Extreme Air Cooling

With winter upon us, now is the time to see who can do use the winter cold air to cool their computers. I am thinking of one of two methods for the setup: 1) Placing the computer outside (protected from water and thief) and 2) Making an enclosure for the computer indoors with air piped in.

If anyone has tried this in the past, please share your results and recommendations. Also say if there is no benefit in cooling this way.

Will there be any problems with the fan or motors not working in these temperatures?

Please post your benchmark results for the following temperatures:

1) 70 F / 21 C

2) 32 F / 0 C

3) 0 F / -18 C

4) -10 F / -23 C
14 answers Last reply
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  1. The problem is condensation. Cold air contains water vapor and when that vapor comes in contact with warm air/hot metal it condensates on water droplets appear. You could go with option 3 ... instead of pumping cold air directly inside the case, use a humidifier (it can work opposite of what it's name implies) to filter out the water content of the cold air .. or if u're into heavy modding .. use copper tubing that is soldered to the heatpipes of your cooler to "extend" it all the way out of the case and into that enclosure.
    Either way .. massive project and i don't know if it pays off
  2. Spade, isn't it the othe way around? I put a warm beer in a refrdgerator, it doesn't condesate. But a cold beer in a warm room with humidity sure will. Warmer air is able to hold moisture much better than cold air by a large large margin.

    There are cases where people doing some serious OCing* (for benching lol) this way for a few hours. It's just not practical to do it for every day use.

    *Including WCed and air cooled, and Dice/LN2
  4. With all my computers I work it the other way around...I let the computers heat my house in winter.
  5. Sorry about the double post.

    I am trying to overclock on the cheap by not buying a water cooler or using nitrogen. Air cooling is not very good at room temperature, but improves at lower temperature. I am hope that someone has the answer if at the lower temperature air cooling allows for better perforance when overclocking.
  6. yes, researchers use computers in cold weather environments all the time...but don't expect miracles since you might not get much more than you could with good air cooling. Are you planning to just set it outside a window and run all your cables through something like a doggie door?
  7. You can get some pretty good temps by blowing very cold outside air inside directly onto the PC using a duct and a fan in the window. But let it all run for a good while before turning the PC on and take care because the case will be very cold and condensation can build up on parts. If you are in a place with very low humidity then it's a pretty decent fun thing to do.
  8. "Air cooling is not very good at room temperature"?? Risking condensation possibility? Try Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme, or other massive air coolers that weight a ton! Than modify the stock fan. 25 degress idle and 50 on heavy load! Few degrees more on a 920 thats oc'ed to 3.4 with voltage modifications! Other than CPU cooling? Try the 120 fans with high air flow (90 cfm @ only 25dba). They are out there. Jessus Christ, these probebly will give you better results than hooking up tubes and humidifiers! Think about your baby's well being for crying out loud...
  9. Suprised nowon has beaten me to it, but here ya go.

  10. Deadcell........With 30F air blowing directly on the CPU heatsink he can be under that.

    Your only running 3.4? Hmm most overclockers get 4.0 easy. Voltage modifications? Or do you mean, like everyone else, adjusting the voltage in the Bios. Some get 4.0 on stock votages. What is your ambient temps? You have HT on or off?

    What is your measure of heavy load? The standard is Prime 95 small ffts.

    What baby?
  11. Good link overshocked even though it is 3 years old. They didn't say anything about fans or motors not working at those temps, so I am going to give a shot.
  12. Condensation wouldn't be an issue - condensation occurs with a cold surface in a warm region. With a cold atmosphere and a warm computer, you would be fine. The biggest thing I would worry about is the hard drive reliability at very cold temperatures - most hard drives are neither designed nor rated for operation at that kind of temperature.
  13. You are right Conumdrum. At 4.0+ clocks, you guys need some serious *** to cool that chip down. I run at 3.4 because, 1. my broke ass can't affort another 920, and 2. I get the performance I want even at this speed. Don't want to cook the thing, thats all. Some air Ultra120 Extreme with minor modifications won't get anyone anywhere safe aiming @ 4.0+. I don't compete, I set for stability, performance and durability, thats it. I want the 920 to last little longer than most people intend it to. Also, I thought it wasn't recommended to use stock voltage above 3.2 on 920s? If I am wrong here, please correct me! My ambient temp is right around 20 degrees C. My measure of heavy load: playing Crysis while multitasking (music/video rendering or formating, whatever they call it). What baby? You know, the one you spend all your hard earned money on that keeps you happy and don't bitch at you for no reason. We care for these machines more than we care for others! You know that...
  14. Did I miss the part where he told us what chip he is trying to cool and what the case/fan situation already is?

    If you are looking for some hardcore cooling at home, go for some Frankenstein water cooling. I saw one setup where a guy ran 50 ft of tubing along his garage floor and curculated it. The CPU never got over 30C. Colder air is not the solution. Getting the heat away from the chip is the solution.

    As far as condensation, go talk to your local meteorologist about dew point and relative humidity. They can fill you in on cold air/hot surface and hot air/cold surface.
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