A heat sink is a passive heat exchanger added to computers and other heat-producing electronics to assist in cooling components. Heat sinks range from small and simple finned metal cubes attached to low-temperature components (such as embedded processors) to large tower-like structures with integrated fans attached to high-temperature components (multi-core CPUs and GPU chips).
Problems with heat sinks, including poor adhesion/contact with the chip, dust in the fins, and fan malfunction are all common causes of computer failure. To avoid and resolve such heat-related problems, check out the following How-To Geek articles:
- By Jason Fitzpatrick on 02/17/13