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Could I use motor oil (ie Castrol GTX) in order to cool a pc, instead of mineral oil?

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  • Cooling
  • Overclocking
Last response: in Overclocking
April 2, 2013 3:29:38 AM

Ive been reading about people submerging their pc's in mineral oil for super quiet, super cool looking aquarium pc's with really cool temperatures, and i have an old pc that ide love to give that mineral oil cooling treatment. Only thing i wonder is, mineral oil is hella expensive, and i dont know what the people at the supermarket would think if i bought about 40 bottles of it in one go!

So then i was thinking, what about Motor oil? Sure itll be a darker but surely it would still work? A few litres of Castrol GTX is significantly cheaper then mineral oil, and thats really the only reason i was asking.

Then i could try overclocking the heck out of an old Core 2 Duo :p 

Thanks!

More about : motor oil castrol gtx order cool mineral oil

a c 186 K Overclocking
April 2, 2013 3:37:25 AM

If its an inert, non-conductive substance there's no reason why you couldnt submerge a PC in it. I dont know cars so I dont know the properties of motor oil, so I cant really comment on whether it will work or not.

Go to your local veterinarian for mineral oil, they use it as a... horse laxative... and would have the contacts to buy large amounts on the cheap (compared to supermarket prices).

EDIT:
Also, submersion cooling isnt really intended for overclocking. If your looking for cooling performance, look into custom water-cooling. Oil submersion is more of a show-piece than it is an effective cooling method.
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April 2, 2013 3:41:33 AM

lol... no, motor oil contains small amounts of acetone, detergents, wax, sulpher, antioxidents. it would immediatley degrade all the pcb's and plastic. mineral oil is pure.
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April 2, 2013 3:44:33 AM

Aha, i see, well that answered everything i needed to know, guess ill just have to take the vet alternitive if i go with mineral cooling. Ah well, it was just a thought.

Thanks!
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April 2, 2013 3:49:44 AM

it is a very interesting premise though. youd have no moving parts. just an ssd and a exposed cpu and a fanless gpu and an external psu. well no not even that, these new fanless psu's can be submerged also i beleive. is this how that bulldozer got the world record at 8ghz? or was it water blocked?
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April 2, 2013 3:55:35 AM

ARICH5 said:
it is a very interesting premise though. youd have no moving parts. just an ssd and a exposed cpu and a fanless gpu and an external psu. well no not even that, these new fanless psu's can be submerged also i beleive. is this how that bulldozer got the world record at 8ghz? or was it water blocked?


I beleive the AMD got to 8ghz from using either Liquid Nitrogen or Liquid Helium
Yup, it was Liquid Helium, and it got to 8.43ghz, heres a link for youtube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pm2DtdPW1I4

Also, mineral cooling isnt really new, and most computer parts CAN be submerged, with exception of traditional HDD's and optical drives, i was just wondering why not use motor oil, because i just found this one guy who actually did use motor oil, although it looks rather ghetto, with no reports of it still working, but apparently it kept the pc super duper cool

link:
http://pazhameiri.tripod.com/

but, if its not as pure as Mineral Oil then i guess its a big no no, i dont just want my old pc to run for a few weeks, ide like it to run for a few years! Haha :p 
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a c 186 K Overclocking
April 2, 2013 3:55:40 AM

The FX-8150 hitting 8.429Ghz was achieved with Liquid Helium, and was estimated to be not far off 0° Kelvin (AKA absolute zero, the coldest temperature possible) when they did it. Far from oil cooling im afraid :lol: .
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4770/amd-sets-world-overc...

You would still need fans and heatsinks in an oil submerged machine, because you still need the oil to be moving to pick up heat from the CPU/ GPU, and still some method of removing that heat from the oil.
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a c 186 K Overclocking
April 2, 2013 4:11:54 AM

I love the way that he is reluctant to put water and electronics together, then decides to dunk the whole machine into motor oil :lol: .

This might be a useful link if you havent seen it already, and is pretty much what you can expect if you oil-cool your rig.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwBrCP9B93E

EDIT: Amazingly, motor oil is mentioned in the video :lol: 
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April 2, 2013 4:17:36 AM

manofchalk said:
I love the way that he is reluctant to put water and electronics together, then decides to dunk the whole machine into motor oil :lol: .

This might be a useful link if you havent seen it already, and is pretty much what you can expect if you oil-cool your rig.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwBrCP9B93E

EDIT: Amazingly, motor oil is mentioned in the video :lol: 


Ha, i literelly watched that exact video only an hour ago, which is what sparked my interest for this once again, although he doesnt really go over as why motor oil isnt suitable, but in the link where the guy built his pc, its got a few updates, and at the most recent one, which is about 2 or 3 months after the op, his pc seems to be working fine, and he even overclocked that pentium! I suppose it'de probably be best to just stick with something that is tried and tested, even though i have little use for the old computer anyway, so if it breaks, i wont really mind!

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April 2, 2013 4:38:19 AM

no, overtime the oil will slowly break down the circut board and exposed plastics. not immediatley but over time. oil contains cleaning agents and detergents used in the engine to keep cylinder heads clean and lubricated.
@manofchalk...ya youd still need fans and pumps but all of that will be external.
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April 2, 2013 5:40:59 AM

if your serious, look for a silicon based transformer oil. it is much more stable and enviromentally friendly. you will not have to change it as often, it flows easier, and it doesnt change volume as mcuh with change in tempurature. and it was designed to use in electrical equipment , although much higher energy than a computer.

mineral oil found in supermarkets, is much more expencive then buying bulk. find a bulk dealer and he can probably get you anything.

when i say change, i mean like changing the oil in your car. eventually it will degrade, and there is even bacteria that will grow/eat it. water also likes to disolve into these oils. the less light, water, or air you can get in the oil the less you will have to change it. in a well sealed tank you can go as long as 20 years, or more. in an aquarium, 6 months to a year.
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April 2, 2013 6:12:49 AM

everlost said:
if your serious, look for a silicon based transformer oil. it is much more stable and enviromentally friendly. you will not have to change it as often, it flows easier, and it doesnt change volume as mcuh with change in tempurature. and it was designed to use in electrical equipment , although much higher energy than a computer.

mineral oil found in supermarkets, is much more expencive then buying bulk. find a bulk dealer and he can probably get you anything.

when i say change, i mean like changing the oil in your car. eventually it will degrade, and there is even bacteria that will grow/eat it. water also likes to disolve into these oils. the less light, water, or air you can get in the oil the less you will have to change it. in a well sealed tank you can go as long as 20 years, or more. in an aquarium, 6 months to a year.


Transformer oil eh? Hadn't thought of that! Do you know if its possible to get that in, say an auto store? or do i need to go somewhere more special?

On another note, would just regular Canola Oil work? or is that a no-no? I have seen various people make Vegetable oiled pc's, and heck, if everything breaks, just chuck some chips and battered fish in and have some lunch! Haha :D 

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April 2, 2013 7:46:27 AM

I wonder if ky jelly would work? lol
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April 2, 2013 8:01:03 AM

Quote:
Transformer oil eh? Hadn't thought of that! Do you know if its possible to get that in, say an auto store? or do i need to go somewhere more special?

not an auto store, you would have to find a bulk oil dealer, or your local utility. of all options it will be the most expencive, but least mainenance.

Quote:
On another note, would just regular Canola Oil work? or is that a no-no? I have seen various people make Vegetable oiled pc's, and heck, if everything breaks, just chuck some chips and battered fish in and have some lunch!


technically it would work. but it is a food product, and it will "rot" or become a bacterial, fungal, moldy petri dish. all are bad for your parts.

someone above mentioned you will still need a pump and "water blocks". but if you have enough surface area (sides of your tank) you may not need a radiator/fan setup. if your tank is made of metal, you would need less area.

if you get a lower viscosity oil, a pump may not even be needed. fans will be able to move enough oil to keep things cool.

trouble with submersive cooling is when oil gets into places where air was designed to be. like HDDs, optical lenses (CD, SPDIF), and the space between your CPU and the CPU socket. these will have to be seal from the oil or removed from the tank.
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April 2, 2013 8:17:36 AM

everlost said:
Quote:
Transformer oil eh? Hadn't thought of that! Do you know if its possible to get that in, say an auto store? or do i need to go somewhere more special?

not an auto store, you would have to find a bulk oil dealer, or your local utility. of all options it will be the most expencive, but least mainenance.

Quote:
On another note, would just regular Canola Oil work? or is that a no-no? I have seen various people make Vegetable oiled pc's, and heck, if everything breaks, just chuck some chips and battered fish in and have some lunch!


technically it would work. but it is a food product, and it will "rot" or become a bacterial, fungal, moldy petri dish. all are bad for your parts.

someone above mentioned you will still need a pump and "water blocks". but if you have enough surface area (sides of your tank) you may not need a radiator/fan setup. if your tank is made of metal, you would need less area.

if you get a lower viscosity oil, a pump may not even be needed. fans will be able to move enough oil to keep things cool.

trouble with submersive cooling is when oil gets into places where air was designed to be. like HDDs, optical lenses (CD, SPDIF), and the space between your CPU and the CPU socket. these will have to be seal from the oil or removed from the tank.


well ya. this is for bare bones overclocking. not for daily use. all that crap would have no business being there. fans are out of the question internally. the heated oil would have to be "recycled" though.

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a c 186 K Overclocking
April 2, 2013 3:28:07 PM

I still think you need fans and heatsinks internally, quite simply because you need the surface area to dissipate that heat with. A bare CPU would overheat very quickly, regardless if its dunked in mineral oil.
About the thermal paste, I'v heard that you dont want to include that. It eventually just seeps into the oil and gunges it up aesthetically. Basically, your going to have bare baseplate touching the CPU.
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April 3, 2013 11:21:20 PM

This is the type of stuff I love reading on Tom's. I was laughing so hard when i read the question I was crying. Its not a stupid question by any means; that's not why its funny. Just imagine scrolling through the forum trying to help someone with something that you might have tinkered with a week ago and then you see: "Could I use motor oil (ie Castrol GTX) in order to cool a pc, instead of mineral oil?" I love it.
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April 4, 2013 5:00:38 PM

BuddyBear said:
This is the type of stuff I love reading on Tom's. I was laughing so hard when i read the question I was crying. Its not a stupid question by any means; that's not why its funny. Just imagine scrolling through the forum trying to help someone with something that you might have tinkered with a week ago and then you see: "Could I use motor oil (ie Castrol GTX) in order to cool a pc, instead of mineral oil?" I love it.


Hah, i knew someone would get a laugh out of the title, Tried to word it so it would answer my question and also be slightly humourous :D 

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