by Mitz Pantic from Tips4pc.com
Is Your Processor Running Too Hot?
If you’ve ever wondered what temperature your processor should be running at, consider the following: computer processors are primarily made of semiconductors, so there’s a fairly narrow temperature range at which they work well. Unlike metal conductors, they require some heat to work correctly—but just like metal conductors, too much heat can destroy them. You need to find just the right balance.
How Semiconductors Use Heat
All home and office electronics use simple metal wires (usually copper) to transmit electricity because many common metals transmit electricity very reliably and some metals (such as copper) are fairly cheap. But your computer processor does more than just transmit electricity, it also does very basic math using just zeroes and ones. To perform that math, your computer processor has to turn electrical connections on and off.
Because metal transmits electricity reliably, your computer would have a very difficult time turning metal electrical connections on and off. But semiconductors are less reliable than metal, that’s why they’re called semiconductors—they only conduct electricity in certain circumstances.
If your computer can control the circumstances in which a semiconductor works, it can turn that semiconductor connection on and off quite easily. Different semiconductors require different circumstances, but the majority of semiconductors in your computer processor are activated or deactivated by heat. The colder they get, the less electricity they transmit; the hotter they get, the more electricity they transmit.
A 1 GHz computer processor is designed to perform 1 billion operations each second by managing the heat of the semiconductors in your computer. When the processor wants to turn a switch on, it heats it up using a bit of spare electricity until it starts transmitting electricity. When the processor wants to turn a switch off, it stops sending spare electricity to it so that it cools down and turns off.
This excerpt appears with permission from Tips4PC.com.