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Ask Slashdot: What Would Happen If You Were To Put a Computer Inside a Fridge? 181

dryriver writes: This is not asking what would happen if you were to place your iMac inside your kitchen fridge. Rather, what if a computer casing for a high-powered graphics workstation with multiple CPUs and GPUs, lets say, worked just like a small fridge or freezer, cooling your hardware down without using any CPU fans or liquid cooling and similar. How much would such a fridge-casing cost to make and buy, how much electricity would it consume, how much bigger would it be than a normal PC casing, and would it be a practical solution to the problem of keeping high-powered computer hardware cool for extended periods of time? Bonus question: Is such a thing as a fridge-casing or "Fridgeputer" sold anywhere on the world market right now? Linus Tech Tips tackled this question in a video a couple of years ago, titled "PC Build in a Fridge - Does it Work?"
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Ask Slashdot: What Would Happen If You Were To Put a Computer Inside a Fridge?

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  • try a meat locker!

    • by drewsup ( 990717 ) on Tuesday June 13, 2017 @04:01AM (#54607829)

      I service a few accts that are abattoirs, numerous pc's and printers that live at 0C ,( 32F). All work is done situ, if a big job is required, the units get pulled out, left unplugged for 2 days, work is then performed, units go back in, unplugged for a day, then fired back up when acclimated. Humidity and condensation are the killers, the PC's need power supplies every few years, the big printers last 3-4 years before rust finally takes it toll. Cold air is supposed to be dry, but with the amount of people ingressing/egressing makes it a cold, humid environment, I can't say I recommend it :(

  • by Kernel Kurtz ( 182424 ) on Monday June 12, 2017 @08:52PM (#54606473) Homepage

    I'm sure you can find the formulas online. Not sure how they scale though.

    • by Spazmania ( 174582 ) on Monday June 12, 2017 @09:17PM (#54606585) Homepage

      What would happen is: water would condense on the every surface in the computer after every time you opened the case. And you know how well moisture plays with electronics.

      After opening and closing the case, you would need to run the fridge case in a dehumidification mode for several hours before turning the computer on in order to reduce the humidity below the cooled computer's dew point.

      In addition to this problem, the contraction and expansion from when the computer runs and stops (stopping the fridge with it) would quickly wiggle stuff out of its socket and create cracks on the boards.

      • by K. S. Kyosuke ( 729550 ) on Monday June 12, 2017 @09:39PM (#54606659)
        It would be probably much saner to just use a water cooling block on the CPU and simply lead the hoses through a freezer.
        • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Monday June 12, 2017 @10:01PM (#54606765)

          Before doing anything, it is a good idea to think about what you are trying to accomplish. If you are interested in overclocking, there are plenty of sites that explain how to focus on that.

          If you are trying to make your hardware "more reliable", or "perform better" then cooling is unlikely to accomplish much. Cold machine rooms were useful 30 years ago, but today they mostly exist out of misguided superstition that they provide some benefit. Modern CPUs and memory are built to run fairly hot. HDDs are actually more reliable at the hot end of their operating range. SDDs benefit from being cooler, but you can accomplish that with better airflow rather than colder temps.

          There is a reason that most big tech companies run "hot" datacenters today, with ambient temps of 40C / 105F or higher. The AC savings far outweigh the negligible performance/reliability issues.

          • Personally, if I were doing something like that, I'd probably be trying to accomplish zero noise with a high heat output component. An anti-Dorado of sorts.
            • Indeed. I dont understand why underclocking isnt more popular, and why factory-configured silent-pc underclocks arent a bigger thing.
      • Well, you're not supposed to put your beer in there.

        By the way, you'll still need a fan on the CPU. The air needs to flow through the heat sink for it to work very well.

        • Well, you're not supposed to put your beer in there.

          Unless the computer is actually a fridge []

          (the famous Silicon Graphics Refrigerator Project, or: How To Turn a $175.000 High-End SGI Challenge DM Server into a Fridge)

        • By the way, you'll still need a fan on the CPU.

          Or a waterblock and radiator or a phase change block connecting to an air conditioning system. It is possible to go fanless if your radiator or heat sink is big enough, but it will always be more effective with fans.

      • What would happen is: water would condense on the every surface in the computer after every time you opened the case. ...

        After opening and closing the case, you would need to run the fridge case in a dehumidification mode for several hours before turning the computer on in order to reduce the humidity below the cooled computer's dew point.

        Just stuff the case with those Silica Gel Desiccant packets [] - problem solved.

        • Just stuff the case with those Silica Gel Desiccant packets - problem solved.

          Nope. You've swapped the problem of having condensation in your computer for the problem of changing the desiccant packets before they reach saturation. The action of "desiccant packets" is a chemical reaction, with reactants and products. Once the reactants (water, low-water silica get) have converted to products (high-water silica gel), then you need to remove the productas and supply new reactants.

          (OK, strictly it's an equilibr

      • by ColaMan ( 37550 )

        There isn't enough air in a fridge to cause significant condensation. A bar fridge has about 100 litres of air in it. 80% humidity air at 25 degrees has about 10 millilitres of moisture per cubic metre, so 1mL of moisture - in total - if you replace all the air in the fridge. If you removed the cold PC and left it on the bench for an hour just like you would with a cold can of coke, sure.

        Apart from the lack of moisture available, operating electronics are warmer than their surrounds, so they would be the la

      • But, it's cleaner than an oil bath.

  • Condensation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TWX ( 665546 ) on Monday June 12, 2017 @08:56PM (#54606481)

    Refrigerators for food can ice-up and otherwise have problems with condensation. Any refrigerator sufficiently advanced to have features to avoid this will cost far more than the equipment needed to deal with waste heat specifically for computer applications.

    Additionally, most inexpensive consumer-grade refrigerators are not really oriented toward dealing with constant heat. Most food cools and remains cool once it's in-place, and when hot food is put into a consumer-grade refrigerator it takes some time to really come down to the internal ambient temp. Expensive consumer-grade refrigerators may be equipped to better cool hot food quickly, but they probably are not geared toward continuous heat.

    If the original purpose of this was to get a dorm or cubicle fridge and build a computer into it, I would not recommend doing that. The difference in air temperature between the inside of the fridge and the ambient is not great enough relative to the waste heat produced by the computer to justify the build.

    • Re:Condensation (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Not_Wiggins ( 686627 ) on Monday June 12, 2017 @09:14PM (#54606567) Journal

      Absolutely correct... water is the enemy of a computer.

      Actually, if the poster wanted to do something "unusual," one can do an aquarium-themed cooling with mineral oil. []

      I wish I could say that'd make you "cooler," but only if you're surrounded by engineers. ;)

    • by NoNonAlphaCharsHere ( 2201864 ) on Monday June 12, 2017 @09:18PM (#54606587)
      Besides, the computer would turn off when you close the refrigerator door.
    • Not only that, but the OP doesn't seem to realize how fridges work.

      cooling your hardware down without using any CPU fans or liquid cooling and similar.

      Refrigerators do use "liquid cooling". That's how they work.

      And unless the OP can think of a highly contrived McGyver episode in the magical fantasy land of Hollywood where every woman is silicon-enhanced and electricity costs do not matter at all, then I don't think he should seek a patent and quit his day job anytime soon.

    • Keeping the door closed seems simple. cables out for power and display, and USB for peripherals. Bluetooth transceiver outside if desired.

      This, and and cheap dorm fridges are cheaper than top line water cooling rigs. making a PC rack for a small fridge seems simple. Just keep the door closed.

      • by gl4ss ( 559668 ) on Monday June 12, 2017 @11:14PM (#54607013) Homepage Journal

        look. this isn't a widely used idea because it is stupid. most of the time you could use it only for the cpu if it was cheaper to overclock a cheap chip than to buy a more expensive chip. most people who come up with this idea don't actually know what a fridge does, so they abstract the fridge into a magic box. after you look what a fridge does, this seems less ideal. after you look at the benefits you get from going from ambient 23 celsius to 3 celsius, it seems even more stupid. after you look at what it takes to proof it against condensation and ice, it starts to look even more stupid.

        but back to the dorm fridges. lets say your fridge has an efficiency of 50%. lets say your pc consumers 400 watts of power in gaming. your fridge has to be consuming 800 watts while you play and NOT MANY FRIDGES CAN DO THAT - your typical fridge cannot cope with a constant heat load that big - it will be running full time and STILL the temperature inside the insulated box will keep going up.

        in addition your electricity bill will go up so much that you would be better off buying a better gpu anyways, even if you had an industrial freezer with enough btu to keep your rig cool.

        in addition, you would have to dump the heat outside. so really you would be better off just buying an aircon unit in the first place and using that to cool water and use that to cool your pc components if you want to go extreme - or just pipe the aircon unit into the box - because THAT IS THE CHEAPEST WAY to buy enough capacity that can handle the heat load from the computer.

          and really it's not worth it now, there was a time when you would get gains enough to be kind of worth it(dollarwise), but not nowadays.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by vivian ( 156520 )

          If your PC is using 400W, your fridge would only have to have cooling capacity of 400W to get rid of that heat - but it diesn't have to use 800W to do that.
          Moving heat, as is done in a fridge or air conditioner, takes about somewhere between 1/2 to 1/4 of the energy compared to producing it by resistive heating, depending on efficiency. Your PC is basically a big resistive heater. Your fridge would only have to use about 100 to 200 W to remove the PC waste heat, plus use a little extra power depending on h

        • by Reziac ( 43301 ) *

          Move to Alaska. Site the computer outside in the woodshed. Problem solved!

          Actually, I already kinda ran this experiment... lived a winter in Montana in a functionally unheated space; ambient temperature around the PC averaged about 30 degrees (tho worst case occasionally hit zero). Even so, the PC's sensors reported within a couple degrees of their normal-room temperatures.

  • Condensation (Score:4, Informative)

    by spikesahead ( 111032 ) on Monday June 12, 2017 @08:56PM (#54606483)

    When you cool a volume of air you squeeze all the water out of it. The water condenses on the computer components, and your computer breaks.

    I suppose as long as you dehydrated the inside first and kept several moisture absorption packs in there it would be ok.

    Honestly water cooling is going to be better bang for the buck. you're just going to do an inefficient job of what the ambient air does fine to normal functional components.

    • by HBI ( 604924 )

      Somewhat ironically, dehumidifers essentially work just like you are describing, inasmuch as they pull water vapor out of the air and cause it to condense within the dehumidifier, which stores the excess moisture in a tank. AC units also need drains for the water they pull out of the air.

      If you have ever seen a portable room air conditioning unit, they have tanks in the bottom to store the condensed water and can be used as dehumidifiers - some have this setting. Computer room AC units also humidify and

    • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

      actually no the condensation isn't the main problem. and you can fight that with greases and such in the right places.

      the problem is that fridges aren't magical cooling boxes.. they work within limits of physics.

    • Condensation is only an issue when the condensation is so great that electricity is allowed to pass between two electrical contacts. A refrigerator cycles the air within, so if there's no humidity to start within inside a closed fridge, it will not form enough condensate to be a problem. That said, not much condensation is gonna form at all because the PC is generating hundreds of watts of heat that the refrigerator is constantly struggling to cool.
  • oblig (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 12, 2017 @08:57PM (#54606487)
  • "worked just like a small fridge or freezer"
    "without using any CPU fans or liquid cooling and similar."

    You're simply moving the liquid cooling slightly further away. Liquid cooling IS involved if you have a fridge involved or "similar".
    • There are pumped liquid refrigerant systems that can do what OP is thinking... at least in concept. The problem is that you would want the refrigerant to be at about 100F in liquid state, and one particular refrigerant would be very well suited: R11. Unfortunately, production ceased 20 years ago in the US as an ozone depleting gas.

      Actively cooling a cabinet is silly though unless the ambient environment is over 100F; liquid (water) cooling is pretty effective up to an ambient around 105-110F if you can u
  • by Anonymous Coward

  • by by (1706743) ( 1706744 ) on Monday June 12, 2017 @09:02PM (#54606511)
    Except this is liquid cooling (~the refrigerant), it's just coupled very ineffectively to the CPU via air instead of direct contact. This refrigerator also makes use of a phase transition, unlike conventional water cooling (unless you're getting really toasty!), but it's not unheard of to build this into your rig [].

    But again, just blowing cold air is going to be rather inefficient for a single computer (data center is another issue I guess). Not to mention, you will need a *larger* radiator than you would otherwise, as refrigerators of course "make more heat than they make cold," and they just pipe the heat off to the air. So...the TDP of your case has now gone up by adding this unit.
  • by BlueCoder ( 223005 ) on Monday June 12, 2017 @09:03PM (#54606519)

    A fridge is an efficient machine for a smaller amount of work. A fridge works via a compressor motor that isn't on all the time which actually generates more external heat than it internally cools when used inside a room. Compressor motors as such are not designed for continuous operation but even if they were compressors are not designed to remove that much generated heat continuously. such a compressor would be huge and likely many times the size of the space it was trying to cool and would require an order of magnitude more power to operate and hence the room it operated in would be like an oven.

    The reason a fridge is efficient for cooling food is that that box is insulated and so the compressor does not need to be on most of the time.

    • The important element is actually the thermal mass of the refrigerator, which allows the compressor to cycle. You could do the same thing for a computer, but it is an extra piece to make it work-- roughly 5 gallons of water in the fridge would be enough mass for a 200W computer.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Its still a waste of energy, the fridge has to "lose" that heat into the room around it, in addition to the heat added by the compressor. You'll heat the room less by simply having an air or water cooled CPU/GPU putting that heat directly into the room.

        If your house is do damn hot you have to put your CPU inside a fridge, I think you got bigger problems :-)

        How do I keep my home "data center" which consists of 3 PCs running 24/7 and a 19" rack mount UPS cool? I store them in the basement level crawlspace und

      • The important element is actually the thermal mass of the refrigerator, which allows the compressor to cycle. You could do the same thing for a computer, but it is an extra piece to make it work-- roughly 5 gallons of water in the fridge would be enough mass for a 200W computer.

        it wouldn't affect at all. the fridge is an insulated box. your 5 gallons of water would only help if you were occasionally using the computer and having it in hibernate rest of the time. it doesn't help with the base thing that a normal fridge compressor cannot cope with the constant heat generated inside the fridge and it will run constantly and the heat inside the box will keep going up.

        having more thermalmass only makes it happen slightly slower.

    • The compressor does not remove heat. In a fridge or an AC unit the job of removing heat is in the hands of heat sinks.

      Compressor compresses (obviously) and the compressed substance becomes much hotter before it was compressed, but at this point the compressed substance needs to be cooled to something close to the ambient temperature and for this large heat sinks (and possibly fans) are used. Once the compressed substance is cooled down, at this point if the substance is let out of the compression chamber

    • A fridge works via a compressor motor that isn't on all the time which actually generates more external heat than it internally cools when used inside a room.

      This is a logical result of thermodynamics and holds for any cooling apparatus. Otherwise it would be destroying heat (energy) and could even lower the entropy, violating the first two laws of thermodynamics.

  • Not into the whole INOF thing, you make a dumb device that connects to the internet I will either disable your internet access or, hell, disable your internet access.
  • by eddeye ( 85134 ) on Monday June 12, 2017 @09:07PM (#54606533)
    There was an XKCD what-if about toasters vs freezers. While a CPU doesn't run as hot as a toaster, the end result should be pretty much the same: inside the fridge ends up hotter than outside. [] Conduction through air is poor at removing waste heat. And you don't get much convection in an enclosed space.
    • Right. A fridge uses around 150 watts when active. And because it is not a theoretical heat-engine, it only going to be able to cool a fraction of that amount of energy. A computer such as OP is imagining uses a few hundred watts. Certainly you could build something that is able to handle the heat generated, but, it's going to need hundreds of watts of power. Compare that to a liquid cooled setup using a similarly sized radiator. That would require a couple watts to run the pump.
  • You're going to need air circulation, whether you rely on the fridge fan or your cpu fan. You might be able to rely on convection currents to pull air through your cpu heatsink. Maybe you could get away with a giant heat sink (1ft square?) to service a single cpu. A refrigerator typically cools things and keeps them cold, as opposed to cooling things that are constantly cooking (as in a PC). A typical freezer is likely the same. You're giving up cheap cooling (fan on heatsink, ambient air) for a more e
    • There it is, 2/3 of the way down the comments: this won't work because the air around the CPU will warm up and the CPU will overheat. Even convection isn't enough; you need an active blower.

  • The surrounding air being a few degrees cooler will make very little difference since the heat in a computer is not spread out but in a few very small dense areas.
    Cooling liquid works because it is like a fridge, but the cooling happens right up against the hot parts. Cooling the whole case from the outside-in would requite temperatures that would be very expensive to create, and probably require competently different materials for cables and boards as most plastics and metals do very poorly at -100C.

  • Air is an insulator, so placing computer parts in an air-mass inside a cooling vehicle (direct gas-expansion refrigerator) creates a built-in inefficiency that makes no good sense fiscally or energy wise.

    In contrast oil conducts heat beautifully and a computer immersed in mineral oil offloads heat amazingly well. []

    Secondly, not all parts of a computer generate heat, so putting the whole case in the air-cooled fridge is just an exercise in inefficiency.

    Far better to do what t

    • Damn Gavron, calm the fuck down! Guys just asking a question!
      Suggest laying off donuts and coffee for breakfast.

      • by gavron ( 1300111 )

        Sure and you could "just ask a question" about putting ether in your gas tank for better gas mileage.
        It's stupid.

        Just like putting a PC in a fridge. Abysmally stupid.

        I was happy to point out the science of why that is, as well as alternatives if you truly want to get good cooling.

        If I was a troll I'd have mentioned that getting the cords out the cooling chamber would compromise the cooling, but, hey, I don't think that's of any significance given how much this whole idea sucks.


  • Your average computer can likely reject more heat to room-temperature ambient air than a refrigerator can move from the inside to the outside.
    All from quick internet searches.....
    Assuming a 1kW power supply at a 100% load, you need to move 1kW of heat outside the fridge just to maintain temperature.
    Assuming a coefficient of performance of 4, you need 250 watts of electrical consumption just to hold the current temperature. The guy in the linked video used a dorm fridge, lets see if I can find some power dra

  • For reasons stated above, putting a computer in the fridge isn't going to have the desired outcome. But, I have to wonder why this is something you would even ponder doing. Closed loop liquid cooling is cheap and very effective. If you want something more exotic than that, submerge it in Flourinert.

  • You get a much larger amount of thermal fluctuation, which is worse than running it with crap quality fans. You'll get condensation all over the place which is worse than running it with crap quality fans. As Alton Brown has said, fridges are designed to keep cold things cold, not make hot things cold. Yes people have tried it, because every single person who builds their own systems has had this idea. Companies have tried and failed to meet this consumer demand with bloated $700 monstrosities that perform
  • [] its what we do here [], very out of date website sadly
  • People do indeed use refrigeration for PC cooling, but not in this way. They're referred to as Peltier coolers, and have been used by hardcore overclockers for many years. The idea is that the cooler itself is a small solid-state device that, when a current is passed through it, creates a temperature difference between one side and the other. You place the cold side on the CPU and the warm side connects to the heat sink (or other cooling systems).

    Peltiers have many difficulties, however. They add total

    • actually, the main issue is that the peltier are horribly inefficient, they'll take four times the power to move a given amount of heat.

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      People do indeed use refrigeration for PC cooling, but not in this way. They're referred to as Peltier coolers, and have been used by hardcore overclockers for many years.

      No, Peltiers were just one step above water cooling. They actually made a cooler using the refridgeration process - it was built into a PC case and you built your PC in that,

      I believe it was called the VapoChill, and a quick Google shows they actually updated the unit a few years ago. It's a complete refrigeration system for PCs (because

    • If the peltier plate takes a crap, you're suddenly insulating your CPU; main reason why I never did more than play around with them. Fried a couple pentium IIIs and an athlon. Should be less of an issue with modern CPUs, but suddenly hitting 99C and downclocking/clock stopping means it still becomes instantly useless.
  • There are DYIs and commerical ones out there, Here is the first one I found. Computer Liquid Cooling (Submersion) []

    If you do DYI just besure to get it right ;)
  • What are you trying to achieve? A fridge could be useful, but why would you then specify no CPU fans or water cooling? No fans is good for silence, but this only holds if your fridge is also silent.

    I would expect that if you've gone to all the trouble of making a refrigerated case, you'd be foolish not to use water cooling to make best use of your refrigeration. If you're determined to use air cooling, you'd be best to make it closed-cycle, otherwise you'd have to deal with condensation and ice build up due

  • Datacenters have air conditioners to keep their servers from frying. But hardware costs are falling while energy costs rise. So these days some datacenters are running at 90F because it's cheaper to replace anything that fries than pay higher power bill.

    But your home fridge is not going to cut it because it's not rated for food that continuously generates heat. If you want, you can mount a desktop enclosure onto a window A/C unit.

    • by jabuzz ( 182671 )

      Server grade equipment has been specified with max air temperatures of at least 35C for over a decade (that's 95F for you metrically challenged third worlders). Modern stuff is even higher rated.

      But really in the home just buy a water cooled PC for crying out loud.

      • by macwhiz ( 134202 )

        The thing a lot of bean-counters forget when they push to have the datacenter "run hot" is that things fail. In my experience, the thing that fails the most often in the datacenter is the air conditioner.

        If you keep the datacenter well below the maximum ambient operating temperature of your computers, it will take an hour or two for the datacenter temperature to exceed that mark when an air handler fails. That gives you time to engage backup units, bring in portable backups, set up fans to redistribute air

        • by iamacat ( 583406 )

          If you have only one datacenter, you should be using cloud services. Networks fail a lot two and your latency would be really bad for customers on other continents. Even a second A/C unit is a fixed expense that deprecates slowly compared to constant utility charges.

  • That is the only way I could keep my Amiga 4000 running in the summer. The only problem is that I couldn't fully close the fridge.
  • Not going to work, at least for very long. Although fridges can get pretty cold, it takes time. They don't actually transfer heat quickly enough.

  • Stick your computer in front of an air conditioner instead?

  • In college I build a PC case around a window unit that was wired to run non stop. It worked quite well though when the power went out it would get immediate condensation. On the up side, it was great for keeping your drinks cold too. On the down side, I needed a jacket to gsme.
  • Condensation would happen.
    It's why putting a PC in a fridge is rarely done.
    • Only if you haven't taken pains to remove interior moisture before cooling it, and then primarily if you open if while the temperature is below dew point. Of course, not being able to open it quickly might be a problem in itself. Just put like 10 buckets of damp-rid in there, and leave it off overnight before first run.
      • by dbIII ( 701233 )

        Only if you haven't taken pains to remove interior moisture before cooling it,

        Hence one of the reasons why it's rarely done. Looking up today's weather it's 80% humidity where I am - higher than normal but there's typically a fair bit of moisture in air in a lot of places where people live and not a lot of cooling below ambient to hit the dew point.

  • by SpaghettiPattern ( 609814 ) on Tuesday June 13, 2017 @12:05AM (#54607197)

    Walk out the door. Look slightly left and you'll see Moe's old fridge. It's been there since he was "evicted" by the local mobsters. Shame he fell terminally ill during the process. Throw out anything decaying and take it. Don't take Mimi's fridge. That SOB never worked and was thrown out for that reason.

    Now take the computer you stole and rip out anything identifying it. Also get rid of fingerprints. Hope the owner that dies in a pool of blood never noted the serial numbers of each and every component. Fully clean the drives. You know the drill, use dd.

    Punch a hole in the side of the fridge for cabling.

    Put the computer inside the fridge.

    Fire up fridge.

    Close door.

    Boot computer.

    Close door again.


    Post findings.

    Have lasagne your granny made.

    Feel good about life.

    Think about Moe with fake sentiment.

  • Something like the Calyos NSG - S0 []
  • In my refrigerator, it would have to negotiate for shelf space with the mary jane yogurt left over from Jerry Garcia's memorial service. I just can't bear to throw that out, ya know? It might get slimed by the bag of shredded cabbage that's just oozing everywhere. That has a "best if eaten before" date from the Bush years. HAW that is. There's a package of bacon I've kept as a momento of my college years. One of these days I'll have to throw that out and do penance for wasting perfectly good bacon.
  • Not sure if they are still around , but in 2011 Asetec released their second refrigerateD case. []
  • What happens if you put a computer inside a fridge? It gets hacked, of course: []
  • by wkwilley2 ( 4278669 ) on Tuesday June 13, 2017 @01:56AM (#54607505)

    Linus Tech Tips actually did a video on this exact subject a while back and it actually works very well besides the condensation issues with a very small TDP computer. They basically did a test with a small ITX platform and then again with a full size ATX build. I would post the Youtube link but it's blocked on work computers.

    The ITX platform stayed very cold as there wasn't much heat the dissipate. With the full size ATX build however, it couldn't keep up and actually started to get hotter than when in open air conditions due to the fridge walls acting as an insulator.

  • What Would Happen If You Were To Put a Computer Inside a Fridge?

    Your mom would be cross. And tell you to get back in the basement.

  • by Ihlosi ( 895663 ) on Tuesday June 13, 2017 @04:16AM (#54607871)
    Refrigerators are not designed to deal with things that have a few hundred Watts continuous heat output. They are designed to cool things that are not actively producing heat down to about 5-7 degrees Celsius and keep them there using as little energy as possible.
  • I see most reasons were already mentioned.

    I don't if somebody already tried this, but you could use a computer immersed in paraffin oil and cool that with fridge tech, if you just want to lower the working temperature.

    Or you could just buy a large CO2 container and spray that onto the hot parts, but don't inhale too deeply for too long. :-)

  • Think of the task, a small surface area (chip) that needs to shed a lot of heat by radiation.
    How quickly and how much energy (heat/infrared radiation) can the small surface pass to the surrounding atmosphere (fridge interior)? There's actually a physical limit to the amount of radiation from a perfect black body [] and a chip is not a perfect black body.
    So for a small low temp chip set, a computer in a fridge would be fine.
    For a modern high performance GPU, not so much.
    What a fan and liquid coolant do is move

  • Physics (Score:5, Informative)

    by in10se ( 472253 ) on Tuesday June 13, 2017 @09:37AM (#54608933) Homepage

    The computer heater would win, and the refrigerator/freezer would just stay warm. In fact, it would overheat because the fridge would be insulated and trap all the heat inside. []

    • yeah, this is the most embarrassing question i've seen posted on slashdot in a while.

      just a back-of-the-envelope calculation with rough approximate BTUs from five seconds of googling would show anyone that this is a fucking stupid idea.

    • Most computers don't typically release more than a few hundred watts worth of heat (example is for 1000+, I think my toaster cranks like 1800), even under heavy load. It is likely that the fridge would need to run at a high duty cycle to keep up with a normal computer, so it might be less problematic if one includes a large thermal mass inside the compartment (and pre-cool it before running anything).
  • It'll work fine, if you can get all of the water out of the air inside. If it needs to be opened, the system needs to be brought up above dew point before opening. You'll probably want desiccant packs (e.g. damprid) as well.
  • Technically, this can be done. It doesn't work in terms of putting a PC in a commercial fridge. Lots of explanations why that doesn't work already in the comments (by the way, condensation isn't one of them). The way you would make this work is by cycling refrigerant through a heat-conductive plate thermally mounted to the heat producing components. Then allowing the refrigerant to expand in a radiator, compressing it, and continuing the cycle. If you built a large enough system with a beefy enough compress
  • Linus did this already: []
  • A mini fridge is still a hermetically sealable box that has slideable shelves, with an air gap filled with insulation between its inner compartment and its outer shell. Its size and shape makes it easy to adapt a housing for HEPA style filters to, and very large low rpm fans for high air flow and minimal noise. Modified for the installation of computer components, the result could be a very quiet, dust free casing for a computer.

  • While not precisely the same, the concept of using a refrigerant was.

    "The high-performance ECL circuitry generated considerable heat, and Cray's designers spent as much effort on the design of the refrigeration system as they did on the rest of the mechanical design. In this case, each circuit board was paired with a second, placed back to back with a sheet of copper between them. The copper sheet conducted heat to the edges of the cage, where liquid Freon running in stainless steel pipes drew it away to th

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