Introduction: Hot Plate

Picture of Hot Plate

This is a very easy and cool project to do with a dead CPU.

A CPU is a very beautiful piece of a computer that you won’t through away even if it was dead. Among many other things, simply, you can drill a hole in it and use it as your key chain.

This project will show you how to make a hot plate for your Mug from a dead CPU.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Picture of Tools and Materials
1. A dead CPU.

(Ofcourse you can use a working one but it won’t be feasible.)

2. A USB cable

3. A Fan grill with screws.

4. Any box (I used a wooden tie box cover)

5. A rotary Tool (the best tool ever invented)

6. Epoxy

7. A creative artistic mind.


Step 2: The Idea

Picture of The Idea

A CPU will still have some working electronic circuits even if it stopped functioning probably. And this project will use the heat generated by running some Volts in the CPU through a USB cable.

 First things first.

Be Very Careful.

Connecting a malfunctioning CPU to your computer may and will damage your computer’s ports or even worse. If you don’t have enough knowledge and experience in electronics... don’t do it.



Step 3: The Steps

Picture of The Steps

First, prepare the base.

You have to find a thin box or a box cover to use as the base of the plate. I used a tie box cover made of wood because it has the same thickness as my laptop.

Now put the CPU over the base you picked and mark a square to drill with your rotary device. The square must be a little bit bigger than the CPU. The reason behind the bigger hole is to make sure the hot CPU won’t touch the wooden surface of the base. It’s not going to put it into flames, but it will produce a nasty burning smell.

Then, using the fan grill as your ruler, drill four holes in the body of the base and Screw the grill down to it.

Make another hole on one side of the base. That’s where the USB wire is going through.


Step 4: Preparing the Hot Plate

Picture of Preparing the Hot Plate
locate the ground pins in your CPU and that can be done by reviewing the CPU data sheet or simply by the devastating trial and error.

Cut the USB wire and pass it through the hole you made previously in the base.

Strip the USB cable and locate the black and red weirs (black wire = ground, Red wire = +5V). You can cut out the white and green data weirs for more space.

Now connect the black wire to the ground pins and the red wire to voltage pins.

The best way to attach the weirs to the pins of the CPU is to cut the wires without striping them and then slide the pins inside.

Finally, you have to attach the CPU to the grill by Epoxy




smeem made it! (author)2016-11-04

attempted with amd socket am3 phenom 2, 5v meter says .8 amp won't get warm lol wonder if it's not getting enough juice

Pial Biswas (author)2016-06-07

I have a intel pentium 3 processor...
can I do with it? and what should be used as heat plate?

arpitj10 (author)2015-12-17

plese tell me the pinds for intel p4 478 pins

arpitj10 (author)2015-12-17

please tell me the pins to connect on my intel p4 478 pins

arpitj10 (author)2015-12-17

please tell me the pins to connect on my intel p4 478 pins

LarsB3 (author)2015-09-06

This thing WORKS! cool! thanks for the Instructable.

amiir made it! (author)2015-06-08

This is mine.

it has no box yet.

7.2 Volt 1.3A

with USB port do not get hot as much as i need :D

soupaboy (author)2015-02-08

Hi guys. i have been trying this for some time now and cant get anything to heat up.

i am using a intel pentium 4 2.8ghz. could someone point out the +ve pins and the -ve pins for me?

how long should it make to heat up?

marcuspeh99 (author)2014-09-04

Anyone can help me find the voltage and ground pin for intel Celeron 326

TRAXXX (author)2010-06-05

work good at 10v 1A :D hehehehe it s hot

M4industries (author)TRAXXX2010-06-12

0.o How did you get 10v 1a from a standard USB port?

jamster545 (author)M4industries2010-07-11

I think he means he hooked it to a different power supply. That would blow that processor pretty quick, i'd think.

TK175672 (author)jamster5452014-07-07

i have run mine from 30V 2A for about 20 min and it worked fine!

nopalboy (author)M4industries2010-08-12

maybe with 2 usb ports

TK175672 (author)2014-07-07

For those wanting the datasheet: sometimes it is better to search the pin-out of the socket it came from (mine was a socket 7) since (i believe) all CPU's going in socket 7 will have the same pin-out.

kohlait (author)2014-03-19

I have AMD CPU Duron Model3. This is datasheet. I read 47p. where is Voltage pin and GND pin?

Finger44 (author)kohlait2014-05-09

hi kohlait

that type of socket you have for your amd?it will be easier to find the configuration if you have the reference socket

kohlait (author)Finger442014-05-09

I have AMD CPU Product number is D800AUT1B. maybe soket type is socket A. teach me connect wire to pin.Do you have any tips on when to make with a different CPU? THX.

umerji1000 (author)2013-04-12

could someone please help me find the voltage and ground pins on my cpu.
here is the dash sheet:

DragonDon (author)umerji10002013-07-21

Read page 15, then look at page 37.

pclever1 (author)2013-05-12

I just tried this myself and the cpu got up to 96F and was able to melt chocolate. However the cpu clearly states that it runs at 1.525V. I tried it again latter and it want working (I checked the connections). Do you think I fried the cpu?

I used a phone charger for this that runs at 500ma (also 5V).

AgentSplurge (author)2012-12-06

Nice tut!

I found the datasheet for a CPU that I'm looking at on eBay. It states "For clean on-chip power distribution, the Celeron processor on 0.13 micron process has 85 VCC (power) and 181 VSS (ground) input", does that mean I can solder the power wire to any one of these 85 VCC pins, and the ground wire to any one of the 181 VSS pins? Or will mine have a specific one that needs wiring to? Or maybe I'm not undeerstanding the statement correctly?

Also, when done would I be able to plug this into something such as an iPhone charger, I believe they are 5v?

John_Edward (author)2010-11-09

Lets get these things straight.

First, a CPUs SAFE temperature range is, depending of the CPU, between 30 and 55.
The MAXIMUM temperature (exceeding this usually means the computer shuts down forcefully) is between 60 and 100, depending of the CPU.
You do not, under any circumstances, want to run your CPU at those temperatures, as they will get damaged over time.
Source :

Second, the voltages of CPUs vary, a lot.
Old Pentium 1 runs at 5v. my Core 2 Duo runs between 0.85 and 1.5 volts.
So, if you use an old pentium 1 processor, it will work perfectly.
Stick a C2D, and it will fry and you will get very nasty smoke.
Source :

Third, for this project, the USB port will give 5volts at 100mA, as that is the maximum power for a single device.
A smart device, like an external HDD, can REQUEST the computer to give it more power, by asking to take additional places in the USB bus, to the max of 5 devices, or 500mA.
Source :

Fourth, power is always proportional to voltage and current.
At 5v and 100mA, power is 0.5 watts.
A CPU can use over 130watts in normal use, so you will not be getting the +100c temperatures here because of how the heat is released normally.
It is because the transistors and such act as resistors, resisting the 0.5watt power and turning it to (some) heat.

Source(s) : and

Unless you use an older CPU that can handle the 5volts, you will fry your CPU.
So try to find a Pentium 1 or such, do not try this with a C2D :)

schumi23 (author)John_Edward2012-08-09

I would suggest to first try hooking it up to a plain 5volt power source.
Also, I would guess that older CPUs (which you are likly to be using) are much less power efficient and use much less power - so it would probably work.

The ideal for this would be to connect it to anold ATX power supply 5V output (and ther are many guides o, reusing them on here)

archieburden (author)John_Edward2011-12-01

people are saying they have done it with a pentium 1. and you can stop the computer shutting down forefully when it exeeds these temperatures and you can change allmost everything about it in the BIOS (i think)
and dont go so nerd rage ((:D)

jakebaldwin (author)John_Edward2011-01-23

Isn't the point of this to use a CPU that is already trashed? Just wondering....

John_Edward (author)jakebaldwin2011-01-24

Fry it in a wrong way, making it go up in flames.

davelectronic (author)2012-01-16

Do you really want to connect that to a fully functioning pc's usb port, use a power resistor copper plate and tap the 5 volts atx rail, idea.

Computothought (author)2011-11-18

Nice presentation.

I first remember seeing this hack years ago with old amd and p1'schips.
Could not find the oldest article.

what are with all the usb cables?!

ben_k (author)RocketPenguin2011-11-30

USB ports can only supply 500 mA each at 5V, so just one would only be able to generate 2.5 watts of heat, at most, which is not enough to get anything very hot.

RocketPenguin (author)ben_k2011-12-07

i never knew a pc had some many usb ports...

archieburden (author)ben_k2011-12-01

what if you were heating a little peice of metal with a low melting point (no, im not saying that it would melt) what was already warm?

Heisenburg (author)ben_k2011-11-30


Exactmundo, they are all being use for power to heat the cpu(s).

darkclaw42 (author)2010-03-06

 I would be careful. Watch that voltage to that CPU, it could.. explode. The fan would keep it down, but I would'nt know about the green surrounding the CPU (Probably like a frag grenade). Ive only had one 'pop' on me in a project, I overclocked it a little to much... I would just watch how much voltage you would put on it.

Overwise, nice project. Im going to go see if I can scavenge those CPU's I just threw away, I want a hotplate!

Punkguyta (author)darkclaw422010-03-29

 Well considering most cpu's when functioning in a motherboard only ever see 2-3 volts (what were some of the older amds? 1.5-1.7?) I would think 5 volts is excessive and some kind of trimmer pot or resistor would probably help to make your heat pad last longer.

oli1122 (author)Punkguyta2010-03-30

 actually they meet 3-4V 

Punkguyta (author)oli11222010-03-31

 Do they now.

oli1122 (author)Punkguyta2010-03-31

 Yeh they do but its normaly 3v but some PCs like the alienwares can get up to 4v 

Drenlin (author)oli11222010-04-08

Alienwares are no different from any other computer, except for how overpriced they are. Their CPU's aren't any different.

archieburden (author)Drenlin2011-12-01

they are and for what they are they are not overpriced.
HOWEVER macs are overpriced but they offer good function and spped etc but are not worth it

oli1122 (author)archieburden2011-12-01

Well.. mac are definatley much better than windows PC's for example? is your 5 year old PC running the latest windows software perfectly with a 30 second boot time?? because thats what im getting from the 2007 mac book pro im using now and its running Lion 10.7.2, and it can do video editing and graphic intensive tasks... can your pc do that?

oli1122 (author)Drenlin2010-04-09

 i beg to differ 

Redgerr (author)oli11222010-06-28

you sir are wrong... they are the same with an expencive case... your paying for the name not the hardware

oli1122 (author)Redgerr2010-06-28

Well Yes But Ailenwares Tend to have the most powerfull tech at the time

Andrewr05 (author)oli11222010-04-15

please explain.

downgrade (author)darkclaw422010-04-16

 PS Volts and Amps both come into play. 2.5watts for a processor is extremely low, even Mini-ITX CPUs that are aimed at low power consumption would be glad to advertise 2.5watts, although they do get even lower numbers quite often.

However a desktop CPU would probably be at least 10 times what a USB bus will put out to a single device, and when overclocking a CPU the voltage will get close to 4V before it gets into the scary zone.

archieburden (author)2011-12-01

everyone keeps trying to say its wrong but it worked for him so folow it exactley because then it might not work and you cant complain

Heisenburg (author)2011-11-30

Wouldn't the epoxy melt when heated???

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