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Computer Cooling Hardware

PC cooling systems are one of the hottest - and coolest - computer hardware accessories avaliable. Most computers, however, still do not come with a cooling system more advanced than the typical heat sink and cpu fan. Some computers, however, are being sold with liquid cooling systems, such as the Apple G5 Power Mac. The dual processors undoubtedly put out a great deal of excess heat that a simple copper heat sink and fan alone can not properly dissipate. Intel is also getting into the new cooling trend, claiming that it's newest processors (of the Pentium 4 line) are approximately 20 degrees hotter than any chip currently produced by AMD (Advanced Micro Devices).

Although these new processors all but absolutely require high-end cooling systems, it may not be a bad idea to add an additional cooling system to your 1-3 year old system. Your heatsink and fan can probably handle the heat, but the additional cooling can't hurt. Here are some popular options if you are looking to add a new cooling system to your computer:

- Water cooling system. Several companies currently offer both external and internal liquid systems that can efficiently cool a wide range of processors, whether you have a P4, or a late AMD processor such as the K7 or K8. Some come with a nifty control panel that shows the processor temperature and speed of the fan.

- Memory cooling system. CPU's are not the only hardware component that becomes dangerously hot during prolonged computer usage. Your memory cards can also produce a large amount of heat. To combat this, there are memory heat spreaders avaliable to dissipate RAM heat. The aluminum bars attach to the RAM module, providing an outlet for the heat - working much like a CPU heatsink.

- Heavy-duty fan system. Fans are not at all out of the cooling picture. Replacing the ordinary manufactures fan with a custom model can be beneficial to your CPU's performance. There are many new fan-type cooling systems avaliable, including some that blow air powerfully around the heat sink, much a like a miniture jet engine.

There are quite a lot of options when it comes to properly cooling your PC. The process of setting up just the right cooling system for you can be fun and rewarding. Chances are fairly good that if your computer is less than 3 years old, it could benefit immensly from improved cooling and ventilation.

Looking to buy cooling equiptment? Try these companies (Thermaltake, Coolermaster, Zalman, Swiftech)

Bradley James is a senior editor at, a website containing many helpful consumer electronics review articles. For more information on computer cooling technology, please visit our Computer Cooling Systems webpage.

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