Definition

softcooling (software cooling)

Part of the Desktop PCs glossary:

What is softcooling (software cooling)?

Softcooling is a software-based method of computer component cooling, conducted either by adjusting component settings or by using softcooling products. The practice reduces system heat by decreasing the power used by the CPU, graphics card and motherboard when the computer is idle or under light use.

Softcooling typically reduces component power consumption by one or a combination of three methods:

  • Undervolting: setting the processor core voltage lower than the default value specified by the manufacturer.
  • Underclocking: setting the processor speed lower than that specified by the manufacturer. (This is the opposite of overclocking.)
  • Controlling halt instructions: turning off inactive components or putting them in standby mode.

A home user might use softcooling to improve hardware function. For example, undervolting a laptop can keep it cooler and extend battery life. In a data center, softcooling can reduce power costs and help control ambient temperature. The practice can also save hardware and maintenance costs: Computer parts that overheat usually have a shorter life span and may not work reliably. Network administrators can install softcooling software on both servers and desktops. As a rule, the end user should not be aware of any reduction in computing power.


Learn More About IT:
Silentpcreview.com provides a tutorial on underclocking and undervolting.
Wikipedia has an entry about underclocking.
NordicHardware explains undervolting a laptop.

This was last updated in March 2011
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

  • modular PC

    - A modular PC is a computer that has individually-housed components, which are interconnected but separately removable for service or upgrading. The format means that users can replace most compone... (WhatIs.com)

  • LISA

    - LISA (Local Integrated System Architecture) was Apple's first personal computer and GUI -based operating system. When it was released in 1983, the LISA OS was heralded by BYTE as "the most importan... (WhatIs.com)

  • Microsoft Windows Update

    - Microsoft Windows Update is a free Microsoft tool that installs security updates on machines. (SearchWindowsServer.com)

Glossaries

  • Desktop PCs

    - Terms related to PCs, including definitions about desktop computers and words and phrases about computer components.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question About softcooling (software cooling)Powered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.