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Keep Your Mac's Processor Cool With an Apple Heatsink

Apple produces laptop and desktop computers that use Apples own operating system known as macOS. The heatsink on your Apple device helps to keep the central processing unit (CPU) cool so that you can browse the web, stay productive at work, and complete many other tasks. Depending on your Apple device, there are different types of heatsinks available.

What types of heatsinks are available?
  • Active heatsink: This design will connect to your computers power supply and will consist of the radiator and fan as a single assembly. Some HSF (heat sink fan) assemblies also use a liquid cooling system with a radiator and tubing to move heat away from the CPU.
  • Passive: This design utilizes a finned radiator to move heat away from your computer's temperature-sensitive parts. This type relies on a steady airflow in your computer such as case fans to pull heat away.
  • Heat spreaders: This type is another passive model, but it is used on RAM cards in your computer.
How do you select a heatsink?
  • Gather device information: Locate the model information of your Apple computer and take note if it is a desktop or laptop computer.
  • Choose a material: The two most common materials used in this part are aluminum and copper. Both of these metals are good heat conductors, so they can move the heat away from the CPU.
  • Select a style: Apple laptop models will utilize an HSF assembly due to the compact nature of a laptop. Desktop models can use an active or passive style.
  • Select a processor type: The speed and type of processor used will determine the style of heatsink needed to keep the processor cool during use.
What is a heatsink?

This component is used to help protect the processor in your computer. CPUs can produce a large amount of heat that can damage the chip. This component works by moving the heat away from the chip to a series of cooled pipes or fins. Sometimes a fan powered by the computer's power supply will be attached to the radiator so the unit can be cooled more quickly.

What are the different parts of a heatsink?
  • Backing plate: This part consists of a metal or plastic unit that attaches to the underside of the motherboard so the heatsink assembly can be mounted over the processor.
  • Fins: A heatsink will have multiple fins that dissipate the heat produced by the process into the air. Copper and aluminum are the most common fins used due to their heat conductivity.
  • Heat pipe: Some heatsinks will use copper piping or tubing filled with liquid coolant to aid in the movement of heat away from the processor.
  • Cooling plate: This plate fits over the processor and has a layer of thermal paste applied to the surface to aid in the heat exchange between the heatsink and processor.