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Oil-Immersion Cooled PC Goes To Retail

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the next-up-hot-grits dept.

210

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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210 comments

Hmm. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25446367)

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

Re:Hmm. (5, Insightful)

Shaitan Apistos (1104613) | more than 5 years ago | (#25446447)

Too close to 4:33, try again at 10:04.

Re:Hmm. (4, Funny)

plover (150551) | more than 5 years ago | (#25446743)

All I can think of is "This sounds slick!"

Thanks, I'll be here all the week. Try the veal.

Thanks God (4, Funny)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 5 years ago | (#25446403)

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.

Re:Thanks God (5, Funny)

frosty_tsm (933163) | more than 5 years ago | (#25446733)

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.

You're using Vista, aren't you.

Re:Thanks God (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 5 years ago | (#25446981)

We can slashdot that for you wholesale.

Bulletproof? (4, Interesting)

derfy (172944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25446405)

Bulletproof? Seriously?

Re:Bulletproof? (4, Funny)

gruvmeister (1259380) | more than 5 years ago | (#25446437)

Hey, if I'm paying 11 grand for a machine, it damn well better be bulletproof.

Re:Bulletproof? (3, Funny)

frosty_tsm (933163) | more than 5 years ago | (#25446761)

Exactly, what happens when someone comes busting in and puts a cap in your gaming rig?

We all know what happened to the XBox when it got shot... the DVD was knocked off it's track.

(sorry, I looked but couldn't find a link)

Re:Bulletproof? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25447533)

Yo bitch, this be Killahertz and you is creepin on mah terryterry!

I will put a motherfucking slug in yo motherfucking rig, you got me byatch?

Re:Bulletproof? (5, Funny)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | more than 5 years ago | (#25446513)

They're trying to appeal to two growing demographics: hardcore gaming mobsters and gangsta autocad designers

Re:Bulletproof? (1)

mathx314 (1365325) | more than 5 years ago | (#25446745)

Both of us will be very happy.

Re:Bulletproof? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25446957)

Fo shizzle.

Re:Bulletproof? (5, Funny)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447157)

They're trying to appeal to two growing demographics: hardcore gaming mobsters and gangsta autocad designers

They're trying to appeal to the Scots- we'll deep-fry anything!

Re:Bulletproof? (5, Funny)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447637)

Isn't most of your cuisine based on dares anyway?

Re:Bulletproof? (1)

Miseph (979059) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447643)

'Dats right, best watch yoself befoh I blast those weak-ass technical diagrams sucka!

Re:Bulletproof? (5, Informative)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#25446665)

They probably mean bullet resistant aka Lexan.

Re:Bulletproof? (5, Funny)

MentlFlos (7345) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447121)

Bulletproof? Seriously?

Yes, but only for very small values of bullet

Re:Bulletproof? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25447235)

Here is how to test it (its old news really):
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=mAuKwTDGnCg

The hilarious part is at the end..

Hello (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25446411)

I you are stupid or racist, please be sure to vote Republican in November. We need to make sure we turn out the base this year.

Re:Hello (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25446877)

If you are a nigger or just want government handouts, please vote Democrat.

cool (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25446425)

I tried oil immersion cooling a couple years ago. The results were messy, to say the least. A couple weeks ago, while browsing around the library downtown, I had to take a piss. As I entered the john, Barack Obama -- the messiah himself -- came out of one of the booths. I stood at the urinal looking at him out of the corner of my eye as he washed his hands. He didn't once look at me. He was busy and in any case I was sure the secret service wouldn't even let me shake his hand.

As soon as he left I darted into the booth he'd vacated, hoping there might be a lingering smell of shit and even a seat still warm from his sturdy ass. I found not only the smell but the shit itself. He'd forgotten to flush. And what a treasure he had left behind. Three or four beautiful specimens floated in the bowl. It apparently had been a fairly dry, constipated shit, for all were fat, stiff, and ruggedly textured. The real prize was a great feast of turd -- a nine inch gastrointestinal triumph as thick as his cock -- or at least as I imagined it!

I knelt before the bowl, inhaling the rich brown fragrance and wondered if I should obey the impulse building up inside me. I'd always been a liberal democrat and had been on the Obama train since last year. Of course I'd had fantasies of meeting him, sucking his cock and balls, not to mention sucking his asshole clean, but I never imagined I would have the chance. Now, here I was, confronted with the most beautiful five-pound turd I'd ever feasted my eyes on, a sausage fit to star in any fantasy and one I knew to have been hatched from the asshole of Barack Obama, the chosen one.

Why not? I plucked it from the bowl, holding it with both hands to keep it from breaking. I lifted it to my nose. It smelled like rich, ripe limburger (horrid, but thrilling), yet had the consistency of cheddar. What is cheese anyway but milk turning to shit without the benefit of a digestive tract?

I gave it a lick and found that it tasted better then it smelled.

I hesitated no longer. I shoved the fucking thing as far into my mouth as I could get it and sucked on it like a big half nigger cock, beating my meat like a madman. I wanted to completely engulf it and bit off a large chunk, flooding my mouth with the intense, bittersweet flavor. To my delight I found that while the water in the bowl had chilled the outside of the turd, it was still warm inside. As I chewed I discovered that it was filled with hard little bits of something I soon identified as peanuts. He hadn't chewed them carefully and they'd passed through his body virtually unchanged. I ate it greedily, sending lump after peanutty lump sliding scratchily down my throat. My only regret was that Barack Obama wasn't there to see my loyalty and wash it down with his piss.

I soon reached a terrific climax. I caught my cum in the cupped palm of my hand and drank it down. Believe me, there is no more delightful combination of flavors than the hot sweetness of cum with the rich bitterness of shit. It's even better than listening to an Obama speech!

Afterwards I was sorry that I hadn't made it last longer. But then I realized that I still had a lot of fun in store for me. There was still a clutch of virile turds left in the bowl. I tenderly fished them out, rolled them into my handkerchief, and stashed them in my briefcase. In the week to come I found all kinds of ways to eat the shit without bolting it right down. Once eaten it's gone forever unless you want to filch it third hand out of your own asshole. Not an unreasonable recourse in moments of desperation or simple boredom.

I stored the turds in the refrigerator when I was not using them but within a week they were all gone. The last one I held in my mouth without chewing, letting it slowly dissolve. I had liquid shit trickling down my throat for nearly four hours. I must have had six orgasms in the process.

I often think of Barack Obama dropping solid gold out of his sweet, pink asshole every day, never knowing what joy it could, and at least once did, bring to a grateful democrat.

Space age materials? (4, Funny)

Burning1 (204959) | more than 5 years ago | (#25446427)

Seriously? Space age materials?

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

Re:Space age materials? (4, Funny)

jandrese (485) | more than 5 years ago | (#25446451)

Yeah, but compare that to air cooling. Air is HOW old?

Re:Space age materials? (0, Redundant)

KDEWolf (972921) | more than 5 years ago | (#25446611)

Yeah, but compare that to air cooling. Air is HOW old?

Mod parent up! =P

Re:Space age materials? (0, Troll)

The Orange Mage (1057436) | more than 5 years ago | (#25446713)

Yeah, but compare that to air cooling. Air is HOW old?

Older than dirt...I mean John McCain?

(On that note, do HTML strikethrough tags not work? I couldn't get the deprecated or working, or the proper either.)

I am -1 offtopic. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25446785)

Older than dirt^WJohn McCain?

That's how it's done. You could also use '^H^H^H^H' instead of '^W'.

Re:Space age materials? (0)

value_added (719364) | more than 5 years ago | (#25446755)

Yeah, but compare that to air cooling. Air is HOW old?

About the same [wikipedia.org]

Re:Space age materials? (2, Funny)

DrData99 (916924) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447039)

About 6000 years if you listen to some people...

My only question... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25446433)

Does it run linux?

Oh, and imagine a beowolf cluster of those.

Re: My only question... (5, Funny)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447147)

No, it runs SL/IX and the main processor is made by Texaco Instruments.

There is a shell scripting language but the interface is a bit crude.

There will be a Mobil Computing version next year.

I'll stop now.

so much for quick repair (0)

Brigadier (12956) | more than 5 years ago | (#25446435)

I'm not sure but like most extreme PC users i know. They are in the case at least once a day trouble shooting, or fixing something. (dead fan, dead drive, upgrades etc.) This pretty much kills that idea. If My PC seizes and I need to reset the bios, pull ram etc it's a no go.

I'm also curious how they address hardware which need to have breather holes like hard drives.

Re:so much for quick repair (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25446485)

Did you even glance at the summary before you started typing?

"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."

Re:so much for quick repair (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25446709)

Glance at the summary? You're new here, aren't you?

Re:so much for quick repair (4, Interesting)

Gat0r30y (957941) | more than 5 years ago | (#25446489)

RTFA - Drives are in separate bays for easy access. HDD's would not fare very well in oil, even proprietary super secret oil. Quite the impressive piece of hardware. - Your not on trouble shooting does raise a good point though. Seriously, what do you do when you have a problem with this thing? And redundant PSU's? They must know that these will be the first to go, and a tremendous pain to replace.

Re:so much for quick repair (2)

Brigadier (12956) | more than 5 years ago | (#25446539)

I don't know about you, but on my system drive arrays generate the most heat, and require quite a bit of cooling.

I don't see the practicality of having all this case hardware to support what looks like a few liters of oil if the hard drives still have to be cooled by fans.

This feature would only be useful to me in creating a fanless ultra quiet system.

Re:so much for quick repair (4, Informative)

Hockney Twang (769594) | more than 5 years ago | (#25446599)

The storage provided by the manufacturer is SSD (three of them, in RAID) and is submerged, but they have bays for removable drives you might want to add on your own. Also, in response to your comment about resetting the CMOS, they have a button that does that on the case (behind a little plastic door so you don't accidentally hit it).

Re:so much for quick repair (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 5 years ago | (#25446601)

RTFA - Drives are in separate bays for easy access. HDD's would not fare very well in oil, even proprietary super secret oil.

Which is as it should be. Most of the noise from your drives (DVD/CD, HDD, etc...) is going to be from vibration transferred to the chassis and not from airflow. This can be easily mitigated by rubber standoffs so that there is no metal bolted directly to metal (the Antec QuietPC cases have come standard with this feature for some time now).

Re:so much for quick repair (4, Insightful)

plover (150551) | more than 5 years ago | (#25446777)

Dead fan -- I'm sure that's a problem with an OIL-COOLED box. I suppose the extreme PC users you know would also complain that they wouldn't be able to vacuum the dust from their heat sinks, too.

Now, a dead oil circulation impeller, that's a completely different animal.

Re:so much for quick repair (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25447367)

Sounds like you got your idea of "extreme" from watching too much Star Wars. Technology doesn't have to be like the Millenium Falcon, you know. Some of us manage to have fairly high-performance computers that manage to stay up for a whole week without something breaking.

Eww (4, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#25446457)

FTA: every centimeter of the machine oozes custom computing.

I hope that's all it's oozing.

Re:Eww (4, Funny)

manXxon (884114) | more than 5 years ago | (#25446693)

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:Eww (2, Informative)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 5 years ago | (#25446881)

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.

Re:Eww (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#25446995)

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

Re:Eww (2, Insightful)

mollymoo (202721) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447323)

*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".

press release,much? (1, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | more than 5 years ago | (#25446475)

I try to stay objective, understanding that we will have adverts and press releases on the front page, and slashdot is ad supported, and that is becoming harder, and where would we be if slashdot were not here. But sometimes the press releases are so lame. I mean, don't people get paid good money to write a press release that the intended audience won't laugh at?

For instance, who outside infomercials aimed at the homebound uses the term 'space age materials'. People have been in space, of and on, for 50 years, two generations. Who does not use space age materials? And what are these materials anyway, plastic? Sometimes these adverts just makes me screams incompetent design, and I wonder who in their right mind would buy from these people. Probably the same people who buy the magic stock market accounts.

Cool (1)

santix (1234354) | more than 5 years ago | (#25446483)

or at least it should be.

Not oil or not PCs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25446501)

Speaking of oozing, weren't there some G5 Macs that leaked coolant a year or so ago? Not oil or not PCs?

Re:Not oil or not PCs? (1)

Starayo (989319) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447677)

They're liquid cooled, these are immersed in the oil.

Patent for Liquid Submersion? (4, Informative)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 5 years ago | (#25446531)

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:Patent for Liquid Submersion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25446753)

I Am Not A Patent Lawyer.. not even an Anonymous Patent Lawyer.

But here's the quip I see on here from those who are:
Read all the claims. The patent is not defined by its title, but by its claims. If the claims are too vague, open for interpretation and as a(n indirect) result covers existing inventions and/or obvious implementations - that's when you complain about a patent.

Re:Patent for Liquid Submersion? (4, Funny)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 5 years ago | (#25446969)

Read all the claims. The patent is not defined by its title, but by its claims. If the claims are too vague, open for interpretation and as a(n indirect) result covers existing inventions and/or obvious implementations - that's when you complain about a patent.

No, silly. If I'm on Slashdot, and I have an excuse to mention patents - that's when I complain about a patent.

Re:Patent for Liquid Submersion? (2, Funny)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#25446937)

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. ???

Oh yeah? I'm just going to rush out and patent... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25447017)

...air cooled computers.
Nyah, nyah na nyah nyah!

Not everyone... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25446571)

Everyone's seen mods where someone super-cools a PC

Not everyone... I'm blind, you insensitive clod!

Reminds my of Kryotech. (3, Interesting)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#25446573)

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.

Re:Reminds my of Kryotech. (1)

Neoprofin (871029) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447105)

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!

Re:Reminds my of Kryotech. (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447165)

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 then it becomes a ridiculous refrigerating paper weight, they could buy a top of the line Alienware system, and once the hardware was obsolete they could go buy a new slew of top-of-the-line hardware and still brag about their awesome case.

Re:Reminds my of Kryotech. (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447181)

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:Reminds my of Kryotech. (2, Interesting)

Glonoinha (587375) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447327)

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 bit faster (think Pentium 33MHz to Pentium 133MHz, or PII-300 to PIII-900MHz)
- - the amount of memory can generally be doubled (although given the current cost of RAM and the limit of 32 bit OS, it's almost cost effective to max it out at purchase - but with 64 bit OSs I think this will still hold)
- - a second hard drive that is twice as large as the one you bought a year earlier (effectively tripling the space)
- - maybe adding a video card that is twice as fast as the first one you had in it.

About a year after you build your ultra-upgradable machine, the architecture changes (chipsets, video card platform, memory sockets, memory type, CPU sockets, hard drive interfaces) so the upgrade options taper off fast. Six months after that you can still upgrade to faster hardware at a premium price, but in very short order it's cheaper to replace the machine w/ current generation architecture than to upgrade 2 or more sub-systems. About a year after that, the machine is relegated to door-stop duty.

The problem is - the year over year increases are so steep that this happens no matter where on the curve you are when you buy. Think back - the premium for the DX2-66 was about $400 over the DX2-50, the premium for 16M of 72-pin SIMM memory was about $800 over 4M of 72-pin SIMM memory - but two years later it really didn't matter because with the P2-300MHz machines coming with 64M of PC100 memory - your two year old box wasn't fast enough regardless of whether you payed the $1,200 premium to get those two bumps or not. You could always pay another $1,200 premium for that next machine and get the P2-500MHz w/ 192M of memory, but two years later when the P4 based machines running 1.8GHz and 512M of memory - it really didn't matter whether you splurged for the extra umph or not - the box needed to be upgraded.

Is $11k out of line for a machine that's going to be on-par with the next generation of hardware, and obsolete in three years regardless? Probably. Unless you have a business reason for it, I'd say yes. I said the same thing about LCDs when IBM was selling their 16" LCD for $1,600, and SSDs were $100 per Gig. Today - both are reasonably priced, and maybe these guys will pioneer the path towards the next revolution in hardware platforms. Have to admit this much - of the $11k, how much is actual material cost and how much is 'OMFG 1337 haxor' premium? That's the margin that these machines will come down in about three years, making the platform affordable (or not.)

In my opinion there are two places that this machine makes sense - high end CAD where a company is paying $30k per seat to license the software and $125k per year for the guy behind the keyboard (25% faster machine = 1/4 fewer seats) or working on hard-duration projects (finish designing the next Space Shuttle by June 1st and get a $5M bonus.) Other than that - and the obvious rich gamer - I'd say a given day's task set would be better served by a couple three or four desktops all coming through to a single multi-LCD machine that rdesktop's to all the others, allowing the user 1 machine per LCD and the ability to mouse from machine to machine and control all of them from a single keyboard / mouse. RAIC - redundant array of inexpensive computers - it gets normal multi-tasking 'work' done faster.

Re:Reminds my of Kryotech. (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447549)

Where the hell did you find a Pentium 33Mhz?

Re: Where the hell ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25447717)

Kansas. The Wizard of Oz retired and began selling hardware.

Actually interviewed here (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25447383)

So, I actually interviewed here prior to the product launch, and got to see this (under NDA, of course). The motherboard is SUPER proprietary, a joint venture between Hardcore Computer and Tyan (which makes pretty decent equipment, IMHO). Of course, it does still take standard CPUs/RAM. But just in case there are any doubters out there, I've been to the facility, seen the board-level techs they have on staff, and played with, first-hand, one of these suckers. They've put incredible R&D into this (took them a couple of years to finally get to launch). I'm not an employee, just someone who's seen these and was pretty impressed. Also feeling vindicated, since I knew from the second I saw it that this would end up on Slashdot :-)

Propietary oil (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 5 years ago | (#25446587)

Snakes(oil) on a Mobo. What would say Samuel L. Jackson about it?

Forget how much it costs. (1)

MaxwellEdison (1368785) | more than 5 years ago | (#25446603)

All I want to know is can I mate with it.

Okay just kidding...kind of. Every other glowing clear-sided tower I've ever repaired I have been repulsed by. They always remind me too much of those arse-ugly Honda street tuners. This styling is to a traditional 'custom' rig what a Lotus Elise is to those Hondas.

But...on the subject of repairing them...the propietary cards worry me. Of course at $4k-$11k I'd expect a little more than Dell's horrible warranty service.

P.S. If you play Crysis on it at max settings, can you make french fries?!?!?!?!?!

Why bother with such "high end" stuff? (4, Insightful)

diamondsw (685967) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Quality. (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 5 years ago | (#25446927)

There are large and non-ignorable sizes of the population that want quality and do not get it. However, they've yet to figure out how to make it obtainable by mere mortals without using cut-rate brands or allowing knockoffs in the process. That is when this kind of machine would be impressive - quality without exorbitance.

With regards to quality and not price:
Cheapness is weakness

Re:Why bother with such "high end" stuff? (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447195)

This would make a terrible workstation the cards are absolutely not made for that [leadtek.com.tw] .

Crisco oil party (4, Funny)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Crisco oil party (4, Funny)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447231)

Orgasm Queen of the SS

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

Re:Crisco oil party (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25447355)

My water cooled system whizzed itself to death, so I went back to (mostly) passive aircooling. It's cheaper, simpler, robust and at about as quiet. Oh, and the temperatures under load are only a couple of degree's higher (with the right heat sinks, obviously).

Remind me again why people want to screw around with liquid cooling...?

if you buy an oil immersion pc (5, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#25446739)

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

Space-Age??? (0, Redundant)

mamono (706685) | more than 5 years ago | (#25446795)

I've always wondered why this term is ever supposed to mean anything. I mean, wasn't the "Space Age" in the 50's and 60's? Are they trying to tell you that their product is using 5o year old technology?

Re:Space-Age??? (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 5 years ago | (#25446909)

The Space Age started on Oct 4, 1957

It hasn't ended yet. We (USA, Russia) still have people in orbit, and other countries (China, India) are getting involved.

And..... why? (1, Interesting)

Ancient_Hacker (751168) | more than 5 years ago | (#25446803)

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:And..... why? (3, Informative)

forceman130 (1233754) | more than 5 years ago | (#25446987)

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.

Re:And..... why? - glad bags (1)

onkelonkel (560274) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447253)

Glad bags are awesome. Those ones with the fold over top...did you know that you can put sandwiches in them!

Re:And..... why? (1)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447569)

Or that things ran, well, slicker.

I think you can assume this one at least.

Here's their patent claim (5, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 5 years ago | (#25446853)

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.

Re:Here's their patent claim (1)

NormalVisual (565491) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447463)

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. :-)

Re:Here's their patent claim (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447743)

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.

Re:Here's their patent claim (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25447957)

Deionized water would work right up until the point that some sort of salt is introduced to the tank. It doesn't take much salt to make a 4 gallon tank of deionized water conduct electricity. There's probably enough residue on the motherboard to short out the whole thing.

Versus water cooling (2, Interesting)

Lost Engineer (459920) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Versus water cooling (1)

NormalVisual (565491) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447403)

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.

Re:Versus water cooling (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447607)

Or a regular computer and two motor scooters.

can I have... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25446871)

fries with that?
thanks.

Equilibrium (4, Funny)

EZLeeAmused (869996) | more than 5 years ago | (#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?

When they can do $1-4k without being a knockoff (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 5 years ago | (#25446879)

Then I'll be impressed - provided that it's of the same size/similar functionality. Cut the SSD's in favor of less write-limited drives (or give plenty of eSATA ports, and cut back on SSD's). As long as said machine wouldn't end up being a crippled/significantly slower machine with cut-rate parts(read: Realtek, VIA and similar manufacturers), it would move a lot faster.

I'd hope that with that kind of costs they have already, that a good chunk of the parts(including electronic ones) were US made.

Pointless waste of money (4, Insightful)

Conspicuous Coward (938979) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Pointless waste of money (5, Funny)

toiletsalmon (309546) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447369)

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. ;)

Re:Pointless waste of money (1)

iteyoidar (972700) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447783)

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.


PC Gamers will buy a lot of stupid things. The people who will buy this thing are the sames ones who are right now buying Alienwares with liquid cooled Nvidia 8600's in SLI configuration (which is even more bizarre than an oil cooled PC in my opinion).

Fallacy: oil based PCs don't break down over time (5, Informative)

NotInfinitumLabs (1150639) | more than 5 years ago | (#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."

Re:Fallacy: oil based PCs don't break down over ti (1)

NormalVisual (565491) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447265)

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 or so, but I think overall the system would be easier (and cheaper) to work with.

Open-source the oil! (5, Funny)

GFree678 (1363845) | more than 5 years ago | (#25446929)

proprietary oil

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

Foreign oil (2, Funny)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Whoa thats cheap!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25447397)

Wow, for 4000 dollars, i'll buy the PC just to dump the oil in my car

At last, a true oil rig (2, Funny)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447431)

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! (3, Funny)

reboot246 (623534) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447831)

Now when somebody tells you to shove that computer up your ass, it'll have plenty of lube to go in smoothly.

Oil is nuts, What we had was so much better. (3, Interesting)

John Sokol (109591) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447857)

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.

space age (1)

benicillin (990784) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447945)

im suspicious of anything that has 'space-age materials' ....
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