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Aluminum Cold vs. Copper Hot

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Epox

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May 12, 2003
Location
Ohio
The purpose of this thread is to get information on exactly what people are intendng to do when they watercool. What their goal is. (beisdes a high overclock).

From what I understand, Aluminum is good at getting cold and staying cold.

From what I also understant, Copper is good at getting hot and staying hot.

but not vice-versa for either of them.

So my question to you guys is, do you think of watercooling as a way of 1) removing heat from your processor or 2) chilling your processor off, making it cold?

Why where the first heatsinks, and most stock heatsinks, Aluminum rather than copper?
 

D $hady

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Feb 11, 2003
Location
/home/USA/NH
I think with most standard water cooling the purpose is to remove heat from the processor to get as close to ambient temperature as possible -- #1 (at least that's my goal).

As for the aluminum vs. copper thing, Aluminum is cheaper and easier to machine (I think). I think copper has a better ability to absorb heat but aluminum can get rid of heat quicker (kinda what you said; maybe not the correct physics description though). This is the reason why cheaper heatsinks will have a copper core and aluminum fins.

Hopefully someone else can explain this a bit more neatly and correct any mistakes...

-- Dave

EDIT: I'm new to these forums myself but WELCOME TO THE FORUMS!
 

Mark Larson

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Assembled in Malaysia
You're looking at it the wrong way - heat only flows from hotter objects to colder ones. So as long as you manage to keep the heatsink colder than the processor, heat WILL flow from the die to the sink.

And there's no such thing as "getting hot and staying hot". Frankly that doesn't make any sense whatsoever.

Most heatsinks were/are aluminum because Aluminum is cheaper and still conducts some heat, not because of anything else.
 
OP
E

Epox

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yeah, that was a real friendly response there "Mark Larson" - thanks for your optimistic insight...

*rolls eyes*
 

Mark Larson

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Assembled in Malaysia
Epox said:
yeah, that was a real friendly response there "Mark Larson" - thanks for your optimistic insight...

*rolls eyes*
I don't understand - was i flaming you? If i wasn't, did my post not contain information relevant to the thread? If it was, did i not try to answer your question?

I don't know what you're looking for - i don't know if i'm "friendly" on the interweb.

If you don't understand my post, you're welcome to ask me questions about it.
 
OP
E

Epox

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Ohio
getting hot and staying hot = holding heat

But you knew that, instead you took it for wat it was literaly written out as and attacked me with the statement...
 

a c i d.f l y

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Apr 1, 2003
Location
Austin, TX, USA
I think he got offended because you merely stated he was wrong without explaining to any level why he was wrong other than it didn't make sense to you.

But I think in general, the basic setup has a copper waterblock with a large alluminum heatsink. Whether or not this is the most efficient is up to debate upon how much heat is being applied... but more importantly, this setup is used because it is the most cost effective. A large copper radiator is relatively, heh, a LOT heavier than a large alluminum one, and also much more expensive.

-Frank
 

Mark Larson

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Assembled in Malaysia
Epox said:
getting hot and staying hot = holding heat

But you knew that, instead you took it for wat it was literaly written out as and attacked me with the statement...
Specific Heat doesn't matter with heatsinks (not as compared to Conductivity) because we want the heatsink to conduct the heat away from the CPU and on to air as quickly as possible.
Why don't you read this: http://www.overclockers.com/articles223/index.asp

EDIT: If something got hot and stayed hot, it would also mean that it will get cold and stay cold with the same effectiveness.
 

JML

Senior Member
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Dec 30, 2000
Location
New Jersey
a c i d.f l y said:
I think he got offended because you merely stated he was wrong without explaining to any level why he was wrong other than it didn't make sense to you.

But I think in general, the basic setup has a copper waterblock with a large alluminum heatsink. Whether or not this is the most efficient is up to debate upon how much heat is being applied... but more importantly, this setup is used because it is the most cost effective. A large copper radiator is relatively, heh, a LOT heavier than a large alluminum one, and also much more expensive.

-Frank

Whaaaaa :confused:

Copper radiators are pretty cheap. Look up "heater cores",. they are used in cars, and are the perfect size for a water cooling set-up, plus they are made of copper and relatively cheap ($25 range). Water blocks are generally made of copper; copper performs a few degrees better than aluminum, and silver will perform hardly any better than copper.
 

asw7576

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Jan 7, 2002
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Jakarta
Mark Larson said:

I don't understand - was i flaming you? If i wasn't, did my post not contain information relevant to the thread? If it was, did i not try to answer your question?

I don't know what you're looking for - i don't know if i'm "friendly" on the interweb.

If you don't understand my post, you're welcome to ask me questions about it.

Hey Epox... Larson is telling the truth: "as long as you manage to keep the heatsink colder than the processor, heat WILL flow from the die to the sink." This is example of Einstein' energy conversion theory.

No need to get mad when someone critized other.... coz critics are free and educative lessons.
 

glass

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Mar 29, 2002
Location
finland.
if you had really something that could get receive energy easier than give it away ('good' at getting hot and _staying_ hot), you could do a fridge that needed no energy to run (also a melted piece of metal).

now think about that for a second.


these have been discussed over and over again on various oc forums.. it's a sad fact that few web reviews add to the whole copper/alu myth legends with their stupid hype up market talk..


just because aluminum gets back to room temperature faster doesnt mean it's better at giving off heat, it just means it can store less energy in the first place. that also means it can be made hotter with less energy.


copper is a better conductor. aluminum is cheaper, easier, and lighter.
 

cw823

Honeybadger Moderator
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Dec 18, 2000
Location
Earth
That response can be taken two ways....most of us would take it one way, some would take it another.

It's nothing to get excited about.

Okay, so some of us are rough around the edges.
 

CrashOveride

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Beijing, China
JML said:
haha Mark Larson is no BillA when it comes to "rough around the edges" ;)

lol i can only imagine what Epox would have though if he replied... but im sure we all HIGHLY appreciate BillA's work (i know i do:D)

Epox, Mark wasnt flaming, just correcting youm its no biggie:D (hope you didnt leave lol)
 

asw7576

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Location
Jakarta
Glass wrote: "just because aluminum gets back to room temperature faster doesnt mean it's better at giving off heat, it just means it can store less energy in the first place. that also means it can be made hotter with less energy".

Very good!!! You've got A+ for physics.
 

lrlucas

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Mar 21, 2003
One other little point of correction. Most heater cores (dare I say ALL) are constructed from brass or aluminum, not copper.;)
 

CrashOveride

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Location
Beijing, China
lrlucas said:
One other little point of correction. Most heater cores (dare I say ALL) are constructed from brass or aluminum, not copper.;)


well i know most we use are not aluminum because that would react with most (usualy copper) waterblocks...

also, unless the stores are lying most are coper for example this: http://www.dtekcustoms.com/product.asp?0=205&1=226&3=91

and i think most people here who have done work on their heatercores could tell the difference between brass and copper (and obviously alu lol) and will say copper.
 
Last edited:

wormwood

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Sep 7, 2002
Location
Tucson, AZ
My core (67 Camaro) has brass tanks, but the "cooling" part of the core is copper. Brass is a great deal more durrable than copper, and resists oxidation. It makes sense to make the tanks out of brass. The "cooling" part is where it needs to be copper. The tubes that are on most cores (until you dremmel 'em off) are also coper, but I think this was soley to make it easier to solder them on and bend them the correct way durring manufacturing.