View Full Version : A glimpse at next-gen cooling

27-11-06, 07:06
Source: apcmag.com (http://apcmag.com/node/4301)

A glimpse at next-gen cooling (http://apcmag.com/node/4301)

IBM's Zurich Research Lab has announced a technology that it says imitates nature and increases the cooling properties of otherwise regular heatsinks by an impressive twofold.

One of the major challenges with cooling processors is designing effective units that can dissipate the heat, either through convection with heatsinks -- passively or forced with fans -- or through alternatives such as water cooling and thermoelectric Peltier systems.
The other challenge that is equally important is heat transference. This is often overlooked, however, as it's difficult to improve upon with current processor heat-spreader designs. That is, efficiently moving the heat from the metal plate on top of the processor -- the heat-spreader -- over to the heatsink or whatever is cooling said chip, is quite challenging.
This is where IBM says it has a solution.
To encourage this transference, presently we use thermal paste -- or what we elegantly like to call 'goop'. This goop reduces the tiny imperfections of both surfaces to allow for better surface contact and permits slight movements due to expansion and contraction from the heat.
Many people swear by different types of thermal goop, however the performance differences generally come down to a margin of error, but that which still barely changes by a degree Celsius or two. Vegemite and grainless toothpaste would be similarly useful if it weren't for their delicious properties.
This paste is 'smooshed' -- another fine technical term -- between the processor and the cooling unit. It usually involves a business card, patience, and a firm hand to spread just the right amount evenly across the entire surface.
While spreading on the paste, one must be careful not to leave too much on the surface so as to inhibit its heat transference properties, but not too little for it to be of hardly any benefit.
Yes, with all this goop smooshing going on, it is by no means an exact science.
This all changes, according to IBM, with its new design of heat-spreader it lovingly calls 'high thermal conductivity interface technology.' Addressing the transference point where the processor and cooling unit meet, it says the powerful design has taken a page or three from biology.
http://www.apcstart.com/files/images/ibm_htcit_convection_schematic.article-width.png (http://apcmag.com/node/4299)
http://www.apcstart.com/files/images/ibm_htcit_water_schematic.article-width.png (http://apcmag.com/node/4300)
This design consists of a hierarchical structure of channels on the processor, like tree roots, that ensure the goop is much more evenly distributed across the two conjoined surfaces. The end result is a near-perfect connection with a thermal paste thickness of merely 10 micrometres.
This, claims IBM, increases the transference efficiency a fair and reasonable tenfold.
IBM also spoke of a similar, albeit closed-water system comparable "to the human vascular system." It contains 50,000 tiny channels fashioned in a tree-branch hierarchy and can cool a remarkable 370W per square centimetre. This system uses much less power to pump the liquid than existing cooling systems, it says.
Basically, there is a flicker of hope for our oncoming 6000 degree processor overlords.

27-11-06, 09:51
Thanks for that little snippet of things to come Joseph, hopefully it will come with self applicating goop by the time it is released, l am hopelss at small fiddly and potentially messy jobs :cln:

kill bill
27-11-06, 15:48
Will this mean there wont be so much heat coming from are pcs or note books.:D

27-11-06, 16:02
I just found this a peculiar article! :D AND it is interesting for overclockers in the first place! The new Intel Core2duo processor is a very easy overclocker and you should do it to get the full potential! The first limit you reach is when it gets too hot. I have a Zalman CNPS9500 on this E6600 which allows me to have it running @ 3.6 Ghz; but the CPU reaches 80 degrees celsius on full load which is the max allowed for this processor! I don't want watercooling in my PC. A better aircooler would allow me to o'clock even higher, especially with the Corsair TwinX PC8500 i use which is now working far under its potential, but that seems to be an issue on this motherboard ASUS P5W DH Deluxe.

Chug a Bug
28-11-06, 13:20
Interesting article.

I have a Zalman CNPS9500 on this E6600 which allows me to have it running @ 3.6 Ghz; but the CPU reaches 80 degrees celsius on full load which is the max allowed for this processor! I don't want watercooling in my PC.

Thats exactly the same setup as I've got. I havn't overclocked it yet I havn't found a need to! I'm very impressed with the Zalman at normal unclocked speed it's barely ticking over at slightly over 1400 rpm and the CPU is a very cool 30 degrees Celsius.

I actually changed the Northbridge cooler this time as it tends to run HOT I installed a passive Zalman one, the only problem was the old one was stuck down not with a thermal pad but with some kind of cement! It came away with a loud "crack!" and I thought thats it, I've buggered the motherboard. But after I cleaned it up it was ok and the NB cooler runs at about 40 degrees C, not bad the original runs at nearer 60-70. Ouch!

28-11-06, 13:43
Yes the Zalman is awesome! It is much more efficient AND quieter than the stock Intel cooler. :tmb: Very happy with it.

I put it wrongly: 82 degrees is the max allowed for the C2D E6600. So i constantly stay just under the treshold , tested!
I haven't measured the Northbridge temp, how did you do that? :) Which mobo do you have?

Chug a Bug
29-11-06, 19:29
To be honest I have to confess that that was the operating temperature of the NB chipset measured on the reviews of the motherboard that I read online before I bought it, I havn't actually measured it myself. From what I've seen they use some kind of digital thermometer probe. I once put my finger on the heatsink and nearly burnt my finger and that was convincing enough for me.

The motherboard is a Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3 it uses fairly standard NB/SB heatsinks. There is a DS4 model that does have some kind of heatpipe but it not only cost more but more importantly for me it has less PCI slots due to the fact that it has 2 PCI-E slots for SLI or Crossfire expansion: I have 3 old fashioned PCI devices and I need all the slots I can get. :)

29-11-06, 19:40
Ahh...OK. I have the ASUS P5W DH Deluxe, and... the NB is only handwarm! :tmb: :cool:

Chug a Bug
29-11-06, 19:50
I know thats possibly the best of the Core 2 Duo motherboards and I did look at it when I was buying but in addition I was also trying to keep my costs down, the Asus cost about another £50 more than the one I bought although it's still a good one. The NB cooler only cost a few £'s. ;)

30-11-06, 04:45
Yes it is so important to have low environmental temps also. Since summer i have my PC's cases opened at the side, my new PC is open as well. I built it in a Coolermaster Stacker (CM STC-T01), and in there is room for a Coolermaster 'mainboard airflower' (as i call it :p , i have to search for a link) as soon as i have some spare cash i'll buy that. €30,- i think.

Here: my newest PC's Case (http://www.komplett.co.uk/k/ki.asp?sku=303325).
The Cross Flow fan (http://users.edpnet.be/phunc/images/stacker/cmstacker25.jpg) and here also (http://users.edpnet.be/phunc/images/stacker/cmstacker26b.jpg)<--aha, Cross Flow fan it's called! :D

Chug a Bug
02-12-06, 21:43
I have a large 12cm fan at the back and a 60cm and a 90cm at the front. In addition my HDD's have their own twin small cooling fans too as they do have a tendency to run on the warm side. I find that I'm ok with that. :)

02-12-06, 21:46
Yeah that should be enough.

Still, the more the better. The Cross Flow Fan: i bought it! :D Have to build it in yet.

04-12-06, 15:39
It's up and running. At highest setting i clearly hear it, so it's gonna stay nice and cool there! :tmb: :D