Solved

Copper Pipe heatsink function

I am confused about how my CPU heatsink works.
There is a small piece of metal that touches the CPU and then there are 3 copper pipes going up each side until they are surrounded by metal fins which is then attached to the fan.
I read somewhere that fluid in the pipes evaporates from the heat and as it moves up the pipes it cools back into liquid and then drops back to the bottom of the pipes. What confuses me is that the pipes don't actually sit vertically in the case. The are sitting horizontally so how does the liquid move towards the fins and fans then back to the CPU?
11 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about copper pipe heatsink function
  1. No liquid. Heat from the small contact point heats the copper which in turn heats the fins - just like the whole frying pan gets how when its bottom is heated on a stove. The fins provide a very large surface area so the fan can blow the heat away quickly.
  2. So it looks like it uses capillary action I guess since it can't use gravity as it's horizontal.
    Most importantly it keeps my CPU super cool so I guess I shouldn't be worried.
  3. THERE IS NO LIQUID IN THE HEAT-PIPES !!!!!!!!! WOWEE THIS IS A DOOZY....
  4. Obviously there IS LIQUID in heatpipes and the Wiki is correct. Not everyone understands how a heatpipe functions. The liquid changing to a vapor at the heatsink baseplate is where a lot of heat transfer occurs. This is physics 101 and how air-conditioning and other cooling systems function.
  5. well I guess I will be cutting up an old Heatsink to confirm wiki...off to get my hack saw
  6. Best answer
    lowjack989 said:
    THERE IS NO LIQUID IN THE HEAT-PIPES !!!!!!!!! WOWEE THIS IS A DOOZY....


    lowjack989 said:
    well I guess I will be cutting up an old Heatsink to confirm wiki...off to get my hack saw


    You are 100% incorrect!

    The link below explains it very well, so educate yourself before posting these type comments! 4ryan6

    http://www.frostytech.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=2466
  7. Best answer selected by SynapticVesicle.
  8. Thanks for the link. That is the answer to my question. It is still a bit confusing but I think I'd have to read up on some physics to understand what still confuses me.
  9. 4Ryan6 said:
    You are 100% incorrect!

    The link below explains it very well, so educate yourself before posting these type comments! 4ryan6

    http://www.frostytech.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=2466



    No problem....
  10. SynapticVesicle said:
    Thanks for the link. That is the answer to my question. It is still a bit confusing but I think I'd have to read up on some physics to understand what still confuses me.


    They don't say what type of liquid that's inside the tubes but under a vacuum it boils at lower temperatures, it boils and the vapor travels away from the heat source, taking it into the cooling fin area that the fan or fans are moving air over the cooling fins, cooling down the vapor.

    The vapor cooled goes back to a liquid state and uses the capillary action to return to the heat source, and cycles all over again, so it's constantly in a flowing process of heating and cooling the liquid inside the heat pipes.

    Since the liquid is sealed inside the tubes it cannot just evaporate off, like if you were boiling water on a stove, so the preset level of liquid for each heat sink, stays the same.

    It's all pretty simple to wrap your brain around except for the capillary action, returning the cooled liquid back to the heat source, that's quite remarkable.
Ask a new question

Read More

Heatsinks CPUs Overclocking