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Heatsink FAQs

1. Why do you need a heat sink?

A. The heat sink is a thermal conductor that carries heat away from an electronic device into fins that provide a larger surface area for the heat to dissipate through, thus cooling both the heat sink and the hot device. The heat sink may have a fan attached for improved air flow.

2. What is the purpose of heatsink?

A. The main purpose of a heat sink is to expel heat from a generating source. Heat sinks work through the process of conductive and convection heat transfer. Heat sinks are a passive form of cooling, as they have no moving parts and require no power. In most cases, heat sinks are used in conjunction with fans.

3. Why is a heat sink important?

A. A heat sink is a passive heat exchanger, and it is designed to have large surface area in contact with the surrounding (cooling) medium like air. The components or electronic parts or devices which are insufficient to moderate their temperature, require heat sinks for cooling.

4. Do I need a cpu heatsink?

A. Yes! You have to have a cpu heatsink or the cpu will overheat and fail.

5. Do you need thermal paste?

A. You need physical contact to move heat efficiently from the electronic device to the heatsink. The role of thermal paste is to "fill in the gaps" and allow for better transfer of heat from the electronic device to the heatsink. The electronic device's operating temperature will otherwise increase util it fails without efficient heat transfer.

6. What is a heat sink made of?

A. A heat sink without a fan is called a passive heat sink; a heat sink with a fan is called an active heat sink. Heat sinks are generally made of an aluminium alloy and often have fins.

7. Why are heat sinks important?

A. A heat sink (also commonly spelled heatsink) is a passive heat exchanger that transfers the heat generated by an electronic or a mechanical device to a fluid medium, often air or a liquid coolant, where it is dissipated away from the device, thereby allowing regulation of the device's temperature at optimal levels.

8. What is a passive heat sink?

A. A heat sink is a device that incorporates either a fan or some other means to keep a hot component, such as a processor, cool. There are two heat sink types: active and passive.