offtopic)

myowntrueself (607117) | about 11 years ago | (#5541710)

If they used ethanol to cool the laptops, people would bore holes in the case to drink the coolant.

Same would, presumably go for isopropyl...
or methanol for that matter.

I'll stop now. :-/

Who cares about methanol (1)

arvindn (542080) | about 11 years ago | (#5541626)

small copper 'wicks' to transport methanol ... from one area of a computer to another where it can be dispersed more efficiently, comfortably and compactly

I hope they can extend their technique to ethanol. And make it work for humans. Then we'll have a killer.

Why waste (1)

pdan (624244) | about 11 years ago | (#5541690)

Is this possible to use this heat (for recharging batteries for instance) instead of dispersing it.
It is energy after all.

Heatpipes rock (3, Interesting)

Trogre (513942) | about 11 years ago | (#5541691)

The heatpipe attached to my Athlon cpu works pretty well. The temperature drop after replacing my AMD fan/heatsink combo was between 5 and 10 degrees C.

More info here (3, Interesting)

bugnuts (94678) | about 11 years ago | (#5541711)

more info [sandia.gov]

They have thought of redirecting the heat for "hand warmers" but one of the things heat pipes really buys you is lack of moving parts and fan requirements... in other words, you can use it for silent or even a waterproof computer.

What about the radiation?? (1)

myowntrueself (607117) | about 11 years ago | (#5541723)

Ok so cooling down the CPU will make it more comfy on the lap, but with gigahertz plus CPUs shouldn't we be worried about the radiation???

That guy whos penis was burnt... he apparently didn't feel any heating up and the blistering ocurred some time after using the laptop.

Doesn't sound like heat burns to me; more like the sort of thing radar techos used to get in the days before people figured out that you shouldn't stand too close to an active radar system...
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