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Home made Water Blocks / case insulation

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  • Heatsinks
  • Overclocking
Last response: in Overclocking
June 21, 2001 3:59:40 PM

Hello,
I was wondering if any of you out there has had any success in making a home made waterblock. I have a slot a AMD athlon 700 mhz w/ one of those rectangular heatsinks. I was thinking of sealing the heatsink with silicon and boxing it in with plexiglass, and then putting the intake and outake hoses at each end. Will this provide enough flow in the enclosure over the heatsink to be effective? Is there a better solution?
Also, I am not quite sure of the actual science behind condensation. I understand that putting antifreeze with water wetter or some other similar substance will give you about the same cooling properties as water, but I live in freezing cold Albany during the winter, and was wondering if freezing cold antifreeze running through my system would cause condensation (IE is it the actual temp difference that causes condensation or the fact that there is actual water running through the system?) One other thing I was curious about was the conductivity of antifreeze. If it leaks all over your system, will everything get fried?

My master plan is to create a completely water cooled system, including the graphics card, north and south bridge, and pretty much anything else that gets a smidgen too warm for my liking -- which is why I need home made custom waterblocks. If the antifreeze gets cold enough, I may even try to lower my ambient case temp with the system.

One last curiosity I have is how much heat escapes from the metal panels. I want to put insulating material inside my case to reduce fan, and hard drive noise. I have heard about dynamat, but I am looking for something a bit cheaper. I dont want to insulate my case to the point where it becomes a big heat trap though. Any thoughts, input would be greatly appreciated.
-Kevin

I pledge allegiance, to the flag, of the Corporate Republic of America...

More about : home made water blocks case insulation

June 21, 2001 4:58:00 PM

Condensation occurs when air containing water vapour (as our atmosphere does) comes into contact with a surface that is at a low temperature.
I believe that this critical temperature is called the dew point.
Any surface that is sufficiently cold will cause condensation to occur, its just a temperature thing !
Anonymous
a b K Overclocking
June 21, 2001 6:43:25 PM

>I understand that putting antifreeze with water wetter or
>some other similar substance will give you about the same
>cooling properties as water

antifreeze has much poorer thermal capacity & thermal conductivity then water. See my <A HREF="http://forumz.tomshardware.com/hardware/modules.php?nam..." target="_new">post</A> from a few weeks back. You might put a little antifreeze in there for the anti-corrosion properties.

Water wetter sounds like a good idea, but I don't know much about it.

>but I live in freezing cold Albany during the winter, and
>was wondering if freezing cold antifreeze running through
>my system would cause condensation

So, you're planning on putting the system radiator outside, and running your water lines through a window or something?

Ok, now you may want to reconsider that antifreeze issue. If your radiator is outside, you definitely need it! sounds kinda risky to me though, I'd try to keep the system very simple and self-contained. Remember, if those water lines get crushed/kinked/tripped over, you could easily fry the system.

As for condensation. If the radiator is in the same room as the computer, you'll never have condensation because the coolant will never even reach room temp (though it will likely get very close). You can only get condensation if the temp of your system gets below the dew point temperature. Dew point temp should always be less then ambient temp indoors. If it isn't, you have fog, so don't set up your system next to the shower! Dew point is a function of humidity.

Now, if you put your radiator outside, it's a different story. Your coolant can be coming back in at significantly less them room temp. At the same time, the indoor humidity tends to be very low in the winter, so the dewpoint will be lower.

Here's a quick idea... Do you wear glasses? If they fog up when you come into the house after being outside in the cold, there is a good chance your cooling system (with an outside radiator) could get condensation.

>(IE is it the actual temp difference that causes
>condensation or the fact that there is actual water
>running through the system?)

Has nothing to do with what's in the system, just the temp difference.

>One other thing I was curious about was the conductivity
>of antifreeze. If it leaks all over your system, will
>everything get fried?

Yes

>My master plan is to create a completely water cooled
>system, including the graphics card, north and south
>bridge, and pretty much anything else that gets a smidgen
>too warm for my liking -- which is why I need home made
>custom waterblocks. If the antifreeze gets cold enough, I
>may even try to lower my ambient case temp with the system.

Lots of plumbing == lots of potential for things to go catastrophically wrong.

How much do you expect to gain by all this. When you consider the $$$ & time you'll put into this vs. what you could expect to gain on a 700MHz slot athlon, you're probably better off getting a new MB and a faster socket athlon.

If you just want to do it because it just sounds like a fun project, go for it!

<i>Cognite Tute</i>
(Think for Yourself)
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Anonymous
a b K Overclocking
June 21, 2001 8:42:08 PM

Using Antifreeze does lower the specific heat of water. a 50/50 mix is usually a pretty good balance. I did exactly what you are asking except I didn't use a radiator, I simply had a pump in a plastic bucket outside my window. I live in WI so it gets pretty cold up here too. I had an AL block that my uncle milled for a heatsink and no insulation. The water never got close to cold enough to cause any condensation. I never turned my computer off either or the water would get really cold and would cause condensation. I would usually be running around 48C and never had a lockup. You can see picts of it here:

http://www.execpc.com/~us6vers/

I did have a leak once and yes it will fry anything it can. I only lost my motherboard but I was lucky, not much water came out. Don't let this scare you, I still water cool my computer and simply sealed it better...

goodluck...
June 22, 2001 8:34:13 AM

48c with water cooling? isnt that a little high? I get around 48-52 (constant load) on a 1 gig athlon @1333 with air, ive ordered some watercooling stuff and hope to get my temps quite a bit lower (so I can increase voltage and o/clock more..)


Next time you wave - use all your fingers
June 22, 2001 1:49:16 PM

Is there anything that you can use that will NOT conduct electricity and fry everything? Since I plan on having the radiator outside (and thus cooled) specific heat is not a huge deal-- Im willing to take the trade off of a little less heat reduction in exchange for an assurance that a leak wont kill my system. Just to let you all know, this is more of a fun project, and if I lose a mobo on my now aging athlon 700 it wont kill me, and im aware of the risks involved. I vaguely remember hearing oil will not conduct electricity. Is this true? wont oil be alot harder to push through the system than water (i.e, wont my pump be less effective?).
-Kevin

I pledge allegiance, to the flag, of the Corporate Republic of America...
June 23, 2001 10:35:07 AM

glass is a terrible conductor of head... dont use it inside the heatsink... stick to copper pipes if you can...

you do not strengthen the weak by weakening the strong
Anonymous
a b K Overclocking
June 24, 2001 1:35:06 PM

48 is high, but I have a botched processor, it runs at 62c when not overclocked using a normal air cooler. It's had a rough life, I can't believe it works at all after being submerged while running.
Who are you ordering your water-blocks from? I want to water cool my whole case and was wondering if you knew of any good companies, I've been looking into BECooling.com. They have all copper stuff which is much better then Al.
Anonymous
a b K Overclocking
June 24, 2001 4:23:24 PM

Jeez, I am getting 41C with a 1GHZ @ 1.49!!!!

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I am, you know I am. I am Canadian.
Anonymous
a b K Overclocking
June 24, 2001 8:28:33 PM

I considered the use of oil instead of water in the cooling system. Oil has a Higher specific heat capacity.
(Specific heat capacity - The amount of heat energy required to raise the temp of the liquid by 1C) This will mean that the temperature difference between heatsink and oil will be greater. This may lead to a lower processor temperature. The other advantage is if there is a leak then nothing gets fried (but it depends on if the oil is very hot!). The disadvantage is a lower flow rate due to a higher viscosity. There is however a balance between high specific heat capacity and viscosity due to the many types of oil on the market. Oil will not freeze but will not eliminate moisture. If you remember the refridgerated system had a small heater raise the temp of the processor pins so nothing would short out. I can't remember if a high specific heat capacity will lead to reduced cooling through the radiator. I recently read an article about the water cooling which said you could have a 5 litre water tank instead of a raidiator. This can be used with a drop in pond pump. This eliminates the bleeding of the system and as long as the tank is large enough the heat will disperse throughout the liquid in the tank. You are also able to monitor the temperature of the liquid.

I don't know if what I have written here is any use but I hope it can help. I can't spell and I apologise for that...
Anonymous
a b K Overclocking
June 25, 2001 8:21:53 AM

I have an athlon 800 running between 51C and 61C (Not Overclocked). Suprise suprise it is an aluminium heatsink AMD supplied with the processor. I wonder how AMD test heatsinks before they become AMD recommended?
Anonymous
a b K Overclocking
June 25, 2001 3:26:21 PM

Those are normal temps, you have nothing to be worried about. The recommended AMD temp is 67C (I think).

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I am, you know I am. I am Canadian.