A+ Computer Cooling

Class Notes:

Is Cooling Important?

  • Cooling is most important for servers, gaming systems and any computers that will be running hard for significant amounts of time.
  • CPU’s, GPU’s and other components will automatically turn off computer if they get too hot
  • Heat can cause weird issues such as freezing, random shutdowns, and things like the mouse pointer jumping around the screen.

Spec’ing Your System

  • Make sure you use hardware that’s appropriate for the use case.  You don’t need a 1080ti on a computer used for email.


  • Systems can only cool to ambient temperature.  If the room is 90 degrees it will be more difficult to keep the PC cool.
  • Don’t put the computer in a closed cabinet without cooling
  • Don’t put servers in closed closets without ventilation

Airflow in cases

  • Make sure the case is built with good airflow
  • “Cool” looking cases may compromise airflow

Heat Sinks

  • Stock heatsinks are generally fine
  • If overclocking you may want an upgraded heat sink and fan
  • Think about fanless heat sinks for servers and always on appliances

Liquid Cooling

  • Liquid cooling is generally only needed for gaming.
  • Make sure the case is built to handle liquid cooling
  • Liquid cooling adds another point of failure


  1. I feel like the overclocking that some gamers do is a weird practice as it jeopardizes the lifespan of computer components. Its hard to believe that overclocking creates that much more of a competitive edge or enhances the gaming experience that much. And then it creates a pain in the ass in terms of cooling the system properly. All current games should be able to run just fine on top of the line equipment making overclocking a fairly unnecessary procedure in the gaming community.

    • I think most gamers do it to feel like they’re doing something. It’s the old Betty Crocker thing. Back in the 50’s Betty Crocker came out with cake mixes that only required water. The weird thing was that housewives didn’t like them because they didn’t feel like they were actually cooking so Betty Crocker removed ingredients so now you have to add eggs and oil. By adding steps it made people feel like they were doing something even though the finished product was the same…

      As to cooling gaming systems though that is a real issue. Even using stock speeds you’re pushing your rig for hours on end. For me it would be the equivalent of having an encoding computer that I set to encode for up to 8 hours a day EVERY day. 30 minutes ion encoding here, and 30 there is no big deal. Constantly pushing the system for a full work day is a different story. (Just remember… it may be questionable about how gamers decide to allocate their time, BUT… lazy is not the correct word. I literally couldn’t game as much as they do even if I was paid.)

  2. This segment also reminded me for some reason of the fact that the internet gaming cafes that offered use of modern gaming computers for an hourly fee have disappeared from my area. It crossed my mind that maintaining such computers under often abusive use by customers made no sense in terms of trying to maintain profitability. The repair cost alone was probably enough to prevent the business from sustaining profits. Not to mention the malware threat of having random people come in and utilize sensitive equipment. And finally, there is the cost of keeping all the hardware and software up to date.

Leave a Reply