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Thermal Chamber Heatsink Testing Methods - Methodology and Construction

Welcome our new CPU cooling specialist Chris Ram as he learns of a far more accurate way to test heatsink performance.

| Editorials in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Oct 13, 2007 4:00 am

Methodology

 

There are actually two parts of a system that need to be controlled. The processor must have reliable heat output at full, middle and idle loads while the air surrounding the heatsink must also remain a constant temperature. Our new system meets both of these requirements and does so within 1 degree Celsius.

 

Construction (The CPU Die Simulator)

 

 

An AMD Opteron socket 940 processor will donate us its heat spreader for the project.

 

 

The next step is turning this block of copper into a simulated processor.

 

 

Just placing the heat spreader on the block is not going to work.

 

 

Here you can see the processor without the heat spreader. The IHS contacts the processor by the die. This is also where the heat comes from. Along the edges of the HIS a glue is applied which keeps the two in contact and also acts as an insulator.

 

 

The IHS also has a lip on its edges. The CPU die uses a thermal interface material (TIM) to help move heat from Point A to Point B.

 

 

To make the testing go like we want the size of the CPU die must first be carved out of the copper block. Off to the machine shop we go.

 

 

This is our simulated CPU after it was returned from the machine shop. It has been machined exactly to the specifications of the Opteron except the die is a centimeter taller to allow us to match the exact height of an AMD socket AM2 processor.

 

 

In this image you can see how the system is starting to come together. A PCB was used to simulate a motherboard.

 

Further Reading: Read and find more Cases, Cooling & PSU content at our Cases, Cooling & PSU reviews, guides and articles index page.

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