When it comes to PC gaming, one of the biggest tests is keeping things cool. You can have all the power in the world packed into your case, but it’s useless without cooling. More power often means more heat thanks to that big physics jolt, and many builds bottleneck due to temperatures rather than capabilities. This is why we see overclockers doing crazy things like dropping their CPUs in liquid nitrogen or using about 8 lbs (almost 4 kg) of solid copper.
Copper is an amazingly conductive material, great for cooling, but it’s also hideously expensive. This is why I was in no way prepared to see a honking tower of solid copper sitting comfortably on top of an enthusiast’s CPU. The awe-inspiring but wallet-crushing image was posted to Reddit by This Desktop User (opens in new tab) and also shared by Fanless Tech on Twitter (opens in new tab).
Unsurprisingly, this mass of incredibly thermally conductive metal does a pretty good job of keeping the CPU cool. This sits on an i9 chip, which is known to turn up the heat. Apparently the setup maintains an idle temperature of 95° Fahrenheit (35°C) and only reaches about 176° Fahrenheit (80°C) max. I like to keep my situation cooler than that and use an AIO (opens in new tab)but it does better than what fans alone could manage on my pc with an older i7.
Despite the effectiveness this incredible copper phallus provides, it’s unlikely we’ll see this app reach the mainstream, no matter how much I’d like it to. You could add flowers to make it look like a cool lighthouse or rocket or something. With a little artistic flair it could go from a big annoying block to something aesthetic.
But then again, copper isn’t exactly cheap in such large quantities. Since it’s an excellent heat conductor, it’s not uncommon to see it used in computer builds, just in much smaller amounts. These IHS copper cap parts (opens in new tab) is a great example of this for the keen DIY enthusiast.
And copper isn’t just used by those who want to cool their CPUs. One modder used some copper and thermal paste to bring his card temperatures down from over 100C to 60 (opens in new tab). Thanks to the amount of copper used, this is a much cheaper endeavor than a huge tower on your CPU.
Speaking of size, we learn to make copper extremely thin (opens in new tab), which could be great for the future of chips. Gold is another metal that is used extensively thanks to its conductive properties, and thin copper could eventually replace it. Anything we can do to reduce costs and reduce rare mineral mining will be great for PC gamers. Plus, we’ve got plenty of great recommendations for keeping your PC cool, even if you don’t have access to a copper perimeter.