Dry Ice and a Cooler

i had an idea for a new cooling setup for my computer. i was thinking if i took all of the innards of my pc, threw them in a cooler (like one that you fill with ice to keep your drinks cold), and added a block of dry ice, would that be a good workable idea?

first off, i will say that this is not an option for the true super low temp overclockers, but that is not my goal. i think with this kind of setup i can achieve very low temps and virtual silence at the same time.

interesting points about my idea that i will point out are as follows:

1. the cooler is not only efficient at keeping the atmosphere inside cold, but it is also very good at keeping it quiet

2. i realize, as the dry ice melts, it will build up pressure, so i plan to have a small escape hose that i would put out my window.

3. for hookups, all i would need to do is cut a hole in the side and thread through a dvi cable and a usb hub, thats all i need

4. i would keep all of the hsf's on everything in the cooler because this will aid in transfer of heat to the melting dry ice and because they will be virtually inaudible because of the cooler

5. i may even choose to add extra insulation to the cooler to make it quieter and more efficient

6. if i run out of dry ice, i can just open the top and run on the ambient air

i ask you now if you have any comments on my new project, like if it will work or not :lol: . a few questions i would have for you guys is how easy it is to buy dry ice, how expensive is it, and lastly how long my setup might run on a chunk of dry ice.
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  1. First of all I don't know where you got your information from but if -104F (-78C) is not ultra low temperatures then I don't know what is. I'd say you'd be in danger of cold cracking something if you put your stuff in there.

    D"ry Ice is particularly useful for freezing, and keeping things frozen because of its very cold temperature: -109.3°F or -78.5°C. "

    You can buy dry ice from most laboratory supply stores but it sublimates very quickly

    "As a general rule, Dry Ice will sublimate at a rate of five to ten pounds every 24 hours in a typical ice chest."

    Yes this would be very quiet as the only noise would be the hard drives spinning (if they can when they are frozen solid...)
  2. this is really impractical, the costs of dice will kill you, people use dice for brief overclocking sessions, not for long term use. evaporating dice is basically co2, which is toxic in high levels, which means you need really good ventilation at all times.

    on top of that, condensation can cause a huge problem if your insulation is not proper, and to put so much dice on the mobo might cause one of the components to short due to the dice rubbing against the surface of the mobo.

    the list of problems goes on and on, if you want a quiet and high performing cooling system, go with water cooling
  3. first of all, i do not plan to have the dry ice directly touching the motherboard or any other component. my idea was to have the dry ice in a dish next to the mobo with a fan or two blowing over it.

    that said, i dont think that the entire system will get to the incredibly low temperatures that dry ice sublimates at. it will be very cold though.

    concerning cold cracking or damage caused by low temperatures, i do not know at what temperatures that occurs, but with my current idea, i dont think i would be a problem, but maybe im wrong.

    another thing is that the reason i though of this is to SAVE money. i know i could get a nice water cooling setup for 200-300$, but i dont know if i can do what i want to do for cheaper. i still have yet to find a price for dry ice, but i think it might be cheap.

    if it turns out that dry ice is like 10$ a pound, then this idea would be very impractical, and i would probably go to a water cooling setup. but when i look at the initial cost of setup, my idea is pretty much free (i have a cooler laying around). that said, i might even just want to try it for the hell of it, if i can get dry ice for cheap/easy.
  4. I would take some concern in using Dry Ice.

    It is a solid of carbon dioxide, and its main purpose is to keep things frozen.

    Handling it, does require great care.

    Carbon Dioxide is heavier than air and will pile up near the ground.
  5. You'll need a styrofoam cooler because dry ice will warp the plastic ones.
    Make sure to use gloves when handling the dry ice, it 'burns' you.


    That is if you decide to go through with this insane idea.
  6. i don't see how you'll save money on something that uses something you have to continuously replace. I wouldn't want to have to buy dry ice 2-3 times a week to keep my system running.

    With water cooling you just need to replace the fluid one or twice a year with top offs in between. distilled water and some non-conductive fluid are very cheap.
  7. *wondering if we'll see a kid killed by suffocation while handling dry ice on the news
  8. Quote:
    i don't see how you'll save money on something that uses something you have to continuously replace. I wouldn't want to have to buy dry ice 2-3 times a week to keep my system running.

    With water cooling you just need to replace the fluid one or twice a year with top offs in between. distilled water and some non-conductive fluid are very cheap.


    I agree.

    Even buying a Dry Ice maker is expensive, not to mention the cost of buying CO2 cylinder.

    And also accidents do happen. I find it not worth the trouble to mess with.

    But if your bored, have the money, have ideas that could be put into economical use... why not give it a shot.

    You won't know till you tried, though chances are, your better off to what is used today to cool CPU/GPU components.
  9. Hehe dry ice is fun... you can pick it up in some grocery stores for not that much.
  10. Quote:
    i had an idea for a new cooling setup for my computer. i was thinking if i took all of the innards of my pc, threw them in a cooler (like one that you fill with ice to keep your drinks cold), and added a block of dry ice, would that be a good workable idea?

    first off, i will say that this is not an option for the true super low temp overclockers, but that is not my goal. i think with this kind of setup i can achieve very low temps and virtual silence at the same time.

    interesting points about my idea that i will point out are as follows:

    1. the cooler is not only efficient at keeping the atmosphere inside cold, but it is also very good at keeping it quiet

    2. i realize, as the dry ice melts, it will build up pressure, so i plan to have a small escape hose that i would put out my window.

    3. for hookups, all i would need to do is cut a hole in the side and thread through a dvi cable and a usb hub, thats all i need

    4. i would keep all of the hsf's on everything in the cooler because this will aid in transfer of heat to the melting dry ice and because they will be virtually inaudible because of the cooler

    5. i may even choose to add extra insulation to the cooler to make it quieter and more efficient

    6. if i run out of dry ice, i can just open the top and run on the ambient air

    i ask you now if you have any comments on my new project, like if it will work or not :lol: . a few questions i would have for you guys is how easy it is to buy dry ice, how expensive is it, and lastly how long my setup might run on a chunk of dry ice.


    >>i had an idea<<

    Nope. Just a signal from your arse it's time to take it for a walk.
  11. It seems to me you may have some problems.
    1. you are still using air to cool your system. will the dry ice cool the air fast anuff to keep up with all the hsf? When you see dry ice used it is packed all around the item only separated by a thin layer of plastic or paper. Taking the fan off your heatsink and setting the dry ice on it would work alot better. The higher transfer rate of the metal will boil the dry ice off very rapidly though.
    2.In a small dish you real can't fit alot off dry ice and the higher the temps the faster it's gone. You would have to keep putting in more ice constanently and even in your freezer dry ice will evaporate.
    3. dry ice is dry but the air is'nt and if your going to let the cooler drop to a low temp before turning on the system then condonsaion is a problem.
    I've played with dry ice a few times as a kid[a very long time ago] and it was alot of fun. But for a sustainable cooling solution I don't see it working. A bunch of tecs with huge passive heat sinks might be something to think about. there was a guy that had submerged computer with peltiers cooling it.
  12. You are quite possibly the owner of the dumbest cooling idea ever.

    Really. Dumb.
  13. Its expensive stuff unless you work in an ice cream factroy or something

    When the dry ice melts it produces carbon dioxide so its kinda dangerous in large amouts.

    It will freeze liquids eg put a can of coke into a box of dry ice the coke will be solid in about 20-30min

    You always have to top up the dry ice and the stuff is dam cold it sticks to your fingers and gives you frost bite

    A bucket of dry ice will last you about 6 hrs.... if your lucky

    You cant even store dry ice in the freezer for later use it just evaporates overnight.

    But by all means please do try and tell us what happens!

    Oh and there are fun things to do with the dry ice if you get it!
    If you get dry ice.... put it into a condom (latex ruber gloves work well too) then put some water in quicky tie up the condom and place it into a rubish bin.

    The ice and water will expand to gas CO2 + O2 and eventually the condom will burst and the lid of the bin will fly off!
  14. I wanna see what happens too.

    I had a similar idea once, mainly involving sealing the case and having it hover around all the intake ports of my case and seeing what would happen. Unfortunately for that idea, I bought a small box fan and grafted it to the side of the computer instead.

    If he does do it, I wanna see pictures. Maybe a screenshot or two of the temps and a few pics of it in action...
  15. bloody moron - cant imagine someone can possibly be so dumb
  16. well, regardless of how good an idea this is, i think im going to try to give it a go. tommorow im gonna go to all the places that i can think of that might have dry ice (ice cream stands, grocery stores) and see if i can get some.

    if i do get some, ill try it out and put up pics for you guys.
  17. This will show you the closest place to get dry ice:

    http://www.dryicedirectory.com/usa.htm

    Just be smart and leave the windows open.. that stuff can be deadly.

    I'd be interested to see what would happen if you made some scotch on the rocks with dry ice... extra dry :lol: 8)
  18. i don't see how dry ice is deadly, it can just burn your hands because it is so cold. i used to work at grocery store and dry ice came with ice cream. and it wasn't deadly. there is carbon dioxide all around us we breathe out carbon dioxide, and the trees take in carbon dioxide and make oxygen. Unless you are in a big room filled with dry ice and just enough room for you to stand then maybe it could be lethal.
  19. dry ice wont kill you in a grocery store because the area is soo dam large.

    carbon dioxide is heavy so it will sink. ie the dry ice forms smoke around your feet....

    If you dont think its deadly I dare you to stick your head in a bucket of dry ice!

    ie your head does not touch the ice but the bucket is deep enough to sink your whole head into it.... then let the ice melt...... its a painless way to put out your lights.

    We dont know how much dry ice this kid is going to buy maybe he thinks bulk buying is a good idea. This kid should just becareful

    Please fwd us a video so we may have a laugh......
  20. Quote:
    dry ice wont kill you in a grocery store because the area is soo dam large.

    carbon dioxide is heavy so it will sink. ie the dry ice forms smoke around your feet....

    If you dont think its deadly I dare you to stick your head in a bucket of dry ice!

    ie your head does not touch the ice but the bucket is deep enough to sink your whole head into it.... then let the ice melt...... its a painless way to put out your lights.

    We dont know how much dry ice this kid is going to buy maybe he thinks bulk buying is a good idea. This kid should just becareful

    Please fwd us a video so we may have a laugh......


    Or at least evidence to give to the police.
  21. I found a site about it http://www.madshrimps.be/?action=gethowto&howtoID=59
    I'm still reading it but looks good.
  22. if ur DVD drive is in the freezer then how do u plan to watch movies? :lol:

    anything at zero or colder is also bad for computers, (cos stuff like hard drives cannot operate at under 5*C). you want everything at a steady temperature as close as possible to ambient. -excluding cpu/gpu for overclocking of course.

    instead, what you should do is design a huge heatsink, shaped to fit in the freezer. connect that to big, thick, well insulated rods of metal coming out of the freezer that are attached to a custom block bolted onto the cpu, inside the case.
  23. I think maybe modding a freezer to have cable holes for the peripheral cables and then running them through it would be simpler/easier. Not to mention, it would make more sense. Have the components that need to be cold in the cold, then the things that need to be not so cold in the air.

    Even better, you could run your hard drive cables into the fridge part and keep them above freezing. :D
  24. Yeah, but I still wouldn't try chilling my drives to 4 degrees if I were this guy.

    Assuming you ran out of dry ice in your freezer, or you just decided against using it anymore, condensation would be your main problem. The only way to avoid this would be to fully seal the freezer shut permenantly so that no air could get in or out. That means no upgrades and no tinkering.. Not to mention no resetting your BIOS. :evil:
  25. wun911, melting dry ice is not a painless way to go, you do know it is happening because it is carbon dioxide, carbon dioxide poisoning causes a shortness of breath and an automatic choking/gasping response. You are possibly thinking of Carbon Monoxide poisoning which shows very few side affects.
  26. Quote:
    You are possibly thinking of Carbon Monoxide poisoning which shows very few side affects.


    apart from death
  27. nice call hash :) perhaps i should have added "apart from the obvious" :)
  28. "If you dont think its deadly I dare you to stick your head in a bucket of dry ice!

    ie your head does not touch the ice but the bucket is deep enough to sink your whole head into it.... then let the ice melt...... its a painless way to put out your lights. "

    Actually, you’re thinking of Carbon MONOXIDE. Carbon dioxide is a completely different animal. People commit suicide in their cars with carbon monoxide because the body can not tell the CO is blocking the oxygen and you pass out, then die.

    Carbon DIOXIDE will HURT LIKE HELL. If you breath high concentrations of CO2 you will cry. It will feel like you are drowning and your body does not like that. When you hold your breath and then it starts to hurt and you feel you have to breath... that is when your body begins to measure elevated levels of CO2 in the lungs.

    Just FYI :)

    I would agree, this is not a practical or intelligent idea for cooling.
  29. Since it seems to be quite a topic, I suggest a test to see whether it will hurt or not:

    Take a tall glass and fill it about 1/2 - 3/4 full of soda, something with a lot of fizz, then stick your noze into the top of the glass immediately and take a big breath through your noze.

    A bit of advice: Make sure you are sitting down and are somewhere that is easy to clean up.
  30. To see whether it is cost effective to use such a system, after you invest in all of the hardware you need, you should look at the Latent Heat of Vaporization for CO2. I've only checked one resource and it listed the value as 241BTUs, about 70 watts, for 1 lb of dry ice. I'm pretty sure that the ratings for most CPUs are watts/hr, and if you're looking to put your whole motherboard in a fridge, you'd have to add up the heat from the chipset, video card, hard disks, etc.. So it looks like you'd be looking at at least 3 lbs of dry ice per hour. Not sure if it's cost effective, but it would be good exercise.

    I think the issue that must be addressed is avoiding any condensation. Therefore, your refridgerator/freezer has to be sealed tight, and probably evacuated before adding the dry ice. (You couldn't exactly have a separate condensor inside the fridge for moisture, since the whole fridge would work on the same principle.) Otherwise if any moist air gets into the refridgerator it will freeze and remain frozen until you run out of dry ice and it warms up, probably quickly since you'd have your complete system inside.

    I'm not sure what your use of this PC will be. If it's for getting the ultimate overclock for a few minutes, it could probable be done, but if you want to play BF2 for several hours on dry ice, it would probably be easier and cheaper to buy a faster CPU and GPU or do water cooling.

    If you're deadset on using dry ice in some way, and money isn't as much an issue, I'd do a closed loop cooling system with chilled gylcol, using dry ice to cool the heat exchanger/radiator. You could plumb this all inside your fridge and condensation in the fridge wouldn't matter. However, you'd need to insulate and then heat wrap the cooling lines going to the CPU heat exchanger in order to prevent condensation.

    I've had a few years experience fighting condensation using heat wrap tape when I worked as an engineer, and have learned not to have much faith in it, so be forewarned.

    If you do choose to make a dry ice system, good luck and please share your experience.
  31. What about non circulating watercooler? Run a hose form your tubs faucet to your waterblocks and bake to the tub. The cold water should be around 40-50f and after some hard gaming you can take a warm bath and chill. For real cooling put the waterblocks on some tec's and seal the mobo in a cooler with some of that drying salt[can't remember the real name] for basements. With the water getting dumped no need for a rad and fans and the sealed box with drying salts no condensation. You should be able to run some big tec's[200w] with water in 40-50f range and get sub zero on cpu/gpu.
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