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how exactly do heatsinks work?

post #1 of 19
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I was talking to my brother in law and he is telling me that the fan on the heatsink was to blow air INTO the CPU, and I thought the idea of it was to blow hot air OUT... because i have my coolermaster fan facing the way my exhaust fan is because i thought it would blow it out faster.. there something i'm missing or am i correct on this? thanks in advance
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post #2 of 19
Whatever works, as long as you're displacing hot air with cooler air.
Fans blowing into the heatsink are more common, but both have been widely implemented.
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post #3 of 19
Heatsink draws heat away from the CPU, the fan blows "cool" air through the fins. This air is then pushed away by the fan.

Technically you're both right. But there is no actual air blowing "into" the CPU.

That would be silly.
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post #4 of 19
The heatsink metal absorbs the heat off the top of the CPU. The fans or convection currents push the hot air off the heatsink.

It's more complex then that but that is easy enough to explain to your brother.
post #5 of 19
It depends, if the HSF (heat sink fan) is of a tower design, like mine, then then fans on the sides pull air through it, but if the HSF is more like a stock HSF, then the fan is generally pulling in cool air, but its not uncommon to have some HSF expel hot air, but they usually have a gap to suck the cold air through the fins.
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post #6 of 19
Heat is defined as the transfer of thermal energy from one contact to another.
I.E. you are feeling the change of temperature when you put your hand over something hot.

Temperature is an average of thermal energy contained in an object. If an object has a high amount of energy, its average is high, and its temperature is high.

CPU generates thermal energy, which is transfered (heat) to the contact plate on the CPU cooler.

Thermal energy is then transfered to the fins on the heatsink, which a fan pushes cooler air over the fins.

Because the air has less Thermal energy on average (aka lower temperature), there is a transfer from high thermal energy to low thermal energy (Energy goes from hot to cold) and that process is what is known as heat.

Your computer is designed to bring in cool air from which to transfer thermal energy to.
This warm air is then "spent" \\ "heated" and sent from the case.

I am not sure if I helped answer your question, or have told you any information that you did not already know, but hopefully you can get more insight from that.
    
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post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
OK so then it's not a bad thing to have the heatsink fan on my coolermaster 212+ facing my exhaust?
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post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonespwns View Post
OK so then it's not a bad thing to have the heatsink fan on my coolermaster 212+ facing my exhaust?
Hot air travels upwards.
Cold air travels downwards.

If the fan attached to your heat sink is blowing towards the exhaust, then it is okay.
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post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Guy View Post
Hot air travels upwards.
Cold air travels downwards.

If the fan attached to your heat sink is blowing towards the exhaust, then it is okay.
ok good. I have the same CPU cooler as you.. so thanks for the help!
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Go Skate
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post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonespwns View Post
OK so then it's not a bad thing to have the heatsink fan on my coolermaster 212+ facing my exhaust?
Managing airflow within the case is important, so ALL the heatsinks recieve cooling air to remove the heat. The heated air must then be removed from the case. (Either by force from positive pressure, or drawn out with exhaust fans.)
    
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