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cooler efficiency

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January 14, 2003 2:35:01 AM

Does anyone have any thoughts on silver plating the copper chip contact area/the whole copper heat sink to improve the thermal transfer-is it worth the effort?

More about : cooler efficiency

January 14, 2003 5:37:56 AM

well, there's already a heatsink called "Silver Mountain" by Akasa (check out <A HREF="http://www.akasa.com.tw/silvermountain/sm2.html" target="_new">http://www.akasa.com.tw/silvermountain/sm2.html&lt;/A>) which is silver plated for better heat dissipation... its not worth the effort if you can buy one :) 

Have you ever stuck your finger in a Vantec Tornado? That's 5700rpm right there - ouch. Today's public service announcement: don't play with plugged-in fans - especially Tornados..heh.
January 14, 2003 2:27:15 PM

Well it would increase the thermal conductance, but not with a very high amount. Lets take a look at the thermal conductance of heatsink materials:
Aluminium: 237 W/m/K
Gold: 318 W/m/K
Copper: 390 W/m/K
Silver: 429 W/m/K

As you can see the difference between silver and copper isnt as big as with copper and aluminium. So IMO it is not worth the effort and price.

My dual-PSU PC is so powerfull that the neighbourhood dimms when I turn it on :eek: 
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January 14, 2003 3:01:27 PM

...unless someone made a pure silver heatsink, oh, say in the same design as the Swiftech MCX-462+?

Instead of Rdram, why not just merge 4 Sdram channels...
January 14, 2003 3:09:48 PM

With aluminium, copper or silver pins? Do you want to buy a HSF for $200?

My dual-PSU PC is so powerfull that the neighbourhood dimms when I turn it on :eek: 
January 14, 2003 3:18:39 PM

I dunno, just speculating, not actually considering it. Would aluminum dissipate the heat better than silver? (kinda like copper has good heat transfer, but needs high airflow to dissipate the heat). Would be rather interesting to see a silver/aluminum Swiffie ^__^

Instead of Rdram, why not just merge 4 Sdram channels...
January 14, 2003 4:05:21 PM

I don't know which value from my table book is the heat to air dissipating value... it might not even be in there.
Any way you can calculate it without actually testing it?

My dual-PSU PC is so powerfull that the neighbourhood dimms when I turn it on :eek: 
January 15, 2003 1:54:24 AM

Well, I suppose the easiest thing to do is buy a block of silver (I know that sounds crazy), tear out the 300 some pins lodged into the copper block of the MCX-462+. Then you'd have to cut equal sized "pins" out of the silver block, probably about 2-3 inches each, and about 1 square milimeter in size. You could use a gnurling tool to take the square silver "pins" and turn them into relative screws. Unfortunately, while that's possible, you'll have to make about 300 of them. Then, it wouldn't be too hard to place them into the holes for the old aluninum pins, and weld them into place, one at a time. It's a lot of work, but who knows, it could be the ultimate air cooling

Instead of Rdram, why not just merge 4 Sdram channels...
January 15, 2003 6:00:02 AM

Thanks for the input, I have some "cool amp" powder(silver plater with water and elbow grease from work) and just thought if I got the MOST efficient copper heatsink,it might cut the fan speed noise level if plated, and at least should lower the temp. a little. I wonder if electrolysys works as good as elbow grease,especially between those fins,where did I put that cool-amp...
January 15, 2003 10:48:14 PM

LOL it would probably weigh around 1Kg and cost upwards of 200 dollars LOL.
No reason why it cant be done though... machine a huge silver block to be exactly like the mcx-462U copper one.

Performance would probably only be marginally better at best. Copper still is the metal of choice regarding price vs performance.

<b><i>The Very Hungry Caterpillar</i> - George W. Bush's favorite childhood book.
Note: This book was first published a year after Mr Bush graduated from College.</b>
January 15, 2003 11:40:41 PM

I know, i'm just theorizinig about the ultimate air cooling

Instead of Rdram, why not just merge 4 Sdram channels...
January 15, 2003 11:54:58 PM

I still want one :smile:
Just so i can show off!

I wonder if silver is better for the fins/pins too. But its probably too soft and prone to damage.

<b><i>The Very Hungry Caterpillar</i> - George W. Bush's favorite childhood book.
Note: This book was first published a year after Mr Bush graduated from College.</b>
January 16, 2003 12:17:33 AM

Hmm, really? Silver is weaker than copper? Well, maybe a silver/copper allow would work well. Just trying to figure out how to make air cooled HSF's better. You could "expand" the Swiffie to be 120mm square base of silver coated in copper, then recreate the HSF with about 500 pins of pure silver or a silver alloy.

Instead of Rdram, why not just merge 4 Sdram channels...
January 16, 2003 12:55:20 AM

Oh yes! Very much so. Especially pure silver.
Thats why its used so much with fancy intricate things, besides its nice colour and intrinsic value.

Its quite soft and malleable, so silver fins would be a considerable challenge, and so would preventing the bottom of the HSF from getting dinted/scratched.

Tarnish may also be a problem as it oxidises pretty rapidly.

<b><i>The Very Hungry Caterpillar</i> - George W. Bush's favorite childhood book.
Note: This book was first published a year after Mr Bush graduated from College.</b>
January 16, 2003 1:31:10 AM

Wow, silver oxidizes faster than copper??? You could probably get away electoplating it. I'm not talking bout fins here like the Thermalright's, I mean actual pins like all of the Swiffie's and Alpha's. It would be a challenge, but this might be a fun project for over summer for perhaps a Barton or Hammer...

Instead of Rdram, why not just merge 4 Sdram channels...
January 16, 2003 3:16:29 AM

LOL yes of course.
Open up a chemistry text book and look up a redox reactivity table.
Silver is fairly high on the list, with things like Sodium, calcium and lithium being on the top. (sodium and calcium fizz in water, litium even reacts with the air!)
Also, did you know that aluminium is much more reactive than silver or iron? It tarnishes very rapidly exposed to air, but the tarnish layer, Aluminium oxide, is very thin, invisible to the eye, and effectivly prevents further oxidation, unless the aluminium happens to be immersed in a reactive medium devoid of free oxygen (i.e. acid or basic solution)

And as silver is so reactive i believe you will have problems electroplating IT.
Sure it electroplates other things well, but i dont know of any examples where someoen has electroplated it with something else.
Gold maybe?
LOL Thats gonna be one sparkly expensive but good cooler.

You could coat the copper in a tarnish preventing coating, like they do with many silverware products, but it may effect cooling, but probably not by much.
Have to be careful with the pins too, as the metal is soft and would probably bend hammerin in the pins. any airgaps between the pins and the base is also bad for cooling.


<b><i>The Very Hungry Caterpillar</i> - George W. Bush's favorite childhood book.
Note: This book was first published a year after Mr Bush graduated from College.</b>
January 19, 2003 6:50:04 PM

You can easily electro-coat a copper heatsink with silver, but have you ever electrocoated anything before? It's going to be a pretty rough finish. I'm not sure what effect that will have on the pins. Perhaps it'll increase efficiency because it has a larger (and rougher) surface area. Perhaps it'll decrease efficency as there will be "dead zones" or pockets where fresh air cannot reach and heat will build up in these. Either way, polishing 300 pins to remove the rough surface will not be a fun or easy thing to do.

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