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What would be the best pump/rad for mineral oil pc

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July 6, 2013 3:29:28 PM

Ok, sorry for posting this in the overclocking section as clearly i'm not bothered about overclocking the hardware, although it would be a nice bonus. (its just the nearest relevant topic)

Can anyone suggest what pump would be best for moving mineral oil around - would 800L/h be powerful enough, too much or not enough?

As for the radiator, the case is 25cm x 25cm x 25cm, so not too big - but i'm not sure whether to go with a dual rad (240mm) or will i need a quad.

The total amount of oil is 12Litres, thats around 2 1/2 Gallons if your in the u.s.

System specs to cool -

Phenom quad core
8GB DDR3
Radeon HD 7750 (low profile)
128GB SSD

Please don't send me a link about the negatives of oil cooling and how it's not as good as water-cooling - i'm well aware:)  The system is already built and works fine - for around 3hrs anyway, but around this time the cpu and gpu hit 55c and i turn it off. So i really need some help on which pump / radiator would be best for cooling the system to allow gaming for several hours.

Needless to say anyone who has done this or has the knowledge then your advice would be greatly appreciated - thanks

Here's a pic of the system (i'm using it now) with temps of 23c for cpu and gpu, just wish i could keep those temps all the while :)  - http://

More about : pump rad mineral oil

July 7, 2013 9:50:10 AM

I did an oil PC once and I didn't have it hooked up to any sort of radiator. I just kept the oil moving around in the tank hoping that the heat would dissipate. It worked well for the most part. Nothing ever got above 56C. If I could have done a couple things differently I would have a) kept the power supply out of the oil and b) used a more shallow tank in order to increase the surface area of the oil to allow heat to dissipate faster. I recommend putting a fan or two in the oil to keep it moving around. The oil will keep the fans completely silent.

The power supply produces more heat than anything, so even though it can be submerged in the oil, it gets the oil so much hotter that it defeats the point. Also, the power supply in the oil did eventually die, and I suspect it's because the capacitors could not handle the oil, which brings me to my next point, which is make sure your motherboard and graphics cards only use high quality solid state capacitors. I had a graphics card die on me because the capacitors will swell up and pop off the board. You cannot submerge hard drives as they are air-lubricated. You will ruin them. SSDs might be able to be submerged, but I'm not sure if I'd risk it.

Do these things and you probably won't need a pump, but if you do get a pump, I would get something with a big radiator pump design, such as a tower cooler. If you do this you might need to buy a little more mineral oil to make up for the capacity of the tower. Just remember that mineral oil cooling is a mess. Make sure everything is perfect and the way you want it because anytime you need to upgrade, fix, or change anything it's going to be a big hassle. If you plan on overclocking, make sure you get a board with a reset CMOS button on the back, because have to reset the CMOS submerged in the oil will be a real pain.

I would recommend something like this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Discontinued on Newegg but I'm sure your can find it or something like it on other websites.
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July 8, 2013 7:05:49 PM

Thanks for the info guys, jlan86 i'm not sure you read the whole post as i've already built and been using the pc, ssd included and everything runs fine (pic included), but your post was an interesting read anyway :) 
If i do this again, i will def consider keeping the psu out the oil as you suggest, but only because if its producing a lot of the heat this will make the whole system easier to cool.
After 3 hours, the cpu, gpu and the oil itself (which is the big concern) all hit around 55c within a few degrees of each other, so this system def needs to be cooled and quite drastically as its only supported by 2mm perspex.
So, funds withstanding, at some point i'm going to need to drop a pump in it, with some 1/2" tubing leading to a rad outside the case - but what these need to be in order to cool 12litres (2 1/2 Gallons) of hot oil seems to be anyone's guess. I'll just keep on searching for now tho.

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a b K Overclocking
July 11, 2013 12:23:50 AM

Iwakis are the cream of the crop.
Iwaki.
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a c 103 K Overclocking
July 11, 2013 12:43:34 AM

Iwaki or Ehiem is all I'd recommend.

Been there done that - submerged, rad cooled, tec cool etc- the tec/rad cooled submerged setup was quite impressive actually, but a pain to tweak the pots for the tecs. From your description guessing this is a submerged system? 2x240 or 480 quad will provide same tdw so really doesn't matter. Find whatever fits space wise. But.... if wanting fanless passive you need far bigger than that. The amount of liquid you are cooling has zero impact on what rad to use. It only affects how long before thermal capacity and equilibrium of liquid is maxed. For fanless, prob going to need 3-4 large rads like a MO-ra3. Fanned in push/pull prob get by with a couple quads nicely
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July 12, 2013 2:33:48 PM

Thanks again for the info, i've checked out the pumps, however, Buzz247, as you can probably guess, your answer for the rads wasn't what i was hoping to hear lol. A MO-ra3!!!, jeez that beast would dwarf the system i've built, - "otherwise 2 quads in a push/pull config". - 16 Fans!!!!!:ouch: 
I've always had my heart set on the 'Phobya xtreme quad 480' and was gonna try that with 4 low rpm fans, remember, i only want the oil to stay within a reasonable temp, not overclock any hardware, however, as you've already done all this before i'm gonna have to seriously re-think my plans before i go shelling out any cash, or just bite the bullet, cross my fingers and go with my original instinct.:??: 

Could i just ask one more question, you mentioned that the amount of liquid to cool has no impact on the rad size, someone else also mentioned something to me along the same lines, so, - if it takes, for example, a Mo-ra3 with 9 fans to succesfully cool 20 gallons of oil, will it still take a MO-ra and 9 fans to cool, say, 5 gallons of oil, if everything else remains equal?
It's just that it seems counter-intuitive if you know what i mean, but as i'm beyond hopeless at physics i'm at the mercy of others here.

The thing is, i specifically built this system small, 25cm, so that it wouldn't take too much to cool as oppose to buying a massive fish tank and putting everything in there. I still have a regular dry-pc, so its not life or death that this can go past it's current 3hr mark, but being able to do so relatively cheaply is my main goal.

note - i know the psu cable shouldn't be in the oil 'cause of wicking, i just havent got round to attaching it to the aluminium plate yet, tidying up the cables and a few other tweaks, but it works fine for now, till i feel less lazy.
Once again, all help is fully read and appreciated, thanks
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a c 103 K Overclocking
July 12, 2013 2:48:19 PM

The rads simply dissipate heat. the volume of fluid increases or decreases time proportionally to the amount, it takes before the fluid reaches max thermal mass. In other words, a single match takes longer to boil the ocean than a teaspoon of water.

Rads are cooling what is pumping thru their pipes. You cant pump 20gals thru at a time. Limited volume can be cooled at any moment.

So the relationship of the 2 is this:

High volume of fluid takes longer to reach max, high rad surface can cool limited quantity in larger volume per sec/min/hr etc. Therefore it will extend the time before thermal mass is reached.

This is why systems using water can operate on 250ml reservoirs. Volume makes nil impact. Rad surface and thermal dissipation is the key.

I suggested the larger rads due to the nature of oil being less thermally efficient. You can certainly start with a couple and add on as needed. I'm basing my suggestion on TDW of rads complexed by inefficiency of oil as a carrying agent. This is just something I found when i messed with oil cooling too. Also, using VERY high grade mineral oil will help. Viscosity of say, ISO50, is near water at ambient temp. Something to consider.

the reason a single rad will not work, is the inverse of the reason so large area is needed. The amount of liquid is acting as an insulator - holding thermal temp. In no/small volume systems like norm h20 cool, the heat is directly transferred to the rad. In yours, the heat is stored, until it gets to the rad. So using larger rad surface enable large volume and large dissipation which can then exchange when it gets back to the remaining mass
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August 16, 2013 4:25:45 PM

Ok here's an update for anyone googling this as there's literally no solid info on cooling a mineral oil pc.

First off the pump i used was a 'Phobya DC12-400' this is just a rebranded version of the EK DCP 4.0, it flows through a triple rad and 2 metres of 1/2" ID tubing. It was easy to prime and the oil has to climb 45cm vertical from the outlet to the rad, which is far more than a regular water loop. Infact as mineral oil heats the viscocity drops and when the oil hit 50'c the flow was so strong it shot the end of the tubing off the outlet (i used barbs but no clamp figuring it wouldn't hurt if it came off) no problem, but it did make me jump so i've forked out 2 quid for a clamp :) 

As for the rad, i went for the 'Aquacomputer airplex revolution' triple rad, with three cheap 120mm fans. 2 fans are running at 600rpm and one at 1350rpm. This setup cools the pc so well, i discovered an unexpected bonus, the option to overclock.

So, from a dual core phenom ii x2, i unlocked the 2 hidden cores and oc'd from 3.2 to 3.6, increased voltage to 1.45v This might seem like a modest oc, but remember its gone from a 3.2 dual core to a 3.6 quad, the extra heat is significant. I ran prime 95 using small fft's for 12 hours and the cpu temp was 46c, the oil which was always my big concern was 36c.
The GPU is a HD7750, oc from core clock 800mhz to 920mhz and 1125mhz to 1250mhz, thats a 15% oc on the core alone, i ran furmark for 4 hours and gpu temp was 56c and the oil 33c.

Under full load from regular usage even after several hours i've never seen the oil go over 30c.

The setup works like this -

regular custom loop
pump - rad - reservoir - cpu & gpu waterblocks

mineral oil loop
pump - rad - the pc itself IS the reservoir - the mineral oil is the waterblocks on cpu, gpu, mobo, ram, hard drive.

All things being equal this cost at least 30% less than a traditional loop.

So, final thoughts, am i saying that a liquid submerged pc is better than a custom water loop?
Well, no.
Am i saying that its a viable alternative? Absolutely.

Remember i still have the option to add 3 more larger 140mm fans, the oc possibilities are huge. and all this from one triple rad with three cheap fans 2 of which are inaudible to the human ear. The whole system is completely silent apart from the one 1350rpm fan which clearly i don't need. and when i say silent, i don't mean very, very quiet, i mean totally SILENT :) 
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a c 239 K Overclocking
August 17, 2013 3:43:06 AM

Buzz247s MO-RA3 suggestion was an excellent suggestion as its tubing field is round channels and the flow restriction is very low for such a large radiator, it is also the radiator of choice at Puget Systems, it is definitely a large radiator and may not have been what you were looking for, but it definitely would have done the job for you.
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August 17, 2013 6:00:48 AM

yeah, tbh i know a giant mo-ra would cool it and if i win the lottery i will buy a couple:) , but my question was i needed something relevant for my system, no offence was meant to the guys who replied, particularly buzz for his help, but at the end of the day these were largely stabs in the dark, (he clearly states that one quad would not work) so this reply is just intended to help anyone else who can use the 4 key areas to use as a base for finding relevant cooling for their own system.
1. 25cm cubed case.
2. 12 litres of oil
3. 250w max heat output
4. triple rad (3 low rpm fans)
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a c 239 K Overclocking
August 17, 2013 7:08:59 AM

Oldboy05 said:
no offence was meant to the guys who replied, particularly buzz for his help


Defending Buzz was not my intention, he is more than capable of defending himself, and if he felt the need I would not stand in his way, I own and use the MO-RA3 for water cooling my graphics card, it's the best water cooling money I've spent yet, no regrets getting the MOnster RAdiator 3! :) 

It's almost zero flow restriction with water I know it would be fantastic with oil, Watercool has definitely marketed an excellent product.

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a c 103 K Overclocking
August 20, 2013 9:01:39 AM

:)  4Ryan6 is well aware I have no problem "defending" myself lol

Though, no defense necessary, as no offense taken. As with many things, there is the "what will work" vs. "what is optimal". I have oil cooled a number of submerged and non-submerged. Simply shared my experiences and recommendations from what I learned. I have no doubt a triple rad will "work". I made recommendations i did off of what would be "optimal". I try not to make "this will get you by" recommendations, often off of lack of info and knowledge of specific variables unique to the user and environment. Now had I known the budget and aim.... lol

The one caution i add - any testing of fan speeds, burn/stress tests, etc. needs to be monitored over a period of time and closely. Your submerged setup will not show changes quickly. It will take time for any variable you change to show proper effect. Again, just something I learned over experience.

Glad to see you got it working, and no doubt better than prior setup :) 
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