How a CPU Cooling Fan Works

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About the Processor

The Central Processing Unit, or the CPU, is the vital computing unit that forms the main execution core of a computer, and is the most important element of a computer system. Often called the ‘brains’ of the computer, a CPU is responsible for processing data by interpreting and executing commands from the computer’s hardware and software.

Computers are equipped with a variety of cooling equipment, like a fan, to disperse the excess heat generated from electrical energy, and a CPU fan is used exclusively for cooling the processor.

About CPU Cooling Fans

With the increase in magnitude of the usage of computers to more than 18 hours a day, there are additional demands placed on the processor. The processor then starts generating a lot of heat which is caused by the internal electrical energy of the components, and gets warmer the harder the components have to work. Improper maintenance of heat and overheating of the processor can reduce the lifespan or cause irreparable damage to the components in the processor, including components like circuits, microchips, RAM, or hard drives, and makes the computer inoperable. In order to avoid damaging the components and prevent loss of data, it becomes essential to have good cooling equipment like a CPU fan.

How a CPU Cooling Fan Works

One of the main components in the CPU is the CPU fan. It is the most economical and effective way to cool down the processor and protect it from overheating. The CPU fan is critically necessary to ventilate the heat generated from the components, and actively cools the processor by bringing in cooler air before the heat damages the computer components.

Cooling fans for the CPU are available in different sizes and is usually sold with an aluminum or copper heat sink fan. The CPU cooling fans are attached directly on top of the CPU, and works along with an aluminum heat sink fan to cool down the CPU and dispels any hot air from circulating around any circuitry boards, video cards, the motherboard, and other components that work with your computer, thereby ensuring that they are cool and operable.

Heat Sink Fan

The aluminum heat sink fan is a cooling device that works on its own to efficiently draw heat away from the components into its large surface area to transfer cooler air into its fin-like aluminum structure. This cooling device works in unison with all the major components of the computer.

The fan is attached to this fin-like structure and improves the transfer of hot air by pulling the hot air from the electrical heat generated by the components and pushing in cooler air between the aluminum fins, thus keeping the processor cool.

The Placement of the Fan in the Processor

The internal set up of the processor also directs the placement of the cooling device. If your processor has only one fan then it will mostly be located in the back of the processor, and this will be blowing out the hot air. If you have two CPU fans, then one fan will be located at the back, and the other will be located at the front of the processor. While the main function of the back fan is to blow out the hot air, the front fan moves in cooler air as the front of the CPU has more open area to allow the free inflow of cooler air. Ideally, all processors should have at least two fans: one fan to intakes cool air, while the other fan expels heat by blowing the hot air out.

Specifications of the Fan

The specification of the heat sinks and cooling fans depends on its compatibility with the processor, and on how much they are expected to perform. For instance, if insufficient cooling fans are installed when the processor calls for a super efficient cooling device, then the processor will have a shortened life span. The cooling fans should work on par with the demands placed on the processor.

Once you have decided on the requirement for the cooling capacity of the fan, measure the availability of space inside the CPU. Not all CPUs can accommodate all cooling models and they could either end up being too big, or too small. Measuring the space beforehand will save you the trouble of exchanging the cooling fans later if it doesn’t fit.

CPU Cooling Types

Remember, before you look to purchase CPU cooling fans, it’s important to understand the variety of CPU cooling types to consider. Your first consideration is the size of the CPU cooling fan. Sizes for CPU cooling fans tend to range from 60 mm to 120 mm. Bigger fans may provide more cooling, but they also make more noise, and a size too big may not fit into your computer.

Also be aware that there are multi-speed CPU cooling types that can cover not only the processors, but the motherboard and video card as well. Finally, know that not all cooling fans are CPU cooling fans. There are also case fans and hard drive fans designed to keep different parts of your computer cool.

Gain Optimal Fan Performance

You can make the cooling fans for your CPU more efficient by cleaning the blades of the fan from time to time. Accumulation of dust reduces the efficiency of the fan and hampers its smooth performance, ultimately harming the components by not functioning properly. Regular maintenance of the fans will give you optimal performance, and ensure that the components are safe from getting too heated. Poor heat transfers or insufficient inflow of air also impedes the fans from operating smoothly.

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