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Asetek LCLC Takes Liquid Cooling Mainstream 118

Posted by kdawson
from the formerly-hot-hardware dept.
bigwophh writes "Liquid cooling a PC has traditionally been considered an extreme solution, pursued by enthusiasts trying to squeeze every last bit of performance from their systems. In recent years, however, liquid cooling has moved toward the mainstream, as evidenced by the number of manufacturers producing entry-level, all-in-one kits. These kits are usually easy to install and operate, but at the expense of performance. Asetek's aptly named LCLC (Low Cost Liquid Cooling) may resemble other liquid cooling setups, but it offers a number of features that set it apart. For one, the LCLC is a totally sealed system that comes pre-assembled. Secondly, plastic tubing and a non-toxic, non-flammable liquid are used to overcome evaporation issues, eliminating the need to refill the system. And to further simplify the LCLC, its pump and water block are integrated into a single unit. Considering its relative simplicity, silence, and low cost, the Asetek LCLC performs quite well, besting traditional air coolers by a large margin in some tests."
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Asetek LCLC Takes Liquid Cooling Mainstream

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 12, 2008 @07:44PM (#23050094)
    Asetek != Asus

    Asetek makes vapor phase change coolers, Asus makes motherboards and graphics cards. Neither Asus nor Apple makes commercial phase cooling or liquid cooling gear.

    You managed to troll the wrong industry entirely!
  • by eagl (86459) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @07:44PM (#23050096) Journal

    The ONLY THING water cooling does is (potentially) provide a larger surface area to disperse the heat.
    So totally wrong/ignorant... Is this a troll? Water cooling does a lot more than that.

    1. Can be a LOT quieter than normal air cooling.
    2. Allows for heat removal with a much smaller heat exchange unit on the heat source.
    3. Allows for heat transfer to a location less affected be the excess heat being dumped (such as outside a case) instead of just dumping the heat in the immediate vicinity of either the item being cooled or near other components affected by heat.

    There are other reasons, but these alone are more than enough. Did you not know these, or were you just trolling?
  • by KillerBob (217953) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @08:13PM (#23050238)

    -Non-corrosive


    Air is one of the most corrosive substances there is. Specifically, the oxygen in the air is. It just takes time. Normally, a server won't be in operation long enough for this kind of corrosion to happen, especially if it uses gold-plated contacts, but it will happen.

    Air is less corrosive. But depending on the liquid that's in use in a liquid cooling rig, it usually isn't corrosive or dangerous to a computer anyway. Liquid cooling rigs are usually an oil such as mineral oil or an alcohol like propanol, neither of which is particularly harmful to electronics.

    Also... while it's a technicality, air *is* conductive. It just has a very high impedance. It *will* conduct electricity, and I'm pretty near certain you've seen it happen: it's called lightening.

    Finally... if your server is running hot enough that mineral oil is boiling off, you've got more serious things to worry about than that. (its boiling point varies, based on the grade, between 260-330'C -- http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/M7700.htm [jtbaker.com] )
  • Re:Ummmmm (Score:5, Informative)

    by ncc74656 (45571) * <scott@alfter.us> on Sunday April 13, 2008 @12:41AM (#23051744) Homepage Journal
    If you had RTFA, you would've found that making a sealed system apparently isn't enough by itself. The silicone tubing used in most liquid-cooling rigs apparently is somewhat permeable, so water can seep through it and evaporate. Replacing silicone with vinyl fixes that, at the expense of slightly increased rigidity.
  • by jack8609 (1217124) on Sunday April 13, 2008 @11:21AM (#23054328)
    As someone who makes their living figuring out how to move heat from A to B (in avionics, not datacenters), this comment makes my head hurt for a number of reasons... First off, as others have pointed out, liquid cooling in data centers is a reality and folks like IBM have worked on liquid cooilng for decades. Due to many of the reasons already mentioned, everyone avoids liquid cooling as long as they can and a number of technologies have helped on this. For example, the transition from Bipolar to CMOS around the time I finished grad school put a lot of thermal engineers out of work for a while. However, liquid cooling is used in plenty of places - Cray has done it for a long time on their supercomputers (not on the latest one - at least not for local cooling), F-22 & F-35 have liquid cooling for their avionics (for weight reduction), nuclear reactors (using liquid metal), etc. Every thermal conference held in the last 5 years seems to have had at least one session on data center cooling and most of the work is on implementing some aspect of liqud cooling. The electricity required for data center cooling is now on the order of 30-40% of the total power (don't quote me on that - I'm actually thinking it is higher than that, but as I said I don't work in that market). Air cooling is great for simplicity, but it has limits that we are fast approaching. The simple methods for air cooling involve just dumping hot air into the room and once you do that and are using the A/C on twice as much warm air as the the hot air that you would otherwise be cooling without the mixing, your cooling power requirements shoot up considerably. Liquid cooling has two potential benefits (as well as the numerous challenges already described). As people have pointed out, the thermal conductivity of water is much higher than air (k = 0.6 vs. 0.027 W/m^2K). This is important because it higher local cooling (the convection coefficient is ~20x higher). More importantly, the volumetric heat capacity of water is massive compared to air. The temperature rise (in C)of cooling air is ~(8*W dissipated)/(lb/hr of cooling air). So when you are dissipating MW of power and trying to keep the electronics no more than 20-40C above ambient, you need (literally) tons of air. Water is about 4x better in specific heat and about 1000x more dense, so you reduce the volumetric flow rates by ~4000x and get more effective heat transfer at both the electronics and heat exchanger ends (so they can be smaller). Pumps can generally be much more efficient than fans and the amount of pumping power for a 100% device scales with the density * volumetric flow rate^(1.5) [assuming that I am doing the math in my head correctly...]. If either the price of electricity or the heat dissipation levels in data centers continue to go up (fairly safe bets...), you will see increasing use of liquid cooling in that application. Keeping things leak free, and other related maintenance issues, and dealing with legacy architecures seem to be the biggest hurdles.
  • by BLKMGK (34057) <{morejunk4me} {at} {hotmail.com}> on Sunday April 13, 2008 @01:22PM (#23055012) Homepage Journal
    Swiftech makes a system you might be interested in that's also self contained. The pump sits right on top of the CPU and the heat exchanger fits where your 120mm exhaust fan is normally mounted. I'm not using it and would only consider it if I were cooling my vid card too but a friend is using it and REALLY likes it - trouble free install on his box.
  • by Paul server guy (1128251) on Sunday April 13, 2008 @02:18PM (#23055340) Homepage
    Hell, I've been using a "Consumer grade" easy to use water cooling system in my desktop for over a year in the form of the Titan Robela (http://www.titan-cd.com/eng/watercase/robela.htm or http://www.inland-products.com/singleproduct.asp?search=accessories&partnum=03011 [inland-products.com])

    I have the black Al faced one for longer PSs. It was extremely easy to set the water cooling up, and has kept my machine cool even with two extra blocks for the SLI cards and a chipset cooler. Yes it's not sealed, but then again, is that really a big deal? If it WAS sealed I couldn't have added my extra blocks, and this went together so simply, I doubt I would really have noticed the difference.

    This is almost old news by now...

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