Last time I addressed this topic it was to come up with a few things that can make your computer running smoother. This time I’ve found a series of projects of the more experimental kind. Keeping your computer clean, is something anyone can do, but rebuilding (partly or complete) it might be out of your league. But a fun read still. You’ve probably heard about water cooling systems, but what about mineral oil, or liquid nitrogen ? I didn’t think so…
I recently came across a picture where someone had built an entire PC-case out of fans. I have lost that photo, but I imagine you would need quite the power running all those fans. Not very economical perhaps. The fun part about all the following projects is that they can actually be performed at home. And it doesn’t take much know-how to do so either. I post links for further reading for those interested. Also, Should any of you decide to try one of these projects, we would LOVE to publish an article about you and that project, here at Mintywhite.
Water Cooling system
Remove the old Heat sink, replace it with a water chilled one. Add some tubes, a pump, a radiator, a valve, a fan and a small water tank. Assemble it all inside your Desktop Cabinet. Boot your computer. Enjoy a slient, cool system.
Pros: It’s a well-tested system that works well. It is easy to get all the parts you need, both as loose components but also as a building kit. Reducing high-load temperatures by as much as 40°C (104°F). Relative inexpensive, though you should expect between $100-200, depending on your kit of choice.
Cons: Modification of the case is needed. The case also need to be a large High Tower variant. Water leakage will cause serious problems, so regular maintenance is a must.
Submerged in Oil
Yes, I am not kidding. You take a tub of sorts, remove the hard drive, and power supply, add about 8 gallons of a liquid, and you should be good to go. There has been many projects on the subjects with a lots of different approaches. Many kinds of liquids have been tested, among these are de-ionized water (caused blackout after about 5 minutes), motor oil, vegetable oil and synthetic oils. It seems the best results comes from using clear mineral oil. Oil does not lead electricity while it keeps the components cool. Tests show components may live longer than normal.
Pros: Total silence. No noise what so ever (except from the hard drive and power supply, which of course shouldn’t be submerged - even though it seems that the project shown on the right have succeeded in doing so). The only rebuild necessary is to remove the CPU fan, and seal the Processor. You can use any tank you choose, from a tub to an old aquarium. It’s a very cheap and inexpensive solution.
Cons: Choosing the wrong oil, will cause a distinct odor. If leakage should occur the results will be about 8 gallons worth of oil running out on your desk and furniture.
- Link to project 1 (in a Fish tank) – There are THREE projects here (see links at the upper right)
- Link to project 2 (in a rebuilt cabinet)
Using Liquid Nitrogen
This is the ultimate in home-built PC Cooling. Little rebuilding is necessary, but you do need an open case. Remove the CPU heat sink. detach the fan, and weld on a copper tube to the heat sink. Insulate the tube with proper material. Re attach the modified heat sink. Fill it up with liquid Nitrogen and Boot the computer.
Sounds like utopia ? Well not quite. Back in 2003, a few guys did this project to be able to squeeze at least 5 GHz from an Intel P4, without causing system crash or overheating. They achieved to overclock 200 MHz (factory setting) to the record speed of 5255 MHz. Not very strange as the Liquid Nitrogen kept the processor and surrounding units at about -190°C (-310°F).
Pros: Extreme overclocking capabilities. Little or no rebuilding.
Cons: Where to get Liquid Nitrogen? It needs constant refueling. Extreme safety precautions are necessary. Expensive.
Verdict: Don’t try this at home