Toms Hardware Cooking Oil Comp!!!!

By PaulWuzHere ยท 24 replies
Mar 17, 2006
  1. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,406

  2. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    They're crazy. Read the feedback from readers they've posted. DO NOT TRY ANYTHING LIKE THIS.

    If you are, do not use cooking oil, they have special oils for that (engine oil for one, I'm sure there are more specific ones).

    If I can afford that much engine oil (and time to mod the casing), I might be crazy enough to do it.
  3. PaulWuzHere

    PaulWuzHere TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 271

    Its very wild... and... I had no idea there was already a thread about it. Sorry. I don't believe I would ever try submerging a $2,000 comp in 8 gallons of vegatble oil. Thats insane. Lol. I might go with a standard water cooling system in a few months but... no more than that.
  4. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    if you actually read the article they mention that motor oil is far better and less corrosive - especially if it is synthetic, however that amount of oil is expensive. At a certain point you would have to cool the oil once it heated up.
  5. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    Lol, you don't really need to cool it down furthur, and if you do, just slap on some HUGE heatsinks onto the casing itself. The same types you can get from your local electronics store.... Here's from my local store:

    Its not copper, its not beautiful, its not.... very efficient.

    But for this purpose, it'll cool down that oil of yours pretty darn fast.
  6. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 3,814

    If the pc starts getting hot, just throw in some chips.
  7. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,512

    Not to rain on anyones parade, but that is actually an old idea, which has been floating around on the net for several years... There was an interesting discussion about which oil was the best for use due to heat-conduction, whilst being electric non-conducting...

    One of the original designs used the oil to remove the problem of condensation when using Liquid Nitrogen/dry ice. It works very well, except for the fact that you can't have any drives, or the psu, in the oil.. Not to mention the problems of upgrading the system.

    I seem to recall someone creating a similar case to THG's, but with a dry 5.25" bay and a special compartment for the PSU. Can't quite remember where he placed the cooling though...
    Unfortunately, my interest in exotic cooling solutions died down, and I don't have any of my old bookmarks, so I can't give out links. But I think has one or two setups for use with oil...
  8. PaulWuzHere

    PaulWuzHere TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 271

    Thats wild, also these extream cooling systems wouldn't help me any. My CPU (even when overclocked from 2Ghz to 2.2Ghz is Idle at 28c and under load 40c) My 6600gt is the hottest thing in my case (Idle 40c Load 50c) I would NEVER use oil to cool my system... thats to much.
  9. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    Why don't people just go with liquid cooling with 3 pumps and 10 radiators.... You can liquid cool your HDDs as well. Need something for PSUs now.
  10. CrossFire851

    CrossFire851 TS Rookie Posts: 766

    Scary is all I can say. I don't think I will be doing this.
  11. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,512

    A lot of people use liquid cooling, this is just a way to go more extreme.

    Liquid cooling has a nasty way of creating condensed water if you haven't insulated well enough, and if a tube comes loose you're entire rig is gone. But if you submerge the rig in oil, those problems go away :)

    Also, the way Tom's has done it makes it noiseless, which a water cooled rig is not...

    And lastly, because there are more bragging rights if you have a case full of oil, than if you have a liquid cooling system. (Unless you're running a bong cooler, or similar)
  12. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    With an oil system, you can't really bring it around to LAN parties.... if its possible, its gonna be really tough bringing it over (maybe start one in your own basement??)

    Therefore, limited bragging rights.

    Personally don't have a watercooled rig, but I had the impression that the pump is very quiet.
  13. Sean

    Sean TS Rookie Posts: 100

    Im going to buy a xeon mobo, and get some bitchen cpus, two 7900's. all OCED, and throw in some frenchfries :D
  14. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    first of all, if you build it right... tubes don't come loose ;)

    second of all, thats why you use a non-conductive coolant... so that if your rig springs a leak, it won't damage anything.

    FYI... CMH, inline pumps tend to "hum" or "whine" a bit, but a submersible pump inside a resi (my setup is a Mini-Jet660 inside a 4" plastic electrical box) is almost completely silent :)
  15. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,512

    Almost true... Even if you build it right, there can be something with the tube that makes it crack. But yeah.
    And as you say, using a non-conductive coolant does solve that problem... Of course, it still leaves the frying cpu due to no coolant ;)

    CMH> Just because you're a computer nerd, doesn't mean you can't be strong :p
    If you ever go to a large LAN party (or at least one with compo's for modded cases & such), you'll find that a lot of people are quite willing to build and move extreme cases.
    And you don't even need to look at extreme cases. My desktop weights in excess of 13kg, with no components in it (Black Antec File server case).
    So if you build a new case of plexiglass, and keep it small, then it doesn't need to be too heavy, even when filled with oil...
  16. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    I think the whole point Mr G made of upgrading an oil immersed PC ruins it for me, too messy.

    It would be an interesting idea to use a thermalelectric cooler (TEC) on the CPU with a decent size heatsink. My bet is the case fan would provide enough cooling acroos the heatsink. A good TEC, not even cascaded can get a deltaT of 80c nowadays. A little innovation in the mobo market so they have on-board temp control would be nice too. Then again it could be done with a PCI card.
  17. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    not really... unless you have a really really cheap motherboard, it will automatically shut down the PC if the CPU overheats.

    if for some reason it leaked out it's coolant (very unlikely) or the pump stopped working, then it would basically have the same effect as the fan on a heatsink failing. The CPU would heat up, reach the auto-shutdown "trigger-temp" and the mobo would shut the system down to protect the CPU.

    Unlike air cooling where the load temp will typically be 5C~10C above idle temps, water cooling tends to keep the temps pretty consistant (at least in my experience with 3 watercooling setups on 3 different machines). this means that you can set the "trigger-temp" on the overheat protection to a much lower temp than it's default temp, which pretty much rules out any chance of frying the CPU.

    to sum it all up... water cooling is as safe as air cooling when it's done correctly.

    I personally would never try the iold tank idea. If the case cracks or springs any kind of leak... good luck cleaning that stuff up... lol :)

    ...also... this may be a stupid question (please forgive my electrical ignorance ;)), but one thing about the oil filled rig I don't understand is if all the other electrical/electronic components in the system can be submerged, why does the PSU have to stay dry??
  18. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    The PSU has to stay dry probably because of the high voltages in there. A substance is said to be non conducting when it has a high resistance, but with enough voltage, everything is a conductor (except total vacuum I suppose, but thats technically nothing).

    Either that or there's a component in there, but I'm betting its the former.

    Also, if you want to submerge the PSU, you probably need to open up the PSU and place it somewhere else. Oil still heats up, and the small space within the PSU is just not enough to dissipate the heat. Not to mention you'll need to do this to remove the fans.

    I didn't mean it that way. What I meant was that its going to be very messy loading a tank of oil into a car. Don't forget the oil musn't reach certain components, and removing those components (PSU for example) probably will create openings to leak oil into your car :D. Generally not a good thing.

    Also, when I create a watercooled rig, I'm making sure I'll submerge the pump :D. Will probably use a fish tank pump...
  19. CrossFire851

    CrossFire851 TS Rookie Posts: 766

    OCing ability gone with the wind.
  20. SOcRatEs

    SOcRatEs TechSpot Paladin Posts: 966

    Could be cool to isolate the 3 major heat producing componants to a separate daughter card;
    Gpu, Cpu and chipset and emerse only them in a much smaller container.

    The bottle neck then is to make a connection from the cooled componants to the rest of the now dry/quiet system.
    Now you wouldn't need to make so generous a donation to the MS of petrol Co.'s
  21. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    CMHreplied:" The PSU has to stay dry probably because of the high voltages in there." Yes a switching power supply uses high voltage in the DC to AC to DC section to generate the required power. Power =VoltsXAmps, so a common good PSU would have 12V@28A which is 336Watts. But directly switching 28A is ridiculously expensive to do. But if you up the voltage using a small transformer to say 120V, then we have 2.8A to switch on and off. Maybe still a little high. So we use 240V and we get 1.4A better, but keep going. Let's go 480V and we have 0.7A or 700mA, that's better, much less expensive mosfets can now be used to switch that 700mA.
    All along we never lost any power, 480VX0.7A=336Watts, what we wanted in the first place.
    I just love to take the opportunity to :zzz: people.
  22. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    I remember something about nothing in this world being 100% efficient.

    Changing those voltages around probably isn't very efficient, but might be better (and safer) than having 4.8A flowing around (which I might add, very dangerous).

    Time to seal up the HDDs to work with that setup....
  23. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,512

    True... I guess I'm still living in the past, where a situation like that was death to the cpu, unless you were quick on your feet..
    But I'll try to keep in mind that things have moved on since I was last following it. Thanks for arresting me!

    CMH> That depends on how you build your case. You could create a separate compartment above the oil-filled one, where you had all the components that needs to stay out of the oil. Create small slots to get the cable through, and then seal them with silicon (or similar).
    (Imagine a full tower, where everything except the motherboard (and thus anything connected to the PEG/AGP, and PCI) is on the top, and then having a watertight seal between top and bottom.)

    CrossFire> As for overclocking, that is only if you just use the oil to cool the 'puter with. Nothing wrong with having a phase-change system, LNO2 or regular water cooling in a rig submerged in oil. Actually better, since the insulation will be done for you by the oil :)
  24. PaulWuzHere

    PaulWuzHere TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 271

    Its weird imagining a world without jumpers on the mobo and water cooling replacing air cooling. Also with people running 2 graphics cards in Sli and Crossfire. Even tho I am only 15, things have changed ALOT! It all started with Intel's socket 478 and Amd's 754/940/939. I can't wait to see what happens with AM2, maybe jello cooled comps or 8 chraphics cards. Maybe 4 cpus all quad core! WHO KNOWS! Maybe the standard in one year will be 2 Gigs of ram to open windows. lol. This is getting outta hand my friends.
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