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Computer Room Hot? 481

Anonymous Coward writes "Here is a cool PC ventilation product I ran across. Like many faithful on here, I have multiple computers in a small room which really heat up the place. My office is a good eight degrees warmer than the rest of the house This product called R.A.C.H.A.L (Reduce Annoying Computer Heat And Loudness) vents computer exhaust into the wall, not the room. Might cut down on the electricity bills during those hot months.." Another approach: An anonymous reader writes "If your 'puter is getting to loud, you might want to consider some silent cooling. And the gang at OverclockersClub has just that. A three page review of the Zalman VGA Heatpipe Cooler. This thing is pretty nice looking, and with no power, no noise, what else could a guy ask for? Check out the review here. How come more companies don't do the "silent" thing?" Borked link fixed.
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Computer Room Hot?

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  • nice! (Score:2, Funny)

    by RyLaN ( 608672 )
    my computer wakes up the people below me when i turn it on..well, i do have a pent 4 overclocked to 4.0 ghz, but thats not the point!
    • by Greedo ( 304385 ) on Monday January 06, 2003 @05:50PM (#5028280) Homepage Journal
      A quick search [] on the anonymous poster's email address [mailto] eventually leads to this page [] which includes:
      BACKGROUND: We're starting up a new company, Computer Exhaust Systems, wh ...

      So instead of "Here is a cool PC ventilation product I ran across", he should really be saying "Here is a cool PC ventilation product that my company makes."

      Sure, it's kinda neat. But I hope /. got some ad revenue for this.

    • by BigBlockMopar ( 191202 ) on Monday January 06, 2003 @07:06PM (#5028867) Homepage

      Here's a thought I had, but probably will never get around to building.

      Lots of people go to the expense and effort of building/buying radiators or using large tanks of water as the heatsink for their water-based CPU cooler systems.

      Last year, I started measuring the temperature of the water in my toilet tank. After a flush, it drops to 5-6 degrees Celsius. Between flushes, it gradually reaches room temperature, of course, but this is still no worse than a radiator or bucket. In practice, however, it never actually gets above about 10C (while room temperature is about 20C).

      In other words, it's a supply of cold water which you were going to simply flush away.

      Place a small bucket inside the toilet tank. Put a submersible pump in there, run the water to the CPU coolers, bring the water back and drain it over the bucket in the tank.

      Everytime you flush the 6 beers you went through while flaming me for my Linux isn't ready for the desktop article [], you can rest assured that the water which cools your CPU is being replaced with fresh, cold water. No mold, no mildew.

      The purpose of putting the pump in the bucket is so that there's always a supply of water for the pump, even during the flush. And the purpose of draining the return line over the bucket is so that if your toilet tank doesn't refill for some reason, you'll still keep your bucket full of water and buy some time for hardware monitors to shut the system down if it's getting too warm.

      I don't know how hot the water in the toilet will get, but think about this:

      • The bucket full of water in the toilet tank is replaced during each flush but isn't actually available for a flush. You'll save water.
      • You'll be removing the CPU-heated water from the house and will therefore reduce the load on your air conditioning system.
      • You get to piss on the scourge of the overclocker, that excess CPU heat.
      • Warming liquids enhances their ability to dissolve things, including ...dark matter. You might have to clean the toilet less often.

      Of course, the only thing I'd worry about is the quality of the submersible pump. After all, if water leaked into the pump, then the water in the toilet could come into contact with one side of the AC line... the other side of which is grounded to your fusebox. If you happened to touch another grounded object while urinating (concrete floor, sink faucet, etc), then enough current could find that your stream of urine and urethral tissues are a more attractive ground path than the plastic sewer pipe. I think I'd invest in an isolation transformer (search ebay) to reduce the risk of highly ...unpleasant... damage.

      Ahh... the joys of being an eccentric genius.

      • Now, if you could run the hot water through a hollow toilet seat for those cold winter mornings, then you will have something useful going.
      • by Fulcrum of Evil ( 560260 ) on Monday January 06, 2003 @08:01PM (#5029252)

        If you're going to go to all that trouble, you may as well wire your water cooler into the supply line of the toilet: the tank fill pipe draws from your water reservoir, which draws from your water supply. Add a cutoff valve in the event that your water is cut off and you're done.

        Of course this all smacks of the sort of thing a teenager would do to his honda - expensive, failure prone, and mostly useless.

  • My house... (Score:3, Funny)

    by ( 555899 ) on Monday January 06, 2003 @04:15PM (#5027430)
    My house is freezing, and I wouldn't be able to survive in my computer room (Basement, AKA utility room) without the heat. Good for corperations, not for me. Anyone else use spare clock cycles for warmth?
    • We're having a pretty cold winter where I am, and I've found myself gravitating towards the computer room for warmth lately. Our house isn't too bad - well insulated, double-paned etc but the 3 or 4 degrees extra in the computer room really makes it cozy.

      The cat agrees with me too - she's often curled up near the CPU.

    • by tomhudson ( 43916 ) <barbara@hudson.barbara-hudson@com> on Monday January 06, 2003 @04:41PM (#5027709) Journal
      This is why real geeks can sit around in their underwear (or less) while working on their boxen :-)

      Seriously, during the winter months it makes a difference. Mind you, having my dog (a Newfoundland - think black St. Bernard) in the same room also generates enough heat to keep the room warmer - and he makes a great footrest.

    • Re:My house... (Score:2, Informative)

      by isj ( 453011 )
      When I switched off my old dual pentium 100 the temperature in my living room dropped 2 degrees celcius. Fortunately, I still have my alpha-500 :-)

      I have more-or-less deliberatly used my computers to heat my apartment this winter. But I don't have enough hardware to completely switch off the regular radiators.

    • My laptop is a handwarmer
    • Re:My house... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by kendric ( 634134 )
      My computer that I am typing on is in my bedroom and I love it. My room is on the north west corner of the building and so the wind just tears through it, making it colder then usual. We have a water heater that puts warm water through pipes, and my room is last on the line so I get very little heat from that. It used to be that in winter my bed sheets would freeze to the wall, and the ambient temp was about 15 celcius. Now I got a P4 computer and that made my room a nice cool tolerable temp. Even now I run seti to keep the computer cycling and creating heat.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 06, 2003 @04:16PM (#5027437)
    So take off all your clothes!

    Chicks love nekkid geeks in hot computer rooms.
  • Why? (Score:5, Funny)

    by VistaBoy ( 570995 ) on Monday January 06, 2003 @04:17PM (#5027442)
    How come more companies don't do the "silent" thing?

    The problem is, silence is golden. So therefore, in this poor economy, companies can't pay for the gold required and consumers can't really afford it.
  • by mccalli ( 323026 ) on Monday January 06, 2003 @04:17PM (#5027444) Homepage
    I rate ambient noise as being important to me when buying a machine, and I usually pay extra for after-market fans to keep the noise down.

    I would love manufacturers to start taking this issue more seriously. Choice of fans is important, but also the hard drives as well. Apple fans can look smug here I think - Apple do take this stuff seriously. The PC world? Not so much, and it's a real shame.


    • I am sitting in front of a compaq, 1.8GHz. It is on my desk, 2 feet from me, and IO can barely here the thing. If I bothered to put it under the desk, I owuldn't be able to hear it at all.

      what I would like to see in the specs its a db rating taking 2 feet from the box.
      • Agreed. My work machine is a Dell tower, and I can't hear it above the background noise of the office. Heck, my keyboard makes more noise than it does.

        However, you can really hear my home-built machine wind up.

        So did sound actually make it indo Dell's design considerations (the GX150 is targeted towards corporate settings), or is the background noise of my office too loud?
  • Hey, man... (Score:3, Funny)

    by LiftOp ( 637065 ) on Monday January 06, 2003 @04:17PM (#5027446) Homepage
    If you don't have to yell to hear over it, how do you know it's working? ...or is it just me and my Sparc?
  • by grub ( 11606 ) <> on Monday January 06, 2003 @04:17PM (#5027447) Homepage Journal

    An anonymous reader writes "If your 'puter is getting to loud, you might...

    BZZZT! Sorry Sparky. You lose any geek points by using the term "'puter".
  • by Fastolfe ( 1470 ) on Monday January 06, 2003 @04:17PM (#5027450)
    90% of my excessive volume and heat generation comes from various rack-mount appliances (like Cisco switches), not pee-cees. It doesn't look like these things are very friendly towards that type of environment.

    The basic concept might still be sound, though. Turn your rack into an enclosure, add some intake fans, and vent the entire rack's exhaust somewhere else. (I wonder what the exhaust temperature for an entire rack would reach?)
  • appealing (Score:2, Interesting)

    by redtail1 ( 603986 )
    How many exhaust ports can you drill into your wall before the wallpaper starts peeling off?
  • I have found that if I were to more efficiently exhaust the waste heat from my computers I would need to actually turn the heat on. It never drops below 60 in my apartment. It gets so toasty, I even leave the windows open 24/7.

    Of course, if I were living in Southern California I would install that thing in a minute.

    Of course a working link would be boss as well... here it is []
  • I don't get it (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Where does the heat go once it is in the wall? Won't it eventually radiate back out into the surrounding environment? That might be ok if your goal is only to reduce the temperature gradiant between the computer room and the rest of the building but overall I don't see how this is going to reduce the amount of heat inputted into the building.

    Unless we are talking about an exterior wall, in which case it SHOULD be well insulated but you never know.

    Hmmm... wonder how those roaches and other critters living in the wall are going to enjoy a blast of heat from my power supply fan? KFC (Kentucky Fried Cockroach) anyone?
  • by tps12 ( 105590 )
    Like anything else, the quest for silence and coolness involves a tradeoff, or Devil's Deal.

    The obvious way to keep your PC quiet is to strap pillows to the case, but this increases heat retention. Likewise, the obvious way to keep your PC cool, adding case fans, makes your PC louder.

    It turns out that you can't have it both ways...a PC generates excess energy, and it is going to manifest itself either as heat or as sound. It's basic conservation of energy. So choose your poison now, and learn to live with the side effects.
    • by The Evil Couch ( 621105 ) on Monday January 06, 2003 @04:23PM (#5027506) Homepage
      then there's the 3rd option. the waste energy manifests itself as mana and enables me to cast lightning bolts to smite the puny dwaves AAAA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

      dammit. I really need to lay off the RPGs.
    • Re:the tradeoff (Score:2, Informative)

      by BrianH ( 13460 )
      I disagree completely. While PC's generate a lot of heat, the trick to keeping them alive is moving that heat to another location...not turning the heat into sound. With my own daily driver, a P4 overclocked by more than 600Mhz, the loudest noise I hear is my hard drive head seeking...and even that is barely audible. Why? Planning! Rather than plunking down some cash for a small diameter, extreme RPM, LOUD series of fans like so many overclockers do, I mounted three low noise, high pitch 120MM fans with some very carefully planned (and custom fabricated) internal ductwork. The end result is the same airflow as the smaller, high RPM fans, but at a noise level that won't wake the baby.

      Choosing your poison just gets you killed...I'd rather engineer a solution that'll get me what I want at no cost.
    • more options:
      water cooling,
      quiter fans.
      You could also bring in cooler air from another area(properly filtered, of course).
      you could put the computer itself into a closet, and put the things you need to use to access it on your desk(couldn't use IDE).
      Or would could make the HD external, that would reduce you heat as well.

      so you see, there are far more Avenus then pillow or fans.

    • You're overlooking a popular option: water cooling. Properly designed, it is silent and even more effective at cooling than those noisy fans.
  • another approach to cutting down on heat in the room?
    • And how is sending the heat from your computer into the wall going to do that?

      Where will the heat go? The article says "into the empty space in the wall" but that's only about 16" X 3 1/2" by about 6' (some construction techniques differ). Not a whole lot of space, and it'll pressurize fast, making the fan useless.

      Pretty much a lame article, if not a troll.

  • Ack... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shepd ( 155729 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <gro.todhsals>> on Monday January 06, 2003 @04:21PM (#5027494) Homepage Journal
    Just do the right thing to begin with. If you want silence and no heat use a Cyrix C3. I'm sure you'll say it's too slow for you. Hey, you know what the saying is:

    Silent/Cold/Low-Power. Fast.

    Pick 1.
    • Re:Ack... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by evilviper ( 135110 )
      The Mobile Celeron (1.2 GHz) generates about as much heat as the 800MHz C3 (which really runs at less than 400MHz).

      The question is, why don't PC makers make MOBOs that can use Intel & AMD mobile processors? Even a tiny, nearly silent fan would be plenty of cooling (or a rather large heat-sink).
  • by PhantomHarlock ( 189617 ) on Monday January 06, 2003 @04:23PM (#5027500)
    The cavity at any given point in your wall, if it's to code, is about two cubic feet, surrounded by wood and plaster. Unless you had a magically powerful fan in your PC you won't be getting any circulation at all, because you're pressurizing a fixed cavity. Furthermore, the tube isn't insulated. This is a really silly idea. However, if you vented it *outside*, then you're talking something useful.

    • by tomhudson ( 43916 ) <barbara@hudson.barbara-hudson@com> on Monday January 06, 2003 @04:37PM (#5027664) Journal
      Of course this isn't going to work. And in colder climes, if the air did circulate, you're going to get warm, moist room air being pushed past the vapor barrier and ruining the insulation. At this point, you don't have to worry about excess heat anymore - since your insulation's R value just dropped to zero.

      You WILL have to worry about mold and mildew, as well as condensation ruining the wall panels, or running along the framing before pooling somewhere and causing more damage.

      Stupid product that has less than zero value. Hope they have good product-liability insurance to cover all the health claims from asthmatics, etc.

    • if you put it into a section of wall wire is running through, it will work, but not very effciently.
      you could pipe it into your buildings heating ducts.
    • by hackstraw ( 262471 ) on Monday January 06, 2003 @05:19PM (#5028043)
      On a side note, some supercomputing center in Minnesota, or somewhere like that where its really cold in the winter, pipes out their heat into the parking garage to help the cars start. Also, the Pittsburg Supercomputing Center's heat output is equivalent to 169 pounds of coal [] an hour!.
  • Yeah, that's right, try to avoid Slashdotting [] by re-directing the URL to slashdot []. As if we're not techy enough to figure it out.
  • 404? (Score:2, Troll)

    by jhines0042 ( 184217 )
    Dead Link? What the heck do we pay the slashdot editors for?

    Of course we pay, there are ads, aren't there?

    • The poster forgot to prepend http:// on the hyperlink. I am guessing that OSDN does not make much money from the banner ads, seeing how most of the banners in rotation are for the OSDN.
  • Heat (and nosie for that matter) are only a big problem if your top priority is speed.
    My latest system has a top priority of silence, with raw horsepower a second thought. The purpose is to record audio in a live setting (burn off CDs of a church service immediately following the service.) so I don't need a 2GHz P4. Once you back away from the bleeding edge, heat becomes much less of a problem.
    The solution in my case is a VIA C3 650, decent copper heat sink and no CPU fan. The video needs are minimal, so no GPU fan. The thing draws less power than most, so the temp-controlled fans never turn on.
    I'm still trying to decide if the liquid-bearing hard drive is worth the extra $100 though.
  • This sounds like a fine idea on the surface, but what about the inside of the walls? Wouldn't hot air create a better enviroment for mold or critters?

    It sounds like the hot coolant water from powerplants being dumped into a river and affecting the local conditions.

    I'm really not into C.H.U.D. evolving in my walls.

  • Moisture problems? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gorillasoft ( 463718 ) on Monday January 06, 2003 @04:25PM (#5027525)
    It seems to me that venting the heat into your walls could cause condensation or other moisture problems inside of your walls. It also seems like you could get some very strange noises resulting from the forced air going into an enclosed space. The backpressure from exhausting into the wall could also shorten your fan life or possibly worse. If you have fire blocking in your walls, you could be blowing hot air into a space as little as 16" x 24" or so, and once that heats up you'll be getting the heat back into your room as it radiates through the drywall.

    You also couldn't effectively use this on an exterior wall because insulation should be taking up all of the available air space inside the wall cavity anyway. Also, not all of the heat your computer generates is going to be exhausted by the fan, so this may not result in a huge reduction anyway, and it becomes even more problematic if you have more than one exhaust fan. Just a few thoughts I had.
    • It seems to me that venting the heat into your walls could cause condensation or other moisture problems inside of your walls.

      Say what? Venting _heated_ air into an enclosed space will cause dryness, not condensation....

      • by endoboy ( 560088 )
        venting heated MOIST air into an enclosed space, on the other hand....

        it's got to cool off eventually, and when it does, it can condense-- thus the vapor barrier on your walls
      • Depending on the humidity and the season in your part of the country, you could very well be venting air with moisture into the walls. Also, think about when you turn the system off and you are left with highly varying temperatures between the insides and outsides of the wall. It would be very easy to have a moisture problem on one side of the wall and/or the other. Whether it occurs inside or outside the wall, which will depend on all of the variable conditions, it's still a potential problem.
  • Has anyone tried using a heatpipe to move heat to the case?

    Seems to me, someone should be able to use the entire case as a heatsink to dissipate the heat of the CPU and GPU and do so without a fan.
  • Here is the correct link: R.A.C.H.A.L. [].

    Neat picture, though, I don't know whether it will really cool down the room. Won't the heat just build in the wall, and not dissipate as quick because of the lack of air. Then, the walls will be warm and again warm the room. Hmmmmm.
  • The servers running in my office drown out that crappy elevator music the company prez insists on playing...

  • Ummm.... it's Winter right now. My room (at college) would be positively chilly without my two computers running. It does raise the overall temp by 8-10 degrees (f), but that is welcome at this time of year. It also means I don't have to turn the heat on very high.

    In summer, I'll go home and the parents have central air on all the time, and cold for summer (my mom doesn't like the heat much). My computers then keep my (slightly larger) room tolerably warm for summer. Like 70-5 instead of around 65.

    What I'm saying is: GO HEAT!
  • by Anonymous Custard ( 587661 ) on Monday January 06, 2003 @04:29PM (#5027564) Homepage Journal
    Hook the tube up to a water faucet, and connect it to your computer's intake fan (rather than exhaust), you can lower the temperature of your computer with an efficient, cooling mist!
  • I hooked up the hose to my Apple II, IIgs, my Tandy 102, Atari 800xl, Macintosh Cube, and my Intellivision, and they all run as hot as ever!

    Damn false advertising!

  • What if I have two exhaust fans?

    If you have two exhaust fans, the ideal solution would be to install two ventilation systems. If you only want to install one, install it on the power supply fan, this generates the most heat.

    You mean, they don't have an option to hook two hoses up to one hole in the wall? Seems like they just want to prey on their customers and stupid people. But I repeat myself.

  • by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland&yahoo,com> on Monday January 06, 2003 @04:32PM (#5027604) Homepage Journal
    In the new Emery building in downtown Portland, Or. there is no furnace. The entire building is heated with the waste heat from the computers and server rooms.
    It works well.
    • The huge sever room at IBM's Santa Teresa lab was origianlly desinged to heat all seven towers of the structure. Which worked fine until new, more efficient servers were introduced. Then they had to go back and install heating equipment because the computers were no longer putting off enough heat.

      This is one of the "evils" of server consolidation. I guess.

  • by msclark ( 413170 ) <> on Monday January 06, 2003 @04:32PM (#5027608) Homepage
    As a carpenter/electrician/plumber in my spare time, I think sending computer exhaust to a residential wall is one of the dumbest ideas I've heard of. Venting to another room, crawl space, basement, outside, etc. is OK, but a proper wall cavity with normal studs only has a few square feet of volume. For an outside wall, breaking through a vapor barrier and sending the exhaust to fiberglass insulation is very, very bad.

    The only valid application I can think of is for some commercial office space, where usually cheap extruded steel studs hold up sheetrock and the wall tops are open to the space above a drop ceiling. Also, the steel studs have holes in them to allow for cables and some horizontal air movement.

    The website does not have any of this information concerning checking the validity of walls. Ugh.
    • I can't see it being a problem if you were to duct the hot air from the computer into your home's cold air return. (Provided the house uses forced air heat.) After all, cold air returns typically aren't ducted and are just formed with the drywall/plaster and studs.

      Then again, monitors give off plenty of heat on their own, so this may all be a moot point.
  • ..because those vents aren't made for blowing throw a pipe which is some feet long. They just can't. So you'll have to get stronger (and louder!) vents.

    Moreover I have to wonder where the air is going to go. Not that walls are completely airtight but they aren't exactly open either..
  • hmmm (Score:2, Insightful)

    by lophophore ( 4087 )
    Let's take an 80 mm fan (diameter about 3 inches) and pipe it through a 1.5 inch hose into a closed space. Do the geometry and calculate the area. Not too efficient.

    Why not just jam the fan to stop the noise and keep the heat in the case?

    This must have been brought to us be the same hucksters who sell those cell phone antenna boosters []

  • But that's the way I like it. It's cold here half the year, and my computers provide supplemental heat. Plus, the noise (I call it "Machine Music") is callming and soothing, and I feel like I'm actually working. Well, sometimes.

    This computer is hotter and louder than any: Man Gets 70mpg in Homemade Car-Made from a Mainframe Computer []

  • by Kaypro ( 35263 )
    Just the other day I was helping a friend install RedHat 8 on brand spanking new machine (bought just for Linux BTW :) and he had purchased a top of the line P4 2.4GHZ from DELL Desktop fully loaded. I was absolutely astonished at how quiet it was. He lives in a dead silent neighborhood so you can hear everything. Even the 48X CD-ROM was quiet and this is with a Geforce 4 Ti 4200 in it as well. In fact my Laptop was noiser than the Desktop. I guess my point is that some companies are starting to take noise seriosly and paying a bit more for a brand name does have it's perks.


  • This is the exact same thing as a dryer vent, except it blows into the ever clean area between the walls. Id have to modify this thing with a fan to suck the air out of the case and blow it into the wall, and a small filter to prevent any sort of blow back into the case. Even then, at $19 a pop, i could just excess flex hose from my dryer and modify a 3 switch wall cover, and Id pay about 2 bucks... That or if the temperature in my room was really that big of an issue, id get a fan for the room...
    • Actually, the dryer hose is HORRIBLE for dissipating heat. What I've read is that its actually better to use a piece of aluminum piping for venting the dryer. Just try doing that with your PC though...

  • by stever00t ( 618001 ) on Monday January 06, 2003 @04:37PM (#5027666)

    Does anyone else find it horribly bad journalism/science to report with a graph where one bar is a third as long as another bar, yet the large value is less than 1% larger than the other because they start the graph at a random number instead of zero, and then just using a graph break in the scale?

    If you make a bar graph and the values are 1% different, the sizes of the bars should be 1% different. Why do they not understand this?

    one [] two [] three [] four []

    I've seen this at other websites, too. Does it irk anyone else?

    • Yep, typical chartjunk - normally meant to deliberately mislead or obfuscate, I think here it's just a case of plain poor thinking.

      Everyone should read [] Tufte [] - the first book in particular decribes chartjunk in detail.

      They are addictive books tho.
  • This glorified hose that you hook to the back of your PC will not do anything unless it empties out on the other side of that wall, not inside the wall. Even then, the fan is not designed to move air though a hose, it is designed to push it just outside the back of the PC. This product is probably worthless, but I'm sure there is a patent in the works....

  • Better idea (Score:2, Informative)

    by ScannerBoy ( 174488 )
    A better idea might be to vent it into the cold air return if you have forced air heating/cooling. Otherwise the fellow who commented about the walls being relativly sealed is correct. This wouldn't do much but hurt the fan.
  • Go to if you want a silent router/media computer. That _includes_ power supply - no fans at all.

    If you want a powerful computer, that is a different story, but there are better solutions to the heat/noise problem that putting holes in your wall.
  • I remember, many years ago, discussing with people how one day all of our ordinary home appliances would be computerized.

    Then four or five years ago, two things happened: I moved into an apartment with inadequate heating and insulation, and I bought a P2-266.

    And now, my space heater runs UNIX! I just put xflame on, and it's an instant fireplace...
  • I honestly don't see what the "problem" is, here. ;) We have a dozen or so computers running in our house (including monitors...21" and 25" monitors really generate much more heat than computers, actually). Because of these, we don't really need to pay to heat the house. Just close all the doors, open the curtains during the day, and you can maintain a pretty consistent temperature.
  • These crazy solutions to hot running computers show that we've reached the point of diminishing returns as far as current PC technology goes. All this active cooling nonsense and five fans per box and so on is getting silly. The upcoming NVidia cards even require external power supplies. Here's hoping that someone goes off in a different direction and breaks the trend. I'm all for faster computers, but not at any expense.
  • as a home owner... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bmajik ( 96670 ) <> on Monday January 06, 2003 @05:54PM (#5028316) Homepage Journal
    this is woefully unimpressive, and uninspired.

    first off, with 16" on center stud walls, constructed of 2x4s, and an average studheight of 92 and 5/8ths inches, you can see that the volume inside a stud wall "cell" is pretty piss poor - roughly 5800 cubic inches.

    There are a few issues that make this "solution" stupid.

    1) the heat doesn't go anywhere. there should be a correspondingly large diameter cut out in the top plate of the wall, so that the air can escape in the attic (where it might do some good, as the attic is cold and properly ventilated, unlike the interior of a wall)

    2) there may be cold water supply pipes in wall. do you want to heat your cold water ? especially if they're copper pipes with a very effective heat transfer characteristic

    2a) there may be runs of NM-B (romex) electrical cable in that wall cell. The ampacity of electrical wire is a function of its rated capacity, and while most ampacity ratings are given up to 70C, if this thing were _seriously_ efficient at cooling a computer, then it would perhaps begin to cause problems with in-wall structures

    3) how does the national fire code feel about stuffing heat into closed interior walls (made of flame-retardant drywall, typically)

    4) if the excess heat it dispells isn't enough to cause any code violations, then it clearly isn't sucking enough heat to be worth installing

    5) this does little to eliminate the overall heat+noise of _systems_

    My idea for this was to find an abandoned refrigerator, or better yet, freezer, and just putting whole systems inside there, and then running flue-spec double-walled exhaust vent pipe elsewhere. Having all the PCs stuck inside a fridge/freezer (shut off, of course) that was properly vented should make things cool _AND_ quiet. Don't beleive me ? Try putting your battery powered alarm clock in your freezer, and see if you can still hear it once the door shuts. You want whole-system noise cancellation ? Then you need real insulation. Want to keep your office cool? then you'll need to do a lot more than putting a turbluent undersized vacuum hose on the back of your PC. ...if i ever find a fridge and hook this up, i'll be sure to post pictures :)

  • by JWSmythe ( 446288 ) <> on Monday January 06, 2003 @06:22PM (#5028544) Homepage Journal
    This has so many obvious problems, it isn't funny...

    First off, I've worked in PC repair for years. So many machines power supply fan is so weak, it can barely make a breeze behind the machine. The restriction of that pipe would pretty much kill off the flow. Make a straight smooth walled pipe would do better, but not that flex hose.

    Next, the 4"x16"x8' space is going to be very small, and heat up quickly.. My office is roughtly 8'x12'x8'. You're dumping out the heat into roughly 3 cubic feet of space, with minimal ventalation. My 768 cubic foot, with a 24 square foot hole in it (doorway), with 4 PC's and 2 monitors running gets rather warm rather quickly, even with forced cooling (A/C ducts).

    So, besides ruining the insulation in the wall, if it's an outside wall (interior walls are usually uninsulated), he's going to build up lots of heat and moisture (the heat won't be enough to really dry out the air).

    I don't think the heating of the wall will be much of a factor, since the PC will overheat rather quickly and die.. I'd give it a few months, before the user wonders why it crashes several times daily, and then finally won't boot.

"This is lemma 1.1. We start a new chapter so the numbers all go back to one." -- Prof. Seager, C&O 351