Heat sinks: turns out they’re fairly important

By Deane Barker on February 18, 2008

What happens when the CPU cooler is removed?: This is old but interesting. Some guys play Quake 3, and, while playing, they pull the heat sinks off the CPU. One of the CPUs actually appears to melt. I’m curious if there’s a time gap in the video, or if these CPUs really blew that quicky after pulling the sink?

A video from 2001 from Tom’s Hardware. They run quake 3 from different mobo/cpu’s that were very common in that era and then take the cpu cooler (heatsink and/or fan) off. Its actually quite interesting to see which ones survive and which ones burn.



  1. consider those CPUs output around 80 Watts of heat, so take a similar lightbulb, turn it on and check how quickly and how high the temperature will rise. Also consider that the lightbulb has 200 times larger surface available for cooling and still it’s usually 500K while most of the delicate microchips would be permanently damaged at <400K

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