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First Retail Water-Cooled DDR2 Memory Tested

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the everything-is-better-wet dept.

132

Twistedmelon writes "We've all heard of water cooling for processors and even graphics processors, in today's high end PCs. However, a water cooled memory module is something that hasn't been done until now. OCZ Technology recently announced their line of Flex XLC Water-Cooled RAM, with its integrated heat-spreaders that can be connected to any standard water cooling system. The memory operates much cooler under load with tight timings at DDR2-800 speeds. For those with water-cooling setups, these DIMMs could easily be tapped into an existing system allowing for quiet and robust cooling for your system memory as well."

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Sad news, Richard Armitage dead at 62 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18261638)

I just heard some sad news on talk radio, famed leaker of a covert CIA agent, Richard Armitage was found dead at his Georgetown home. No further information was available. Even if you did not admire his ruthless criminality, there is no denying his contributions to the liberal democratic cause. Truly a DC icon!

zap... (3, Interesting)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18261642)

Ive heard of water cooling CPUs, GPUs, and even the Northbridge, but never RAM. Still I guess they are getting hotter too. The only thing I got against water cooling is it uses water, no thanks. Though I would consider using a non-conductive fluid. There is this stuff called fluorinert made for just such an application. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluorinert [wikipedia.org] Its extremely expensive though. Ive heard Mineral oil works, then if you get a leak you just get a mess, instead of a fried PC.

Re:zap... (1)

FredDC (1048502) | more than 7 years ago | (#18261822)

The only thing I got against water cooling is it uses water, no thanks
 
Amen brother! I also think putting water inside a pc is a bad idea... Water can do too much damage if it leaks, I know the chance is extremely small but I would prefer another material that will cause no damage if it ever leaks.

Not so (4, Informative)

Gazzonyx (982402) | more than 7 years ago | (#18262478)

Clean (Distilled), water is an insulator. In fact, toms hardware inmersed a computer in water in their article Strip Out The Fans, Add 8 Gallons of Cooking Oil [tomshardware.com] . Just used distilled water, and not tap water - as you shouldn't be using tap water, anyways since it eats away at the parts of a water cooling system.
As long as you don't have free electrons, you won't be passing current.

Re:Not so (1)

buraianto (841292) | more than 7 years ago | (#18263282)

To be fair, they ran a computer immersed in distilled water and it did crash after 5 minutes or so, IIRC. They added the oil after that and it booted just fine, so the water didn't fry anything.

Re:Not so (1)

Gazzonyx (982402) | more than 7 years ago | (#18263394)

Yeah, 5 minutes is all it took. I think over time they had the same problem with the oil as the did the distilled water - the intimate proximation of the liquid to the wires quickly (relatively) ionizes it. I think the resistance is the key factor. Thus, water was stable for 5 minutes and oil, IIRC was like 3 months or so. Either way, all liquids in contact with circuits will, over time, become conductive. As always, if I'm wrong, please correct me.

Re:Not so (4, Informative)

modecx (130548) | more than 7 years ago | (#18263932)

Distilled water in a cooling system is no better than tap water. Sure, you won't have an amount of ions that will be signifigant to conduct electricity...for the first day, that is. The particles are still going to come off the metals that compose your system, and then you're on the path to being hosed by galvanic corossion.

The key is to not using dissimalar alloys in your system. An aluminum block and a copper radaitor are going to cause problems, unless you use some of the products out there which combat. That's the real key. Pure water is even more corrosive than tap water. Ideally, you want your alloys to be as close as possible, simply for the fact there will be little electrochemical potential.

Re:zap... (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18262568)

Oil on the other hand [boingboing.net] is a great insulator, and works quite well for cooling a computer.

Re:zap... (1)

tygerstripes (832644) | more than 7 years ago | (#18261880)

Plus, if you have to dive really deep then you can saturate it with oxygen and breathe it like amniotic fluid!

Of course, the following lung trauma is fatal. Still, vorsprung durch technik...

Re:zap... (4, Informative)

NeoThermic (732100) | more than 7 years ago | (#18261890)

You never fill a water cooling loop with normal water anyway. The two main reasons why is that first it's conductive, and second, it is impure, meaning you'll get problems later down the line with scum forming on the pipes and on the insides of coolers. Instead, the suggested water to use is deionized water, which is non-conductive* and doesn't suffer as much from scum forming (although many still like to use an anti-algae solution to combat the scum that forms.

NeoThermic

(* ok, it still conducts, but it has a higher resistance, and in computers there's few items that'll make deionized water conduct if it leaks. Much safer than normal water)

Re:zap... (3, Insightful)

CreatureComfort (741652) | more than 7 years ago | (#18262064)


Except that what really makes water start to conduct is the impurities dissolved in it. Have you looked inside you computer lately? I've got industrial grade air scrubbers running in my house (roommate with allergies) and I still get dust buildup inside the case. As soon as that deionized water hits that dust, I'm sure the resulting mud would be conductive enough to be devastating.

On the other hand, we are getting closer to the point where everything inside the case that needs cooling could be hooked up to the water system. If we can add power supply and hard drives, then it might be possible to hermetically seal the case, and just cool the water.

Water Cooled PS (1)

csmacd (221163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18262494)

Well, sort of.... http://www.overclockers.com/tips1240/index03.asp [overclockers.com]
The article is about building a plexi box, putting a waterblock in the box, then tossing the PS and some mineral oil in.
Just seems unsettling to have the PS in liquid.

Re:zap... (1)

cloudmaster (10662) | more than 7 years ago | (#18262836)

If your water cooling system is exposed to the environment, it's broken. A non-broken water cooling system is *closed*, so the only impurities getting inside are the ones that are there when you close the system.

Your house, OTOH, has windows, doors, and cracks, as well as at least one occupant who probably enters and exits through one of those things periodically. Even if you're the stereotypical slashdotter, your mom probably goes out to buy food once in a while. People who live in biodomes excluded, houses have their air exchanged with the outside on a regular basis.

Re:zap... (1)

CreatureComfort (741652) | more than 7 years ago | (#18263202)


But the situation we are talking about is precisely a broken water cooling system. If your water cooling system is, and stays, sealed, I agree, you don't have to worry. What most of us, who are unwilling to take the plunge to water cooling systems, worry about is the results when, not if, it breaks and leaks.

If you have a non-conducting medium, it may be a mess, but not a disaster. If you are using a conducting medium, like water, or one that becomes conducting when it leaks, like deionized water, you will have a disaster.

The more things you add to your water cooling rig, CPU, GPU, Northbridge, now RAM, the more connections and complexity you have to cause leaks.

Re:zap... (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#18264708)

Well, you could look at it this way: build it well enough, and by the time it becomes likely to leak the computer is obsolete anyway. For example, having a 1% chance of leak within the first 5 years could be "good enough," even if the probability increased exponentially after that.

Re:zap... (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 7 years ago | (#18262918)

Actually, most household dust is just flaked off skin, which is pretty non-conductive itself. If you had metal shavings or something else soluble in the dust, I'd worry, but it's very unlikely.

Re:zap... (1)

CreatureComfort (741652) | more than 7 years ago | (#18263124)


Your flaked off skin has high concentrations of various salts in and on it. Back in the day, when they actually did experiments in high school chemistry class, I remember one where we used deionized water, a battery, and a light bulb to show that the water was non-conductive, then added salt and showed that it became a good conductor. That was the experiment I was thinking of when reading the GPs post.

DI water won't remain nonconductive for long.... (1)

Ellis D. Tripp (755736) | more than 7 years ago | (#18262746)

Highly purified water is actually fairly reactive chemically, and it will slowly dissolve tiny amounts of material from the tubing, waterblocks, pumps, etc. Unless your system incorporates some type of water purification element, the water in it will be no better than tap water in a few weeks.

Water cooling has been used for decades in high powered radio and TV transmitters, but such systems incorporate water conductivity monitors to check for dissolved impurities, and some means of removing them (distiller or reverse osmosis system).

If you don't want to deal with the potential problems of water as a coolant in a PC, use silicone oil or ethylene glycol (antifreeze).

Re:zap... (2, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18263574)

Instead, the suggested water to use is deionized water, which is non-conductive* and doesn't suffer as much from scum forming

Ordinary distilled water is close enough to nonconductive, until it gets contaminated of course.

Deionized water is significant in that it is not only nonconductive, but it is noncorrosive. Water is corrosive because of ions known as hydronium and hydroxide (although as I am chem-bozo-man, I have no idea which is positive and which is negative.) Water will actually react with itself to form these ions, so DI (deionized) water is no longer DI after it sits for a while, even in a sealed glass container.

Hence, regardless you will be putting some additive in your water system if you don't want corrosion, and you'll be changing the water regardless. Might as well put in distilled water, since the difference between distilled and DI is pretty much insignificant for this use. You could add alcohol, somewhere from 20 to 50 percent to reduce corrosion. You could use a glycol, like in a car's antifreeze. Hell, you could probably use Redline Water Wetter.

Re:zap... (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 7 years ago | (#18263768)

Wrong.
DI water will eat metals as it looks to get its ions back.
Distilled water is vastly superior in electronic cooling applications.
We have $500K testers that use distilled water and PG in a 50/50 blend. Use DI water and your warranty is void.
-nB

Re:zap... (1)

Myrcutio (1006333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18263800)

actually i've heard claims that you don't want to use deionized water because it is more corrosive than distilled water is, meaning that expensive cooling system you just bought could get pockmarked inside, which in turn contaminates the water. So, either way your going to have SOME conductivity, the best solution is simply to fill and bleed it thoroughly before it ever gets near your case, run it for a few days and keep checking for minute leaks. I had an almost indescernable leak on my cpu waterblock a month ago when i added a second radiator, it leaked about a drop every 3 days, and dripped right onto the video card. Only way i found it was from the oxidation on the AGP slot (its an old system, don ask why its watercooled). Nothing was damaged, but it did scare me a bit, took about 2 seconds to tighten up the loose joint and i haven't had a single drop lost since.

Re:zap... (4, Informative)

moonbender (547943) | more than 7 years ago | (#18261954)

You haven't heard of water cooling RAM because it's a waste of resources, even more so than water cooling other components. RAM doesn't use a whole lot of power and consequently doesn't generate a lot of heat, a quick Google says about 10W. That's comparable to hard drives - the difference being that RAM doesn't really mind running at 50 to 80C, while HDDs do. DDR2 SDRAM doesn't need special active cooling, a somewhat ventilated case is easily enough.

Re:zap... (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 7 years ago | (#18262962)

Until you're overvolting your RAM to speed up timings just like you do with your CPU. Then you might want some extra cooling for the extra heat being created...

Re:zap... (1)

simm1701 (835424) | more than 7 years ago | (#18263030)

However watercooling the ram is useful if you are trying to have zero (or close to it) noise - zero noise means zero fans (preferably) so you need to get the heat out of there some how.

You will probably also encase the hard disks in sound insulated water blocks and put the pump inside accoustically damping foam.

Cooling is all a question of planning and know what you want to get out of it

Cool, quiet, cheap - pick two!

.....at stock voltages (1)

tacokill (531275) | more than 7 years ago | (#18264090)

The power you mention is at stock voltages. Many overclockers run their RAM at 2.0 and higher.

For them (and me), RAM created heat is a problem.

However, I just hung an old-school ghetto CPU fan over them. I'm not sure I need them water cooled.

Re:.....at stock voltages (1)

DarkShadeChaos (954173) | more than 7 years ago | (#18264332)

The power you mention is at stock voltages. Many overclockers run their RAM at 2.0 and higher.

My Geil One S tccd memory runs at 2.8v @ 400Mhz, I tend to push it a little further when approaching 600Mhz & this ram comes with heat spreaders... still it gets pretty hot - I'm sure there are useful applications

Re:zap... (0, Redundant)

bibel (1072798) | more than 7 years ago | (#18262090)

Water cooling hardware will not become a widely used technology. This seems silly. Certainly there can be an easyer way.

Maybe I'm just boring. (1)

PMBjornerud (947233) | more than 7 years ago | (#18262346)

If they marketed it as ultra-quiet PC's, I might be more interested. But that would be for the purpose of removing fans, not supercharging my memory. more interested in quiet and energy-efficient solution than clock speeds that moore-ishly will be on sale in a few months.

And some people would prefer if we hug trees instead of pondering how to spend more power to remove the heat from all the power we're pumping into our gaming rigs.

Hmm... wonder how many comments we'll get with 'afraid of water' and 'liquid nitrogen'...

Re:Maybe I'm just boring. (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18262632)

Would running the water pump be louder than running the fans? I have some computers with fans that you can hardly hear. If only they had fans with seal bearings, so that they wouldn't start to make so much noise once they got filled with dust.

Re:zap... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18262476)

Water cooling RAM is ridiculous, and it is regarded as such even by the most devoted modder...
I remenber a post about Water-cooled RAM by one of the most respected pc modder on bit-tech.net, he got flamed...

Re:zap... (3, Funny)

Phreakiture (547094) | more than 7 years ago | (#18262514)

It gives new meaning to the term "memory leak", no?

Re:zap... (1)

MasamuneXGP (824006) | more than 7 years ago | (#18264768)

Forgive me for sounding like a commercial, but I have a watercooled PC myself, and I use MCT-5. Completely non-conductive, plus lubricants and anti-algae and all that other good stuff. It's like $20 for one bottle, which is more than enough for one system. Using water, even distilled water, scares me. Even if it's an irrational fear, for $20 it's well worth the peace of mind. So yeah, if that's the only thing stopping you from water cooling, go for it! The temps are so incredibly low, and with a windowed case it really looks awesome.

Seymour Cray would have been proud. (1)

plover (150551) | more than 7 years ago | (#18261644)

I can just picture Cray sitting on his porch in Chippewa Falls with a basket of DDR2-800 DIMMs and a coil of copper tubing, plumbing together his next home computer.

Wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18261646)

I guess I just don't do enough "extreme" computing... but these just seem excessive.

Soon enough. (3, Funny)

shirizaki (994008) | more than 7 years ago | (#18261666)

We'll need water cooling for the water coolers.

And then someone will get the smart idea to stick his whole tower in the freezer. Then nerds will become buff by moving around all their heavy equipment.

Re:Soon enough. (1)

Deadstick (535032) | more than 7 years ago | (#18261886)

We'll need water cooling for the water coolers.

Been done. There's a two-stage system on the market (I think the ad was in CPU Mag) that uses a Peltier device to cool the water.

rj

Re:Soon enough. (1)

Pulse_Instance (698417) | more than 7 years ago | (#18262656)

I actually had a plan drawn out to convert half my chest freezer into a cooler for my computer. I gave it up when I realized that the freezer was much more useful for keeping food frozen and that having the computer in there would probably not keep the rest of the food cold enough.

Re:Soon enough. (1)

simm1701 (835424) | more than 7 years ago | (#18263102)

Freezers are not dsigned to move a large amount of heat that is being continuously generated - theyare designed to cool a space then keep it cool.

This is one of the reasons that putting a PC in a freezer is not a good idea. Asside from the condensation you need a huge chest freezer to even have a hope of keeping an average PC cool, even then the pump will be running at max so you will have a lot of noise and its likely to fail sooner since those ones are not selected for continuous running.

There are much better ways of cooling your system - peltiers are ok... but they have their drawbacks - they can only pass so much heat (though with chip wattage decreasing a little now thats not as bad as it was with the fast P4s) but they also generate heat so you have to do extra work to cool them.

Phase change cooling is also an option in amore direct fashion (phase change is how freezers work) just for cooling the cpu - look up vaporchill for an example.

Personally I'm for fairly cool and very quite so I go for a hybrid passive/active watercooling system (ie a huge passive rad, but with low noise fans for backup if the temperature rises) it isn't cheap though - 700 quid for the case and cooling - but its quiet!

Re:Soon enough. (1)

QuantumPion (805098) | more than 7 years ago | (#18264378)

We'll need water cooling for the water coolers. And then someone will get the smart idea to stick his whole tower in the freezer. Then nerds will become buff by moving around all their heavy equipment.
Putting your whole tower in a consumer refrigerator or freezer wouldn't work too well, because of the moisture and condensation. However, there are computer refrigeration [guru3d.com] units available for -50 deg. C cooling.

But how much does it really improve things? (4, Interesting)

JoeD (12073) | more than 7 years ago | (#18261674)

Every time I see something like this, I wonder how much real world improvement you will see.

Sure, there may be a small improvement on a benchmark, but those rarely translate into something that's noticeable to the end user.

Or is it really more about having the shiniest toys?

Re:But how much does it really improve things? (4, Interesting)

penp (1072374) | more than 7 years ago | (#18261748)

To a lot of people, water cooling isn't only about the possible performance increase, it's also about the sound (or lack thereof). Personally, I haven't tried water cooling yet, but I would definitely like to get the sound of a buzzsaw out of my PC.

As far as performance goes, I recently upgraded from RAM that had a CAS latency of 3 (Corsair XMS) to some that had more aggressive timings (OCZ performance ram) with a CAS latency of only 2. They were running at the same speeds (DDR 400 / PC3200), but at the faster timings the improvement was vastly greater than I had expected. After reading up on it some, a difference of 1ns can mean a lot when you're talking in terms of tens of millions of data cycles.

Re:But how much does it really improve things? (2, Informative)

moonbender (547943) | more than 7 years ago | (#18262060)

Quietly cooling a computer is really, really easy these days. Two or three years ago, it was a pain, because CPUs actually generated more heat back then, but more importantly because silent computing is just mainstream these days.

The power supply is probably the hardest thing to get quiet, unless you're going with a passive one. But you can also get an efficient one with a good fan controller, like a Seasonic, for 75 bucks or so. Silent CPU coolers can be had for 25, and while most graphics cards these days are obnoxious by default, you can regulate the fan speed down to sane levels when you're not actually gaming. (I actually have an aftermarket VGA cooler lying around, no point in using it since the stock fan is essentially turned off 90% of the time.) Another component which is difficult to get silent is the hard disk - elastic mounting works wonders, but it's still just quiet, not silent. You need to go for a more expensive 2.5" drive and possibly sound insulation for that.

So um, the point is, from a silent computing point of view, water cooling is pretty much a waste of time. It might still be interesting for the overclockers who (still) need extreme cooling power, in combination with peltiers or something; I wouldn't know, that stuff was never my thing.

Re:But how much does it really improve things? (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 7 years ago | (#18263054)

But you're making the choice between "silent" and "high performance", because if you stick a lot of high-spec parts in your machine, you'll need active cooling of some sort. You can't cool a GeForce 8800GTX combined with a Quad Core chip passively. Hence, the water cooling allows you the best of both worlds. But it's all a choice.

Re:But how much does it really improve things? (1)

moonbender (547943) | more than 7 years ago | (#18263246)

No, I made a choice between silent and overclocking. You won't cool that hardware passively, but that's not necessary, you can cool it with a very low number of very slow fans. It's not silent - nothing is! even passive PSUs buzz - but it's as good as silent at 2 feet. I've got a mid-end system running that way, and my cooling hardware is just vastly inferior to what's out there: a Scythe Ninja was designed to cool dual Prescotts quietly, a Quad Xeon just isn't that big of a problem.

That said, once you start jacking up the voltage for overclocking, getting a linear increase in speed at a quadratic increase in heat output - well, yeah, then all bets are off.

Re:But how much does it really improve things? (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 7 years ago | (#18264494)

The power supply is probably the hardest thing to get quiet,

Not at all. Just replace the stock 80mm fan with a better (thermally controlled) one. For $5, you've got a very quiet PSU. For those not proficient with soldering or splicing, a $1 fan extension cable to will be long enough to allow you to plug the fan into your motherboard, or a fan speed controller.

Hint: Avoid PSUs with 120mm fans. It's all gimmick. They're usually poorly designed, with horrible airflow, and much noisier than 80mm versions.

like a Seasonic, for 75 bucks or so.

Bah! Seasonic PSUs can be found for $45 easily.

elastic mounting works wonders, but it's still just quiet, not silent. You need to go for a more expensive 2.5" drive and possibly sound insulation for that.

Bah! 2.5" HDDs are usually louder than their desktop equivalents, because of power saving features which quickly snap the arm back and forth.

Once you've got your 3.5" HDD shock-mounted, use hdparm (or whatever tool for your platform) to set acoustic noise management to it's maximum setting (hdparm -M128). Your hard drive will be damn near silent.

The only component that is hard to get silent is the DVD drive... Samsung seems to be trying, but they were unreliable junk when I bought one, and didn't allow you to set the read speed lower, which should have been the #1 noise saving feature.

Re:But how much does it really improve things? (2, Informative)

moonbender (547943) | more than 7 years ago | (#18264742)

Not at all. Just replace the stock 80mm fan with a better (thermally controlled) one.

Yes. That's hard. At least compared to just buying cheap, off the shelf quiet components.

As for the rest: the doctrine at Silent PC Review, probably the definitive resource on this kind of stuff, is that 2.5" disks overall are more quiet than 3.5" disks and that current 120mm PSUs are more quiet than 80mm or 2x 80mm PSUs. The current Seasonics (sorry about the price, I'm in Europe and didn't want to underestimage the US prices) are really great, and they're 120mm. The 80mm PSUs had the advantage of usually having a straight airflow, which is more efficient and which also lends itself for easy PSU tunnel solutions giving the PSU its own airflow.

I've mounted my HD on elastic cord - you can't get more vibration isolation than that - and the noise management set to silent, it's still pretty much the only audible component. And it's a fairly silent HD to start with, 3.5" though.

But of course, your mileage may vary.

Re:But how much does it really improve things? (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 7 years ago | (#18262532)

I recently purchased a fanless power supply, now I only have a fan on the CPU on one on the graphics card.
You can't even hear the pc when your right up next to it, water cooling is a waste of money.

Re:But how much does it really improve things? (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18263728)

PCs can be quietly cooled with much less extreme methods. For example, for a long time, I've owned workstation-type computers (Alpha, PPC and Xeon) that were quieter than the typical consumer or gamer desktop, despite being more power hungry than a consumer desktop, they just used better parts and better design for the cooling. For one, it takes just a little more expense to buy fans that are either better built or just larger diameter but run slower, and maybe have a thermostat so that it doesn't need to run very fast unless the air really is getting too warm. Often, they are drop-in replacements.

Re:But how much does it really improve things? (0)

evilviper (135110) | more than 7 years ago | (#18264594)

Personally, I haven't tried water cooling yet, but I would definitely like to get the sound of a buzzsaw out of my PC.

Water cooling won't help. For one, you still need a very hefty fan cooling your radiator, as well as a noisy water pump.

For another, water cooling only helps with point cooling... You can cool your CPU easily enough, but good luck cooling the hundreds of other tiny components that get quite warm... So you'll still need a couple of case fans.

The "buzzsaw" noise in your system isn't due to fans, it's due to crappy fans. Buy some decent, thermally controlled fans, or any AMD64 system with CnQ (which will adjust fan speed as needed) and you'll see a world of difference. It won't be silent, but neither is water cooling.

I concur, it's a Computer "ricer" territory (2, Informative)

spineboy (22918) | more than 7 years ago | (#18261776)

Marginal improvement in performance, with the possibility of doing serious harm to your system. This stuff also reminds me of the 100 MPG "vortex" air fans that you put into your car to improve it's mileage, or guys buying big rims for their cars.

Re:I concur, it's a Computer "ricer" territory (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18263688)

Marginal improvement in performance, with the possibility of doing serious harm to your system. This stuff also reminds me of the 100 MPG "vortex" air fans that you put into your car to improve it's mileage, or guys buying big rims for their cars.

You don't get a performance improvement from water cooling. You get it from overclocking.

The car analogy, which you probably won't understand because you obviously understand neither water cooling of computers nor much of anything about cars, is adding an oil cooler to the engine (not the transmisson, which if it is automatic, almost certainly already has one, and if it is manual, almost certainly doesn't need one.) This allows you to shed additional engine heat by cooling the oil before the engine is cooled by the ordinary water cooling system. It is valuable if you have a highly tuned (meaning upgraded in this case) engine, because it produces more heat than stock. The stock cooling system is sufficient to perform cooling of the stock vehicle in almost every condition... if you are using it in an ordinary fashion.

The "vortex" air fans actually do improve efficiency for some people... people who have a horribly poorly designed intake system. The theory is that it helps mix the fuel and air better.

And finally, putting big rims on your car, depending on the situation, can make a huge difference. On lifted trucks they allow you to run a larger tire. On sports cars, they allow you to run a shorter sidewall. In the former case it helps the truck go more places. In the latter, it reduces sidewall flex, which improves handling.

Please, please, PLEASE don't make car analogies if you don't know anything about cars. PLEASE!

Re:But how much does it really improve things? (2, Informative)

plover (150551) | more than 7 years ago | (#18261786)

Truthfully, it's mostly about adding shine to their toys. Once a gamer gets a frame rate of 72Hz on a 1920 x 1200 display, it's time to add all the detail -- reflections in the water, individual leaves on the trees, beads of sweat on the character's forehead, that sort of thing.

There are also the people who do serious work who might notice a boost in productivity: they might be able to render movie frames faster, or compile a project with 10 million lines in an hour instead of 70 minutes. Of course people in those industries are already massively parallel, but if you have a 60 person development team anxiously awaiting the next build, anything you can do to shave off a few minutes could have really quick paybacks.

Re:But how much does it really improve things? (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 7 years ago | (#18261892)

But I doubt that professionals doing intensive tasks like you mentioned would be bothering to overclock systems or rig up water cooling. They'd be more likely just to buy a powerful server or cluster and have a system that was designed for that kind of load instead of tweaking a PC.

Re:But how much does it really improve things? (3, Informative)

plover (150551) | more than 7 years ago | (#18262446)

True, I'd never trust our build cluster to a bunch of potentially unstable, home-made overclocked Franken-PCs. And even if I would, I seriously doubt management would agree with me. They'd have one of two stock answers: "we'll add another server to the cluster" or "there's no money in the budget, live with it."

No extra credit points for figuring out which answer we'll get this year.

However, I will say that the recent set of Dell workstations we got in technically use water cooling. The heat sinks use heat pipes to passively transfer the heat from the CPU up to the large copper radiator fins, and the heat pipes most likely use water as their internal cooling fluid.

Re:But how much does it really improve things? (1)

flghtmstr1 (1038678) | more than 7 years ago | (#18262820)

I know I'm picking a minor nit here, but to the best of my knowledge, heat-pipe coolers use alcohol, not water.

Re:But how much does it really improve things? (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 7 years ago | (#18263876)

Depends on the planned heat load and pressure.
For Prescott systems ideal is water under a partial vacuum, I would imagine for a lower heat density app alcohol would be ok, but it has a much lower latent heat of vaporisation, so will not remove as much heat as good 'ol H2O.
-nB

Re:But how much does it really improve things? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18263828)

However, I will say that the recent set of Dell workstations we got in technically use water cooling. The heat sinks use heat pipes to passively transfer the heat from the CPU up to the large copper radiator fins, and the heat pipes most likely use water as their internal cooling fluid.

All I have to say about that is: powermac liquid cooling [google.com] (images search)

Re:But how much does it really improve things? (1)

ultrafunkula (547970) | more than 7 years ago | (#18262376)

I know people that do this sort of thing because it's a challenge and can be interesting and fun. I don't think there is much of a commercial market but there will always be people who like to tinker with their setup and get the most from it even if it isn't really cost effective.

Re:But how much does it really improve things? (5, Funny)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 7 years ago | (#18262034)

These radiators add at least 1.4 inch to your e-penis length.

Might be nessary soon. (1)

WarlockD (623872) | more than 7 years ago | (#18262250)

Everything that goes in a server eventually trickles down to desktop. Right now servers are using buffered DDR2. Especially, the ram data lines are converted into a type of packet serial data on a special chip on the ram stick. At close to 1066mhz, these things get hot. Like burn your fingers hot. (Know from experience)

Eventually, we will have to go with buffered DDR2, because you don't get as bad signal degrading after 4gigs. (Only systems I know of that support 64gigs of ram, without special riser cards use buffered)

Re:Might be nessary soon. (1)

plover (150551) | more than 7 years ago | (#18262516)

"trickles down" is perhaps a poor choice of metaphor when you're talking about water cooling.

Re:Might be nessary soon. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18263726)

Once when I was talking about Republican domestic economic policy I said "Trickle Down, My Ass!" Only after the words escaped my mouth did I realize what I had said...

Moo (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 7 years ago | (#18261690)

Water cools things? Wait. i have an idea! Remember those people saying something about global warming? Well, let's spread water all over the Earth. That oughta cool it off real well.

What can i say, i'm a genius.

Re:Moo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18261990)

Ok smarty pants, where are you gonna put the radiator and the fan? Huh? HUH?

I love the smell of Slashvertisement in the mornin (4, Insightful)

beavis88 (25983) | more than 7 years ago | (#18261702)

This is has been done for awhile. Yes, perhaps not DDR2 and memory/waterblock made by the same company, but in my mind, that's the least newsworthy part of this whole endeavor. Nothing to see here (except an OCZ ad), move along...

Re:I love the smell of Slashvertisement in the mor (1)

LoudMusic (199347) | more than 7 years ago | (#18262314)

Nothing to see here (except an OCZ ad), move along...
Welcome to Slashdot! ;)

Been there done that (1)

stewwy (687854) | more than 7 years ago | (#18261782)

no expence except a cheap heat spreader soldered to a flattened copper tube works quite well, but its mainly not about speed but quietness you don't need a case fan at all. and now you can actually get a water cooled PSU I belive

ocz == rice (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18261800)

OCZ is to computer parts what Monster Cable is to HDMI cables.

Re:ocz == rice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18262124)

ocz == rice

Ah, Americans. Can't resist turning an insult into a racist insult.

Re:ocz == rice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18264434)

In toronto, ricers are called "ginos" and "ginas".

I guess it depends on the ethnic makeup of the subculture of type R honda drivers.

Bullhockey (1)

palladiate (1018086) | more than 7 years ago | (#18262626)

OCZ memory was the cheapest RAM I could buy that was on my ASUS mobo's QVL http://usa.asus.com/100/download/products/1198/119 8_10.zip [asus.com] . That is CERTAINLY not the case with Monster Cables.

Now, do I still feel like a rice-boy for having urban camo RAM in my computer? Yea, but it helped me build a nice computer with a giant 22" monitor for 1500 bucks (Newegg Wishlist #4258847, search Palladiate if you are curious).

Before bragging about firsts... (1, Informative)

Deadstick (535032) | more than 7 years ago | (#18261848)

Before berating others for not doing homework (0, Flamebait)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18263762)

...it's a good idea to RTFA, or even RTFS. These are the first liquid-cooled memory modules. This is not the first liquid cooling solution for memory modules. These are simply the first modules with liquid cooling built in.

As annoyed as I am with THAT, I am a thousand times more annoyed with the moderators who modded you up. They clearly didn't read the article (or even the summary) either and should be consigned to the hell of a thousand anonymous cowards for their sins.

Beg pardon? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18261870)

I water-cooled for years, CPU and northbridge, and I can tell you that water-cooling RAM has been done for several years now using home made water blocks. This MAY be the first retail block from a memory company but there is certainly nothing groundbreaking about that.
Water-cooling RAM has always struck me as a lot of work for little to any performance return. Plus it's one more thing to go wrong. I never lost a component in 4 years of doing this but it was such a pain to install and maintain. I can only imagine the headaches involved in plumbing up RAM modules too.

Comparing e-penises (1)

Grashnak (1003791) | more than 7 years ago | (#18261902)

Like others have said, I find it mind-boggling that "innovations" like this exist almost exclusively to cater to those who are seeking a virtually indistinguishable increase in performance from their machines. Its pretty much just another inch on the tape measure used to distinguish who has the biggest e-penis.

Re:Comparing e-penises (2, Interesting)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18262000)

Sounds like someone's a little jealous.

Are they hurting you in any way? No.

Are they driving the industry that makes computer products better and better? Yes.

Does having better products every year help you? Yes.

Seriously, just let them have their fun. Most of us can't afford to spend the mega-bucks on things that don't matter, but these people can, and they enjoy it. Let them have their fun while they inadvertently make the world a better place.

Besides, I'm sure you have some hobby that most people think it pointless, too.

Re:Comparing e-penises (1)

tygerstripes (832644) | more than 7 years ago | (#18262050)

Besides, I'm sure you have some hobby that most people think it pointless, too.

Welcome to Slashdot...

Re:Comparing e-penises (1)

D4rkforce (1028858) | more than 7 years ago | (#18263596)

darkforce@Heimdall:~$ ./vpenis
65.7cm

Re:Comparing e-penises (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 7 years ago | (#18264048)

I find it mind-boggling that "innovations" like this exist almost exclusively to cater to those who are seeking a virtually indistinguishable increase in performance from their machines.

And I thought it quite reasonable, since many people that use water cooling do so for the sound, not performance increase, and if you eliminate case fans, the memory can easily overheat. This will make it easier and more reliable to make a quiet system with water cooling.

1U (1)

Spazmania (174582) | more than 7 years ago | (#18261904)

Unfortunately, these are useless. I can get more than adequate air-cooling in a case that these would fit in. Where water cooling would be useful is inside a 1U server case and these are too tall.

Huh.... (1)

TJ_Phazerhacki (520002) | more than 7 years ago | (#18262082)

Sounds like both Thermaltake (Aqua RX) and Koolance didn't hear the news. Oh wait, thats because they've had blocks out for a while.......

WTF is a... (1)

custerfluck (888788) | more than 7 years ago | (#18262152)

conuection?

Re:WTF is a... (1)

Skadet (528657) | more than 7 years ago | (#18263788)

That's what I saw at first, too. The package actually says "convection" [wikipedia.org] .

1.4"? [sic] (1)

Mirar (264502) | more than 7 years ago | (#18262194)

They don't look like they will fit my 1/2" inner diameter cooling system...

This story is 4 months old (1)

Jayemji (1054886) | more than 7 years ago | (#18262276)

Re:This story is 4 months old (1)

damocles77 (1072860) | more than 7 years ago | (#18264130)

NO KIDDING! I was thinking the same thing... this is OLD news. And for a reputed nerd community the lack of knowledge about the current Core 2 Duo over clocking CRAZINESS is quite stunning - (http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/01/18/overclocki ng-guide-part-1/index.html). The whole point of water cooling is to get immense ROI on hardware, not some nerdy obsession thing, at least not at the moment. If the gains were in the 10% region I would agree, this would be a bad/expensive idea, but the gains are in the 50 - 75% range with current technology. Wake up and smell the freon nerds! And if anyone wants to see real ridiculous, check this out - http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=1 793 [pcstats.com]

Forget about water cooling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18262320)

...the big question is whether there is any Monster Cable (tm) RAM yet for those of us with more money than brains?

Easier Solution (1)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 7 years ago | (#18262430)

Dunk the motherboard into a mineral oil bath and use a pump to move it around.

Coffee? (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 7 years ago | (#18262554)

Does this host water system ship with Starbucks or Nabob?

When will it be builtin? (1)

IPFreely (47576) | more than 7 years ago | (#18262586)

At what point will manufacturers start making components with water cooling builtin?

I see a CPU that does not have a heat spreader. Instead it comes with two connectors for plumbing and the water channels are built inside the chip. Same goes for graphics and whatever else needs cooling.

Cases will have space in them for a cooling unit and pump. Plumbing lines will be as prevelent as power connectors. You will buy "Hyper-Gamma Computer Coolent(TM)" from your local geek shop. And it glows in the dark so you can see it through your fancy glass case and neon lights!

Hopefully Never (1)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 7 years ago | (#18262878)

The reason we need cooling so much is because of the heat is WASTE.

We only started to need CPU fans with 486s and up.

They need to just prevent the waste in the first place like they are currently tying to do and the problem will go away, without liquid cooling.

Re:Hopefully Never (1)

Shadyman (939863) | more than 7 years ago | (#18262946)

We only started to need CPU fans with 486s and up.

Unless you had an NEC, where CPU fans were taboo.

Re:Hopefully Never (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 7 years ago | (#18263146)

Right then. Hope you're happy with your 286's performance then. And make sure you don't drive a car, or even ride public transit, as all those emissions of hot gases are just a waste. Or sit in a heated building in winter or cooled building in the summer, because it'd be much less wasteful to have the inside the same temperature as the outside. Or use a CRT television or monitor, as those use much more energy than an LCD.

What you refer to as "waste" is simply a by-product of adding more energy to the system to get more work done, and some of that energy being shunted off as heat, rather than useful work, which is pretty much just obeying the second law of thermodynamics. I'm all for system efficiency, but they haven't really made things that inefficient (except for the Pentium 4). They're just running into physical limits of materials and energy that we have no way around any more. For the amount of wattage that a computer draws now, you get MUCH more work done that you did for a similar wattage draw in the 386/486 era.

In short, nothing is as simple as you'd like to make it, and you're just delusional :) Go take your meds.

Re:Hopefully Never (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18263388)

Hahahaha that's cute. First off, the process (as in CMOS process) back in the 80s was NOT better than it is now. The reason your 386 didn't need a fan (some did have heat sinks though, or at least needed them) was that they only had 300K transistors [or whatever it was]. A modern processor has in the range of tens to hundreds of millions of transistors. Most new processors have more cache than systems had memory, etc.

What you should concern yourself with is the overall MIPS/watt ratio. Which is definitely in favour of things like the Intel Core 2 Duo and AMD64 designs than the 80386.

Tom

Re:When will it be builtin? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18263786)

At what point will manufacturers start making components with water cooling builtin?

That's what this is!

But seriously, I think it's coming soon. You buy retail CPUs with coolers. Why not with water blocks?

The best part about it of course will be that more solutions will be available so we'll find out quickly which connectors are the best type to use and so on.

DDR2 w/cooling? About time... (1)

pulse2600 (625694) | more than 7 years ago | (#18263012)

You know how hot and sweaty people get after about 20 minutes of playing DDR? My local arcade has these huge fans next to their machine, it's about time they came up with a better solution...

Water cooled Geeks (1)

wsanders (114993) | more than 7 years ago | (#18264026)

One of the more amusing threads I've seen, geeks dreaming about water cooling their underwear using Peltier devices and heat pipes:

http://www.hardforum.com/archive/index.php/t-10915 28.html [hardforum.com]

Q: "What... Do you... do... that requires... watercooled underwear?"

A: "I dono... maybe its just me, but I dont like sweaty balls...:

That just about sums it up, unless someone want to insert a "Chef" quote.

Re:DDR2 w/cooling? About time... (1)

Sly Raskal (978788) | more than 7 years ago | (#18264158)

This has to be the funniest post! ROFL

oooooh! What A Development! Call the networks! (1)

Ancient_Hacker (751168) | more than 7 years ago | (#18263168)

ooooooh! A copper tube soldered to a bent piece of metal! Call the networks!

Seriously, Seymour Cray's cooling guy did this in 1962. The hot and fast RAM of that era was a 4K by 12 bit module, about the size and weight of three bricks, and costing about $15K each. These needed a 1/2 inch thick aluminum heat spreader, bolted to a thick aluminum frame with chilled freon running thru it.

... and you don't get much of a speedup by cooling your RAM. Silicon speed is close to PTAT (Proportional to Absolute Temperature), so you don't get many percent from going from 40C to 30C.

Thermaltake (1)

DMUTPeregrine (612791) | more than 7 years ago | (#18264404)

Thermaltake has had a memory liquid cooling heatsink [thermaltakeusa.com] for a while now.
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