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15 August, 2007

Cooler than I thought

According to the BBC, fan-based computer cooling is limited by air-flow problems.

As the spinning blades waft air over a chip, the molecules nearest to the chip can get stuck and remain stationary, hindering the cooling effect.

When I read that, I thought it'd be so marginal as to be barely worth mentioning; a theoretical limitation with negligible real-world effect. Yet what the BBC calls a 'wind engine', in which ions are dragged across the surface of a component thereby ensuring constant air movement, apparently increased the cooling rate from a conventional fan by up to 250%.

Okay, that's worthwhile.

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