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A brief foray into Peltier Land

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Inactive Moderator
Feb 13, 2001
Twin Cities
While at the local Electronics Surplus store today, I ran across a box of Peltiers. They were the 40mm kind with RTV sealant around the perimeter, but the old fellow who runs the place didn't have any other info on them. The price was right, ($5.00) so I bought one and brought it home. A quick check with my 12V Astron supply confirmed it worked, though it only drew a little over 4A at 12V. I assume that means it is a 50W peltier.
Anyway, I grabbed my 2 inch x 1/4 inch copper cold plate and sandwiched it between my Swiftech MC-462A and the cold plate. I cranked the power supply up to 13.8V and turned on the PC. I know that ideally, you want to cool these things with water, but this was a ggod chance to see how "The Boss" would handle the added wattage. I also know that ideally, you should have a lot more sandwich pressure on the peltier than the 462 applies to the CPU core.
It worked! with my 600 Duron running 1000 at 1.8V, it held it at 4 degrees above my system board temperature at idle. I then kicked in Prime95 torture and the temperature slowly rose up to 10 degrees above system board. At this point, the 462 base was at skin temperature and the pins were cold to the touch. Now, 10 degrees delta is nothing to sneer at, but consider the fact that the 462 by itself holds my Duron at 12 degrees delta running Prime95 torture and it's plain to see that the Peltier, while adequate for low duty cycling, fell short at high duty cycling of the CPU. I put everything back together and reflected upon the $5.00 experiment. It made me want to get a slightly bigger Peltier, but not a lot bigger. It would be nice to hold the Duron to system board temperature but not go a lot below it for reasons of condensation. The 462 sure seemed up for the task. Perhaps I'll pick up a 72W unit or the next size up from that. Maybe something with a 50mm footprint. It was fun taking a walk on the TEC side.

Get yourself a 85W unit (unless "the boss" is that huge mofo swiftech with the 80mm Delta, in which case don't be afraid of a 50x50 118W peltier).