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Mineral oil cooling/submersion: Car radiator, outside? why wouldn't this work/what kind of pump?

Last response: in Overclocking
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May 10, 2013 11:17:18 PM

so, I've been thinking about a mineral oil rig forever, but those puget kits... are pricy. silicone caulk and a fishtank, and some creative plumbing however, is not.

What's to stop me from getting a radiator from a junkyard, or a very cheap rad from wherever, hanging that bad buy outside with a car radiator fan, and just letting that go to town?
My computer is currently set up to draw cool air in from outside, anyhow. it's near the window, and wouldn't be hard to pipe directly out it, and I could easily mount the radiator near the window, I'd say it would add 10 feet to tubing length, max.

So what's stopping me from doing this? I know if I get a junkyard radiator, I will have to exhaustively search for leaks and weak-points, descale, etc. I'm comfortable with this. I also know I can get a new car radiator pretty cheap for some models, the one for an old car I had new was 40 bucks.

Wouldn't this, combined with a powerful, outdoor weather safe fan (like the kind on a radiator, I imagine, can handle some rain and such) be a great way to keep silent and super cool temps?

I'm NOT familiar with pumps, however. would I need an extremely powerful or otherwise very noisy pump, and must this be located inside the house? Does this extra tubing and far larger mineral oil capacity than I assume the average radiator holds cause either too much coolant flow inside the system, or far too much stress for a pump?


This seems like just an amazing idea for me, and it'll be sooooo much fun for me to DIY. before I start seriously planning and obtaining parts, I want to see if I'm missing something. I'm not familiar with pumps and only have a cursory grasp of fluid dynamics, but I really want this idea to work.
a b K Overclocking
May 10, 2013 11:49:02 PM

Not to be mean or harsh but your playing with fire if your pc isn't cool enough invest in some extra fans or something the kinds of setups your talking about are for people whom been doing this for years to the point why bother buy a faster cpu no cpu should run that hot with the proper cooling.
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May 11, 2013 12:19:44 AM

johnnyb105 said:
Not to be mean or harsh but your playing with fire if your pc isn't cool enough invest in some extra fans or something the kinds of setups your talking about are for people whom been doing this for years to the point why bother buy a faster cpu no cpu should run that hot with the proper cooling.

Does this somehow imply my PC isn't cool enough? I want to modify it for both entertainment and learning purposes, as I like the idea of a mineral oil rig. I run 3 7950's for bitcoin mining and gaming, and a 4core APU, 16gbs of ddr3 something or other, I can't be pestered for the whole specs right now, because it's not a big deal. under heavy overclocking of my videocards and under 100% load 24/7 I'm running at UNDER 70 DEGREES thanks to my spectacular fan setup. Seriously. 100% load. Undervolting helps a bit, but they up from stock to 1575 mem clock.

I know my system, I know my build, and I know my airflow. After extensive experimentation, my system works great. Its set up to either draw cool air from outside, or when it gets hot outside, it will vent heat outside, and draw in air condition air from my central air system.

My cooling is great.

What i'm looking to build is something perfect. I am already VERY happy about my system (I like my APU, it gives me usable gfx performance for my desktop environment WHILE ALL 3 GPUS UNDER 100% LOAD 24/7)

In case it wasn't clear, I am looking for input on my idea: large car radiator, huge volume of mineral oil to fill radiator, and the type of pump I'd need to move that coolant, if this would work passive, if I could throw a fan outside and if that'd hold up, if it were say, a radiator fan, et cetera.

I am not, however, looking to have my rig criticised. if for some reason you would like to know more about my rig, I can post that, but it shouldn't be relevant. Just assume it generates a massive amount of heat, and has 3 7950s and an APU, and is currently cool as a cucumber.

I'm not doing this because I want it colder, I'm doing this because it'll be very, very fun to build, very fun to tinker with, and most importantly, may allow me some pretty extreme temperature stability at even psychotic clocks across my GPU/CPU. tinkering with that is exciting, but by no means very important, even if my temps under load isn't much of a decrease over now, I want to do it for the experience, and the entertainment of it.
And I'm pretty sure if I can do this, my temps will plummet. Especially in the winter, rain, etc.
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a b K Overclocking
May 11, 2013 12:20:24 AM

I'm a little confused; you're talking about sinking your computer in mineral oil... and then using a radiator with it? Don't bother; mineral oil is NOT going to circulate around the tank fast enough for a radiator to do much of anything. Car radiator is a possibility for water cooling - mineral oil is something entirely different that only dissipates heat due to it's enormous heat capacity. (Like running a watercooling setup in a swimming pool - eventually the water would heat up and require a radiator, but that would take days.)
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May 11, 2013 1:01:18 AM

DarkSable said:
I'm a little confused; you're talking about sinking your computer in mineral oil... and then using a radiator with it? Don't bother; mineral oil is NOT going to circulate around the tank fast enough for a radiator to do much of anything. Car radiator is a possibility for water cooling - mineral oil is something entirely different that only dissipates heat due to it's enormous heat capacity. (Like running a watercooling setup in a swimming pool - eventually the water would heat up and require a radiator, but that would take days.)


Many of these system are available pre-built, or half-done.
http://www.pugetsystems.com/parts/Aquarium-Computer-Par...

These general use a radiator, because you need something besides a glass or acrylic case to disperse all that heat. I know a passive radiator setup, with it's massive surface area, would do a swell job of this, for sure.

Additionally, heat SHOULD rise. if I pump the hot coolant from say, the top lefthand back corner, and pump the cool coolant in to the bottom righthand corner, and add some very simple baffles, this would cause the coolant to move in a relatively serpentine pattern over the components and back out. And I may be reaching a little, but won't the hottest oil flow the best, or at least, have the lowest viscosity, meaning it would be most likely to head back up to the "hot" pipe to the rad?

I don't think I'm going to be able to do this without a radiator. if you do a little cursory research on this type of build, you'll see the big problem with the oil is that it retains heat extraordinarily well, and you need some way to dump this.

This system currently operates 24x7 at 100% gpu load, as mentioned previously. my temps are fine now, but I can't have something "holding" heat into my system. at all. again, a modest googling of oil rigs would show quite a few different places and people addressing this specific issue.

Quite a number on this forum, as well, I seemed to think this would be a good place to ask, that there may be some here knowledgeable in mineral oil for cooling solutions.

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a c 239 K Overclocking
May 11, 2013 9:33:19 AM

punkonjunk said:
Many of these system are available pre-built, or half-done.
http://www.pugetsystems.com/parts/Aquarium-Computer-Par...
I don't think I'm going to be able to do this without a radiator. if you do a little cursory research on this type of build, you'll see the big problem with the oil is that it retains heat extraordinarily well, and you need some way to dump this.


Do you fully understand what you are getting into?

Warning from Puget systems:

Quote:
***WARNING***
Submerging your hardware in mineral oil will void your warranty. Do this project only at your own risk. Puget Systems is not liable for any hardware problems, or damage to your personal property. Mineral oil is very difficult, if not impossible to clean from your components once they are submerged.


Any computer parts still under warranty are no longer covered, you will be tossing your entire component warranty out the window, make sure you fully understand that!

The radiator in that kit the MO-RA3 is an excellent radiator if you're going to do this I definitely back that radiator over a used car radiator simply because it is new and clean!

I am water cooling my graphics cards with a MO-RA3 and it's round tubing design allows very little flow restriction so the mineral oil will have no flow problems as long as you get a pump than can push the thicker consistency of oil vs water.

The MO-RA3 can additionally be run in passive mode which may be sufficient for your setup, you would have to test your end temperature results to see if you needed to add any additional cooling fans to the radiator.

This a bold adventure you're considering, good luck to you! Ryan

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a c 239 K Overclocking
May 12, 2013 5:21:11 AM

After doing some more research regarding the kits available and individual part performance their tests show a solid 5c load temperature drop of the oil by using fans on the radiator.

In that case I would suggest buying the MO-RA3 separately and getting the 4 x 180MM fan model and getting the 180mm x 32mm thick cooling fans for it, it will be a lot quieter than 9 120mm fans, and do the same cooling job.
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June 4, 2013 10:21:13 AM

I read an article about this on ARSTechnica http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/06/password-cracke... and it got me thinking about how to properly cool it. I think there could be some other alternatives for trying to cool it. You could use a ice cream maker for instance in an aquarium, or if you wanted to cool multiple units, a chest freezer would work. 7 ft3: $210 + $25/year in electricity. Assuming 10-year life, that’s $3.83/month. For a 20-year life, that’s $2.96/month.
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June 4, 2013 10:21:13 AM

I read an article about this on ARSTechnica http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/06/password-cracke... and it got me thinking about how to properly cool it. I think there could be some other alternatives for trying to cool it. You could use a ice cream maker for instance in an aquarium, or if you wanted to cool multiple units, a chest freezer would work. 7 ft3: $210 + $25/year in electricity. Assuming 10-year life, that’s $3.83/month. For a 20-year life, that’s $2.96/month.
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June 4, 2013 10:21:13 AM

I read an article about this on ARSTechnica http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/06/password-cracke... and it got me thinking about how to properly cool it. I think there could be some other alternatives for trying to cool it. You could use a ice cream maker for instance in an aquarium, or if you wanted to cool multiple units, a chest freezer would work. 7 ft3: $210 + $25/year in electricity. Assuming 10-year life, that’s $3.83/month. For a 20-year life, that’s $2.96/month.
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