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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 mrogers (85392) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @05:51PM (#23049782)
    I'm surprised liquid cooling is still seen as a fringe/hobbyist technique, with water (or oil) having a much higher heat capacity than air I would have thought liquid cooling would make sense for datacentres - instead of huge electricity bills for A/C you could just plumb each rack into the building's water system (via a heat exchanger of course, I don't really want to drink anything that's passed through a server rack). Does anyone know if this has been tried, and if so why it didn't work?
  • by jfim (1167051) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @06:01PM (#23049840)
    As far as I know, that's what project Blackbox uses for cooling. Note the blurb where it specifies the water connectivity requirements [sun.com].
  • by Clay Pigeon -TPF-VS- (624050) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @06:01PM (#23049848) Journal
    Too bad they didnt compare it to a good air cooling solution like the thermalright ifx-14 or ultra-120.
  • by diablovision (83618) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @07:09PM (#23050214)
    The Black Box [sun.com] is a complete watercooled data center in a shipping container.
  • by cheier (790875) on Sunday April 13, 2008 @01:07AM (#23052146)
    Liquid cooling can affect the energy costs in a big way depending on how well integrated the system is. As an example, CoolIT systems had developed a server rack with an integrated liquid cooling system that they had shown off at CES this year. The rack essentially used hydraulic fittings to allow you to hot-swap systems from the chassis, while still keeping the cooling centralized.

    They had essentially used the radiator from a Honda Accord, which they found to be able to dissipate between 25 and 35 KW of heat. With a system like this centralizing the area where heat is dumped, fluids can be piped out to a radiator sitting outside, so essentially, a large portion of the heat produced from a rack of computers, can be relocated outside of the data center.

    Even without moving the heat outside, you can still save on cooling costs. Because you have the capacity to dissipate so much heat, less AC costs are required simply because you can used a forced air system to move the gobs of hot air out and outside air in. This could potentially save up to 30% in cooling costs alone, let alone if you were to just relocate the exchanger to the exterior of the building.
  • Re:Ummmmm (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kd4zqe (587495) on Sunday April 13, 2008 @03:07AM (#23052570)
    This is very true. I just recently disassembled my system in favor of a Core2 Duo machine. I built the rig because my 1st gen P4 3.6GHz was a pain to air-cool efficiently. I noticed that about a year after assembling the system that the temps climbed rapidly moments after power up. I found that almost all my fluid had gone from the system.

    What I thought was fluid was actually UV dye that had permeated the silicone tubing from the cooling solution. Additionally, when I stripped the system, all the tubing ends had swelled dramatically, presumably by the liquid accessing the non-heat fused cut ends of the tubing.

    Also, in a rebut to the statements by the article, my system was a WaterChill system from Asetek, and included a CPU block and VGA block in addition to the pump and 120mm heat exchanger, and I found the cost to be quite reasonable at only about $250US. It was very easy to install, and made a nice evening project. Because I transport my system to LAN parties, I decided to reverse the radiator and route the fittings to the inside of the chassis. This took a little common sense, drilling, and planing, but I was very specific in my wants.

    Without the cosmetic changes, this still was a very sensical kit to own. I'd recommend for ANYONE to try to build a water rig at least once. If Asetek is trying to move liquid cooling into a more mainstream arena, more power to them.

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