Definition of heatsink and its function

This time I will discuss about the definition of heatsink and its function. Heatsink is a metal with a special design made of aluminum or copper (can be a combination of the two materials) which serves to expand the heat transfer from a processor. A cpu component that is used to absorb heat. Usually made of aluminum, usually combined with the use of a fan on the heatsink to optimize heat absorption, namely by draining heat from the heatsink to the outside of the CPU, this will improve computer work performance.

Definition of heatsink and its function

Heatsink Function

The main function of the heatsink is to control or cool the temperature of the components of a computer or laptop that perform strenuous activities that generate a lot of heat energy. Maintaining the temperature of the CPU and VGA components is the main task of using the heatsink. Both of these components are very important to maintain the temperature to ensure the programs installed on our computers or laptops can work according to the optimal capacity of these components.

In addition to cooling important components in computers and laptops, this heatsink also plays a role in the operation of our devices so that they can run. If the CPU is too hot due to the bad condition of the heatsink, then let alone we can improve the performance of installed programs, we will not even be able to start our computers or laptops because in general computers and laptops have been given a security code in the BIOS system. it to detect anomalies on our device. One of the important things that is used as an indicator of system security is the CPU temperature.

If the CPU temperature on our computer or laptop is too high, the device will auto shutdown to ensure that there is no damage to the components. If you find that your computer or laptop often restarts by itself, you should be suspicious whether the existing heatsink has decreased performance. If this happens too often, it is recommended to replace the heatsink so that your computer or laptop components are safe.

The next heatsink function is still related to the previous functions, which is to help prevent data corruption. If you are working on something using a computer or laptop and it turns out that your CPU temperature is too high, then your device will auto restart or maybe auto shutdown.

If this happens and you have not had time to save your work, it will potentially damage your work data. Thus the function of this heatsink is very vital to maintain the performance of our computers and laptops. But in general the condition of the heatsink is still quite good for up to 3 years of normal use.

How Heatsinks Work

The way heatsinks work is divided into 2 types, namely active heatsinks and passive heatsinks. Maybe you guys can guess about what an active heatsink and a passive heatsink are. However, in order not to be misunderstood by interpreting it yourself, and to enrich knowledge in the computer world, let’s look at the following description.

Heatsink basically works by transferring heat from certain computer components such as CPU and VGA into the air. With the release of heat from these components, the performance will be optimal. This heat transfer process applies the principles of physical science, where heat can be transferred in 3 ways: convection, radiation, and conduction. Heatsinks work by combining conduction and convection methods.

Generally the heatsink is a series of components consisting of metal and a fan. Metals are used because they have high thermal conductivity. It is through this metal that the heat in the CPU and VGA is transferred to the metal by the conduction method. Then the heat in the metal heatsink is discharged into the air using a heatsink fan. Or it can also be transferred to a cold liquid if the medium used by the heatsink is liquid.

If you assemble a computer, you will easily identify this heatsink on the CPU and VGA. VGA is usually attached to so many metals. The higher your VGA capability, the metals attached to it will look more manly and terrifying. This is because the heat generated is large enough for processing high quality graphics. At first glance, if you look at the heatsink on the VGA on the market, which is dedicated to gamers, it has an extraordinary number of heatsinks.

In addition to these metals, VGA heatsinks are generally also equipped with fans that are attached directly to the heatsink. This fan heatsink is referred to as a passive heatsink. Called passive because the fan on this type of heatsink is directly connected to the iron heatsink circuit.

Unlike the heatsink on the VGA, the heatsink on the CPU does not have a fan that is directly integrated with the CPU. If you open the CPU from your computer, you will find the CPU under the heatsink complete with the fan. If you open the heatsink you will find your CPU is protected by paste. This paste is also a heatsink medium, which includes liquid media. The heat generated from the CPU will be transferred to the CPU paste and then forwarded to the metal heatsink on top.

The fan integrated with the metal heatsink will also help cool through the principle of air convection. Heatsinks such as those on the CPU are referred to as active heatsinks because the fan in the heatsink component circuit is not directly integrated into the device being cooled, namely the CPU. In addition, unlike the heatsink on VGA, the heatsink on this CPU has a fan that gets power from the motherboard connection or is said to not get power through the CPU.


  1. Silver or silver and gold have the highest conductivity level but at a very expensive price it is not possible for manufacturers to manufacture and market refrigeration products with this basic material.
  2. Copper or copper has the 2nd highest conductivity so the heat absorption is also good. Copper has the property of absorbing heat quickly but cannot release heat quickly so that heat can build up in one place. In addition, the disadvantages that accompany it are having a greater weight than aluminum, an expensive price, and a complicated production process.
  3. Aluminum has a conductivity level below copper so that its absorption is less than perfect, but has an inverse ability with copper, which has the ability to release or decompose heat well, but aluminum is not good at absorbing heat and has a lower price with light weight.
  4. The combination of the two materials is a very good combination. On the one hand, copper can absorb heat quickly and on the other hand aluminum can release heat that is absorbed by copper. This combination is used by heatsink manufacturers to produce their heatsink products with a combination of these 2 cooling materials.

Thus the definition of a heatsink and its function, may be useful.