Oil Immersion Cooling

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Oil Immersion Cooling

Postposted on Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:12 pm

Fully immersing computer components in either oil, or some other non-conductive liquid has always appealed to me, ever since reading about how the early CRAY models did it.

Anybody got any good links to info about types of liquids, circulation methods, how well it works, etc...?
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Re: Oil Immersion Cooling

Postposted on Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:30 pm

I wouldn't call any link to Tom's Hardware a good link, but they did this with cooking oil back in 2006: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/str ... ,1203.html

Interestingly, they tried it with distilled water first, and it actually ran perfectly for five minutes before it shorted out.
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Re: Oil Immersion Cooling

Postposted on Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:32 pm

How does it work if you want to plug in another SATA cable, or swap in new ram or adapter cards... does getting oil in the sockets cause a problem? I am guessing the oil would prevent the pins from making a good contact unless the MOBO was thoroughly cleaned out.
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Re: Oil Immersion Cooling

Postposted on Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:26 pm

From what I've read in various places it's not actually all that great for overclocking due to not moving the heat away quickly enough. Good for a silent system maybe but extremely messy, apparently any cables that are dipped in the oil tend to wick the oil out of the case. 3M makes a submersive coolant liquid specifically for server applications but it is very pricy ($100s) and doesn't seem to fair much better than mineral oil.

There's a guy who posts here from time-to-time that has done some crazy stuff with a watercooling loop cooled by an A/C unit. It's pretty damn impressive. For a while I was thinking about trying something like that with this old rig of mine but the costs and diminishing returns put me off, I'm not hardcore enough for that. Things really seem to level off fast after you get past the limits of watercooling (unless you have the means to run your system on LN2 24/7).

edit: fixed url
Last edited by puppetworx on Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Oil Immersion Cooling

Postposted on Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:44 pm

Melvar wrote:I wouldn't call any link to Tom's Hardware a good link, but they did this with cooking oil back in 2006: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/str ... ,1203.html

Interestingly, they tried it with distilled water first, and it actually ran perfectly for five minutes before it shorted out.


The accsdata guy famously did this oil immersion thing many many years before Tom's. Like 1999.
The original discussion is still at slashdot. It's worth reading, and there are suggestions for liquids that would work much better than oil, like flourinert.
Sadly the arstechnica article on it seems to be gone.

Archive.org has a copy of the website from 1999, but most of the pictures are gone.
http://web.archive.org/web/199910060037 ... freeze.htm

It was a Celeron 550 on an Abit BX6.

Update: found it on google cache!
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/s ... =firefox-a
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Re: Oil Immersion Cooling

Postposted on Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:28 am

Cool in theory, but wouldn't want to deal with oily components and the messy hassle that hardware swaps would entail.
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Re: Oil Immersion Cooling

Postposted on Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:41 am

http://www.pugetsystems.com/submerged.php

http://www.grcooling.com/

http://www.liquidcoolsolutions.com/

http://techreport.com/news/20766/immers ... ta-centers

There was another company that sold pre-built mineral oil systems, but I can't seem to find the link.

Edit:

http://www.maximumpc.com/article/featur ... pc_reactor

Looks like they changed their business model. No longer offer desktops.
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