HSF

Stands for "Heat Sink and Fan." Nearly all computers have heat sinks, which help keep the CPU cool and prevent it from overheating. But sometimes the heat sink itself can become too hot. This can happen if the CPU is running at full capacity for an extended period of time or if the air surrounding the computer is simply too hot.

Therefore, a fan is often used in combination with the heat sink to keep both the CPU and heat sink at an acceptable temperature. This combination is creatively called a "heat sink and fan," or HSF. The fan moves cool air across the heat sink, pushing hot air away from the computer. Each CPU has a thermometer built in that keeps track of the processor's temperature. If the temperature becomes to hot, the fan or fans near the CPU may speed up to help cool the processor and heat sink.

Updated 2006

Definitions by TechTerms.com

The definition of HSF on this page is an original TechTerms.com definition. If you would like to reference this page or cite this definition, you can use the green citation links above.

The goal of TechTerms.com is to explain computer terminology in a way that is easy to understand. We strive for simplicity and accuracy with every definition we publish. If you have feedback about the HSF definition or would like to suggest a new technical term, please contact us.

Want to learn more tech terms? Subscribe to the daily or weekly newsletter and get featured terms and quizzes delivered to your inbox.

Sign up for the free TechTerms Newsletter

How often would you like to receive an email?

You can unsubscribe or change your frequency setting at any time using the links available in each email.

Questions? Please contact us.