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TECs Water Blocks... In oil?

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June 23, 2009 10:16:30 PM

I've been researching for about a week now on how to make the most of a machine submerged in mineral oil.


The basic idea:
Q9550

EVGA 750i FTW

8 GB of 1066mhz dual channel memory- most likely G.Skill.

2x EVGA GTX 260- the revised edition with 216 processor cores and completely stock clocked. There's no need for factory overclocking as I'll be overclocking them myself.

A 750w power supply- the model is irrelevant as the system will be submerged in oil.

I will be overclocking the $%&^ out of it. I'd like to try to push 5 ghz. =D Bet that'd be nice to see on a Q9550. I've seen 4.7, so it might be possible. My real goal is just as high as I can get though; so if it's not 5, I'll still be able to sleep.

Most of the system will be submerged in mineral oil while optical and hard disks will remain dry.
The oil will be pumped through a 480mm radiator (I'm yet undecided on the volume of air I want to move over the radiator). No reservoir is needed.

Right now I'm toying with the idea of TECs sandwiched between a cold plate and a water block and fixed to anything hot. My main concern is the efficiency of TECs, they seem to not play well with anything that runs hot (ironic shortcoming for a method of cooling, I know). What I mean by this is that cooling efficiency decreases exponentially as temperature increases, that's a curve starting high and ending low on a graph. If we're not overclocking, TECs would be a fantastic option. However, if we're overclocking and increasing voltage, TECs soon lose their appeal and are outperformed by normal water cooling methods.

Now- this is all fine and dandy, but my system would be submerged in mineral oil. I'm trying to figure out how this would affect TECs. I'm looking for intelligent conjecture, with a rational explanation behind whatever idea is presented.

I'm not trying to attain sub zero temperatures. I don't see the point. I'm overclocking...

Food for though:
Condensation is not an issue when running TECs in a machine submerged in oil. Since there is no air (or extraneous amounts of) around any of the components being cooled, there is no water to condense.

In a normal submerged system there is pretty much just one system wide temperature, thanks to how wonderfully the oil distributes the heat. How do you think introducing water blocks and TECs will effect this trend?

The more TECs added, the more power required. I'll most likely require two additional power supplies for 4 TECs (north bridge, CPU, and GPUs). With three power supplies in the oil, would the temperature rise by a negligible amount?

I'd like to run the north bridge and CPU on it's own power supply, radiator, pump, and reservoir; the graphics cards on another set. Excessive, or efficient?

I'll be running only distilled water through the water blocks, with the exception of dye and something to kill all the tiny saboteurs. I toyed with the idea of methyl alcohol, but I couldn't find enough data on the long term effects.

I intend to suspend all electronics a good distance off the bottom of my enclosure. A distance proportionate to the volume of water circulating through both systems. This way, if ever a leak occurs, the water falls to the bottom of the enclosure and the electronic components are all left unharmed. Even if the leak was directly over a graphics card, the chance of a short circuit is pretty low, oil is amazing stuff. The water could then be pumped out without having to drain the oil from the enclosure.

While submerged in oil, previously unstable temperatures become stable- for whatever reason. I don't think it's been tested just how far temperatures could be pushed before a system lost stability while submerged. I like the idea of frying some chicken in my computer while playing Prototype....

Although it may seem otherwise, I'm not trying to construct some offensively expensive rig. We should only be looking at around $1,800.

Questions:
Are TECs worth it or would it be better to just stick to orthodox water cooling?
How much effect would water cooling have on top of the oil?
Are TEC/Waterblock kits worth the investment, or should I piece together my own?
What kind of overclock results do you guys think I could expect?
What kind of flaws do you see in my design?

More about : tecs water blocks oil

June 23, 2009 11:46:00 PM

Imo

The TEC would lower the cpy/gpu temp below the temp of the bath but would raise the oil bath temp (rather quickly I would think)

An oil bath is the same theory as water-cooing just carried a lot further i do not see the point of doing both (actually seems counter productive to me)

Depends on how much time you want to put into it and how talented you are

You never know where you can get to, there are to many variables. I've seen stock computers clock high and custom build barley get anything.

If you water-cool it, there is no longer any point of putting it in a oil bath
June 24, 2009 12:43:53 AM

So you don't believe that heat generated by the TECs would be piped out by the waterblocks? The peltier water block kits you can buy from Swifttech or DD don't function the same as a regular waterblock, though they look it. The water isn't cooling the GPU/CPU, it's specifically cooling the TEC.

The oil would be heated by the hottest components in the PC. The heat would be drawn off those components through the water blocks. In fact, water would carry heat out of the system much faster than oil would. The oil is acting as insulation for all of the TECs, and while being piped through it's own radiator, would offer some pretty significant cooling. The oil also regulates the temperature in the PSUs and DIMMs.

For the oil to really rise in temperature the heat leeched off the tubing and from the surface of the water blocks would have to be greater than the heat dissipated by the radiator and it's fans. Considering most of the heat generated by the TECs will be carried off in the water, I imagine this would be unlikely. I could be mistaken though, this is only how I think it would work. If someone knows otherwise, please!
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June 24, 2009 1:16:27 AM

They've actually done this before...I'm not sure but it was a video I saw.
The result was that it wasn't worth it...it was only marginally better than air cooled,
and had the disadvantages of being:

1. expensive, bottles of mineral oil is actually very expensive
2. very messy, greasy and nasty
3. only marginally better than a good air cooling solution
June 24, 2009 2:05:44 AM

yes i know how tec waterblocks work. My point is why water cool when the oil can cool it

the oil will be heated by every component submerged in it. That's why it helps overclocking as much as it does. Every mosfet, choke, resister, cap... is cooled not just the major components.

for the oil do it's job of cooling all the components it needs to be able to get to them. Putting a water block over them blocks the oil and defeats the purpose of having gallons of oil to act as a massive heatsink

overall it is my train of thought that the waterblocks are going to prevent the oil bath form doing it's job and that it is not worth the effort of building an oilbath system that is only going to do a small fraction of it's pourpose
June 24, 2009 2:12:25 AM

505090 said:
yes i know how tec waterblocks work. My point is why water cool when the oil can cool it

the oil will be heated by every component submerged in it. That's why it helps overclocking as much as it does. Every mosfet, choke, resister, cap... is cooled not just the major components.

for the oil do it's job of cooling all the components it needs to be able to get to them. Putting a water block over them blocks the oil and defeats the purpose of having gallons of oil to act as a massive heatsink

overall it is my train of thought that the waterblocks are going to prevent the oil bath form doing it's job and that it is not worth the effort of building an oilbath system that is only going to do a small fraction of it's pourpose


I realize that every component generating heat contributes to the maximum temperature. I was trying to refer specifically to the more prominent sources of heat.

Think of it this way: The air circulating in a computer case does exactly what the oil does, yet we use all kinds of additional cooling- why?
June 24, 2009 2:13:32 AM

Bluescreendeath said:
They've actually done this before...I'm not sure but it was a video I saw.
The result was that it wasn't worth it...it was only marginally better than air cooled,
and had the disadvantages of being:

1. expensive, bottles of mineral oil is actually very expensive
2. very messy, greasy and nasty
3. only marginally better than a good air cooling solution


Done which, cooled with oil, or cooled with oil and TEC-waterblocks? I've searched and searched and can't find any data on hybrid oil concepts. Mineral oil is a very viable option and yields some pretty significant improvements compared to air cooling. Factually.

I can get mineral oil at an affordable price.
http://www.shop.com/Vet_Mineral_Oi [...] urceid=298
$10 a gallon.

Puget systems recommends:
http://www.steoil.com/catalog.asp?productgroup=70t
June 24, 2009 2:18:13 AM

in most air cooled computer we try to maximize air flow trough a series of air cooled heatsinks as they need air to cool them

when you go to a water cooled solution you only need a bare minimal air flow for harddrives and misc parts on mb
June 24, 2009 2:32:34 AM

Merh. Whether you are transferring heat from metal to water, metal to air, metal to oil- you're still transferring heat. The difference is the efficiency. Air is a shi**y medium when it comes to heat transfer. Oil is superior to air and can be directly substituted. Alcohol is superior to water, but because of the possible cons, we stick to distilled water.

The issue here exists because oil is a better thermoconductor than air. More heat will transfer from the water block and tubing composing the TEC/water cooling system than would be transferred were it an air system. You wouldn't tell someone not to use water cooling because they'd be interfering with air's potential, would you? We've used air to cool our PCs longer than anything else, we're familiar with it's potential. We've pretty familiar with water's potential. We seek to improve water cooling by supplementing our distilled water with chemicals that lower its freezing temperature. We'd all use alcohol if we were confident it had no negative side effects. I'm substituting oil for air because it has no cons. In fact, when coupled with water cooling, it acts as a safety net. As I said earlier, it insulates against condensation, as well as prevents leaks in the water cooling system from being a fatal occurrence. Oil also, as you said, cools everything else in the PC.

Incorporating oil into my build costs about $240. The potential for overclock that it provides immediately makes up the cost. I'm trying to provide further cooling to overclock that much more. Yes, it's redundant; that's the idea.

The idea I'm interested in is the first that you brought to the table. How significant do you think the rise in temperature, as a result of the TEC/waterblocks, would be?
June 24, 2009 3:05:21 AM

the issue of oil being a better conductor than air in respect to the waterblocks is a moot point as all but a negligible amount of heat will be dissipated by ail through the radiator.

With the design you propose i don't think there will be any rise in oil temp due to the tec's as all their heat will be dissipated by the water system
June 24, 2009 3:32:58 AM

Here's the biggest weakness, IMHO: you're going to use ambient air to cool the oil. Your system will be running well over room temperature with a setup like this, which will not give you the uber-overclock you're after. A refrigerated oil bath would be interesting, and a few TEC's would make a small contribution to that effect, but aren't powerful enough to make much difference. And I suspect any TEC that is up to the job is well outside of your budget.
June 24, 2009 5:01:07 AM

1. You still have to make the oil move around or it's gonna stagnate and build up heat
2. It will be a b*tch to upgrade/install/remove components
3. Very very very messy
4. I've watched vids that show it really does NOT offer significant improvements over current high quality air or water cooling systems
June 24, 2009 6:23:06 AM

Otterski said:
Merh. Whether you are transferring heat from metal to water, metal to air, metal to oil- you're still transferring heat. The difference is the efficiency. Air is a shi**y medium when it comes to heat transfer. Oil is superior to air and can be directly substituted. Alcohol is superior to water, but because of the possible cons, we stick to distilled water.

The issue here exists because oil is a better thermoconductor than air. More heat will transfer from the water block and tubing composing the TEC/water cooling system than would be transferred were it an air system. You wouldn't tell someone not to use water cooling because they'd be interfering with air's potential, would you? We've used air to cool our PCs longer than anything else, we're familiar with it's potential. We've pretty familiar with water's potential. We seek to improve water cooling by supplementing our distilled water with chemicals that lower its freezing temperature. We'd all use alcohol if we were confident it had no negative side effects. I'm substituting oil for air because it has no cons. In fact, when coupled with water cooling, it acts as a safety net. As I said earlier, it insulates against condensation, as well as prevents leaks in the water cooling system from being a fatal occurrence. Oil also, as you said, cools everything else in the PC.

Incorporating oil into my build costs about $240. The potential for overclock that it provides immediately makes up the cost. I'm trying to provide further cooling to overclock that much more. Yes, it's redundant; that's the idea.

The idea I'm interested in is the first that you brought to the table. How significant do you think the rise in temperature, as a result of the TEC/waterblocks, would be?


Bluescreendeath is right on four out of four counts. And there are some other problems. Not just in your proposed rig, but in principle. You haven't actually eliminated air cooling, you're just doing it at a different place (the radiator). Your air- cooled radiator is cooling the oil! Your setup won't work any better than a well designed water loop. Really. Because using ambient air to cool the system will give you a running temperature of about 7C over room temp at best. Bath, blocks, fans: no difference. People getting those mega overclocks are using extreme cooling, i.e. dry ice or even liquid nitrogen. Now, if you want to rig a chilled bath, that would be kewl. It will take a lot of TEC's to handle all that heat, though. You'll need to find a bona fide refrigeration system of some type.

Anf FYI, adding alcohol to the water lessens it's effectiveness as a coolant. It's done in autos to keep the water from freezing in cold weather, not to make it a better coolant. Pure water has a greater heat capacity than methanol.

The New Number Two
a c 330 K Overclocking
June 24, 2009 2:08:22 PM

You also are looking past the fact that mineral oil will also degrade the o-rings and tubing for the liquid cooling loop for the TEC blocks. So, not only will you have oil in your tank, you will also have distilled water and a dry-running, burnt out pump...along with overheated TEC blocks.

There are reasons we all don't submerge our PCs in oil:

1. $$$
2. actual cooling ability vs. 'Theoretical Great Idea Concept'
3. $$$
4. practicality
5. the mess (good luck keeping that container sealed and no oil leaking)
6. $$$
7. good luck RMA'ing a dead board or card dripping in oil
8. there are better ways to get what you want and WOW your friends
June 24, 2009 2:59:04 PM

get a phase change cooler, it will be cheaper and give you overclocks that best water cooling.

June 24, 2009 3:48:13 PM

Thenewnumber2: The oil will not reach temperatures bellow ambient. I know this. The water, however, will. I know what people getting those "megaoverclocks" are using, I've obviously researched more than you have. On alcohol, I wasn't talking of mixing water and alcohol, I was talking of using only alcohol. Btw, no one running water cooling is using pure water- trust me on that. The stuff is almost impossible to come by. Even if you do manage purchase "pure water," there are more than likely still a ton of lose ions floating around. It's also VERY dangerous to work with. Alcohol is also a less viscous than water, how do you think that effects turbulence? Taking that into account, how efficient does alcohol cooling become? Also, alcohol requires no additives to maintain temperatures bellow freezing. There's so many variable you guys aren't looking into here. There are members of this very forum that have seen better results cooling with alcohol than water. However, there are certain drawbacks (safety issues, and concerns about longevity and required maintenance) that render it a non-viable option for me.

Look guys- you don't understand something here. It's not about the lowest temperature you're able to achieve. It's about the most efficient transfer of heat.

Mineral oil has been proven to NOT degrade latex or plastics at a rate that could hinder my project.

Seriously, do you think I'm concerned with a mess? Besides oil isn't messy once it's set up. Heck, it's not messy to set up in the first place as long as you're careful. I don't plan on piddling about inside the case because I like the feel of having my hands submerged in my computer oil. Oil rigs are made as air tight as possible to prevent evaporation.

I have said before- IT'S NOT EXPENSIVE TO RUN OIL! I have a firm, hard, very real, price of about $240 for EVERYTHING needed to run oil. The TEC/waterblock are on top of that. Prices incurred from TEC/Waterblocks would be: a few decent waterblocks, some cold plates, tubing, fittings, radiators, fans, power supplies, TECs, etc... All in all, about $600 worth of merchandise. Well within my budget constraints.

TECs are ridiculously cheap. A new 226 watt TEC is $30 from a PC enthusiast site, I think I saw that on frozenpc. They're around $15 from an electric supply store. Ebay has tons of TECs for any price you're willing to pay.

The cooling provided by oil CIRCULATING THROUGH A RADIATOR is better than air. This is a fact. If you'd like to argue it, dont- I don't want your advice. Run a google search. I've run a couple hundred now. Don't watch a video. Look at charts and graphs. Read work logs. Email the companies involved with the experiments. Oil just sitting around a computer doesn't help cool, you're right. BUT strangely enough, with no means of cooling their oil, puget system maintained a simple oil bath for over a year. They had no fans, no radiator, just oil. The system ran at 80c for over a year and maintained stability.

You can't usually RMA a product you've overclocked, so that's a silly argument.
June 24, 2009 4:12:14 PM

Otterski said:
I don't want your advice


then why would you post in a forum
a c 86 K Overclocking
June 24, 2009 4:19:58 PM

Puget Sound's first oil PC had one problem. They had no rad to pull the heat out of the oil. It ran fine all day (secretaries PC), but if she left it on overnight, the oil warmed to the point of shutting the PC down the next day. They had to leave it off for a full day. And it wasn't a very powerful PC either.

So they added a rad and pump for the oil, problem fixed. Even if you TEC and watercool the CPU and GPU, the oil will still get warm, probably warm enough to begin to overheat the NB, mosfets, etc. So you'll need a rad for the general oil, and the rad for the WC loop.

You do know that if you need to get your CPU running at ambient at load you'll be at probably 400-500 watts of heat on the hot side of the TEC? You'll need a BIG rad to cool that. If you plan to TEC the GPU's too, LOL, better have TWO seperate WC loops, the GPU's will need at a min a 120x4 rad.

Don't forget the 12V 40+ amp seperate PSUs you'll have to buy, ohh 3 of them I guess if you do the CPU and both GPU's.

In short, I thinks it's a complicated fail waiting to happen. But, it's your stuff, go for it. Post pics!

Wonder what smoke looks like in Mineral oil?
a c 330 K Overclocking
June 24, 2009 4:39:04 PM

Quote:
You can't usually RMA a product you've overclocked, so that's a silly argument.


Yes, you can, depending on the vendor. So, by trying to single out my comment and then rebutting that 'usually you can't/that's a silly argument' you shoot holes in your own rebuttal. eVGA ships software for OC cards with their graphics cards, and their motherboards are shipped with software to modify BIOS settings from the OS (for those not familiar with BIOS tinkering). So, by trying to make me look foolish for 'not knowing overclocking and RMA process' that 'usually' happens...you have a flawed jab. I have personally RMA'd at least 3 cards to eVGA and 1 motherboard...all which had been overclocked.

I just wanted to stand up for the comment you made directed at my post...I will leave the others to do for themselves.
June 24, 2009 4:45:46 PM

505090 said:
then why would you post in a forum


Because I ask specific questions? Why would I want something that doesn't answer my question? Or better yet, why would I want false information or misinformed arguments?

Anyway. Back on topic!

Conumdrum. They added the radiator to cool it below what they initially believed were unsuitable temperatures- It never once shut off. They removed the radiator later because of it's negative aesthetic value. They said the employee (they never state what their position is) kept forgetting to put the computer in stand by and it still maintained stability. Not one single time did the computer become unstable or shutdown of it's own accord.

"We have taken the radiator back off the machine, simply because we think it looks cleaner and nicer without it. As long as we put the machine into standby at night, it doesn't get too warm. However, the employee using the machine tends to forget to put it into standby 90% of the time, so it is running at a constant 70C, but again, with complete stability."

The machine they used was by no standard a weak pc... In fact on their second system, they used the MOST ADVANCED parts available to consumers. SSDs and everything...

http://www.pugetsystems.com/submerged.php

Please. Read slowly this time.

As for a 400w peltier.

http://www.virtualvillage.com/400w-12v-thermoelectric-c...

(Oops. The qmax of that peltier is only 170. http://www.frozencpu.com/products/2411/exp-04/437W_Qmax... There is a true 400w. But it should be noted, I'm not running an i7. Also, that is the most powerful TEC needed, and still only $50. I guarantee if I spent 30 minutes looking, I could find it for at least half the price elsewhere.)

PEOPLE! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD! I'M LOOKING FOR CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM HERE! I NEED ARGUMENTS BASED ON A CONCRETE UNDERSTANDING OF THERMODYNAMICS! I don't want you to tell me that what I'm doing is blaspheming the overclocking community. The principles I discuss are completely legitimate. If you'd stop and think for a bit, I'm sure you'd realize that. At the very least, research before you tell me how poor of an idea it is I'm pursuing.
June 24, 2009 4:50:03 PM

rubix_1011 said:
Quote:
You can't usually RMA a product you've overclocked, so that's a silly argument.


Yes, you can, depending on the vendor. So, by trying to single out my comment and then rebutting that 'usually you can't/that's a silly argument' you shoot holes in your own rebuttal. eVGA ships software for OC cards with their graphics cards, and their motherboards are shipped with software to modify BIOS settings from the OS (for those not familiar with BIOS tinkering). So, by trying to make me look foolish for 'not knowing overclocking and RMA process' that 'usually' happens...you have a flawed jab. I have personally RMA'd at least 3 cards to eVGA and 1 motherboard...all which had been overclocked.

I just wanted to stand up for the comment you made directed at my post...I will leave the others to do for themselves.


I said USUALLY. You can't deny that USUALLY you can't RMA an overclocked producted. Only a minority of the time does a warranty cover overclocking, thus the USUALLY. Before I decided on submerging my comptuer, the FTW board caught my eye for its warranty as well as its quality, I'm completely aware that there are exceptions to almost any rule. However, just because some companies extend some of their warranties to apply to overclocked products does not make the trend at all common. Please, keep your posts relevant to the thread's topic.
a c 86 K Overclocking
June 24, 2009 4:53:29 PM

I'm not building it, you are, we don't need to do the research.

Umm, go to xtreme forums and ask there, they are some of the TOP modders and overclockers in the world. I'm a member there and am very interested in the replies you will get. Should be fun.
http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/index.php

This really isn't the best forum for deep answers like they have.
June 24, 2009 5:00:55 PM

Conumdrum said:
I'm not building it, you are, we don't need to do the research.

Umm, go to xtreme forums and ask there, they are some of the TOP modders and overclockers in the world. I'm a member there and am very interested in the replies you will get. Should be fun.
http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/index.php

This really isn't the best forum for deep answers like they have.


I disagree. When advising someone, you have an obligation to ensure the credibility of the information which you supply. Thank you very much for the recommendation on an alternate community though.
June 24, 2009 5:08:17 PM

Conumdrum said:
You do know that if you need to get your CPU running at ambient at load you'll be at probably 400-500 watts of heat on the hot side of the TEC? You'll need a BIG rad to cool that. If you plan to TEC the GPU's too, LOL, better have TWO seperate WC loops, the GPU's will need at a min a 120x4 rad.

Don't forget the 12V 40+ amp seperate PSUs you'll have to buy, ohh 3 of them I guess if you do the CPU and both GPU's.

In short, I thinks it's a complicated fail waiting to happen. But, it's your stuff, go for it. Post pics!

Wonder what smoke looks like in Mineral oil?


I'm guilty of not reading the entirety of that post until just now, which makes what I'm about to say hypocritical. :p  Conumdrum. You've contributed more thought to the concept than anyone else who has yet replied. I'm very appreciative of that. However, every single concept you mentioned, I had already addressed in my very first post. It's become apparent that people here are not actually reading my posts. To grasp my objective and the means I intend to achieve it with, you have to read everything I've offered.
a c 86 K Overclocking
June 24, 2009 5:22:51 PM

Yep, oops, my bad. I did skim your post, but did reread it more.
No worries, I really don't care that you care about people reading your posts.
It's the internet, not school. We do what we want and you have to live with it.
And being 51 and also a prev teacher I see a lot of peeps expecting perfection based replies on the internet. Get over it. Be careful with your attitude on XS, they won't be so kind, believe me. But it's the best place for info.

This is at the XS owners place, this is the kind of stuff they do, I was there, open bar too!
http://www.engadget.com/2009/01/26/amds-phenom-ii-pushe...
a c 330 K Overclocking
June 24, 2009 6:32:13 PM

My apologies...I'm a little testy today. I DO like your DIY and spirit for adventure on this one. I just don't know theory vs. result, but then again, I guess that's why we do and not just theorize. I do think it's a pricey excursion, but then again, that isn't really my place to say. One person's budget is another person's pocket change. Hopefully you get it all worked out...and yes...please post us some work log pics and test results. I admit...it's pretty interesting to see what the result will be.
June 24, 2009 7:24:41 PM

OK, last post from me, since you don't want advice (even though you asked us for it). Forgive me if I don't correct you on everything, there are so many things wrong with your statements that it will be easy to overlook some of the errors. My commentary is in blue.


Otterski said:
Thenewnumber2: The oil will not reach temperatures bellow ambient. I know this. The water, however, will. So, you think the TEC's have enough capacity to chill the water loop below ambient while immersed in an oil bath containing a couple thousand watts of power supplies and other things? I wouldn't bet the farm on it...you should do some tests before you spend much money.

I know what people getting those "megaoverclocks" are using, I've obviously researched more than you have. Apparently not. The answer is: dry ice and LN2.

On alcohol, I wasn't talking of mixing water and alcohol, I was talking of using only alcohol. Btw, no one running water cooling is using pure water- trust me on that. Sorry, I can't. I'm running DI water in my loop, with a few drops of fungicide and dye. Works great! The stuff is almost impossible to come by. The stuff I get's not 100% pure (but what is?), but very clean. It's DI'ed then glass distilled. It's about 30 cents a gallon and easily obtainable.. Even if you do manage purchase "pure water," there are more than likely still a ton of lose ions floating around. It's also VERY dangerous to work with. Not really, but flammable solvents are, such as methanol. But most aqueous mixtures are non-flammable.

Alcohol is also a less viscous than water, how do you think that effects turbulence? Makes it less.Taking that into account, how efficient does alcohol cooling become? Water blocks are intentionally designed to create turbulent flow. Why? Because it's makes them more efficient (your favorite phrase!). It works by disrupting laminar flow near the internal surfaces of the blocks (which is bad for "efficiency". FYI, this is what the MeOH does, by a different mechanism: there is less laminar flow in MeOH/water than in pure water. Also less heat capacity (also called thermal mass in some circles), so it's a trade- off.

Also, alcohol requires no additives to maintain temperatures bellow freezing. You don't have to worry about geting anywhere close to freezing. There's so many variable you guys aren't looking into here. There are members of this very forum that have seen better results cooling with alcohol than water. However, there are certain drawbacks (safety issues, and concerns about longevity and required maintenance) that render it a non-viable option for me. Alcohol could work better than water in a poorly designed loop with low quality waterblocks that were not "efficiently" designed.

Look guys- you don't understand something here. It's not about the lowest temperature you're able to achieve. It's about the most efficient transfer of heat. No, YOU don't understand: it IS about temperature... electronics are unconcerned with efficiency, they only care about how hot they are. Which is of course related to the quality of your cooling rig.

Mineral oil has been proven to NOT degrade latex or plastics at a rate that could hinder my project. Wow, this is right. You caught me off- guard!

Seriously, do you think I'm concerned with a mess? Besides oil isn't messy once it's set up. Heck, it's not messy to set up in the first place as long as you're careful. I don't plan on piddling about inside the case because I like the feel of having my hands submerged in my computer oil. Oil rigs are made as air tight as possible to prevent evaporation. No, it's to keep water vapor out of the bath (from the air).

I have said before- IT'S NOT EXPENSIVE TO RUN OIL! I have a firm, hard, very real, price of about $240 for EVERYTHING needed to run oil. The TEC/waterblock are on top of that. Prices incurred from TEC/Waterblocks would be: a few decent waterblocks, some cold plates, tubing, fittings, radiators, fans, power supplies, TECs, etc... All in all, about $600 worth of merchandise. Well within my budget constraints.

TECs are ridiculously cheap. A new 226 watt TEC is $30 from a PC enthusiast site, I think I saw that on frozenpc. They're around $15 from an electric supply store. Ebay has tons of TECs for any price you're willing to pay. The TEC's have to fit the blocks, right? The blocks aren't very big. This will limit your choices. And you're going to be pumping the heat from the TEC's right into the oil bath. This is ridiculous. Your water blocks are going to be working overtime to keep up with all that heat!

The cooling provided by oil CIRCULATING THROUGH A RADIATOR is better than air. This is a fact. If you'd like to argue it, dont- I don't want your advice. Yeah, liquid cooling is better than air cooling: it's a "heat capacity" thing again. Run a google search. I've run a couple hundred now. Don't watch a video. Look at charts and graphs. Read work logs. Email the companies involved with the experiments. Oil just sitting around a computer doesn't help cool, you're right. BUT strangely enough, with no means of cooling their oil, puget system maintained a simple oil bath for over a year. They had no fans, no radiator, just oil. The system ran at 80c for over a year and maintained stability. Because the system was in thermal equilibrium with the environment at 80C. It would run hotter in a warmer location, and cooler in a colder location.

You can't usually RMA a product you've overclocked, so that's a silly argument.


Anyway, I'm tired. Good luck with your rig (you'll need it).

The New Number Two


June 24, 2009 8:35:10 PM

if you put a waterblock instead of a heatsink over the cpu and gpu's then the oil can not cool them. am the only one who see's this as counterproductive in an oil bath system?
a c 330 K Overclocking
June 24, 2009 8:59:07 PM

I think the argument is that the TEC also has a hot side, which will also be submerged in the oil...increasing the temps. Either way, the idea of using a water loop/TEC in a submerged oil setup doesn't make sense for a couple of reasons.

1. Given a water-only loop, you are removing most of the heat via water and cooling it externally ( I would assume) leaving only the RAM and the rest of the card to be cooled by the oil. If you submerge the radiators in the oil as well, you only move the heat from one location to another to disperse in the oil. If you had the external water loop rad, this would reduce the amount of heat being directly dumped into the oil and being removed from the water loop. It would help your overall oil temps, but not allow the oil to cool the GPU/CPU, etc directly. (There would be minor cooling -perhaps- on the oil directly touching the waterblock, but likely negligable.)

2. Using a TEC/water loop creates the same scenario as above, except you now have a cold/hot component in the oil within close proximity. Now, the cold side wouldn't necessarily be something bad, but you would disperse a decent amount of your cold side into the surrounding oil and then have that in close proximity of the hot side of the TEC plate...also being dumped into the oil.

Regardless of either, you are probably better off not using a TEC and dumping more heat watts into the oil than you would probably be pulling out of the GPUs. (I would assume that the hot side of a TEC gets warmer than a GPU at load?) The stock heatsink would probably be the best solution, and if you can remove as much plastic covering the heatpipes and fins, you would be even better off than to leave them on and trap hot oil. Oil might not circulate on its own, but heat radiation and dispersion would be better than giving it hot spots to sit in. But, since you mentioned running the oil through a rad to cool, this would help the situation...depending on what you used to pump it, the rate and design of the loop.

I guess it comes down to how much heat you are wanting to be dumped into the oil or if you want the oil to be as cool as possible to allow the entire system to operate at a lower temperature?
June 25, 2009 2:26:06 AM

Otterski said:
The cooling provided by oil CIRCULATING THROUGH A RADIATOR is better than air. This is a fact. If you'd like to argue it, dont- I don't want your advice.


If you don't want our advice then why are you even posting in this forum?

If you've already made up your mind and want oil cooling so badly, then go dip your computer in oil.


Stop trying to argue theory with us - just go do it and show us the results.

a c 86 K Overclocking
June 25, 2009 3:38:53 AM

I asked him to post at XS Forums, most of have been there and know it's not a place for noobs. Best he asks peeps who have done this. I haven't, but read a few forums about it, it is interesting. How many of us have? Zero? He HAS done his research but he needs to get better answers. We can't do that, we did what we could.

Ahh no worries, some move on and that's fine with me.

Once they accept his registration, we'll see if he loses the attitude. Going there and asking info is like almost talking to gods, you can't be an idiot if your new and don't have a few friends (mods) and a decent post count. The Bancat isn't uncommon there.

When the owner of XS has been on the stage with the Intel CEO, you know you have hit gold for deep deep info. When the Head of Intel Performance Division/Research comes to a event at XS physical home station, you know they matter. Imagine 9 stacks of 20 i7 chips to play with......... but only under Ln2, darn.......
June 25, 2009 7:23:16 AM

I was planning to be nice to Ottersky until his posts took a hostile turn. Maybe I should have been kinder, but it's hard for me to watch clueless people try to shine forth as being knowlegeable. I have to put up with enough of that at work!

Oh, and I think you are right about the mineral oil eventually degrading many of the materials: in fact, it would probably take out the pump in short order. I didn't think his system would survive long enough to have to worry about that.

Yeah, the xtreme systems crowd is pretty awesome. I learned most of my o/c skills from there, and a good bit about water cooling gear. I even bought some of my gear from Petra: his shop's about three miles from my home!

Well, I'm outta here before I start trashing poor Ottersky again: the temptation is growing. Thanks for helping, and let's wish the obnoxious b**tard luck with his endeavors.

The New Number Two
Anonymous
June 25, 2009 12:26:20 PM


Quote:

I'm not trying to attain sub zero temperatures. I don't see the point. I'm overclocking...



Huh, this doesnt make sense at all!!!!!!!! you dont see the point in sub zero temps, because you are overclocking!!

to be fair, Mineral Oil systems sound great, Id love to make mt HTPC a Mineral Oil system, coloured blue with plastic fish floating around inside, would look awesome, but if I wanted a q9550 at 5ghz, Phase Change cooling would be the way i would go, Simples!

I do not see your system as you are planning it a 24/7 long term runner, and to be fair, it will quickly lose its edge in a year or so time when all the work and money spent will be regretted (Gt380 series/5870 with i7)


June 26, 2009 10:01:08 PM

I got an idea, get a ful watercooled system and fill it with oil instead of water and see how it goes
June 26, 2009 11:24:01 PM

ubernoobie said:
I got an idea, get a ful watercooled system and fill it with oil instead of water and see how it goes


Water conducts heat better than oil, so it wouldn't be nearly as good.
November 28, 2009 1:53:27 AM

Ive considered this as well. in the end i think that having the TEC waterblock would be ineffective. another solution is to put really good air coolers on every component then to CHILL the coolant or oil that you are using with a TEC Chiller modual....

Like this one http://www.overclock.net/peltiers-tec/612245-water-bloc...

i am apsolutly deadset on submerging my main gaming rig... ive got about 10 100+ CFM Fans and DUAL360 rads... and am just tired of all the JET plane sounds... so i was thinking of Cooling the Submerging oil threw a rad, Then sent the coolant threw 2 of the Above mentioned Water Chillers.... And the Chillers would be cooled by the second 360 rad.

making maybe chilled even maybe sub zero Oil... that would cool every component to REALLY Good temps! Perfectly stable OC...cause all temps are AT or below ambient. more effective and Prettier... this way you can get some Cool ornate Air coolers, and there are some NICE ones... and have them cooled with CHILLED Oil.. where all the REAL cooling happens in the back.... behind the tank.

the truth is that using TECs as a Cooling method is REALLY A Great Idea! ONLY if implemented Right! i may be Dead on and get a 247 Quad core at 4.5 ghz... or i may be DEAD WRONG! there is only one way to find out!

cant always go by what people suggest or say... they may Not know what there talking about... you don't know them... i may be some KOOK off my meds for all you know... but if my suggestion sounds plausible... do your research and test it.


Hopefully soon ill have a Fish tank and cash to start working on that TEC Chiller! i have to know what temps the Oil becomes too thick... and ways around it... BUT this is a Good long while from now... test it your self! All you need is a TEC, 2 waterblocks.. one to COOL the Hot side... and one to pass the Oil from the Tank over the cold side... that above link is a Sugestion for a Pretty estreme Chiller!

FEED BACK PPL!!!!! ITS A GOOD THIN! :bounce: 
a c 86 K Overclocking
November 28, 2009 2:35:25 AM

Feedback for a very old thread, naa.... Read the post dates.

You might ask over at Xtreme Systems in their forums. People there actually do stuff like this.
November 28, 2009 10:34:52 PM

AH i see... okay..
Anonymous
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