Nowadays, most computers use a two-step process to cool the CPU (and/or GPU). First, a heat-exchanging thermal paste on the processor draws the heat away from it, then a combination of the heatsink and fans disperses the heat away from the processor. However, how do you feel about this more novel idea of combining those two steps into one? Should this piqué your interest, then you’ll be happy to hear about this spinning cooler that doesn’t just get the job done with fewer parts, but also provides something more valuable in terms of efficiency.
The Sandia Cooler, developed by the Sandia National Laboratories, doesn’t attach directly to the CPU using thermal paste—you know, since it’s always going to be spinning. The device actually sits only one-thousandth-of-an-inch above the central processing unit, which creates an air bearing (with the air behaving more like a fluid than a gas) that’s just as efficient at transmitting heat. As the heat moves away from the CPU to the Sandia Cooler, it’s almost immediately blasted away from the processor, thanks to a series of fins that spin at 2,000 rpm. As a result, Sandia claims that their device is at least 30 times more efficient at cooling a processor than the traditional heatsink + fan method. Sandia also states that the Cooler is much more quieter and that the blades spin so fast that it would never, ever collect dust. So, for all you tinkerers who love to overclock your computers to get the most horsepower you can out of them, you’ll be able to do so safely while keeping it clean at the same time.