Types of computer fans
Computers are equipped with different cooling systems that spread the excess heat generated by the components, the main systems including CPU fans, computer case fans and hard drive fans. The most common sizes of these square shaped devices are 60 mm, 80 mm, 92 mm and 120 mm.
A processor uses a lot of energy while running, and as a result it emits large amount of heat generated by the operational components. The generated heat must be dissipated immediately so that components remain cool and in order to avoid any damage or complete collapse of the system. The cooling fan removes the heat which accumulates as a result of prolonged use and ensures that the temperature levels are stable by ejecting the hot air out and drawing cool air to the heated components. A high quality cooling fan can control the risk of overheating by maintaining normal heat level while the machine is running and allows the user to work comfortably with the computer system.
The fan works in combination with metal devices called radiators. These devices help the cooling process by absorbing the heat from the active element in their aluminum construction and then dissipate it. The cooling fan, attached to the radiator, expels the heat from it and inserts cooler air through the holes of the radiator.
Most computers use multi-speed CPU fans that monitor the temperature of the motherboard, the CPUs and the video-cards. As these components become hotter, the fan rotates faster, thus dissipating the hot air away from the radiator ensuring that the components remain cool and in an optimal operating condition.
CPU cooling fans alone cannot dissipate the hot air from the components, especially if a large amount of heat is released during extended operation. Computer case fans are also useful for cooling the elements, providing fresh air circulation in the case. Depending on how your computer case is designed, this type of devices can take the hot air out and absorb the cool air inside, or both.
Computer case fans
If the computer has only one fan, it is most often located in the rear part of the case and helps to take the hot air out. Also, a common configuration is when there is a fan on the front panel of the case (as there is usually more space in this area) which draws in cool air from the outside, and when this air passes through the heated elements and gets warm, it is taken out by the rear fan. Sometimes there may be a third cooling device of this type, which is located on the top or at the side in order to draw in cool air in direct proximity with the CPU. These devices are easily visible and therefore they are produced in various modifications. They also have air filters that don’t allow dust to get in the computer case.
Hard drive cooling fans
Hard drives do not generate as much heat as CPUs or video-cards, and depending on the system’s configuration they consume about 10 or 12 watts while functioning and about 7 watts when they don’t operate. Most of the heat in the hard drive is caused by friction as the heads have to move forward and backward, which may cause damage. It is good for your computer to have a special fan for the hard drive that allows adequate cooling, as overheating can lead to a breakdown in the most delicate parts in the electronics of the hard drive or cause the formation of bad sectors.
An alternative way to maintain the temperature required for computers that work excessively with their hard-drives, are hard drive coolers. The use of such coolers strengthens the stability and sustainability of the system, keeping it in optimum condition and able to operate effectively with the vital hard-drive information. Hard-drive coolers can be active or passive. Active cooling means directing the cooler air onto the hard drive and passive coolers (e.g. radiators) are scattered in different places and provide cooling to a larger area. These devices can be placed in an outer case, connected with the motherboard.
Keep your computer fans efficient.
You should periodically clean the cooling fans of your computer so that it can work efficiently. Dust accumulation can slow down the operation of these devices, and even block them. Use a brush to clean the cooling devices thoroughly. Another trick to maintain optimum performance of your computer fans and thus prolong the life of your computer is to put the processor in a place where there is enough fresh air as hot air inside the case must be replaced by cooler air. Avoid obstructing the back of the CPU by placing it against a wall, as this can affect the work of the cooling fan. By following these tips and with a little ingenuity you can achieve amazing durability and efficiency of your computer configuration.
Author: Yancho Yanev