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When to get a new heatsink?

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a b à CPUs
February 1, 2012 5:35:31 AM

hi. ive had a heatsink for a year and a half and was wondering when/if i should get a new heatsink. there seems to be a little rust on it. How long do heatsinks usually last and how can i tell when they are going bad?

thanks! :wahoo: 

More about : heatsink

February 1, 2012 5:45:39 AM

Wait rust? What kind of heatsink? An OEM intel or amd heatsink are full aluminum or aluminum with a copper core. Aluminum's "rust" looks like white powder but doesn't flake off like ferrous metals (steel, iron). Copper will turn green but I doubt that your heatsinks are oxidizing! Ideally you never need to replace a heatsink given you do a little maintenance from time to time. A pic would be great......
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a b à CPUs
February 1, 2012 5:53:07 AM

its a heatsink and fan that came with my amd phenom x4 965. mayb its not rust but the copper (or what looks like copper) changed in color a little to mayb silverish? i would take a picture but i dont have a working camera atm :( 

also what do you mean by maintanance? what should i do to maintain the heatsink? thanks!
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a c 185 à CPUs
February 1, 2012 6:16:40 AM

Get a software such as hw monitor, to check your temps. If they are fine I wouldn't replace it :p 
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February 1, 2012 6:24:30 AM

Maintenance just consists of blowing it out with compressed air to remove dust. If you use an actual air compressor dont crank it up to 90psi or at least use something to keep your cooling fan from spinning. This is not necessary but something I learned to do just in case. You could spin the fan up to high with the compressed air and nuke a bearing or the contacts within the motor. But canned air works fine too. You also want to check to make sure that the heatsink isn't loose. You do this by poking the side of it with your finger and if it moves you have a problem

If the copper looks like an old penny where it is just a little brownish then I wouldn't worry about it. However, if its silverish it doesn't sound good. For it to be literally rusting the computer would have to be in a high moisture environment. Like a leaky basement, garage or outside. If your computer is on or next to your desk inside your house then chances are after a year it isn't rust!

If you are worried about it install coretemp to monitor your temps.
http://www.alcpu.com/CoreTemp/
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a b à CPUs
February 1, 2012 7:10:11 AM

The Heatsink should pretty much never need replacing in a systems entire lifetime unless the fan breaks and you decide to buy a new one rather than replacing the fan.

The change in the copper colour could be due to heat transfer or thermal paste. Copper cannot rust. It can become Oxidized which can make it turn a green-ish colour but that's it.

As 'charels88' said, check your temps using some monitoring software, unless its high enough to cause issues, don't worry about it :) 


EDIT: If you could upload a photo showing what you think the problem is, it might be easier for us to work it out :) 
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