How Coolers and Heatsinks for LGA 771 Socket J Work

Maintaining adequate, cooling airflow to the inside of your computer is important. Using a cooler that’s compatible with your LGA 771 Socket J can help preserve the life of your CPU, motherboard, and other internal hardware. Find out what a heat sink is and how to use it.

What is a heatsink?

A heat sink is a mechanical device that is placed in electronic products to absorb and dissipate heat. When installed in a computer, it moves hot air away from the important operating parts inside your system. It also helps to cool the motherboard and sockets and helps keep other internal hardware, including graphics cards and CPUs, from overheating.

What are the different types of heatsinks?

There are three types of sinks that use different methods of cooling. You can use multiple sinks in your system. Choose the type that is compatible with the components and space requirements of your system.

  • Passive: Passive heatsinks are similar in appearance to radiators and operate without working fans. Instead, they use conductive material to direct heat. Since they don't have fans, passive sinks are quiet and tend to last longer. With adequate space, they maintain proper CPU cooling.
  • Active: Active sinks use working fans to help dissipate heat and move it out of computers.
  • Liquid: Some heat sinks use liquid cooling. Liquid coolant directs heat away from the processor and transfers it to a radiator where it's cooled by a fan.

Why do computers need heatsinks?

A heat sink is one way to keep your processor operating at an optimal temperature. It works along with the built-in safety catch that helps protect the processor when the computer is in use. A properly functioning CPU cooling fan allows you to run your system for longer periods of time without overheating.

How do you diagnose and correct CPU cooler functionality?

  • Fan: Start by checking the fan. A properly functioning CPU fan and cooler should protect the critical components of your system. Consider your system's specifications and whether switching from a passive sink to a sink and fan will meet your needs.
  • Circulation: Check the external vents for proper circulation. Keeping the outside of your CPU free of dust can help to prolong the life of your heatsink.
  • Seating: Check that the heatsink is seated correctly for optimal functioning. On the LGA 771, the heatsink screws go through the motherboard and connect to the chassis. It's important to match the specifications of the heatsink and fan to the type of socket you use to get the correct fit and proper seating.