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Thread: Just a simple Question...

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    Just a simple Question...

    Why does heat cause PC parts to stuff up??

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    Because they burn. You can smell it. Mmm, a silicon barbeque.
    Not around too often!

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    Yeah and partly because the higher the temp the worse the conductance and mainly because the metal tracks on the chips are much more prone to migration if the temp goes up.

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    re: "Why does heat cause PC parts to stuff up??"

    Well, why does your car engine bay contain a radiator/fan and the engine a water-jacket? Why do you put on sun-screen and white clothing when you go out in the blazing sun?

    Anything, computer components included, has an operational temperature range. Go beyond that, and performance can suffer; components expand, leak, and ultimately break - i.e. the heat is so intensive that the physical properties of the componets have been rearranged permanently: think about a piece of paper before and after you've set it on fire. Ever tried writing on a completely burnt piece of paper?

    What you have to understand is that in most mechanical/electrical devices heat is an unwanted by-product: it's wastefully using up the very energy you are supplying. Sure, in the case of an electric fire, it's not; but in the case of a car engine, something like 50% of the fuel you put in the tank - and think about what petrol costs these days - is wasted as heat. And you've then got the additional expense of complex systems to continually get rid of that heat, each of which again saps more of the very energy you are putting in.

    Not sure if the above was exactly the explanation you were looking for? But have a flick through any introductory mechanical or electrical textbook for more details on the problems caused by heat and how to keep it in check. What you'll find interesting is how common the approaches taken by most engineers when combating heat are: air, water, phase-change refridgerants and so on. Looks like on the computer side of things we are just working our way up an ever more expensive cooling technology tree - and even die-shrinks and lower clockspeed multi-cored CPUs might not save us.

    Nomadd

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    In the most simple terms, electricity flows faster with less resistance at low temperatures
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stoo
    In the most simple terms, electricity flows faster with less resistance at low temperatures
    But that's not what causes the problems is it?
    I don't mean to sound cold, or cruel, or vicious, but I am so that's the way it comes out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mblaster
    But that's not what causes the problems is it?
    Reverse the interprestation.. thus, hot = not good, causes more resistance, slows electricity flow, causes problems..
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    oh, i thought it had to do with something more complicated than that...
    I don't mean to sound cold, or cruel, or vicious, but I am so that's the way it comes out.

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    "Stuff up" can mean two things here. It can mean "make the system unstable" or "make a device fail."

    Electrical resistance due to heat, electrical migration (which I know naff all about) etc all cause stability problems (hence why you need to keep an overclocked CPU at a reasonable temperature.)

    Heat will also cause expansion and contraction of components. This can, over time, break things, which is why sensitive mechanical devices such as hard drives like to be cool where possible.
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