Computer components which get heated up quickly are the CPU, Hard drive, graphics card and all integrated chips related Components. These parts require a sufficient cooling mechanism within the computer. Cooling fans are the most commonly used devices for air cooling of computer components such as CPU, Chip sets, PSU, Hard drive and graphics card.
Cooling fan can be attached to the computer case, or attached to a CPU, chipset, PSU, hard drive or PCI slot. Notebook coolers comes in various sizes, which include 40, 60, 80, 92, 120, and 140 mm. Some large size fans in the range of 200mm to 240mm have started hitting the market in recent years.
The quantum of airflow generated by fans measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM), and the speed of rotation of the fan is measured in revolutions per minute (RPM). Fans with higher CFM rating, but produce less noise (measured in decibels) are preferred. Some fans come with an adjustable RPM rating to produce less noise when the computer does not require additional airflow.
The speed of the cooling Fan can be controlled manually, thermally, or by the computer hardware or by software. In the case of laptops and notebooks, if the cooling fans are not sufficient enough to cool the components, then a laptop cooler or a notebook cooler is used for cooling purposes. In this cooling is done by a cooling pad by active or passive cooling methods and rests below the laptop.
Active laptop cooling fans pass the air or liquid to take the heat away from the laptop quickly, while a passive lap cooler uses thermally conductive materials for cooling purposes. Laptop cooling fan speed can be adjusted manually or automatically on various models. On certain models, the fan runs at a fixed speed.
In passive laptop cooling, a conductive cooling pad allows for the cooling of a laptop without using any power. These “Pads” are filled with an organic salt compound, which absorbs the heat from the laptop. Thus the usage of cooling fans and cooling pads are extremely important to maintain the temperature within the allowable range. Once the heat crosses the allowable range, then it could result in a CPU or a hard drive crash resulting in a complete breakdown. Most commonly used home or small business systems uses fan cooling systems.
Some systems where the sound of the fans is a big hindrance come with heat sinks and convection cooling systems, where the noise produced is extremely negligible. Sometimes the motherboards would be completely immersed in liquid oil, which is an alternative to both cooling fans and heat sinks. Ionic wind cooling, which doesn’t use any cooling fans or sinks are currently being researched by the researchers to find whether this technology can be used for cooling purposes.