All computers generate heat, especially in areas where high amounts of calculations are done, such as the central processing unit (CPU). This heat is capable of damaging, and even destroying, the CPU unless a cooling unit is added. The cooling unit must be made for the specific CPU socket. Socket A is made by AMD®, and a socket A cooler unit keeps the CPU from overheating and losing all power. While there are many differences in the socket A cooler market, there are common sizes and specs for the units as a whole.
Socket A was made in 1998 by AMD® and was fully replaced in 2004 by other socket types. Its long run and use in many different computer platforms resulted in a variety of socket A cooler units being available for purchase. Just as socket A was made for both high- and low-end computers, the coolers also come in high- and low-end varieties with different cooling values.
The fan is one of the most important aspects of the socket A cooler unit, because it distributes air to the CPU and pulls the heat away from the CPU so the heat will diminish. Socket A coolers tend to have a fan that is 60mm in width and made either from plastic or metal. Higher-end heatsink units are larger, from 80mm to 120mm, because the larger size is quieter and pulls more heat away from the CPU.
Socket A cooler units, like most socket coolers, are made mostly from aluminum. This is because aluminum is cheap and durable against the heat the CPU generates. There is usually a copper slab somewhere on the socket A cooler, either on the top or bottom, because the copper is able to take in and relieve the heat from the CPU, which helps cool the CPU even more. Higher-end models have larger copper slabs.
Heatpipes are included in all socket A coolers to transfer the heat. These pipes are above the fan, and they take the heat from the CPU and push it out of the computer. The more heatpipes on the cooler, the more heat is pushed out at once. The typical number of heatpipes is six, but there may be 10 or 12 on higher-end models.
A special feature of socket A coolers is that most of them have colorful displays and light up with a rainbow of colors to show the cooler is on and working. This display is typically unseen, unless the computer case is transparent. Cheaper models may not include the colorful display, and the display is not indicative of how effective the cooler is.