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Oil-Immersion Cooled PC Goes To Retail 210

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the next-up-hot-grits dept.
notthatwillsmith writes "Everyone's seen mods where someone super-cools a PC by submersing it in a non-conductive oil. It's a neat idea, but most components aren't designed to withstand a hot oil bath; after prolonged exposure materials break down and components begin to fail. Maximum PC has an exclusive hands-on, first look at the new Hardcore Computer Reactor, the first oil-cooled PC available for sale. Hardcore engineered the Reactor to withstand the oil, using space-age materials and proprietary oil. The Reactor's custom-manufactured motherboard, videocards, memory, and SSD drives are submersed in the oil, while the dry components sit outside the bulletproof tank. The motherboard lifts out of the oil bath on rails, giving you relatively easy access to components, and the overall design is simply jaw-dropping. Of course, we'd expect nothing less for a machine with a base price of $4000 that goes all the way up to $11k for a fully maxed out config."
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Oil-Immersion Cooled PC Goes To Retail

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  • Hmm. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 20, 2008 @05:20PM (#25446367)

    There is a joke involving Natalie Portman and hot oil here, but I just can't quite find it :(

  • Thanks God (Score:5, Funny)

    by MyLongNickName (822545) on Monday October 20, 2008 @05:24PM (#25446403) Journal

    When I am web surfing and playing solitaire, I can't afford to have my CPU or graphics card overheat. And don't even get me started on email.

  • Bulletproof? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by derfy (172944) * on Monday October 20, 2008 @05:24PM (#25446405) Homepage Journal

    Bulletproof? Seriously?

  • by Burning1 (204959) on Monday October 20, 2008 @05:25PM (#25446427) Homepage

    Seriously? Space age materials?

    Did anyone inform them that the space age was the 1960s?

  • Eww (Score:5, Funny)

    by Hatta (162192) on Monday October 20, 2008 @05:28PM (#25446457) Journal

    FTA: every centimeter of the machine oozes custom computing.

    I hope that's all it's oozing.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by manXxon (884114)

      FTA: every centimeter of the machine oozes custom computing.

      I hope that's all it's oozing.

      Best thing... when you run it, it smells like your local fast food restaurant :)

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by X0563511 (793323)

      It's also oozing with potential patent abuse:

      U.S. Patent No. 7,403,392 [patentstorm.us]: A portable, self-contained liquid submersion cooling system that is suitable for cooling a number of electronic devices, including cooling heat-generating components in computer systems and other systems that use electronic, heat-generating components.

      How delightfully generic and self evident. Nobody has ever thought to immerse components in liquid to cool them.

      • by PitaBred (632671)

        It's not even like people have built any oil-cooled electronic devices [wikipedia.org] and sold them, either.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mollymoo (202721)

        *sigh*

        You can still build an oil-cooled PC, but you might get a call from Hardcore if, for example, you include "a hard drive mechanism disposed in the interior space and submerged in the dielectric cooling liquid, and a snorkel connected to the hard drive mechanism and in communication with the exterior of the interior space to achieve pressure equilibrium between the hard drive and outside air pressure".

        • by makomk (752139)
          Given that they don't include "a hard drive mechanism disposed in the interior space and submerged in the dielectric cooling liquid, and a snorkel connected to the hard drive mechanism and in communication with the exterior of the interior space to achieve pressure equilibrium between the hard drive and outside air pressure", I don't think you have to do that to get a call from them. That's probably an entirely speculative claim, in fact.

          Remember that you only have to infringe one claim to be done for pa
  • by RobertB-DC (622190) * on Monday October 20, 2008 @05:34PM (#25446531) Homepage Journal

    From TFA: "The U.S. Patent Office does indeed show Klum, CTO Chad Attlesey and CEO Al Berning with a patent for liquid submersion."

    You gotta be kidding me. I've seen "PC in a tank of oil" on Slashdot half a dozen times. Or is it not a real technology company if they don't have at least one bogus patent on an obvious process?

    rushes off to patent "Method for legitimizing a company and attracting venture capital by means of a transparently invalid patent application"

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Kjella (173770)

      You gotta be kidding me. I've seen "PC in a tank of oil" on Slashdot half a dozen times. Or is it not a real technology company if they don't have at least one bogus patent on an obvious process?

      rushes off to patent "Method for legitimizing a company and attracting venture capital by means of a transparently invalid patent application"

      See, now you're getting it.
      2. Attract VCs
      3. Profit
      4. ???

  • by Chris Burke (6130) on Monday October 20, 2008 @05:37PM (#25446573) Homepage

    So my first worry is upgrade path. Which my scanning of the article's many usages of the words "custom" and "proprietary" leads me to believe there really isn't one.

    Kryo's problem was that while you could buy a bad-ass refrigerated system for a mere 2x the cost of a top-end system that got a good 30% more performance -- they broke the 1 GHz barrier when air-cooled athlons were still running at around 600-700 MHz -- but then six months to a year later that system was merely "top of the line", and then of course soon after that "sub-optimal". Air-cooled athlons hit 1 GHz, and of course Kryotech came out with even faster systems, but it was obvious that the advantage you were getting was temporally speaking not worth the price.

    Now with a slide-out motherboard and all it seems that upgrading this thing is at least -possible-, so perhaps if the company stays in business, you could at least purchase a compatible upgrade from them. Assuming there isn't a huge premium for the upgrade parts, that could be reasonable. The main thing is to have the re-usable oil cooling system. If they could make it so it can use off-the-shelf parts, and just sold the case itself, then that would be the ultimate to me.

    • by Neoprofin (871029)
      Price? Upgradability? Cost/Benifit?

      You are the last person they're trying to sell to. No one who needs 3x top of the line videocards running in parallel is asking about price. This is $4000 for the base line hardware!
      • by Chris Burke (6130)

        You are the last person they're trying to sell to. No one who needs 3x top of the line videocards running in parallel is asking about price. This is $4000 for the base line hardware!

        True, but this didn't work out too well for Kryotech in the end, and it's likely to not work too well for these folks either. Price may not be a consideration, but how long the bragging rights will last is. Even the most cost-immune geek figured out that instead of buying a Kryotech system and feel awesome for six months but t

        • by Neoprofin (871029)
          That's why this is purely for the "I have too much money and I want you to know it" crowd, it's a small market but they've got deep pockets.

          The problem is it only work if people continue to buy them, which means they have to keep updating their hardware. Hopefully outfitting the blocks for cards isn't too different from revision to revision or they'll destroy their margins just designing and fabricating a new set of parts every few months.
    • by Dogtanian (588974)

      Air-cooled athlons hit 1 GHz, and of course Kryotech came out with even faster systems, but it was obvious that the advantage you were getting was temporally speaking not worth the price.

      Yes, but you could make the same argument for a lot of ultra-high-end computer hardware; I don't know if this is still the case, but a few years back people would pay through the nose for state-of-the-art graphics cards etc. that were sure to have plummeted in price and gone mainstream within months. Didn't stop them.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Glonoinha (587375)

      I've been building / hacking together machines since shortly after the words IBM and AT were used together in one breath. What I've seen, over generations of building machines with the intent of upgrading them was that if you build it using a good upgradable motherboard and power supply, you might get lucky and the machine will be good for a single generation of upgrade after 12-18 months.

      - Meaning maybe roughly 12 months later it's cost effective to upgrade :
      - - to a same generation CPU that is quite a bi

      • Where the hell did you find a Pentium 33Mhz?

        • by Glonoinha (587375)

          Sorry - brain no worky today.
          486DX-33MHz vs 486DX/2-66MHz.
          The Pentium example was going to be the 60MHz vs 66MHz (and yea, those extra 6MHz were pretty damn expensive on the first generation boxes.)
          Merge the two, add a glass of scotch and what I wrote is what you read.

  • Snakes(oil) on a Mobo. What would say Samuel L. Jackson about it?
  • by diamondsw (685967) on Monday October 20, 2008 @05:48PM (#25446681)

    System is worth $11k today, maybe $2k by 2010. Super high-end systems that are not designed for professionals (or servers for datacenters) just have never made sense to me. The depreciation is just too great on a computer.

    Not to mention it will be worth $0 when the oil containment fails.

    • by linzeal (197905)
      This would make a terrible workstation the cards are absolutely not made for that [leadtek.com.tw].
      • by afidel (530433)
        That explanation is SO stupid. The Quadro line is the same chips just binned and jumpered differently which is why the hard and soft-mods work, it's the same freaking hardware with a different driver. If you have a marginal card you might get some problems when exercising units that games don't normally push, but anything past a first rev of a new chip is likely to be just as good as the Quadro binning of the first rev.
  • by snspdaarf (1314399) on Monday October 20, 2008 @05:50PM (#25446701)

    Ignoring for the moment what will happen when you tell someone your plans for the weekend are to oil up your new computer.....

    I know that air cooling has its limitations, but there is something nice about knowing your computer is not going to spooge all over your desk or floor. And working on this thing will be a real nasty mess.

    But if you are an alternate fuels kind of person, then your diesel Smart and your PC can both smell like french fries.

    Seriously, if they have to ship this thing empty, how to you return it for warranty work? I promise you that UPS or FedEx will not be happy if your package begins oozing oil in their truck. This may be the best thing to hit town since, oh, Orgasm Queen of the SS (Godwin and porn in one post!), but I will wait a few years before I will buy an oil cooled PC.

    • by frank_adrian314159 (469671) on Monday October 20, 2008 @06:54PM (#25447231) Homepage

      Orgasm Queen of the SS

      I am interested in your ideas and would like to subscribe to your newsletter...

      • by I.M.O.G. (811163)

        I am interested in your ideas and would like to subscribe to your newsletter...

        You muffed the meme. It's a simpsons quote parroted so much on slashdot that few recognize where the meme originates. Here is the correct form:

        "Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter."

        Source [google.com]

    • >> Orgasm Queen of the SS

      The PC is apparently submerged in Kroil- The oil that creeps (you out)

      -b

  • your money goes to support vladimir putin, hugo chavez and saudi wahabbism

    do the patriotic thing and buy a domestic american wind immersion pc

    and if you aren't in an area where a wind immersion pc is practical, follow t boone pickens' lead and get yourself a natural gas immersed pc

    eh... on second thought, maybe not such a good idea, a natural gas immersed pc, heh

    • An LP tank would be a great place to submerge a pc as long as you let off enough pressure to keep everything cool. However, your gas bill would be outrageous.

      For extra credit, design a closed system that keeps the pc in the cold (expansion) side of a freon/refrigerant air conditioner. No condensation, no corrosion. Perfect.

      -b

  • And..... why? (Score:2, Interesting)

    I read TFA and was waiting for all the reasons this was a good idea. Like why all Buicks have three holes in each side. Or why glad bags are so much better with yellow and blue zippers. I expected to read that the machine was like, totally silent. Or that things ran, well, slicker. Maybe I missed a whole page of pluses? There gotta be a whole lot of pluses for a $4K box that you can't change the motherboard.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by forceman130 (1233754)
      The Buick thing is easy - it tells you what size engine is inside. The V6's have three holes on each side, and the V8's have four. And yellow and blue make green, so you can see when it is sealed. I thought that was well covered by the "yellow and blue make green" ad campaign.
    • Glad bags are awesome. Those ones with the fold over top...did you know that you can put sandwiches in them!
    • by lymond01 (314120)

      Or that things ran, well, slicker.

      I think you can assume this one at least.

  • by Animats (122034) on Monday October 20, 2008 @06:08PM (#25446853) Homepage

    Here's the main claim from the patent:
    7,414,845 Attlesey, et al. August 19, 2008
    Circuit board assembly for a liquid submersion cooled electronic device

    1. A liquid submersion cooled computer, comprising:

    • a case having a liquid-tight interior space;
    • a lid removably connected to the case for closing a top of the interior space,
    • the lid including at least one pass-through connector;
    • a motherboard disposed in the interior space and attached to the lid,
    • the motherboard having a top end with electrical contacts engaged with the pass-through connector that permits inputs/outputs and/or power to be passed to the motherboard;
    • a plurality of components mounted on the motherboard, including one or more of a plurality of processors,
    • a plurality of memory cards,
    • a plurality of graphics cards, and a plurality of power supplies;
    • a dielectric cooling liquid within the interior space and submerging at least one of the components on the motherboard so as to be in direct contact therewith;
    • and an impingement cooling system that includes a plurality of tubes for directing a flow of the dielectric cooling liquid directly onto two or more of the plurality of components.

    The only novelty here seems to be in putting the connectors in the removable lid.

    Incidentally, the cooling liquid isn't an "oil" at all. It's one of 3M's Novec engineered fluids [3m.com], probably HFE-7500, which is 3-ethoxy-1,1,1,2,3,4,4,5,5,6,6,6-dodecafluoro-2-trifluoromethyl-hexane. It's usable for cooling up to 150C, nonflammable, does not irritate skin, does not contribute to global warming, ozone depletion, or smog, and the MSDS even says "Ingestion: no health effects are expected". 3M developed it as a replacement for PCBs and perfluorocarbons like Fluorinert. So it can be used safely by the idiots who overclock.

    • So it can be used safely by the idiots who overclock.

      So could deionized water, for less money. I totally agree that there's really nothing new here, but I guess everyone's happy as long as the investors don't know that. :-)
      • by Animats (122034)

        So could deionized water, for less money.

        Zinc, copper, and mild steel, all of which are likely to be found on a circuit board, will all corrode slowly in deionized water. You don't get mineral deposits from deionized water, and it's nonconductive, but it's not noncorrosive.

        • True - I hadn't considered the corrosive nature of the water. Where I've used it (immersive cooling for lasers), it's not a problem, but you're right that there are some metals on a circuit board that might not be happy in it over the long term.
          • People who have tried using DI water found that after only a few minutes of water, the DI was no long- Metal ions were carried into the water very quickly (especially off charged surfaces) and then the resistance of the water dropped geometrically.

            This was total immersion, not just a water-cooled cpu block. Hats off to them for risking their system. I looked but could not find the original source.

            I did find this, and since this is slashdot I'll just go ahead and post the link:

            THE COOLING POWER OF PIGEON LEG

            • That's why DI chiller systems are always recirculated and have a filter to pull anything out that might make the water conductive.
    • >>probably HFE-7500

      I don't know. I thought the HFE family ate through the kinds of plastics one would likely find on a computer. Also, it evaporates relatively quickly (quicker than hydrocarbon oils, at least).

      I suppose HFE would explain the better part of the price tag.

      -b

  • Versus water cooling (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Lost Engineer (459920) on Monday October 20, 2008 @06:09PM (#25446863)

    I'm just wondering what the advantage of this thing is versus non-submersed liquid cooling.

    1) Noise? They said it's quiet "for so much hardware." Yeah well considering what a normal three GPU system sounds like that's not saying a whole lot. A good pump-and-block cooled setup can run around 25 dBa which is something like a whisper at 6 feet. In both cases you still need a couple of fans running, so I imagine non-cooling factors will dominate noise.

    2) Performance? The article says cooling probably won't exceed the best liquid cooled setups that focus on the CPU/GPU.

    It certainly is a cool idea, but I think I'd rather pay for a normal liquid cooled setup.

    • The advantage is that it cools all the components in the system, not just those that have a water block or heat sink on them, so I'd imagine the components will last longer. Not that it really matters, since the system will almost certainly have been replaced well before the components start failing, not to mention that for the same price premium you could probably buy a closet full of spare parts.
  • Equilibrium (Score:4, Funny)

    by EZLeeAmused (869996) on Monday October 20, 2008 @06:11PM (#25446875)
    From the article:
    the machine should never really run higher than ambient room temperature if all is well
    How long after you switch it on does the ambient room temperature make it up to the operating temperature of the pc?
    • I'm pretty sure the temperature difference between the room and the computer would look like the graph of y=-logx where y is the temp diff and x is time.
      You'd need to know the starting conditions.

      But I've had some beer and I'm tired. Forget you read this.

      -b

  • by Conspicuous Coward (938979) on Monday October 20, 2008 @06:12PM (#25446887)

    First off, the summary reads like a press release, as does TFA, is slashdot that desperate for cash these days? Secondly, the PC itself seems like a pretty useless gimmick.

    I don't understand who is supposed to be buying this thing at $4k-$11k.
    Hardcore overclockers? OK the thing has excellent cooling, but not much better than you could achieve with a decent watercooling rig at a fraction of the price. This group will be put off by the proprietry(and probably overpriced)upgrades and the difficulty of actually opening the thing, not to mention the pricetag.
    Gamers? Why would they pay this much over the odds for a system that's at best 10% faster than a commodity system? Again, this group will be put off by the lack of a decent upgrade path.
    Silent PC enthusiasts? This group might be interested at first, the one thing an oil filled PC might arguably be useful for is silence. But at $4000+, you've got to be joking, there are already very good solutions at a fraction of that price.

    Ultimately I just don't see any need for this kind of cooling system, PC's just don't run hot enough that it's worth dealing with the hassle.

    • by toiletsalmon (309546) on Monday October 20, 2008 @07:11PM (#25447369) Journal

      Thanks. That was perfect:

      First off, the summary reads like a press release, as does TFA, is Slashdot that desperate for cash these days? Secondly, the $ITEM itself seems like a pretty useless gimmick.

      I don't understand who is supposed to be buying this thing at $LOWPRICE-$HIPRICE.
      Hardcore $HOBBY? OK the thing has excellent $FEATURE, but not much better than you could achieve with a decent $COMPETE_TECH $ITEM at a fraction of the price. This group will be put off by the proprietry(and probably overpriced)upgrades and the difficulty of actually $MAINTENANCE the thing, not to mention the pricetag.
      $HOBBY2? Why would they pay this much over the odds for a $ITEM that's at best $PERCENT_BETTER% $VERB than a commodity $ITEM? Again, this group will be put off by the lack of a decent $ALTERNATIVE.
      $HOBBY3? This group might be interested at first, the one thing an $ITEM might arguably be useful for is $FEATURE. But at $LOWPRICE+, you've got to be joking, there are already very good solutions at a fraction of that price.

      Ultimately I just don't see any need for this kind of $ITEM, $ITEM's just don't $BEHAVIOR that it's worth dealing with the hassle. ;)

  • by NotInfinitumLabs (1150639) on Monday October 20, 2008 @06:16PM (#25446921)
    It was thought that the mineral oil on these PCs would eat at the Rubber seals or the contacts on the motherboard and cause the PC to fail over time. This isn't true. Here's a link to the year-after report on a oil-based PC that Puget Systems built: http://www.pugetsystems.com/submerged.php#update3 [pugetsystems.com]

    The most important part:
    "# There is no sign of weakening of rubber seals or PCB. We have found that prolonged exposure to mineral oil does not eat away at any components. However, you will notice in the pictures that the voltage module for the LED light has fallen down. That module was stuck in place with nothing more than a sticker -- it took 9 months for it to come down! We're amazed it stayed up that long, but definitely recommend you do not rely on stickers or tape to fasten anything. Zip ties will be more solid and long lasting."
    • Or you could avoid the possibility of damaging any rubber/plastic components by immersing in DI water rather than oil. Fill the system up, bang it around a bit to dislodge any bubbles, run the pump for half an hour or so to let the DI filter get anything conductive out of the water, then you're good to go. I think I'd rather deal with a leak of a couple of gallons of DI water rather than some weird mineral oil that will likely ruin anything it touches. You'd have to change out the DI cartridge every year
      • by afidel (530433)
        DI water tends to not stay that way in the presence of metals, and as soon as you have re-ionized water you have a big mess on your hands. Not to mention that water+Cap's=bad idea whereas cap's+oil=no biggie.
        • Second. Deionized water next to charged metal surfaces= ionized water. DI water is only good in labwork where you are using glassware.

          Solid helium. That's what would work best. Except, I suppose, for the explosion. Hey, you don't call yourself hardcore unless you're willing to have a smoking, -260C crater in your mom's basement.

          -b

          • Deionized water next to charged metal surfaces= ionized water. DI water is only good in labwork where you are using glassware.

            That's why you have deionization filters in the circuit, and filtered water works wonderfully as a coolant in laser systems, even lamp-pumped systems where the electrodes are immersed and are passing 15 or so amps at better than 100 VDC. One thing that I did miss and that another poster pointed out, however, was that the corrosive nature of the water will not be particularly go
    • When I first read the article (admittedly, a bit late), I thought the same thing. I'm just disappointed I had to read this far down to see someone who pointed this out. Wish I had mod points.
  • by GFree678 (1363845) on Monday October 20, 2008 @06:17PM (#25446929)

    proprietary oil

    Can we demand an open-source version of the oil for us hardcore geeks?

  • Foreign oil (Score:3, Funny)

    by philspear (1142299) on Monday October 20, 2008 @06:38PM (#25447107)

    Great! Now we're going to be dependant on foreign oil not only to run our cars, but now to run our COMPUTERS?!? I'm so disgusted, I didn't even read the summary. Our addiction has reached new heights. What's next, making PLASTIC out of oil? Sheesh.

  • by Ed Avis (5917) <ed@membled.com> on Monday October 20, 2008 @07:18PM (#25447431) Homepage

    Whenever you read these overclocking and gaming sites it gets really tedious that they always have to call a computer a 'rig'. But finally, we have an instance where the name is entirely appropriate.

  • Great! (Score:4, Funny)

    by reboot246 (623534) on Monday October 20, 2008 @08:06PM (#25447831) Homepage
    Now when somebody tells you to shove that computer up your ass, it'll have plenty of lube to go in smoothly.
  • by John Sokol (109591) on Monday October 20, 2008 @08:09PM (#25447857) Homepage Journal

    This is from a now dead startup I did from 2002 to 2005. 100% totally silent High end PC's.

    http://www.silentcomputing.com/i.html [silentcomputing.com] Look at the last photo.

      We had an all aluminum design as well as a water cooled design. I also came up with an advanced Carbon Fiber material with 4x the thermal conductivity of Copper that was light weight.

    These systems provide much more cooling then oil could ever do.

    The system was sealed, 100% total silent and easy to disassemble and re-assemble. Even easier to work on then a regular PC...

    We even had the hard drives in a thermally conductive rubber allowing them to run cooler then in a normal system with fans.

    The main system was sealed and designed to run with a descant and dry gas like argon inside so when overclocking using peltier thermoelectric coolers on the CPU where wouldn't be any condensation. Condensation is a major problem for overclockers that up the voltage and have to supercool the CPU.

    We are still planning to open source the designs.

    We never were able to raise the money to start production of these. To be honest 1/2 our problem was management wanted to court Intel,HP, SUN, and they just didn't get it. The large companies really weren't interested in something that didn't conform to what they already were doing.

    We never did talk to enough small investors, and finally we ended up with a bad apple in the company that try to do a hostile take over and killed the company when he failed...

    Finally the last 20 polished heat sinks I had were stolen out of my garage 2 weeks ago :( Some idiots problem going to get standard aluminum recycling prices for them too, considering each one cost me over $100 each!

    I always felt doing oil was just idiotic and still do.

    Too bad being an entrepreneur isn't as easy as programming.

    If anyone is still interested in this tech, let me know. I have 3 years invested in it, and we were partners with NASA for much of it.

  • Patents mentioned: (Score:3, Informative)

    by nog_lorp (896553) * on Monday October 20, 2008 @08:59PM (#25448277)

    Liquid submersion cooling system:
    http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.htm&r=2&p=1&f=G&l=50&d=PTXT&S1=Attlesey.INNM.&OS=in/(Attlesey)&RS=IN/Attlesey [uspto.gov]

    Circuit board assembly for a liquid submersion cooled electronic device:
    http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.htm&r=1&p=1&f=G&l=50&d=PTXT&S1=Attlesey.INNM.&OS=in/(Attlesey)&RS=IN/Attlesey [uspto.gov]

    From the first, a notable claim that relates to their "super high-tech secret oil":
    8. The electronic device of claim 1, wherein the dielectric cooling liquid is a soy-based dielectric liquid.

  • Seriously, at this point wouldn't it make more sense to build a moisture-proof wrapper for your PC and just dump it in a bar fridge or small portable freezer? None of these systems are actually active cooling units, they're just more efficient ways to dissipate the heat that builds up. So why not actively COOL the systems down? How hard could it be to build a reasonably reliable freezer that stays at 0Deg F & that's big enough to hold a minitower? Can't possibly cost more than a $1000. Add a moisture-pr

  • I have to take my pc AND my car to Meineke to get an oil change. Im gonna be poor soon.
  • by the_rajah (749499) * on Monday October 20, 2008 @10:48PM (#25449105) Homepage
    elevator controls. I know where there's a 3 stop basement traction elevator in a private home that was installed in 1917 and still in operation with all stock components where the control relays are immersed in a tub of oil. The relays are mounted to the lid which can be raised up via a small chain hoist.
  • by jtgd (807477)
    It seems to me a better design would be to mount the CPU(s), and anything else real hot, on the bottom edge of the motherboard. Then you only have to immerse the bottom portion of the board in a pool of oil. The upper portion, where the PCI boards plug in, can be conventional, thus not requiring special boards.
  • I see a few problems (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PPH (736903) on Tuesday October 21, 2008 @12:39AM (#25449693)

    Problem 1: Fire codes. To date, nobody has come up with a non-flammable insulating oil to replace PCBs (carcinogenic, nasty stuff). Oil is flammable and, in combination with electrical equipment, a very bad idea. Generally, it is not allowed within occupied ares outside of fireproof vaults.

    Problem 2: Specific heat content of oil. Its not as good as water by a long shot. So, for equipment that operates below 100C, water can transport much more heat than oil. CPU and GPU water coolers are common technology. So what good is oil?

    Problem 3: This doesn't eliminate fans, pumps, heat sinks, etc. that eventually move the heat into the surrounding air. That stuff still makes noise. Apart from some custom systems that plumb coolant to remote heat exchangers where the noise isn't a problem, this thing will still have fans. So what did we gain?

    Problem 4: How much power do those kewl blue LEDs consume? Here's an idea ....

Going the speed of light is bad for your age.

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