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When Heatpipes FAIL.... - When Heatpipes FAIL....
Sun Aug 08, 2010 | 12:33A| PermaLink

The picture below is of a heatpipe that failed when too much heat was applied, causing the slender copper cylinder to burst wide open. Yikes!

In the real world, a computer processor would catastrophically fail or power itself down to prevent its own demise. There is little chance a heatsink would ever reach 300°C, and stay at 300°C for several hours causing the heatpipes to burst like little copper firecrackers.

Fan failures are common, but modern processors are smart enough to shut down when temperatures exceed set safety values. There is another even more insidious gremlin in the works of most computers however - dust. If you don't clean your CPU heatsink every now and then, enough dust will eventually build up to block the fins of heatsink and prevent sufficient airflow from cooling the heatsink off even though the fan's still running.

Anyway, to get to the point, have an interesting article written on the topic of Heat Pipe Reliability in High-Power Electronics. The author brings up three very crucial questions that are never dealt with by CPU heatsink manufacturers.

  • Do heatpipes leak over long periods of time?
  • Will heat pipes continue to operate at their limits for years?
  • What are the limits of heatpipes?
  • Frostytech would add:

  • 1) Are exposed base heatpipes so thin they're apt to rupture?
  • 2) What happens when heatpipe wicks are damaged during manufacture (flex/bending)?
  • 3) At what temperature does the heatpipe dry out?
  • 4) How does the heatpipe-aluminum fin joint hold up over many hundreds of heat/cool cycles?
  • Food for thought. Feedback welcome here.


    OCZ DDR3 PC3-12800 Intel XMP LV memory - OCZ DDR3 PC3-12800 Intel XMP LV memory
    Thu Dec 24, 2009 | 9:02A| PermaLink
    "The bright side is the modules ability to run tight timings at their stock frequency. After spending a few hours with them, making sure sure I got the most out of every setting while keeping them fully stable, I was able to drop them to 7-7-7-18."

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