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Old 02-01-2009, 11:44 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My new oil cooled PC.

On my trip to the US I spoke with engineer friends at the Tennesse Valley Authority and The University of Tennesse in Chattanooga. After speaking with them and doing some online research myself I decided to go with Oil in my cooling system instead of water. It took alot of looking around and searching to find the right parts, but I believe I have done it. I will be cooling the Mainboard, CPU and GPU. The HD will be air cooled. The oil cooling solves all problems of mixed metals and any issue with conductivity in contaminated DI water.

The hard part was finding and picking the right oil. You don't want to start a fire right? Believe it or not there was alot of differant oils out there that would work just fine if you can deal with them having strange colors and smells. Well I did not like the Idea of stinking up my house or an ugly brown or yellowish color in my clear tubes. So I decided to go with food grade mineral oil unscented. It is non-toxic to humans and animals. I also found out you can add your own scent to the oil, why would you need to? I asked the same thing lol so I went with unscented. This oil is so thin it can be absorbed through the skin. So your system has to be sealed up tight.

Now I was worried about price. Not a problem unless you need several gallons and I don't so no problem there. The next thing was getting it to cool as good as water. Well that was a problem kind of. That is where the parts come into play. I had to go big on a budget. What I did was go to my friend who owns an auto parts store. I picked up a heater core unit for a 1995 Chevy cavalier. It was perfect and only cost $30 USD. It is huge compared to the coolers you can get from PC cooling system makers. It is also all aluminum with thousands of fins to shed heat. Next I went to Ebay. I found a Zolman Reservator 1 for 40 bucks and won it! WOOT. Its blue as well. Came with everything not that I need it all I just wanted the big Reservator tube. As for water blocks well I just used the Koolance parts I had already.

Well anyways I have always wanted a fridge close to my PC to keep beer in. So I found a used half fridge about the size of freezer on a full size. It was FREE!!! The guy gave it to me. So the Reservator will go in the fridge with a hole I am cutting in the top. Sealing it with calk and I still have room for 12 beers and snacks. The heater core will be mounted on the outside. So it will look like a tower setting next to a white fridge with a blue cap sticking out of the top. All extra parts not including all the stuff you would normally need for a water cooling system was around $85 USD. When I am completely finished with the set up I will post some pics. When I spoke with the engineers they said the fridge was over kill, but hey I might overclock a bit plus it was free so who cares.

I will be updating this post.
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Old 02-01-2009, 11:54 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: My new oil cooled PC.

This is some crazy stuff, and I want to see the photos when it's done.
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Old 02-01-2009, 12:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: My new oil cooled PC.

Lets see what aspire has to say....
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Old 02-01-2009, 12:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: My new oil cooled PC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ricanflow View Post
Lets see what aspire has to say....
Yeah, that will be humorous.
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Old 02-01-2009, 01:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: My new oil cooled PC.

Here's my take on what you've said.

1. Oil physically cannot cool as well as water.

2. Car heatercores, while big are inherently much less efficient than, say for example, a dual pass copper radiator. How are you panning on mounting fans on it? It is next to useless without them, and due to their high fin density will reguire, high cfm/high pressure/noisy as **** all fans properly mounted with a shroud to force the air through the rad.

3. That freezer is not designed for this. It is just designed to remove the heat from food and then keep it cold, that's why you hear the compressor kicking on and off. Now with all the parts your cooling, the heat will be more than the freezer can keep up with and it will not get cold and will wind up frying the compressor because it is not designed for a continuous duty cycle.

4. Did you know clear water cooling tubing is porous? After a short time the oil will start to leech out of the tubing, sounds lovely doesn't it?

5. You will never be able to get the best temps because your blocks are old and lack the newest designs which improves cooling performance a great deal.

6. What pump are you planning on running? I guarantee it will not like having to push oil one bit, especially if it's the one that's in the base of the reservator.
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Old 02-01-2009, 01:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: My new oil cooled PC.

there it is....
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Old 02-01-2009, 03:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: My new oil cooled PC.

It was glorious.
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Old 02-01-2009, 03:21 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: My new oil cooled PC.

it sounded like a fun project! for sure
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Old 02-01-2009, 03:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: My new oil cooled PC.

haha, way to lay it out aspire. I don't think this setup is remotely worth it anyway.
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Old 02-01-2009, 03:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: My new oil cooled PC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aspire.comptech View Post
Here's my take on what you've said.

1. Oil physically cannot cool as well as water.
(My answer) True, this is why the extra work and parts.

2. Car heatercores, while big are inherently much less efficient than, say for example, a dual pass copper radiator. How are you panning on mounting fans on it? It is next to useless without them, and due to their high fin density will reguire, high cfm/high pressure/noisy as **** all fans properly mounted with a shroud to force the air through the rad.
(My answer) It is an Aluminum Rad about 1'x1' I can blow lightly with my mouth through the fins. I looked at about 500 or 600 heater cores before choosing one. I also have a transmission fluid cooler that is about 3' long made of copper from a BMW it is just to big.

3. That freezer is not designed for this. It is just designed to remove the heat from food and then keep it cold, that's why you hear the compressor kicking on and off. Now with all the parts your cooling, the heat will be more than the freezer can keep up with and it will not get cold and will wind up frying the compressor because it is not designed for a continuous duty cycle.
(My answer) First its just a cheap fridge, second it is for cooling the mass storage of oil in the Reserator only. The oil will be pre-cooled before entering. Third I really doubt it will be so hot as to cause continuous duty.
4. Did you know clear water cooling tubing is porous? After a short time the oil will start to leech out of the tubing, sounds lovely doesn't it?
(My answer) Its called oil resistant tubing from Ace hardware its 99 cent per foot. Tygon is the brand I believe. Easy fix right?

5. You will never be able to get the best temps because your blocks are old and lack the newest designs which improves cooling performance a great deal.
(My answer) I got the blocks I have for a reason & and they are only 3 weeks old. Its for 4870x2 and an I7 chip. I doubt age has anything to do with it.

6. What pump are you planning on running? I guarantee it will not like having to push oil one bit, especially if it's the one that's in the base of the reservator.
(My answer) I cut the pump out of the Reserator, and will be using an Eheim 1048 pump with its own power seperate from that of the PC. It will be tested for several days of continuous use before the PC will be turned on. If this does not work. I think it will though. I have numbers for serveral pump manufactures that make oil pumps. They just take awhile to get and the Eheim is cheap.
The engineers I spoke with all agreed that with the low heat numbers I will be playing with I should be able to get numbers as low as that of normal water cooling. I was even told that using the fridge might be alittle much with something so small that is kept indoors and not in any kind of extreme enviroment like a powerplant boiler room, but like I said before I may be overclocking just a little. Not much though. Not really my thing. Not trying to steal any thunder or anything man. This kind of thing makes a great hobby for me here in Germany seening how I had to give up my loved sport of motocross a few years ago. Its cheaper too. I had a long talk with the engineers about water, because to be honest I really was afraid this would just not work at all. They assured me that 1. oil would be much safer for the equipment, because no matter how hard you try you will contaminate it and make it able to conduct electricty. They said they only use DI water in chemical expiraments and calculate in for contamination. They would never use it around any expensive equipment with open circuits like a PC. 2. It will cool my PC with no problems with the low temps I would be working with. One even laughed and said "Its not like you will be working with boiling point temps, or why would anyone use water at all and the flash point of the oil is really high so no worries." Really though if you have any ideas to help with my project I would love to hear them.
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