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Do-it-yourself CPU Cooling

Hemos posted more than 13 years ago | from the for-when-twenty- dept.

Hardware 87

Ice_Hole writes "Well, looks like the serious overclockers are going to have a few more options (that is, other than Kryotech) in terms of extreme CPU cooling. Better yet - it is a build it at home project."

cancel ×

87 comments

Re:Half-assed "do it yourself ideas" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1594996)

You could also do what one of the Commodore engineers did in the 8 Bit day`s. IIRC he was working with a prototype C128, and had to use a metal eggcup with an icecube in it to keep the thing cool. So, i suppose you`d need a block of ice 4`x4` to cool a PentiumIII?

Re:Cool! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#1594997)

Not when you can buy a dual chip mb and run two obverclocked celerons for under $300 dollars giving you a cpu speed of over 1,000. Throw in a swanky cooling system from step and you are SET for under $450.

Re:Liquid Nitrogen--WARNING (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#1594998)

And the O2 would STILL be in a solution of N2. Are Liquid N2 and Liquid O2 immissible? Is there the possibility of density stratification?

Re:Slightly offtopic: Quiet CPU Fans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1594999)

Try oiling the fan... Sounds simple, but it works :)

Re:A really cheapass cooling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1595000)

I like the fact that they had the insight to use a freezer that had a dial that went to 11 -- not the miserable 10. Very Spinal Tap.

Re:A really cheapass cooling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1595001)

Overclocking a 486-25sx to 247mhz? YEOW!

RE: Condensation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1595002)

I think condensation is a serious threat to the motherboard. So may be people might experiment their supercooling exercise by flipping the motherboard upside down. So condensation would drip to the bottom of the chasis instead of dripping onto the motherboard.

While the compresser of the freon generates a lot of heat. Such waste heat could be vented around the elements which could cause condensation inside the chasis. Sort of electrical-lining along the frig door which keeps off the moisture.

Re:Half-assed "do it yourself ideas" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1595003)

no, actually you just need a heatsink and a fan. Look inside any machine with a PIII and you'd see this. So either you're exceptionally stupid, or that was the most pathetic attempt at a joke I've seen in a long while.

Re:Scarry thought (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1595004)

in my experience it takes suffiently long to develop software for your state of the art overclocked box to turn into a bog standard (or worse) machine by the time release day comes around.

Re:Slightly offtopic: Quiet CPU Fans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#1595005)

Make sure the fan you are using utilizes ball bearings. They are the ones that are in the $25 dollar catagory at your local 'lectronics store. The cheaper ones use sleeve bearings that wear out much faster

Re:Slightly offtopic: Fan underclocking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#1595006)

Not sure what you're asking...all I know is they're marked as rotating 90 times per second, which, to me, means 90hz. Which it says. 90hz.

$200 Kryotech Sub Zero model. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#1595007)

For the best practical (non lethal) cooling, one shoudl insulate the cpu (against condensation. Apply a peltier above it with a nice heatsink. Atop the heatsink, mount a PVC tube, insulate and seal it to the heatsink. Fill the (now water-tight) tube with water 3/4ths. Condensation/electrical issues are resolved. Heat displacement is effectively total until the water reaches 120-130*F. More water=more time. Adding dry-ice (CO2) is safe and a viable source of coolant. If fluids aren't you bag, visualize this: [CPU]=SolidHeastsink=Peltier=heatsink=fan=>tube to outside case. Use thermally resistant silicon to insulate the heatsink between the cpu and peltier to avoid condesnsation issues.90% of CPU heat (air over 100*For so) is piped outside the case. Adding a third peltier directly between the CPU and first heatsink will allow the temperature of the CPU to stay at about20*F or lower, depending on peltier quality/power. Cost $200 for the pelts, heats and fan. Add the case of your choice, and a few hours labor and your set. I'm running an AMD k6-2-400 at 600mhz. Make sure the fans point OUT of the case.

Re:I've been curious about something for a few yea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#1595008)

But doesn't crosstalk only occure because cables like that aren't shielded along their datapaths? It shouldn't be hard at all to make a perfectly shielded cpu extender along those lines... more-so with slot-1 cpus

Slightly offtopic: Quiet CPU Fans (1)

MacJedi (173) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595009)

On the topic of do it yourself cpu cooling, are there any cpu fans that stick out in anyones mind? I have an overclocked Celeron 300a (@450) that is actually running nice and cool with the generic fan that I stuck on there. But for some reason over the last month the fan has become really, really noisy, and I want to replace it. Know of any fans that run quietly?

thanks,
/joeyo

Re:Slightly offtopic: Quiet CPU Fans (1)

bluGill (862) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595010)

Pc Power and CoolingIs where I get all my fans and power supplies now. I've had too many porblems with poor quality fans. FreeBSD is ultra reliable now that my processors have the required cooling.

Sure they are a little nosiy, but better then a little hot. I got ear plugs anyway.

ack! attack of MSTML! (1)

ninjaz (1202) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595011)

Looks cool and all, but I feel for the guys who made this. Their marketroids have a bad case of MS moronitis.
The second generation of the VapoChillÔ is offering 100% ?do it yourself? integration
The telling part is all of the single quotes on the rest of the site are fine.

BBF - Bigger Better Faster (1)

Rob the Roadie (2950) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595012)

This should mean that my Pentium II 233 will last me a little longer.

Any plans for a including them into 'off the shelf' systems? I supose some vendor will at some point but I doubt it will be one of the 'big boys' due to their tie-in's with Intel.

Re:Cool! (1)

Mawbid (3993) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595013)

You can't buy an 800-rated IA32 processor at any price so cost-effectiveness doesn't even come into play.
--

Re:Slightly offtopic: Fan underclocking (1)

unitron (5733) | more than 13 years ago | (#1595014)

If they're 90Hz fans, and you run them at 60 Hz, wouldn't they run too slowly? Unless you mean that their resonant frequency is 90Hz, which I'd need a whole lot more explanation of.

Re:Slightly offtopic: Quiet CPU Fans (1)

h2odragon (6908) | more than 13 years ago | (#1595015)

I think you might mean 90 CFM... I've been through several of those. Mine have had an average lifespan of about a year, running full-time, then they start to slow down. If they're running against any sort of back pressure (blowing *into* an enclosed space) they have a much reduced lifespan.

I don't find them in the current catalog, but I've had great results with 105CFM fans I bought from Mouser... They have a 5 year warranty.

NEWS: Geek hits 800MHz, 5 die in explosion (1)

Griim (8798) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595016)

That's a joke-subject that's been mentioned here before, but seriously, how long before this actually happens?

Get A Faster Processor (1)

pwhysall (9225) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595017)

I can't see the point of faffing around to the tune of £500 ($800) on top of the cost of the computer, when this differential will get you a nice fast 64-bit Alpha machine from Microway, (http://www.microway.com/specials/alpha.html#speci al4).

Alternatively get a G4 PowerMac.
Or a SPARC 5.

Stop barking up the Intel tree, because there *are* alternatives.
--

Re:Cool (1)

arivanov (12034) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595018)

I'd rather swap the Wintel for an alpha for the difference. An alpha in UK costs around 1500 pounds which makes it cheaper then this overclocking stuff..

Fan Ducts and Heat Pipes (1)

Jon Palmer (12614) | more than 13 years ago | (#1595019)

If you're not pushing the overclocking envelope, how do you get satisfactory cooling without resorting to Peltier cells or refrigerators?

I'm making a dual celery box (300A @ 450 MHz) and I've been surprised by the almost Luddite state of ventilation technology in the PC industry. Apparently, conventional practice is to put a fan near each processor's heat sink, and maybe also near the video card and main board chip, and to let the power supply's fan blow the hot air out of the box (perhaps with auxillary fans blowing in or out). No attention seems to be paid to heat accumulation toward the top of the typical case, except that the power supply is usually there, and most of them have their fans blowing toward the exterior (opposite the ATX specification). If the processor gets too hot, the conventional approach seems to be to blow more hot air over it with a more powerful fan. The overall flow through the case seems pretty haphazard.

So the first obvious step is to blow outside air at the heatsinks, not the heated air within the case. I found that Intel has recently promulgated a new spec. to accomplish this in ATX and micro-ATX systems. Described here [intel.com] , it entails a wide, flat duct over a horizontal fan that sits above the processor boards. Air is sucked from outside the case, through the duct, to the fan, and onto the hot corner of the ATX board where the processors, memory, and board chipset lie. They claim it will also cool the AGP video card nearby.

That should help, but what about the hot air in the case? I've decided to make a box with an extra panel inside, an inch and a half from the side panel and parallel to it, forming an air plenum separate from the main volume of the box. I plan to run ducts from this plenum to each hot spot, mostly enveloping the heatsinks, and perhaps also to the hard drives and power supply. This way I can blow air into the plenum and cool everything, with exhaust holes mostly around the top of the case. Yes, this is a parallel resistor network, and it will be necessary to tinker with the duct sizes to balance the flows according to the heat produced in the different locations.

I hope this will let me dispense with multiple fans in the case, and instead have one substantial squirrel-cage blower for the plenum. If you've read this far, it has probably already occurred to you that you could attach a hose to such a case and put the blower ELSEWHERE, to quiet things down. It might also be quieter due to the more laminar airflow (less turbulance).

Alternatively, one could SUCK from the plenum, with air entry holes strategically located in the outer case (e.g., in the front panel above and below the hard drives, etc.). This would be even better, since the heated air would be evacuated from the case directly, and in the summer it could be vented outside the room.

Has anyone gone to such lengths to achieve quiet, effective cooling?

On another note, what about heat pipes? Seen any lately? About fifteen years ago, I fixed an audio power amplifier for an EE who usually attempted his own repairs, but was left scratching his head at this tiny, futuristic, limited-production "concept amp" from Sony. (It's no wonder why: there was no signal voltage until the output stage- it was a current amp, not a voltage amp; quite unusual at the time). This amp had the output transistors on a small copper block, with a copper tube running to the rear, where it ran through a long stack of thin aluminum plates spaced about a quarter inch apart from each other. This was a heat pipe. The tube was concentric and full of refrigerant, which was boiled by the power transistors, forced through one tube as a gas, and condensed to liquid as it flowed through the heat exchanger plates at the rear. The heat input caused the circulation. This allowed the power transistors to be located on a small board with the other circuits, without heating them up very much. Other components could sit right on top of the thin power amp chassis without getting hot. The whole thing was almost weightless, but each channel put out 125 Watts. (It also had a rectified-line switching power supply to eliminate the power transformer).

Now, that was COOL. Why don't Intel and Alpha owners have heat pipe coolers like that? It makes the status quo look pretty retro, if you ask me.

Re:Condensation (1)

Jon Palmer (12614) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595020)

It looks to me like that's a resistance heater wrapped around the evaporator/CPU assembly. Brute force; inefficient; but it would stay dry.

One problem (1)

JamesKPolk (13313) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595021)

Many overclockers are broke gamers, who already blew their spare cash on a good video card, and games...

They have the time, but not the cash.

Not all slashdot readers are $80k a year sysadmins or something.

Why bother with all this.... (1)

GRH (16141) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595022)

I don't know why they bother with actual refrigeration compressors. Peltier Devices are more than capable of cooling a CPU to below freezing temperatures. They are cheap, easy to apply, and also run on 12VDC.

If you don't know what Peltier devices are, they are used in portable refrigerators for cars.

One source of them that I know of is here [melcor.com]

Have fun,
GRH

I've been curious about something for a few years. (1)

GreyFauk (18632) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595023)

Has anyone ever come up with an interface that would plug into cpu socket on the motherboard and
allow you to place the cpu into the other end
of the interface??

I.E. a fibre-optic channel or something...(is copper
wire 2 feet in length fast enough for cpu traffic??)
This would allow you to cool the cpu seperate from the internal
components of the rest of your computer...
You might even be able to stick the cup in
a liquid nitrogen bath (sealed) inside a cooled unit.

I can think of a number of ways.. just curious as
to wether or not anyone has ever done anything like this
or if anyone knows why this is a bad idea???


Re:I've been curious about something for a few yea (1)

GreyFauk (18632) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595024)

Ok... how about just 10 inches? and make it
fiber optic??

I understand the slowdown with copper...
wouldn't the fiber-optic be fast enough? Even at 10 inches?

There's got to be a way :>

Re:BBF - Bigger Better Faster (1)

Bald Wookie (18771) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595025)

I can get my trusty PII 233 to run at 350Mhz with pretty good stability using air cooling. Of course I have to take the cover off of my case and blast it with a big-ass window fan. According to the thermistor on my motherboard, the chip didnt heat up over 313K. Since my PII is pretty hot anyway, I was impressed. YMMV

Has anyone tried running a Sterling engine using a CPU as the heat source? I was thinking about building one, but dont have access to a machine shop anymore. I think that it would be super cool to have a 18th century reciprocating engine running your case fan.

-BW

Re:A really cheapass cooling (1)

Ratface (21117) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595026)

Excellent article :-)

Now this is the sort of thing that should be making the top page of /.

:-)

Cool! (1)

dkh2 (29130) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595027)

Yet, You still run into those other pesky problems from related system timings you forgot to adjust.

Sure, it's fun to get a little more speed from your core but, after accounting for your time and effort at what you should be making as a techie who can do things like this isn't it still more cost effective to just buy the faster chip to start with?

--

Re:peltiers=good (1)

CrudPuppy (33870) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595028)

any university with a good chemistry department should be able to hook you up with this also :)

i used to have lots of fun with liquid N2!!

Re:Get A Faster Processor (1)

Manaz (46799) | more than 13 years ago | (#1595029)

While there may be alternatives, Intel still command the largest (by far) segment of the processor market.

This means that most software is developed for Intel processors - sure, you can run NT on a DEC Alpha, and run FX32! to run Intel compiled programs, but that's not always a suitable alternative.

You could get a G4, but they're stuck at 450MHz at the moment - and there's a lack of software (though not as bad as in my next example).

As for getting a Sparc, as much as that'd be nice, again, you run into the problem that there's simply not the market for these processors to warrent the development of a lot of software, especially games (and you'll find that a large number of overclockers are actually gamers).

It's all good and well to crow about the alternatives, but unfortunately, that's all they are at the moment in many cases - alternative ideas, not necessarily good ones.

Re:A really cheapass cooling (1)

killmeplease (50275) | more than 13 years ago | (#1595030)

More research in Computer Science should be executed in this manner. Overclocking a 486 / 25 Mhz to a 486 / 247Mhz is a noble feat.

Modern OS's don't need that (1)

CraigMcPherson (52487) | more than 13 years ago | (#1595031)

NT and Linux now handle issuing the HLT instruction by default; they basically have software that does the same thing built into the kernel. Windows 95/98 most certainly does NOT. I'm not sure about MacOS, I don't know if the PPC architecture even has a HLT instruction. I think that the inclusion of proper HLT-management in Linux is one of its coolest features. If someone isn't sold on Linux, just tell them that their computer will generate MUCH less heat than in Windows 9x, their processor will last longer because of it, and they'll probably save a few bucks in electricity. Sells 'em every time! And overheats in Windows without Waterfall or CPUIdle are SO annoying -- Linux is a godsend.

Also note that using Waterfall and something like D.net or Seti@home are mutually exclusive. Depending on what priorities the programs are running at, either Waterfall with grab all the idle CPU cycles and turn them into HLTs, grinding the other program to a halt, or D.net or Seti will grab all the idle CPU cycles and keep Waterfall from getting to any.

Re:peltiers=good (1)

Epi-man (59145) | more than 13 years ago | (#1595032)

In terms of worrying about liquid oxygen forming and blowing things up, I would also worry about that liquid oxygen deciding to oxidize everything around it....say your connector pins, your board tracings, the steel case itself....

Oxygen is your best friend and your worst nightmare at the same time. Pretty neat if you ask me.

Re:Liquid Nitrogen--WARNING (1)

Batwing (63425) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595033)

Well, there is another issue here. Basic Physics dictates that the colder objects get the less resistance that is given to the flow of electricity. Now given that microchips use resistances as a gap as opposed to a resistive element (such as carbon) and that the tempratures we are talking about here are very very low (77.4K or less to keep it as a liquid) that resistance would get so low that your chip would most likely stop functioning as there would effectively be no resistance, hence no switching, hence no processing.
Also your chip would be so brittle from being held at this low temp that the slighest vibration could shatter the circuitry of the chip.

I would strongly advise against the use of liquid nitrogen, unless you really want to destroy your computer in a creative manner.

Travis

Re:Different ideas (1)

goldmeer (65554) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595034)

Sure!

I've seen several sites that step you through howe to build it yourself.

http://www.agaweb.com/coolcpu/advantages.htm

-Joe

Re:I've been curious about something for a few yea (1)

goldmeer (65554) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595035)

2 words: Trace length!

Question: How long can you run your IDE ribbon cable?
Answer: 18 inches (hey, the guy that wrote the specs worked on the mars orbiter misson, he still uses imperial measurments)
Followup Question: Why only 18 inches?
Answer: If you make the cable longer, you will get really bad cross talk between the data lines.

You really don't want to be messing around with the length of the traces between the processor and the chipset. You won't like the results very much.

Re:Cooling in cold places. (1)

Mr. Protocol (73424) | more than 13 years ago | (#1595036)

Some folks may recall the Plato computer-based education system at the U. of Illinois in Shampoo-Banana. Plato IV introduced a lot of people to the notion of truly large numbers of players in an on-line game. It also taught some people some stuff.

Plato IV's predecessor, Plato III, ran on a CDC 1604 or 1800 or whatever. Core memory, cathedral doors, built like a bank vault. 18-bit machine, if I remember correctly.

Plato was housed in CERL, the Computer-based Education Research Lab, which in turn was housed in a very old building. The building air conditioner was the same one which had cooled the lab in that building that worked on radar during WW II. When it finally blew up, parts had been unavailable for decades. An entire new unit had to be ordered. This being a university (i.e. zero clout), delivery time was quoted in months.

Obviously no project could survive months of downtime. Now, it happens that the project director, Dr. Donald Bitzer, had his office across the hall from the machine room. So, a square tunnel was constructed of wooden lathes and plastic sheeting, about two and a half feet on a side. The CPU's cathedral doors were opened, exposing the core memory. The tunnel started flush against the face of the machine, ran across the machine room, out the door, across the hall (!), through Dr. Bitzer's office, and straight to his window.

It worked. The machine ran this way for over a month.

Waterfall? (1)

walnut (78312) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595037)

I remember a friend of mine in college ran a shareware program on his NT box called waterfall. If basically examined commands being handled by the CPU and identified any waits and changed inserted halts. I could make a strong arguement for this being on any other system. It slowed things down - a little - and if I remember it was a memory hog, but it turned his 123 degree processor (digital thermometer stuck on CPU told us so) to around a 92 or so degree processor. His room was south facing dorm during the summer. He also stole those silver blankets people wear after running marathons and covered his window. But he also was overclocking his machines from 200 to 266 MHz to contribute to heat problems.

I didn't run it, I don't know where he got it, and really I don't even know where to start looking for it... but I was curious if anyone else had ever seen it, used it, and/or found out why it never made it big.

Re:Plato System (offtopic) (1)

ElecCham (78742) | more than 13 years ago | (#1595038)

The sick and wrong thing is, they're still using that beast to teach classes... the really sick and wrong thing is that they're using it to replace the Teaching Assistants - face it, an obsolete computer is a lot cheaper.

This is to some great extent why my very brief stint at the U of I sucked so badly and why it was so very very brief.

Affect on manufacturers (1)

BigTed (78942) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595039)

With the popularity of 'super'cooling your PC so it can be overclocked becoming more popular, I am wondering whether Intel/AMD etc... will have any response to it. With all this extra speed available at a low price, all these new, super quick processors are looking far too expensive.
All we need now, is a major manufacturer to release an overclocked computer :-)

Re:Slightly offtopic: Quiet CPU Fans (1)

witz (79173) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595040)

For bigger fans, Radio Shack carries 90hz models that are very quiet, they come in 3inch and 4inch models. And put out of a ton of air.


Re:actually (1)

jonnythan (79727) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595041)

Umm....no, not at all. Dry ice if frozen CO2.as it warms, it turns directly into gaseous CO2, as the pressure is not high enough for it to exist as a liquid at any temperature. Any high school science class would teach you that.

Re:Fan Ducts and Heat Pipes (1)

GuidoDKP (82352) | more than 13 years ago | (#1595042)

I saw an article 3-4 years back about somebody trying to make a heat pipe system aimed at laptops. He had some liquid called "Flourinert" or something like that, which boiled at around 30-35 degrees C. It sounded really cool, but never heard anything after that. Then again, I was talking with an engineer at ARM, and he said the original Acorn computers came without fans (ARM processors typically consume 1 W of power), but customers were concerned that the machine would overheat, so later versions came equipped with a fan... :)

Re:Kryotech Death (1)

Ekuman (82706) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595043)

He actually died quite some time back when they were first starting out with the AMD k6-2 450 (or was it 550) I think. Wasn't this last year in fact?

Re:A really cheapass cooling (1)

Schifter (83558) | more than 13 years ago | (#1595044)

I don't recall having ever seen an AGP 486 board before. Can you tell me where to get these? :P

Cool (1)

Hermetic (85784) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595045)

That is very cool (no pun intended).
Does anyone out there have any pricing/ordering information yet?

Condensation (1)

techt (87303) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595046)

i've had MEGA condensation difficulties

From the pictures at Overlocker Shootout [ocshoot.com] it appears this unit has something all the homebrew coolers have missed: condensation/liquid detection (the funky silver rectangular lined screen wrapped around the CPU unit in the picture). That should solve the condensation problem.

All important idea.... (1)

CallOfKtulu (87692) | more than 13 years ago | (#1595047)

Man.. VAPOCHILL powerpc g4 BEOWULF CLUSTER at 1000Mhz*10 running LinuxPPC.... ROCK@!@!@!. Ill be the first one on my block to have one:) Too bad none of you intelligent slashdot people couldn't have EVER come up with such a great idea.

$800 to $850 USD (1)

Ice_Hole (87701) | more than 13 years ago | (#1595048)

According to Overclocking.dk prices for the unit will be anywhere from $800 to $850 USD. Not too bad considering that a Kryotec case would cost you about $2,000 for the same ammount of cooling. I for one think this product would be very cool. Yet, I have no money so will probably never be able to afford one, at least not until everyone has one.

((MY STORY ACTUALLY MADE IT ON SLASHDOT!))

Source for Peltier devices (1)

ross.w (87751) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595049)

In Australia there is a company called Oatley Electronics [oatleyelectronics.com] who sometimes stock very low cost Peltier devices. They have all sorts of other stuff like lasers and night viewers bought from military surplus, bankrupt stock, obsolete equipment auctions etc.

I think they will export stuff.

Check them out


Re:Slightly offtopic: Quiet CPU Fans (1)

Raffy (89138) | more than 13 years ago | (#1595050)

Step Thermodynamics [step-thermodynamics.com] makes a couple of very quiet high-capacity coolers. Also of note are Alpha's line of coolers (available and recommended by 3dfxcool.com. [3dfxcool.com] )

Having used both of these products, my mid-tower case is both cool and unobtrusive with a PIII 450 running @ 560, with an additional fan keeping the overclocked video card happy.

Rafe
V^^^^V

Re:Cool! (1)

knarph (91616) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595051)

Sure, it's fun to get a little more speed from your core but, after accounting for your time and effort at what you should be making as a techie who can do things like this isn't it still more cost effective to just buy the faster chip to start with?

Not if you do it on company time.
As I seem to do anything I can think of a way to get done on company time gets done on company time, over clocking is REALLY cost effective.

Beyond that, I think this stuff looks great at first look. And I think I might just be hopping in line to get one for myself.

Dealing with condensation (1)

Mister Boffo (97024) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595053)

The solution to condensation seems fairly simple to me. Before you can use the system, you need to wait a few minutes for the CPU temp to drop. Why not also design a closed-loop "air conditioning" system for the case, which would dry the air inside the case and prevent moisture formation from occurring at all? If you're pulling the CPU down to -20F, then it seems reasonable that you could also have a small evaporator coil for removing moisture from the air inside the case. A closed-loop system would also have the advantage of keeping the system dust-free, since the same few cubic feet of air would be recirculated continuously inside the case. The system needs time to cool the CPU before turning it on. At the same time the CPU is cooling, the small internal A/C could be removing moisture from the inside of the case prior to startup.

Re:Liquid Nitrogen--WARNING (1)

Mark of THE CITY (97325) | more than 13 years ago | (#1595054)

The liquid nitrogen in a Dewar absorbs heat slowly from the surroundings, resulting in pressurized gaseous nitrogen forming inside. This higher-than-the-surroundings pressure keeps the air (and oxygen) out of the Dewar and also is used to push the liquid nitrogen out when the valve marked LIQUID (draws from bottom of tank) is opened. A pressure relief valve limits pressure to safe levels.

When liquid nitrogen flows through uninsulated tubing or piping, a layer of water ice and dry ice form. I used to work in a lab where we used liquid nitrogen to cool gas chromatograph tubes and never had an explosion. I can see where liquid nitrogen in an open container would absorb oxygen, but I can't imagine dunking an operating chip in that sort of container anyway.

And now for some verse:

Sir James Dewar
Is a better man than you are
None of you asses
Can liquify gases.

peltiers=good (1)

root_dev_X (100095) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595055)

well, not always. i've had MEGA condensation difficulties from them. what am i trying now? liquid nitrogen. i'm getting a friend of mine ho runs a welding shop to hook me up with a couple of liters. it's gonna be fun. i'll post my results on /. if they're any good. BTW, first post.

Re:A really cheapass cooling (1)

godlee (100731) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595056)

If you thought the TotL labs site was interesting, then you should try their other site: www.microsith.com. A Star Wars themed Microsoft parody complete with Jedix Myths and Planet Exploder 5.0 screenshots. Just check it out OK!

actually (1)

TheCodeMaster (101307) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595057)

the vapor that rises off dry ice is water vapor.

now for something completely different (1)

awarlaw (102125) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595058)

i seem to recall seeing a liquid that would not transmit eletricity (dielectric?). Seems to me, one could cool a vat of the stuff and simply submerge the whole computer unit! any idea of where i could get this stuff and what this stuff is/was? i think i remember it, but then again i wasn't exactly *sober*

a chilling thought (1)

MattMann (102516) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595059)

ok, this is getting a little morbid, but...

people who are "brought back" to life from death or near-death fare much better, have much less brain-damage, if they've been chilled. for example, if you drown in frigid water (or perhaps suffer a heart attack having an affair with my mother-in-law (ouch! I'm in trouble now!)) they will attempt a resuscitation after a much longer period of time, I think because the tissue in the brain goes to sleep and doesn't run out of O2.

BTW, my pet ideas for CPU cooling are more broad-brush, once-and-for-all sorts of things:

  1. convert an old glass-doored refrigerator to a rack, and stick in the boxen... and a case of Jolt.

  2. more esoteric, they sell kits for converting a spare closet into a "wine cellar" consisting of staple-up insulation and a little compressor and a hose. Benefit is that it is designed to run at 60 degrees F rather than in the low single digits C.
Somebody test these out and get back to me. Oh, that's me "whining" in that closet, hiding from my mother-in-law. Can't she see that my joke was just a "cryo" for help? :)

Re:Different ideas (1)

BandSaw (104086) | more than 13 years ago | (#1595060)

If you immerse the whole motherboard, all the electrical connections (at all the different potentials) will be exposed to the water...

Try boiling some distilled water with a piece of solder and some copper wire in it. Then measure the resistance.

If you want to make the most efficient heat transfer conneciton, then put the cold side of the fridge coil in the water (immersed). Use a submerged propeller to agitate the water and force the heat transfer. If you are going to immerse in water, you may as well add automotive antifreeze, as well (I think this is non-conductive)

Re:Different ideas (1)

BandSaw (104086) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595061)

The distilled water will leach material off of the motherboard and become conductive over time. Some materals also swell in water; if the resin in the motherboard swells the thickness change may crack the barrels of the thru vias.

The mineral oil may again swell plastic parts, causing problems. The liquid you are looking for is (was?) called Flourinert. It is a non-reactive CFC blend which is a colorless liquid at room temperature. It was expensive 10 years ago, I don't know what the status of it is now.

Cooling in cold places. (1)

guardian-ct (105061) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595062)

One of my relations told me about working at a tech firm up in Alaska (or was it Canada?). The "emergency cooling system" just opened a large door to the outside.

Poof... No more heat problems.

Re:Liquid Nitrogen--WARNING (1)

Control Group (105494) | more than 13 years ago | (#1595063)

sorry to nitpick, but liquid O2 isn't technically explosive...it's everything else that's explosive when exposed to that much oxidant.

(what can i say, my dad's a chemist)

Different ideas (1)

screwy ideas (105763) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595064)

Has anybody thought of using distilled water or transformer oil as a cooling medium? Both are non-conductive. A liquid will be able to provide better heat transfer than a vapor or air.

Re:Different ideas (1)

screwy ideas (105763) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595065)

The swelling would be rubber-like products. Possibly the cable sheathing would be affected. As far as the leaching process would go. The motherboard/ceramics/epoxies would be OK. It's the metal bits that would be hit. I'm also thinking of a system that is not open-air. It would be sealed and a pump would circulate the water thru a small radiator placed in a small dorm-fridge. Now, thinking about it, if I get the grounding correct and all the grounds show the same potential, the leaching would be minimal.

Re:Different ideas (1)

screwy ideas (105763) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595066)

Mineral oil is definatlyn less smelly than transformer oil (smells like heavy gear lube). Thanks for the link. It's a similar idea. But, as mentioned later, the mineral oil would affect some parts, my guess would be the cable sheathing.

Re:Different ideas (1)

screwy ideas (105763) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595067)

Thanks for the link. It's now a favorite.

Kryotech Death (2)

Effugas (2378) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595068)

It's always strange for me to hear about Kryotech, ever since I found out what happened to one of the cofounders. Apparently, he partied a bit too hard at some company function, had some form of heart attack, and died.

He was 33.

Actually, if I remember right, they were celebrating cooling an Athlon(then K7) up to a Gigahertz...

For some reason, this has always stuck in my mind as a weird reminder that even us crazy young techs are all sooner or later going to have no more toys to play with...

Yours Truly,

Dan Kaminsky
DoxPara Research
http://www.doxpara.com

Condensation Problems? (2)

dattaway (3088) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595069)

Here's an idea that may solve even the worst condensation problems: triple expanding foam. The stuff in the can from the hardware store. Encase the areas of the CPU and motherboard that will get cool. Now you can run that liquid nitrogen line to your CPU.

A temperature sensor embedded on the CPU would be necessary, for a failure in the cooling system with this kind of insulation would surely cause a fire.

Re:Poison gas problems (2)

unitron (5733) | more than 13 years ago | (#1595070)

As I recall, that type of foam comes with all sorts of warnings about how easily it burns and the poison fumes it gives off when it does, so I suggest exploring less lethal alternatives.

Re:actually (2)

PD (9577) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595071)

But CO2 is invisible. The visible vapor that is observed above a batch of dry ice is indeed water vapor that has formed a cloud above the ice. The air above the dry ice is pretty cold, so water vapor in the air condenses into a cloud.

Do-it-yourself? (2)

Enoch Root (57473) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595072)

I don't think it's a DIY. It's a commercial product, and you have to integrate it into your machine.

There's a review and pictures here [ocshoot.com] . Doesn't seem so fantastic, but I guess it's better than putting the CPU in the kitchen freezer.

Basically, it has condensation, you have to vaccuum it for dust, the CPU died after two hours of overclocking, and the 5.25 bay is gone.

Oh, it also makes 50 dbA of noise. Man, that must be annoying. :)

"There is no surer way to ruin a good discussion than to contaminate it with the facts."

I have another application for this device (2)

Typingsux (65623) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595073)

I would like to patent a super-cooler that you can wear.
Lord knows this world can use it.
There are now 6 billion of us lurking about
We'll place it on males to cool their libido.

Stop the population explosion!!

Re:Kryotech Death (2)

JordanH (75307) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595074)

It's always strange for me to hear about Kryotech, ever since I found out what happened to one of the cofounders. Apparently, he partied a bit too hard at some company function, had some form of heart attack, and died.

He was 33.

Sounds like he died from overclocking.

Review of VapoChill (2)

Raffy (89138) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595075)

Overclockers.dk [overclockers.dk] has already done a review of this bit of niftyness. It can be found here. [overclocking.dk]

I know I certainly want one when I upgrade to Athlon from my current PIII 450 @ 560 (courtesy of Step Thermodynamics. [step-thermodynamics.com] ) Their product has performed flawlessly for me, and is definitely recommended if you want to run @ 25%+ over factory spec.

Rafe
V^^^^V

Scarry thought (2)

NickHolland (91075) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595076)

What happens if a developer (no names, but the temptation was high to name one) starts developing software on an over-clocked chip? And we all suddenly need that much performance to just get by?

A DVD needed to distribute the OS.
*shudder*

Hey! My shortest /. post ever!
(and most meaningless, probably)
Nick.

Re:Cool (3)

GC (19160) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595077)

In the UK the pricing is as follows:

£445 for Case
$50 for the processor Kit
£20 for delivery in the UK

add VAT @ 17.5% for these prices...

not cheap...

Re:Do-it-yourself? (3)

Louziffer (39872) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595078)

Read the review a bit more carefully:

- They attributed the CPU "death" to the fact that they had already put the CPU through hell before using this cooling method, and they added peletier coolers which could have shocked the CPU.

- The Kryotech cooler made 50dbA of noise, not the vapochill (it stood at 35dbA).

They also don't mention condensation anywhere when it comes to the vapochill.

Overall, I thought the review was particularly glowing. Comments like "In my opinion VapoChill and a Celeron is the perfect combination.", "Athlon 800 for half the prize off a KryotechCool Athlon800!" lead me to believe that the reviewer actually likes this product better than many others.

All well and Good... (3)

Ekuman (82706) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595079)

This is great for overclockers, but can it really compete with Kryotech. I guess the question I am asking is does it void your warranty Kryotech systems come with a 1 year warranty and I think the CPU retains its three year warranty from AMD. Whereas if you overclock with other things zip bang no more manufacturers warranty.

I wish I had a quote for the day -- me, myself and I

Half-assed "do it yourself ideas" (3)

Ater (87170) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595080)

1. You could always immerse the tower in a large cooler full of dry ice, keeping the machine cool, and emmiting a steady stream of CO2 vapors for your entertainment.

2. Spray some liquid nitrogen on the cpu. Sure you might shatter the cpu, but if it survives, you can overclock that baby like hell... not to mention having extra liquid N2 readily available in case you get a nasty wart on your typing fingers.

3. Set up office in one of those giant wind tunnels with the case open, and anchor everything to the floor. Now hows that for a good fan?

4. Failing that you could always rent a giant meat locker or other refridgerated area and run your computer from there.

5. Move to Antarctica. If you by chance can get a high speed internet connection there, gimme a shell :)

6. Chain a small sibling or a friend to your desk, and have them continuously blow on the cpu to cool it, keeping a whip handy should they whine about being bored, tired, or hungry.

Now that the cooling issue is settled, let's see how ridiculously fast we can overclock. Maybe we can push that Celeron 550 up to 1 gHz without it melting on us.

A really cheapass cooling (3)

Richks (98235) | more than 14 years ago | (#1595081)

We looked into REALLY cheap cooling recently, and posted the results at: http://totl.net/Eunuch/ Condensation was a pretty big problem, but things worked OK. Rich, TotL Labs, http://totl.net/

Liquid Nitrogen--WARNING (5)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1595082)

If you ever think about using liquid nitrogen to cool your computer (or even parts of it), you should seriously reconsider. Liquid nitrogen boils at 77.4 K (at atmospheric pressure). That's nice and cool, and yes, if your CPU/motherboard/whatever else you cool survives, it will probably run much faster. And yes, it's evidently cheaper than milk when in bulk. (But then, milk's not all that cheap.)

HOWEVER, one should note that liquid oxygen boils at 90.2 K. Standing liquid nitrogen exposed to air WILL condense liquid oxygen over time. And liquid oxygen is extremely explosive. (I have no facts to back me on this, but being a diradical, in high concentrations, liquid oxygen might really mess with the electrical signals in your computer. Anyone know if this is true?)

Liquid nitrogen is a safe liquid to play with as long as you don't freeze yourself AND as long as you don't leave it out to air. Indeed, in my organic chemistry laboratory, we are advised not to leave liquid nitrogen around for more than 24 hours (only possible with LARGE amounts or by constantly replacing it). Large dewers of liquid nitrogen are stored in tanks specially designed for this purpose. (I'm not sure how. Maybe the vents have oxygen-absorbing filters of some sort? Anyone?) But leave your liquid nitrogen around and open to air long enough, and a pale blue color will slowly form, and when that happens, the slightest shock and everything around goes kaboom. I don't know of any computers blowing up, but then, I don't konw of anyone who's tried keeping a computer cooled to those temperatures for prolonged periods of time.

I've read one too many posts about using liquid nitrogen to cool a computer. If you're going to do so, please seriously consider how you're going to deal with the liquid oxygen problem.

-----

I've never posted here. I just lurk. And I probably won't post again in the next 2 years, just as I haven't in the past 2 years. But I feel a need to post here. No references available offhand (I have to go to class soon), but chemistry/physics people, feel free to check the facts. And to make me somewhat less anonymous, my name's Jason Chen, and my e-mail is jschen@fas.harvard.edu.
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