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Want a Cool and Quiet PC? Dunk it in Oil

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the everything-is-better-deep-fried dept.

Hardware Hacking 402

The Last Gunslinger writes "Tom's Hardware Guide has published an article (complete with video) showing how they employed their own approach to the liquid cooled computer. To offset the loss of normal airflow around their Athlon FX-55 and GeForce 6800Ultra, the mad scientists in the lab decided to fill the case up with 8 gallons of cooking oil. The oil temperature leveled off at a comfy 104F during benchmarking operations intended to tax both the CPU and GPU to their limits. Interestingly enough, they first attempted this operation using deionized water. It worked for 5 minutes before developing short circuits...but the hardware was amazingly undamaged." Slashdot has covered similar projects in the past but it was neat to see the differences in oil and the look at capacitance around the CPU pins.

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402 comments

Put an Intel in there (5, Funny)

homerules (688184) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430233)

...and make french fries.

Re:Put an Intel in there (2, Informative)

peculiarmethod (301094) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430352)

cause what you want on your PC is bacterium and other growing non-sense.

how about using oil especially made to cool electronics instead?

what about changing out hardware? what about leaks?

Re:Put an Intel in there (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430489)

how about using oil especially made to cool electronics instead?
How much you wanna bet that's a heck of a lot more expensive than fryer grease?

Re:Put an Intel in there (2, Funny)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430506)

Would you like chips with that order?......

Sounds interesting. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14430234)

I won't believe it until I see it in a respected, peer refereed scientific journal. Downplaying this extraordinary "dunked in oil" claim by saying that it didn't work won't deter me.

And don't forget cause!=correlation (2, Funny)

SIGFPE (97527) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430288)

Just because there was oil in the PC, and the CPU was cooled, it doesn't follow that the oil did the cooling. It could be that CPUs that drop in temperature exude oil or that there is some other factors that caused both the cooled CPU and the appearance of oil.

Re:And don't forget cause!=correlation (1)

schenkzoola (780772) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430435)

And this looks like a good application of Occam's Razor.

Wax might be even better (4, Interesting)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430466)

At Los Alamos National Lab, an early star wars prottype, the Beam aboard a rocket program launched a sub orbital sattelite that had electronic dissipating lots of heat for a short interval. Fans don't work well in space. And weight was a premium. The solution was to fill it with parafin. The parafin not only conducted the heat as a solid/liquid but it also has a phase change from solid to liquid which until the transition was 100% liquid clamped the electronics at the melting temperature of the wax. This required no circulation pumps.

Of course once it all melt then you are back to the steady state conduction of liquid parafin. But if you've ever made candles then you know that melting 8 gallons of wax on a stove burner can take a long time. If you can make that last say 12 hours--a work day-- and then let it cool down overnight you might never melt it all (or have two computers and play ping pong: one always cooling while the the other is heating).

Rancid Oil? (2, Funny)

DaRat (678130) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430235)

Of course, once the oil turns rancid, things could get interesting as well as smelly...

Re:Rancid Oil? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14430285)

If you use a saturated fat that is not as much of a problem. They are highly stable, because all the carbon-atom linkages are filled-or saturated-with hydrogen. This means that they do not normally go rancid, even when heated for cooking purposes.

Re:Rancid Oil? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14430503)

Saturated fats are solid at room temperature and any temperture you'd want to keep the computer at (think butter, shortening, blubber).

Re:Rancid Oil? (1)

jcostantino (585892) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430295)

I've seen this before with mineral oil... that "should" be better in the long run.

Re:Rancid Oil? (4, Insightful)

Gonarat (177568) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430313)

Of course, once the oil turns rancid, things could get interesting as well as smelly...

I thought the same thing -- interesting concept, but cooking oil would either have to be changed every few days or so, or it would get stinky. Of course, they included a plug at the bottom of the case to make draining the oil easier.

They say at the end of the article that they recommend motor oil for long term operation. They used cooking oil for proof-of-concept. I still don't know if I would want the top of the case open as they did, even with motor oil, so I guess some sort of heat exchanger would have to be included to run this with a totally sealed interior. You'd need something to keep the oil at 104 deg F or cooler with the top on -- I'm sure it wouldn't be that hard to design something.

Re:Rancid Oil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14430403)

You'd need something to keep the oil at 104 deg F or cooler with the top on -- I'm sure it wouldn't be that hard to design something.

Just use the radiator from your old Chevy pick up.

Motor Oil... Use Jet Turbine Oil instead!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14430472)

Use oil intended for gas turbine engines... especially the grade they use for operations in the arctic / antarctic regions since it's thinner viscosity. These synthetic oils will not go rancid and will handle temperature peaks that your PC will never reach.

Also you may wish to try DOT-5 brake fluid. It's silicone-based and very low viscosity with excellent thermal transfer properties.

Re:Rancid Oil? (4, Funny)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430392)

Always remember the five enemies of oil: SWACH

Salt
Water
Air
Carbon
Heat

These five things will slowly reduce the quality of your oil, forcing pre-mature replacement, and adversly affecting the taste^W [operation] of the product^W [computer].

Salt is introduced into the oil when [you eat] the french fries are salted too close to the vat^W computer. This has immediately damaging affects on the oil. Always ensure that you salt the fries [you are going to eat] in the bin^W^W^W [on your desk] rather than over the vat^W [computer].

Water is naturally introduced into the oil from the air around us, and the moisture contained inside the french fries.^W^W^W^W^W^W^W^W Try to shake off excess ice before cooking the fries.

Since air is all around us, there is not too much that can be done to stop this enemy of oil. However, keeping the lid on the vat^W [computer] when not in use has been shown to reduce oxygenation of the oil.

Carbon is introduced into the vat^W [computer] as the french fries are cooked. Use the handheld strainer to remove excess carbon from the vat^W [computer].

Heat is a constant threat to the oil. Since the french fries are often cooked at 400 degrees or higher^W^W^W^W^W^W^W^W^W^W^W^W [Since the computer regularly operates at temperatures rivaling a nuclear power plant], it is important to constantly monitor the clarity and viscousness of the oil. Use of a portable strainer can remove destroyed oil, and allow you to rescue the oil that is still in good condition.

Follow these simple tips, and your french fries^W^W [computer] will remain tasty batch after batch!

* tongue planted firmly in cheek

Re:Rancid Oil? (1)

NewWorldDan (899800) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430432)

I gotta agree with you on this one. Granted, if the case is sealed to the air, that won't be a problem. But a lightweight mineral oil is still going to have superior clarity. Also, if it's an oil that tends to oxidize, then there could be problems down the road with leakage currents. I should call 3M and see if they can find me a non-conductive, inert, non-volitale chemical to submerge a PC in. I'm sure they make one.

Re:Rancid Oil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14430516)

they do it is called Fluoinert and they run a demo of a working television submersed in the stuff.

Pretty cool to see actually.

Slashdotted already... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14430237)

... the server must be running on cooking oil. Ha ha ha ha!

What's that, boss? (5, Funny)

mmell (832646) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430239)

The quarterly financials? Sure. Oh, and the software projections? You've got it.

Would you like fries with that?

Re:What's that, boss? (1)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430522)

At 104F, those are going to be the greasiest fries you've ever had.

I prefer... (1)

avronius (689343) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430245)

I think that I still prefer to bake my chips, but if you're one of the deep-fry set, then this sounds like just the thing! ;)

Duh (5, Insightful)

shawnce (146129) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430251)

they first attempted this operation using deionized water. It worked for 5 minutes before developing short circuits

Have to say that is kinda of dumb to try... de-ionized water is a great solvent and would love nothing better then to leach ions from material it comes in contact with.

Re:Duh (4, Interesting)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430298)

I'm sure in hindsight it's a dumb thing to try, but sometimes you can get unexpected results. I think there was probbably enough garbage on the motherboard to provide enough ions to establish a current. I wonder what would have happened if they had rinsed the motherboard first.

Re:Duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14430446)

Rinsed the parts including the motherboard and continually run the water in the case through the deionizing and filtering process, to remove things as they came off the board or the case.

(I need to read more about water deionization.)

Not to mention, as there was a past /. article on this wrt scientific papers/results, don't discount failed attempts. Many times, what fails is part of the learning process, and even publication of failed results and the details therein will lead to improved processes...even if it is simply to alert some other people in the community that something has been done and tried so they don't repeat the process again.

Re:Duh (5, Informative)

tjebe (830017) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430389)

Also, vegetable oil is a good solvent for a lot of polymers. And I imagine that there are several oil-soluble polymers on a motherboard. It might not dissolve them quickly, but it'll do it eventually.

Re:Duh (1)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430464)

I am sure this is why they sell vegetable oil in plastic containers....

And at 104F, I don't think you will have much solvent action. If it got hot enough, I would be more worried.

Now you could use a refridgerating unit.to cool the oil.....

Re:Duh (5, Interesting)

Fishead (658061) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430433)

I don't know, the last place I worked at had a LASER welder that used De-ionized water flowing over the flash lamp (~400 volts) to keep the bulb at a set temperature. We would buy distilled water from the grocery store and change the water about once every 3 months. What probably made the difference though was that there was de-ionizing resin in a chamber that the water would flow through on its way to the Flash Lamp. It was really expensive if I remember correctly. I don't know much about it, but it consisted of really tiny plastic like beads about .5mm in diameter that also had to be changed at the same time as the water.

cool it's 2001 again (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14430255)

how many times have we seen this?

Dunkin Doughnuts... (2, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430256)

This is one of those moments that I wish I could work at a Dunkin Doughnuts. I could deep-fry doughnuts from the heat of a dual-core AMD CPU and quad-core Nvidia video card and play Quake 4 at the same time.

Re:Dunkin Doughnuts... (1)

a10waveracer (862795) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430320)

Yeah, but if you were working at a Dunkin' Doughnuts shop, it would take you a few years of savings to be able to buy that setup >_>

Re:Dunkin Doughnuts... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430413)

That's where cheating the cash register and/or knowing the safe combo comes in handy. After all, the end justify the means. :)

uuh. (2, Interesting)

Renraku (518261) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430258)

Not sure why you'd want to do this. The benefits (effective, silent cooling) are more than negated by the drawbacks.

For example, if you get water into the system you could fry your machine. Its not that difficult, especially if its not sealed too well. Another example being if the sealing were to catastrophically fail, you'd have 8 gallons of cooking oil that wanted out, and if you weren't at home could very well destroy the board.

Think you're going to try to take this thing to a LAN party? Good luck. Better wear one of those muscle belts to be able to lift and carry it. And better make sure those seals are extra tight. How's the buff Asian guy next to you going to feel when he and his machine are doused in cooking oil?

Re:uuh. (1)

Saiyine (689367) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430304)


if you get water into the system you could fry your machine

And that's very different to putting water into an air cooled machine, wich makes it go faster!

Re:uuh. (4, Funny)

Surt (22457) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430324)

How's the buff Asian guy next to you going to feel when he and his machine are doused in cooking oil?

Extra Crispy?

Re:uuh. (1)

ePhil_One (634771) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430477)

Extra Crispy?

Unfortunately, no. The thing topped out at 104F, he'd be soggy and limp, no, let me rephrase that...

Better stick with Hufu [eathufu.com] for now.

Re:uuh. (1)

schwaang (667808) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430335)

Plus, from the picture they put the power supply and hard disk outside of the case, which is not conducive to portability or quietude.

If they were gonna do that, they should have built a much smaller case. (Unless you need that much oil for temperature stability.)

Re:uuh. (2, Insightful)

Soporific (595477) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430350)

When did doing something have to be productive or particularly useful if the do'ers found it exciting and fun? I took up watercooling just because it seemed interesting...

~S

You won't get water in your system (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14430371)

Immersing equipment in oil is how you keep water out of it. At the place I used to work, it was standard procedure to put equipment (data loggers etc.) in an oil bath if it had to go into the water. That way if the container leaked, the water couldn't get at the equipment.

As for being a PITA to fix, I'd rather fix something oily than try to troubleshoot and fix something that has been potted in silicone.

Muscle belt? (1)

IAAP (937607) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430379)

8 gallons of water is a little over 64 lbs (about 8 lbs per gallon). So the machine would be, what? 70 lbs including the hardware itself.

I don't think that it's that heavy. Of course, if you have a bad back, then it'd be an issue.

Oil is lighter... (1)

IAAP (937607) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430404)

Forgot to mention that the oil would be lighter still, maybe not as light as gasoline (6 lbs/gallon), but it'd be lighter. So we're talking between, 50 and 70 lbs for the machine.

Re:uuh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14430380)

How's the buff Asian guy next to you going to feel when he and his machine are doused in cooking oil?
A buff what!?!

So what's the point of posting this? (-1, Troll)

the_macman (874383) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430263)

Don't mean to troll or anything but why is this on the front page of NEWS for nerds? It's been done before. It's not really a new idea and I'm sure this page could easily be found via Google [google.com] . I guess this is what happens on slow news days? :\

Re:So what's the point of posting this? (1)

goofyheadedpunk (807517) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430318)

There's really no point to posting this, true. It's not news. It is, however, making the internet rounds. It's on the front page of reddit [reddit.com] and digg [digg.com] . It's probably elsewhere. The internet "news" sites tend to share quite a number of the same silly stories.

do you suck dick? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14430264)

of course you do, because you are a cocksmoking faggot.

i'm not judging though, i'm sure every man would like to have semen dripping from his ass!

Drive Through (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14430265)

"Hi, can I order one large McIntel with cheese. Thanks."

Site Slashdotted.... (-1, Redundant)

southpolesammy (150094) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430269)

It worked for 5 minutes before developing short circuits...

Oil Change Intervals? (4, Funny)

twiddlingbits (707452) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430270)

Do you have to change the oil and filter every 3000 programs? On the bright side, you can use to old oil to make bio-diesel!

Re:Oil Change Intervals? (1)

andykuan (522434) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430331)

Ah, but that's only if you're using vegetable oil. How about switching to other non-conductive oils? Plain glycerine perhaps? It'll be clear instead of yellow.

Wait, I've got a better idea, let's convince Tom's Hardware to try out kerosene or gasoline. Though I imagine the volatility of gasoline would be a problem (well that and flammability issues...)

Re:Oil Change Intervals? (1)

twiddlingbits (707452) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430409)

If you read the whole article, they say on the last page that Motor Oil would be better than Veggie oil. But 5 gals of 1W/30 oil would be expensive!!! I wonder if synthetic oil would be better than petroleum based oils?

Re:Oil Change Intervals? (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430467)

Wait, I've got a better idea, let's convince Tom's Hardware to try out kerosene or gasoline. Though I imagine the volatility of gasoline would be a problem (well that and flammability issues...)

Gasoline is neither volatile or flammable. This is important to remember when handling it. You may be treating that canister with kid gloves, but it's the fumes that you carelessly let evaporate out of the can that's going to singe your eyebrows off. Keep the lid on your computer, work in an open area with lots of ventilation, pay attention to basic safety precautions, and your gasoline powered computer should work great for many thousands of miles!

So I can choose no noise or... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14430271)

...the smell of a South Jersey boardwalk on a hot summer night.

Re:So I can choose no noise or... (1)

Soporific (595477) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430474)

I think you have to add your own urine and bum additive to get that effect.

~S

Fire (2, Funny)

c_fel (927677) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430279)

I wonder what would happen in the case of a spark in the case. Let's say :
1. Oil burns
2. The computer is filled with oil
3. Oups.

Re:Fire (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430425)

I believe oil only seriously burns in the presence of oxygen (oil is not a chemical explosive that can burn without an oxygen supply). So this case would just need to be airtight or near airtight to be safe from this, and guess what: you need to do that any way to prevent leaking.

Re:Fire (1)

Andy Gardner (850877) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430444)

Oh come on, think about it. Typical motor oil has a minimum 400F flash point and how many times have you been cooking with oil it's ignited?

Re:Fire (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14430528)

Hopefully a spark in the case would be prevented because the oil is an extremely poor conductor of electricity. You would have to have another ignition source, like a cigarette...

Ugh (5, Funny)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430284)

Did this guy take pointers from the William Shatner School of Websites?

You get like half a...

a sentence and then...

have to click Next Page...

Open Source Profits!!!!! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14430300)



1> Fill Computer Case with Cooking Oil
2> Run SETI@Home, Prime95 etc
3> Sell Fries!

Obligitory... (0, Redundant)

fak3r (917687) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430302)

Would you like fries with that?

Not new (2, Informative)

kuzb (724081) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430319)

This is not new [digg.com] and was probably done even before the digg article post, which was made over 180 days ago. I seem to remember coverage on slashdot or somewhere else about this being done several years ago.

Re:Not new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14430364)

I usually try to stay out of the digg-vs-slashdot stuff, but MAN!

Slashdot is going to need to come up with a better way of coming up with interesting reading material if they're going to keep my eyeballs.

Digg.com has seriously cut into my Slashdot reading time since a co-worker pointed me to it. Pretty soon Netcraft will be confirming that Slashdot is dying.
 

Re:Not new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14430426)

Digg's comment system sucks, though. There's no reply function, and though there are comment ratings, no one seems to use them.

I read Slashdot for the comments, not for the articles. If it was the other way around, I guess I'd prefer Digg.

Re:Not new (3, Interesting)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430430)

Well, it was done by the Cray II, in about 1983 (okay, that was with Fluorinert, not vegetable oil, but anyway), so it's not exactly a new idea or anything.

It's interesting that this came up as an article, because in another thread I'd been discussing it yesterday:
http://hardware.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=17334 2&cid=14422980 [slashdot.org] (This is the article about the new Corsair watercooling rig)

I think that we're going to see more stuff like this in the future. I don't think vegetable oil is where it's going to be though -- there are a lot better liquids that you can use, which conduct heat far more effectively. I found a place within a few minutes of googling that is willing to sell anyone 1gal or 5gal jugs of light white mineral oil (a petroleum product) for relatively cheap, in various viscosities. I think that would make a lot more sense than using some sort of organic oil that's going to go bad.

And if you were going to use it in anything serious, you'd really want to get 3M Fluorinert. It's expensive as hell, but it's designed for exactly this purpose.

Re:Not new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14430494)

some of us don't have time to register a slashdot username, let alone read the entire internet for moderately interesting article, so let it go already.

Re:Not new (1)

OctoberSky (888619) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430508)

Wait A miNute, are yOu alledging THat Slashdot is repEating stoRies? That SLASHDOT are presenting DUPlicatE entries?!?! LIES!

Xbox360 (1)

thehubbell (928572) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430325)

If your fondue pot goes out and your in the middle of frying things just hook up the old xbox360 and power supply.

Shortening, as in (3, Funny)

IAAP (937607) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430327)

Crisco. It's a solid at room temperature and then it'll liquify as it gets hot. Of course, while it's liquifying, it's taking more heat away from the components.

BTW, It's been awhile (decades) since thermo - if it's not obvious.

Re:Shortening, as in (5, Funny)

Arhat (779830) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430490)

So would this mean a machine cooled in such a fashion could be a Crisco Router.

mo Parent up +7 (1)

IAAP (937607) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430527)

Oh man! Did I set you up for that one!

Water short-circuit? (1)

sfjoe (470510) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430329)


That seems like an awfully short time period to have leached out enough material to allow current to flow. I wonder what they did to clean the circuit boards of residue prior to filling the box with water?
It probably says in the article but I'd hate to defy etiquette and actually read it.

Re:Water short-circuit? (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430534)

They washed it with de-ionized water, of course.

Dangerous... (1)

GenieGenieGenie (942725) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430339)

Talk about frying your motherboard...

Cooling With Oil? Welcome to 1999 (5, Informative)

ferrellcat (691126) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430343)

No pics left but archive.org does have a few pages achived from a guy who subsubmerged his Celeron 333 in oil back in 1999. I'm sure even earlier attempts exist...

http://web.archive.org/web/19991122030011/www.accs data.com/drffreeze/FAQ.htm [archive.org]

Re:Cooling With Oil? Welcome to 1999 (1)

silverkniveshotmail. (713965) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430456)

THANK YOU ALL. This has been the most exciting time in my life! You are teh welcome mr. internet past man.

Mass-Market (4, Funny)

teklob (650327) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430354)

This is a fun solution for hobbyists, but with the current prices of oil it would be cheaper to fly in bags of ice from arctic expeditions. *ducks*

For Maximum Performance... (1)

wolfemi1 (765089) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430363)

...be sure to thoroughly bread the motherboard before use, and use an Intel Northwood-core Pentium IV for quickest frying action.

What about the hard drive? (1)

smeek (617646) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430366)

Normally hard drives require air for the read heads to maintain a proper height above the platters. Additionally, the heads would probably break if they were quickly moved through a viscous medium like oil. As far as I know, hard drives aren't completely air tight. Any ideas why this wasn't a problem?

Re:What about the hard drive? (1)

hal9000(jr) (316943) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430416)

Any ideas why this wasn't a problem?

Stick the moving parts outside the oil. But do you then have to worry about wicking the oil up the cables?

Re:What about the hard drive? (1)

joto (134244) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430420)

Normally hard drives require air for the read heads to maintain a proper height above the platters. Additionally, the heads would probably break if they were quickly moved through a viscous medium like oil. As far as I know, hard drives aren't completely air tight. Any ideas why this wasn't a problem?

Yes. Look at the absolutely first picture on page 1 in the article. What is sitting on top of the power supply?

Which of course defeats the whole purpose, the power supply has a fan of its own.

Re:What about the hard drive? (1)

Vacuous (652107) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430481)

I'm pretty sure that HDDs are air tight. Pretty sure i've read that dust in the air can wreak havoc on the platters. I could be wrong, but i'm pretty sure HDD recovery requres a clean room, hence why it is so expensive.

Re:What about the hard drive? (1)

Chirs (87576) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430512)

They're not airtight, but they do have a filter over the opening.

Re:What about the hard drive? (1)

Relic (92325) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430505)

I could blast you for not reading the article, but maybe its just you didn't see the pictures?

The hard disk and power supply were not submerged.

Note on water damage to electronics (4, Informative)

Savantissimo (893682) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430396)

It's not the water that damages electronics but rather the salts and other ions in the water that allow short-circuiting, and if concentrations are as high as in tap water will often leave conductive salt bridges between pins. (Washing ciruit boards in the dishwasher can be ok, though, if you know what you're doing.)

Deionized water temporarily has no ions but disolves some out of virtually anything, making it an undependable resistor. It also has a whopping dielectric constant that would be a bad idea in any case for a bath for high-frequency circuits designed to run in air.

Transformers have used oil... (4, Informative)

slashname3 (739398) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430398)

Tranformers have used oil for a very long time for cooling. The problem with putting it in a computer case is that over time the oil would most likely work its way into the slots on any cards you have installed and cause the system to stop working. And you have the maintance problem, you want to upgrade that video card but now you have several hours job of draining the oil, removing the existing card, cleaning the slot connectors carefully, installing the new card, sealing the system up, refilling with oil, only to find out that you forgot to set the options on the card correctly, back to step one.

BTW: I saw a tranformer on a pole catch fire once. Spit oil and other stuff all over the cars below it. Very impressive.

Re:Transformers have used oil... (2, Informative)

Embedded (105939) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430485)

Transformers, breakers, 500KV transformers in fact just about every piece of utility equipment use transformer oil.

So did the Heathkit dummy load. A 1 gallon paint can to be precise. It used an SO-239 connector gasketed to the top.

With the proper gasket and connectors this will work well. Actually I might suggest a vertical Pelikan case not too different looking from an ammo case. As for fires that is generally 20 year old oil in overloaded transformers. So when was the last time you fired up your Apple II ? Just do not use cooking oil!

Obligatory pun (1)

David Horn (772985) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430417)

Oil take one of those...

OK, I'll get my coat. :)

A geek can dream (1)

Hexedian (626557) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430431)

Now, if only they managed to make a lava lamp case...

Cooking oil? (1)

Schmedley53 (806453) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430453)

Why not mineral oil?

Alternative to oil? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14430460)

When I first heard of submerging a computer in oil I Googled the web to see if anyone had successfully done it. I came across a discussion board where a high school kid wanted to use the idea of computer cooling for his science fair project. He wasn't, however, keen on destroying a perfectly good computer with oil. He asked the group if submerging the computer in ethanol would be a better choice, since it would evaporate off when he was done.

Someone in the discussion said, while the cooling properties of alcohol are well known, and his hardware would likely come clean, the possibility of fire, and probably even large explosions wouldn't make it worth while.

Good thing the kid bothered to ask first. I can only assume/hope he got the advice in time.

Reionionized water & bacteria (2, Informative)

redelm (54142) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430471)

Well, what did they expect? Deionized water will pick up anything remotely ionizable (metal?). The lack of damage was likely due to a good groundpath..

Oil is a good (but messy) cooling solution. I think I'd prefer mineral oil for reduced possibility of microbial growth. You'd want heatslugs vertical to improve natureal convection. And I wound't trust ithe typical PCBthermisters with that much ambiient cooling.

Yech (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14430507)

What happens when all that cooking oil goes rancid? Retards. :|

It's winter, so... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14430517)

just open a window! :-)

I guess this works best if you live somewhere north, like say, Winnipeg, though. Adding 100 degrees F to a -40 degree day will make it almost room temperature again! :-)

Who needs this oil stuff? It freezes too easy, anyway! Real Programmers (TM) use Nature Herself to cool their processors.

This OIL BATH... (1)

DarthTator (937292) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430518)

..is going to feel soo gooood!!!

Dunk it in oil...or water (3, Funny)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430523)

Looks like Comer wasn't so far off with his water dunked rig after all. Strange noone has posted this old avforums gem [avforums.com] in this thread yet.

I decided this weekend to try and quiten my PC by following some other members lead and going down the water cooling road. The fans on my PC were really starting to drive me mad. The first thing that I did was to remove all the fans. The one on the processor and graphics card were no problem but the one in the power unit was a bugger to get out.

The most difficult part was sealing all the ventilitation openings in the PC case with silicon. I also put silicon all around the joints on the PC case. The smell of silicon was dreadful but when my wife complained I told her to be patent as it will be worth it when we have a completely silent PC.

Because I had completely sealed the PC case the only opening near top was the DVD drive. So I opened that and put the small hose I had purchased specially for the job into the DVD drive as far as it would go. With what I can only describe as great excitement and anticipation, I turned on the water. It really is amazing just how long it took before the case was complete full, and boy was it heavy. That didn't really bother me as I didn't intend to be moving the PC anyway.

The big moment had arrived so I called in my wife and mother in law (who was visiting) and I announced "prepare to hear nothing!" and flicked the switch on the socket on the wall.

Before I could even press the power button on front of the PC, with a loud bang, the whole place was plunged into darkness

I knew that it was only the tripswitch so I told my onlookers not to panic and I ran out to the hall to turn the trip switch back on. But can u believe it, it wouldn't stay on. After five attempts I decided to try unplugging the PC and would you believe...yes the trip switch stayed on. My conclusion: the PC must have in some way been causing the problem.

After about an hour of tries I finally decided to abandon the whole idea of water cooling and emptied the water out of the PC, put back in the fans (except the fan in the power unit, I had broken that one getting it out) and tried the pc AGAIN. IT STILL CAUSED THE TRIP SWTICH TO BLOW!

My PC is completely shagged thanks to stupid suggestions that I got on this forum. What the hell am I going to do now. I spent two hours last night with a hair drier inside the PC case and it still trips the switch.

Any suggestions greatly appreciated

Conor

Dot 5 Brake Fluid (4, Informative)

itomato (91092) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430536)

Brake fluid (Dot5, silicone based) seems like it would be a good candidate.

Dot3 has awesome heat transfer ability, but collects water, and plays hell with paint (I imagine sensitive electronics to feel similar pain).

Silicone is a dielectric, right? How about PEG? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyethylene_glycol [wikipedia.org]

Transformers (1)

Mike McTernan (260224) | more than 8 years ago | (#14430537)

Aren't some transformers submerged in oil for the same reasons?
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