OTish :D Colors of Cases for Fedora was: Re: Open Letter

Robert Myers rbmyersusa at gmail.com
Thu Aug 12 14:30:13 UTC 2010

On Thu, Aug 12, 2010 at 3:30 AM, Tim <ignored_mailbox at yahoo.com.au> wrote:
> On Thu, 2010-08-12 at 01:32 -0400, Robert Myers wrote:
>> A black object will more readily exchange heat by radiation with its
>> surroundings than a white object.  If your computer case is hotter
>> than other objects it is receiving radiation from, a black case will
>> radiate more effectively, just as it will absorb more effectively if
>> the surrounding objects are hotter.  A green object will be somewhere
>> in between.
> I'd be quite surprised if this were very noticeable.  Considering the
> usual shiny black computer case, versus an optimal black body radiator.
> As someone who lives in a hot country, where it can easily reach 50
> degrees in my workroom, though it's more common to be in the 40s, in
> summer (Celsius).  I can't say that I've noticed any significant
> temperature difference when I've handled the white- or black-cased
> computers.  It's much more likely for the case to absorb the ambient
> heat, than help to cool the PC down.  But I can certainly tell a big
> difference if I touch one that's had the sun hitting it.
> At any rate, it's unusual to use the case as the heatsink, unless you're
> buying one of those expensive silent PCs.  It's the fans that do the
> heat dissipation.
> I can't help but think that this thread, long ago, descended into
> theoretical absurdity.  ;-)

For computers, the color of the case is probably not an important
consideration with respect to thermal management.  For spacecraft and
even for the roof of a house, it is.  For the understanding of
physics, labeling something so fundamental as Kirchoff's Law as a
"theoretical absurdity" is unhelpful.


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