Archive for August 2nd, 2010

CPU Heatsink Fuzz

My PC makes a seasonal migration: to the basement during the summer, to the living room in the winter. Those moves provide an opportunity to vacuum the fuzz out of the fan grilles and heatsinks.

You’d think that, given the trouble caused by blocked air inlets, manufacturers would make it easy to get access to the grilles and trivially easy to remove the fuzz. Not so, alas.

This time, I decided to see what the intake side of the main heatsink looked like. Two screws secure the shell to the circuit board and provide clamping pressure on the CPU heat spreader. The heatsink is a massive affair with liquid-filled heat pipes; I’ve never taken it out before because removing the screws exposes the CPU heat spreader, where you do not want to get fuzz.

Heatsink fuzz

Heatsink fuzz


A bit of work with the vacuum and a brush greatly improved the situation. I think I kept the fuzz out of the heatsink-to-CPU joint, but there’s really no way to know because, as nearly as I can tell, Dell didn’t include any of the CPU temperature readouts on this system board.

Memo to Self: Gotta do that more often …