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Hardware Technology

The World's First CPU Liquid Cooler Using Nanofluids 79

Posted by samzenpus
from the keeping-cool dept.
An anonymous reader writes "CPU water cooling may be more expensive than air cooling, but it is quieter and moves the bulk away from your CPU. It's also improving, as Zalman has just demonstrated with the announcement of the Reserator 3. Zalman is claiming that the Reserator 3 is the world's first liquid cooler to use nanofluids. What's that then? It involves adding refrigerant nanoparticles to the fluid that gets pumped around inside the cooler transporting the heat produced by a CPU to the radiator and fan where it is expelled. By using the so-called nanofluid, Zalman believes it can offer better cooling, and rates the Reserator 3 as offering up to 400W of cooling while remaining very quiet. The fluid and pump is supplemented by a dual copper radiator design and "quadro cooling path," which consists of two copper pipes sitting behind the fan and surrounded by the radiators. The heatsink sitting on top of the CPU is a micro-fin copper base allowing very quick transfer of heat to the nanofluid above."
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The World's First CPU Liquid Cooler Using Nanofluids

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  • by Hartree (191324) on Sunday August 18, 2013 @12:58PM (#44601227)

    We've been using Dihrdrogen Monoxide for cooling for decades. And it has angstrom size particles!

    Is this guy claiming his way is better because he's tossing something the relative size of beach balls into his kiddie ball pit?

    ( ;) for the humor impaired.)

    • We've been using Dihrdrogen Monoxide for cooling for decades. And it has angstrom size particles!
      Is this guy claiming his way is better because he's tossing something the relative size of beach balls into his kiddie ball pit?

      It's just another slashvertisement. Presumably this sort of thing pays well enough.
      Angstrom sized molecules do the cooling better, whether H2O or an actual refrigerant. Zalman don't even say what their "nano" particles are, other than being gigantic in comparison.

      • by Immerman (2627577) on Sunday August 18, 2013 @02:09PM (#44601577)

        They mention refrigerants, so probably they're talking about massive molecules like chlorofluorocarbons or something which do have some interesting properties and may actually be better coolants than water. A lot more chemical bonds = a lot more degrees of freedom in which thermal energy can be stored = much higher specific heat capacity. This is actually reasonably well understood, and the reason that the ideal gas law (PV=nRT) becomes increasingly inaccurate for anything beyond the most simple molecules

        But yeah, sounds like "nano-particles" is just a way to sex-up the advertising campaign, and has nothing to do with the nano-engineered materials/mechanisms that "nano-whatsits" typically refer to.

        • by rahvin112 (446269) on Sunday August 18, 2013 @02:35PM (#44601719)

          CFC's are not miracle cooling agents. They work on vapor-compression cycle that takes advantage of thermodynamics to move heat from one place to another. If you put CFCs in a line like water cooling without the normal refrigeration cycle they will perform worse than water at heat removal.

          • by gl4ss (559668)

            yeah so what did they add? nanoparticles of gold?

            it makes no sense whatsoever to add "nanoparticles of refrigants" into a liquid cooling system, even if they changed phase you would be fucked if that happened.

            • by Immerman (2627577)

              The point is
              Refrigerants ~= large molecules ~= high per-molecule heat capacity
                  ~= will absorb greater more wattage of heat for the same temperature change
                  = a substantially greater wattage of heat can be transferred for a given flow rate and temperature differential.

            • it makes no sense whatsoever to add "nanoparticles of refrigants" into a liquid cooling system

              It makes a heap of sense from a marketing viewpoint.

          • by Immerman (2627577)

            Are you certain of that? You have consulted the data sheets for all common large-molecule refrigerants?

            I'm not discussing using them as refrigerants, I'm saying that at least some of them likely have a high specific heat, meaning heating/cooling it by X degrees requires significantly more energy transfer, and they can thus transfer a substantially greater wattage of heat for a given flow rate and temperature differential.

            • by gl4ss (559668)

              all large molecule refrigerants are vapor in room temp/pressure and liquid cooling systems aren't pressurized.. if it's a refrigerant it would be lost quite quickly.

              water is pretty darn good, that's why it's used in cars(with additives) even if they could go to synthetic waterless mixes which would offer less problems with freezing, boiling and corrosion.

              • by Immerman (2627577)

                >all large molecule refrigerants are vapor in room temp/pressure

                Which is irrelevant if dissolved in liquid, or if this new gadget is a pressurized closed-cycle system (I'm guessing not)

                Suppose R9876 has 50x the heat capacity of water when liquid, and can be stably dissolved to a 2% solution in water at operating temperatures. You now have a liquid solution that can reasonably be expected to have around .98*1 + .02*50 = 1.98x the heat capacity of pure water.

                Not that I'm discounting that they created a so

          • by LoRdTAW (99712)

            Exactly, the idea being that a refrigerant like R134a (used in just about every auto air conditioner and other systems) has a high rate of heat rejection and absorption. R134 is compressed and liquified in the high pressure side of the system which causes it to rapidly dump its heat (the condenser coil or "hot coil".) From there it is allowed to bleed into the low pressure side through an expansion valve or orifice tube where it vaporizes and rapidly absorbs heat (the evaporator coil or "cold coil".) Liquid

    • by girlintraining (1395911) on Sunday August 18, 2013 @01:52PM (#44601485)

      Is this guy claiming his way is better because he's tossing something the relative size of beach balls into his kiddie ball pit?

      The word "believe" should have been a dead giveaway this is a scam. My mom has this special "vormag" water that has a sticker on the side that says "this vortex and magnetized water raises its energy to a higher level we believe is more beneficial." When you have the word 'believe' next to something that can be objectively measured, you should simply mentally add to the end "... according to the department of bullshit."

      • by Immerman (2627577)

        Lies and slander! Vormag water clearly helps revitalize your seventh-dimensional astral being, leading to a better flow of vital essence through the 12th and 47th nodal extremities, enhancing both your sense of general well being and ability to channel positive outcomes into your daily life. That should be obvious to anyone with a ninth-level or higher consciousness.

        The placebo effect is a strange thing - there is a reason that double-blind tests are used for drug trials even when the results can be objec

      • by msobkow (48369)

        Exactly. Cooling effectiveness can be empirically tested.

        In fact there seem to be a lot of people in the "modding" market that do exactly that.

    • by Teun (17872)
      As proven by some windscreen liquids nano particles can wiggle themselves between a solid surface and water and make the rain run off easily, the question is if they can improve the transfer of heat compared to 'just' water.
      It is a know fact that various alcohols that are used as anti-freeze lower the heat transfer of liquid cooled systems.

      Mercury or Sodium work much better but have their own issues...

      • by Anonymous Coward

        You call it "windscreen nanoparticles". Most of us call it "wax". Rain-X and similar products are just a wax for glass, giving the surface less friction so the water slides off.

        • by BLKMGK (34057)

          Rain-X isn't wax although it does appear to close up the pores of glass and shed water VERY well until it begins to wear. No wax I've ever seen is carried by an alcohol base. ;-)

          There are similar fluids for water to improve heat dissipation by breaking down surface tension. You use one in your dishwasher most likely and it's supposed to reduce water spots by making the water shed off. In the automotive world there's Water Wetter from Redline and now some others. It's benefits are controversial but in my per

          • by RockDoctor (15477)

            Rain-X isn't wax although it does appear to close up the pores of glass

            Your glass should have a porosity several orders of magnitude lower than 1% v/v.

            I've not heard- of this "Rain-X" stuff before, and I suffer greatly from rain and fog adhering to my spectacles when I'm hill-walking in the driving rain, or caving, or bicycling. I've looked at lots of different alleged "keep glass usable" materials over the years, and found it to be a field full, just absolutely full, of sheer unadulterated bullshit.

            Googl

            • Rain-X does what it's meant to and it wasn't designed for glasses so no it may not meet your needs. They do make an anti-fog product but I've not found it nearly as useful. Rain-X causes water to bead extremely well which when used in aircraft (original application) or on surfaces of cars that receive wind (not my back window) it's terrific. I seldom have need of my wipers at anything past a crawl. At slower speeds I simply focus past the droplets if its not raining hard enough to clear.

              Sorry this might not

              • by RockDoctor (15477)
                The way that I read the advertising for most of the recurring "great new discoveries" is that they help the water to disperse, not to form droplets. I realise that this is because copy-writers are generally at best language or arts graduates, not science graduates, but I still find it disappointing.

                What I'd look for, which may be possible, is something that altered the surface tension between the coating and water such that the droplets sink down into a thin (few 10s of microns) film of rain water and then

    • by edibobb (113989)
      I agree! Aren't all fluids nanofluids? What are these mysterious nanoparticles, anyway, and why aren't they named? Why is this pseudo BS here?
    • by cwsumner (1303261)

      Water is not that small a molecule. If it was, it would be a gas like carbon dioxide. The simple three atoms bond to others, by the thousands, so the resulting macro-molecule is quite large.

      That is why water behaves so unlike other compounds, having multiple solid states and characteristics at different temperatures and pressures.

  • by For a Free Internet (1594621) on Sunday August 18, 2013 @12:58PM (#44601229)

    I like reading articles that are actually paid advertisements! Whithout Slashdort, which I like to call the "Facebook of the Internet," how would I know what to buy? Dice Holdings is my GOD!

    • by fustakrakich (1673220) on Sunday August 18, 2013 @01:12PM (#44601295) Journal

      Heh, you got that right. 'Nanofluids'?? Somebody just graduated from Buzzword Marketing 101..

      • by mjwalshe (1680392)
        well you didn't graduate in thermofluids did you or even plumbing trade school hint look up specific heat on wikipedia
      • Yea well I'm going to make one with cyber-nano-fluids. Unfortunately the use of the word cyber has meant that various Governments are trying to legislate for the cyber-fluid threat.

        Why not wait until there is actually a review of this thing before it gets to the front page of Slashdot, the article contains zero useful information, If this nano-fluid is any good it will compare favourably with the H80 etc. If it does then I'll be interested.

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Cut down on the porn. And you won't have a problem with cyber nano fluids...

      • by gman003 (1693318)

        Hey! Those nanofluids clearly increase their cloud synergy via outside-the-box thinking!

      • Heh, you got that right. 'Nanofluids'?? Somebody just graduated from Buzzword Marketing 101..

        No, nanofluids come from Rob Malda's micro penis.

  • Nanobots (Score:5, Funny)

    by captain_dope_pants (842414) on Sunday August 18, 2013 @01:17PM (#44601315)
    Wait till we get nanobots into our nano-coolant. They'd be there for maintenance if a component starts going wrong.

    However, I do see problems...

    "Sorry teacher, my computer had a coolant leak and the nanobots ate my homework. They also disassembled my dog and turned my roller skates into a tiny death star."
  • What purpose would a 400W cooler serve? Shouldn't we be trying to keep the heat down in the cpus themselves?
    • by MarioMax (907837)

      They are claiming that their coolers are suitable for CPUs with a TDP of 400W, at least that is how I interpret it. Which would mean that something that generates less heat than 400W (like pretty much every AMD and Intel CPU) would benefit from the additional cooling headroom.

    • by BLKMGK (34057)

      Prior to some additional tweaking and slowing down the clock on my CPU I was seeing extended temps as high as 90C on my computer. That's with water cooling :-) If these guys can shed heat better I'm all ears! that said I suspect this is marketing or some sort of water tension reducing chemical which I already use. Also, if this is as good as they say let's cool the GPU - THAT is the part that gets REALLY hot in a computer when it's doing serious crunching. The CPUs these days actually do pretty well.

      If you'

  • You can stop reading right there.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Sure, you just have to put something in there that increases the thermal conductivity--nano sized or not.
    But I don't think that was ever the problem with water cooling; the problem has always been complexity of the plumbing and possibility of catastrophic leaks.

    • by BLKMGK (34057)

      These systems use crimped connectors, semi-rigid lines that prevent evap, and are pretty much sealed units. No leakage issues or plumbing woes. they also cannot compete with well built hand built cooling systems - which I run. they don't have the flexibility or the capacity for it - not yet. Done right leaks aren't an issue and even when it does happen there's no catastrophe - at least not in the instances I've had in years past. I'd love to know what these guys have used but I'm not sure it's nearly as coo

  • Also because water is a very efficient cooling agent when used with a circulation pump. My guess is some idiot in Zalman marketing just wanted something "cool" or "hip" in there.

  • by JDG1980 (2438906) on Sunday August 18, 2013 @03:14PM (#44601983)

    By using the so-called nanofluid, Zalman believes it can offer better cooling

    Belief shouldn't have anything to do with it. Let's see the numbers – how does this compare to other closed-loop liquid cooling systems in terms of thermals and noise? I'll reserve judgment until I see Anandtech, Tom's, or some other reputable site review this in comparison with other cooling devices.

  • by arielCo (995647) on Sunday August 18, 2013 @03:58PM (#44602265)

    As ridiculously shallow as the TFA is, there is some work on nanoparticle-liquid suspensions:

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S135943111200511X [sciencedirect.com]

    Nanoparticles in Thermoelectric Power Plant Cooling Fluids [asu.edu]

    Nanoparticle Additives Boost Industrial Cooling Systems (That Means Saving Energy) [science20.com]

    I'll try to make sense of it (can someone more competent provide a Cliff's-notes version, please?).

    Meanwhile, sorry to rain on the bash party.

  • by godel_56 (1287256) on Sunday August 18, 2013 @05:12PM (#44602879)

    There are products that embed a small amount (8%) of a tailored wax material coated with a protective shell, into plaster wall board.

    The wax is designed to melt at around 16C and the combination acts as a thermal mass for storing heat in buildings (actually "cool"). This gives the plaster wall boards about the same thermal mass as a brick wall.

    I suspect this is something similar. Phase change nano-particles dramatically increase the heat carrying capacity of the cooling fluid at a lower flow rate and probably lower noise and power consumption.

  • by Optimal Cynic (2886377) on Sunday August 18, 2013 @08:03PM (#44603939)
    Correction: "An anonymous Zalman PR flack writes:"
  • Water cooling would be a lot more useful if there were some genuinely nice, well-designed cases out there to put these water-cooling systems into. Even the high-end cases aren't very good; they're much too large, they're plasticky and cheap, they don't have toolless drive bays, they have way too many drive bays, etc. This isn't 1993 any more; we don't need cases with 10 5.25" drive bays. And why does anyone bother with full-size ATX motherboards any more? No one uses expansion cards any more, except for

    • by dargaud (518470)

      Why can't someone make a really nice, metal, miniITX system with space for 2 hard drives that doesn't look like some cheap, gaudy plastic-front POS?

      A hundred times this. I've been looking for two days for the smallest case+mobo that can take two 3.5" hard drive and one 2.5" SSD (or possibly an mSata), no optical bay, has plenty of USB, has integrated graphics and accepts VT-d processors so I can run a headless home server that can run virtual machines efficiently. Well, so far I'm empty handed or the cases are twice bigger than they could be (the Shuttles, which have a very nice cooling system).

    • Water cooling would be a lot more useful if there were some genuinely nice, well-designed cases out there to put these water-cooling systems into. Even the high-end cases aren't very good; they're much too large, they're plasticky and cheap, they don't have toolless drive bays, they have way too many drive bays, etc.

      Ah your not looking hard enough I've had water cooling for over two years now in a very nice
      cooler master haf 922 steal case, I can't find the heat transfer rate just the CPU temps which have never
      gotten above 75 C with OTTC (i7-920 overclocked to 4.5Ghz).

      I started with a H50 that looks a lot like this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835181031 [newegg.com]
      a radiator with tubes running to and from a copper block that sits on the CPU, water or some liquid being propelled by a small pump.
      A lot less w

    • by T-Bone-T (1048702)

      That's something I noticed when I was case shopping recently. I've got more room for expansion slots than I know what to do with when I would really only need maybe 3 or 4(GPU, eSATA, USB 3.0). I still use my DVD drive occaionally but I've got room for 3. Maybe I could get some kind of control panel for the other slots. I've got 2 HDDs and an SSD but my case also has a dedicated SSD spot, which means I'm still not using half of my HDD slots. It all seems kind of silly.

      • by Grishnakh (216268)

        It is. Maybe I'm getting old, but I'm getting really sick of the giant monster cases when it's now possible to pack everything onto a miniITX motherboard, and the big PC makers like Lenovo and HP have lots of "small form factor" desktop PCs available that have far better designs than anything in the build-it-yourself market, and are much quieter too even without water cooling. The build-it-yourself stuff hasn't even changed in 10 years; it's all exactly the same.

  • I actually find that with current desktop technology, that the most ambient noisy part of the desktop box is the power supply fan, To achieve power vs package size, the power supply's fan has to roar in high speed.

    I actually bought a more expensive power supply, just to combat the noise. I can now sit for hours with the ambient box within arms length of my face, and not notice if the box fans are actually running.

    Will I be able to put his cooler fan into the box so refrigerated air flows through the powe

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