Copper or Aluminum Heatsink: Which Is Better?
A heatsink is a specially made component that transfers the heat generated by electrical devices or circuits through the air. For instance, it handles the dispersal of heat emitted by your computer. As a result, this leads to your machine operating at an optimum level without you having to shut it down constantly. You can also use a heatsink for your CPU, GPU, or other electrical components in your possession.
People use Heatsinks primarily made of copper or aluminum based on the company producing them. However, you can find both of them easily in the market. Nonetheless, it is up to consumers to purchase them as per their budget.
Why Are Heatsinks Important?
As we all know, electronic devices can generate vast amounts of heat, especially if a person is constantly using them. As a result, you will have to find something to help cool them down. This is where heatsinks come into play. In most cases, aluminum heatsinks are more popular among consumers than copper heatsinks. Visit this page for heatsink aluminum profiles.
However, some still prefer the copper versions because of their capability to offer better heat conductivity. As a result, this often begs the question, ‘If copper provides better heat conductivity, then why do people use aluminum heatsinks far more often?’
To get the correct answer, we will have to look at some factors affecting how copper and aluminum are produced and used. So, let us compare:
Copper vs. Aluminum Heatsinks
As stated earlier, copper is more conductive than aluminum. When you check the figures, you will find that aluminum only has around 60% of the thermal conductivity of copper, which gives it a win in the conductivity column.
When you compare the weight of these two metals, you will discover that aluminum only has approximately 30% of the density of copper.
This means that you can make significant savings on weight with aluminum if you need to do so. Therefore, in terms of weight, the point goes to aluminum.
For those familiar with some of the applications of copper and aluminum, you are most likely already aware that aluminum is usually the cheaper option among the two. This means that users can make significant cash savings by purchasing aluminum heatsinks.
The average price per metric ton of copper and aluminum back in 2018 was about $2,463.00 and $6,939.00, respectively.
However, these prices have fluctuated over the years since then, but aluminum has, in most cases, remained much more affordable. So, in terms of cost, aluminum takes the win against copper.
Which Is Better?
The above comparisons show that cost and weight savings are why aluminum heatsinks are so popular among users. Nonetheless, copper heatsinks still have their rightful place in the market. In most cases, they are used when higher heat conductivity outweighs the possible weight savings that one can enjoy by purchasing an aluminum heatsink.
Another reason many users consider aluminum heatsinks better than their copper counterparts is the extrusion process that aluminum undergoes. This process is used to create an affordable aluminum alloy, which means the end-buyer can also make significant cash savings.
Other processes, such as die casting, and CNC machining, also mean that aluminum heatsinks can be produced using more complex geometrics, making them more versatile for consumers.
As you can tell from all the information provided above, there are numerous reasons why people choose to invest in aluminum heatsinks. However, this does not necessarily mean that copper heatsinks are entirely out of the picture.
The truth is that copper heatsinks are readily available in the market, and if you see one you want, there is no reason why you should not get it. In most cases, it will serve you almost the same way as an aluminum heatsink, with the added advantage being better conductivity. This is particularly important if you know that your device generates high heat levels.
However, if you are keen on making cost and weight savings, there is no option but to go with the aluminum heatsink. The key is knowing whether or not you need a heatsink in the first place.
In most cases, the clearest indicator that you do is when you realize that your computer requires better or more efficient heat control tools. In such a situation, you must take the appropriate steps to avoid your device giving out, placing you in a position where you can lose all your essential data.