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Updated: Big, Bad, Cooling Systems

Introduction

Computer cooling has certainly come a long way since days of simple aluminum block coolers with few fins. But the overall concept remains very much the same today, and of course, heatsinks and cooling systems are a vital part of any computer's stability. Inadequate cooling leads to crashes, and sometimes worse.

The above picture shows heatsinks that were extruded from aluminum rods, and rods from ingots. These are long bars that haven't yet been cut down to size, but if you click on the image, you'll be able to see all the fins in detail.

On the next several pages, we've gathered some of the coolest looking water cooling systems as well as several cool heatsinks that we've stumbled upon.

Tubes Galore

Here's a water cooling rig that has tubes running all over the place--although very neatly. The builder of the system has decided to water cool his hard drives too, and all the tubes pipe into a central distribution block, which then exists the rear of the system.

The hard drive cooling is not very effective, simply because the surface of the hard drive chassis has no actual contact with the mechanisms inside. Either way though, it's an impressive setup.

Image: courtesy of TechRepublic.

More Tubes

A closer look at this system's main resevoir, which is clear and has no less than 37 connections.

Image: courtesy of TechRepublic.

More Tubes, Again

The hard drives being cooled individually with liquid. An impressive build.

Image: courtesy of TechRepublic.

Mammoth Pump

Here we see the massive circulation and pump system that went into the system on the last three pages. It's large, and stands separated from the rest of the computer, actually sitting by itself on the floor. The builder of the system has definitely gone to extreme lengths to put this beast together.

Image: courtesy of TechRepublic.

The Big Koolance

This is a rack mount liquid cooling system from Koolance called the ERM-3K4U5, which is a 4U chassis containing a massive radiator and huge fans at the rear drawing air in. The rear of the system has several inputs and outputs, so the user can feed in several systems into the ERM-3K4U5.

This system is more likely used at a data center on a rack, than in your home, but it's entirely possible to do so. If you were interested in owning one for personal use, the system costs more than $1,400.

Image: courtesy of Koolance.

The Borg

Here's a system built using a Lian-Li 343b cube chassis. The chassis itself is super sturdy and sits on wheels so you can roll it around the room. Motherboard and components sit on opposing sides of the case, with the right side containing bays for optical drives and other larger devices. The right side also contains two bays equipped with knobs for controlling fan speeds and other settings.

Image: courtesy of TerrorNoize @ Flickr.

Inside The Borg

Here we see the inside of the Lian-Li 343b system, and the builder has fitted massive tubes for water cooling both the CPU and graphics card. May we suggest some cable management.

Shoutouts to TerrorNoize for this system. See his awesome completed build here.

Image: courtesy of TerrorNoize @ Flickr.

Custom Submersive System

This is a custom built PC using oil, and the actual motherboard and all attached components are submerged in the oil bath. The chassis itself is customed designed with two two towers each containing hard drives and the power supply, hiding the cabling.

Submerged oil-cooled PCs aren't exactly a new concept. We here at Tom's Hardware ran an article about it with a video several years ago, dunking our systems into oil for some intense overclocking. Check out the original article and video here.

Image: courtesy of cheddarlump @ Flickr.

The Orgasmatron (Riiiight)

The system above, called the Orgasmatron, is one of the most intense liquid cooled PCs we've seen. Built by aodqw97, the system is completely customized and was actually built in 2005 and featured in Custom PC Magazine.

The front of the computer actually has a reset switch made from a racing ignition starter button, and to the right of it, a flip switch to enable and disable hard drive cooling.

Image: Courtesy of aodqw97 @ Flickr.

We Hope You Like Pink

A view of the Orgasmatron from the top. The case is clear acryllic and the actual tubes themselve are UV sensitive, producing a nice glow when the lights are turned off and the UV light is swiched on.

Take a look at aodqw97's gallery of the impressive Orgasmatron here on his flickr page.

Image: Courtesy of aodqw97 @ Flickr.

  • curnel_D
    Lol, is the last picture an OEM coolermaster with the sticker ripped off? If I'm not mistaken, they came in alot of branded 754 machines at the time.
    Reply
  • 08nwsula
    don't bother going to the submerged computer link, all the video links are 404
    Reply
  • rambo117
    woot, liked the borg cooling cube
    should be green LEDs though;)
    Reply
  • Asinger93
    08nwsuladon't bother going to the submerged computer link, all the video links are 404I didn't get that. I saw them fine.
    Reply
  • dragonsprayer
    Very lame -- come on guys! This is THG - there are some sites that have some really good stuff. You could have done better!

    i am big supporter here but this lame!

    You want dual triple loop with phase? or hybird water tech?

    that is real exotic cooling

    come on guys!

    thx! i love the site but.....
    Reply
  • Asinger93
    dragonsprayerVery lame -- come on guys! This is THG - there are some sites that have some really good stuff. You could have done better!i am big supporter here but this lame!You want dual triple loop with phase? or hybird water tech?that is real exotic coolingcome on guys!thx! i love the site but........ it's water cooling. it's not supposed to be exciting. By the way, it's not THG. It's THW.
    Reply
  • cangelini
    dragonsprayerVery lame -- come on guys! This is THG - there are some sites that have some really good stuff. You could have done better!i am big supporter here but this lame!You want dual triple loop with phase? or hybird water tech?that is real exotic coolingcome on guys!thx! i love the site but.....
    Thanks for the feedback Dragon--I think Tuan's idea here was more about casual weekend reading. Don't worry, come Monday, we'll be back to the usual editorial stuff! Coming up: a walk down memory lane with 16 years of Intel motherboards =)
    Reply
  • tuannguyen
    dragonsprayerVery lame -- come on guys! This is THG - there are some sites that have some really good stuff. You could have done better!i am big supporter here but this lame!You want dual triple loop with phase? or hybird water tech?that is real exotic coolingcome on guys!thx! i love the site but.....
    Heya dragonsprayer -

    Actually, I just wanted to show everyone some of the cool setups I bumped into while browsing the web, just to kick start some ideas for those who may be tempted to try out some exrteme cooling for themselves.

    Gotta start somewhere right? No worries though. I'm going to do a follow up with some really insane stuff. :)

    / Tuan
    Reply
  • terrornoize
    "May we suggest some cable management"

    i suggest you to choose another photo when works is done... :)

    Hi,
    TerrorNoize
    Reply
  • cheepstuff
    a better title for this would have been:
    "a man and his case"
    Reply