For years, hardcore enthusiasts have looked at thermoelectric cooling as an option when it comes to keeping the processor cool. For those new to the overclocking arena, this type of cooling system is also referred to as a peltier cooler.
To try to keep things simple, the way that it works is something like this…
When two metallic materials that are dissimilar are connected and have an electrical current flow through them, it produces the effect that the peltier cooler is known for. It causes one side to become hot and the other side to become cold. When this cold side is placed against a processor core, it helps keep the processor cool. A standard heatsink and fan setup can then be placed on the hot side to help dissipate the heat created by the peltier unit.
Of course, since we are talking about a small scale product that is made to cool a very small processor core, the amount of cooling can be rather limited. This limit is measured in watts, or the wattage of heat created that it can effectively dissipate. The higher the wattage of the peltier unit, the more heat that it can get rid of.
If the heat being emitted by the processor exceeds the rating of the peltier unit, then we will see a rapid rise in the temperature of the processor core. Since we're not talking about a fan doing the actual cooling, we see that the rise in temperature as a bit more dramatic than normal.
Of course, one of the primary drawbacks to the peltier cooling system is the fact that when a peltier unit goes bad, it usually does so immediately without any sort of a warning. This has been the cause of more than one processor finding itself burned up. But with the lower powered units, it isn't much an issue.
So now that we have a general idea as to the working of thermoelectric cooling, lets start delving into this new alternative cooler from Thermaltake!