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Old 06-17-2010, 01:59 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Thermoelectric Cooling

I have a question for you guys that has been bugging me for a bit,

I was reading a while back when I came across a reference to thermoelectric (Peltier) cooling (in regards to the processor) and I have not really ever heard of it. I guess I am asking if somebody could explain it too me. I have looked up what I can, but the kind of information I am after is not necessarily how it works (easy information to find), rather how efficient is it, how does it stack up compared to other cooling methods, and what are benefits and drawbacks to it.

If you guys can inform me that would be awesome!
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Old 06-17-2010, 08:03 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Thermoelectric Cooling

I'm off to work right now but I'll get back to you in about 8 hours if no one responds 1st
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Old 06-17-2010, 08:21 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Thermoelectric Cooling

They're good because...
1. They can cool below the ambient temperature of the room
2. They are extremely reliable

They are bad because...
1. They are NOT efficient at all.
2. They require a LARGE amount of power to operate


You'd mainly use one because of the fact that they can cool below ambient temps. Being easier than LN2 setups (or similar setups like that) to both install and maintain, I guess they'd be good if you wanted to keep an extreme OC on your processor. Or lived somewhere where the temperature is always over 9000 degrees lol
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Old 06-17-2010, 08:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Thermoelectric Cooling

Well I won't agree with them being extremely reliable. For a "Good" High Wattage Peltier you'll find that most of them require more than 12 volts to reach there Maximum Potential and they require a lot of amps. Because of this a dedicated 24volt power supply is really needed, something like this.
Mean Well 600W 24V Single Output Switching Auxiliary Power Supply (SE-600-24) - FrozenCPU.com

But now you have the problem of having to turn the 2nd PS on and off. If you happen to forget, as many people have, to turn off the Peltier PS then it (the Peltier) will get hot enough to melt things.

Also, Peltiers basically work by 1 side getting cold and the other side getting hot. The cooler you can keep the Hot side the Colder the Cold side will get. A regular heatsink or a cheap watercooler (like the Corsair H50) will not keep the Peltier's Hot side cool enough to produce any real benefits. So you really need to spend money on a custom water setup. And once you get the Peltier working at it's max. potential you now have to insulate everything good enough to prevent condensation. All of this starts costing money fast.

If you really want to cool things down this is your best option unless you know someone who can build you one.

OCZ Cryo-Z Phase Change Single Evaporator CPU Cooling Unit (OCZTCRYO) Sockets (478 / 754 / 775 / 1156* / 1366* / 939 / 940 / AM2 / AM2+ / AM3) - FrozenCPU.com

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Old 06-18-2010, 12:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Thermoelectric Cooling

That's very informative, and I appreciate it. Yah, I am not really looking to upgrade, as more or less anything but air cooled at this point would overwhelm what little space I have left in my Mid tower lol. Goda wait till after college when I can move back into one of my full towers (Small floor space in my dorm). I just happened to read a bit about it and I had not really heard much about it before. Good to know they are probably more trouble than they are worth!

Thanks again!
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Old 07-20-2010, 01:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Thermoelectric Cooling

I know this is an older topic, however I figure I will provide a bit of an update for you guys.

As some of you may remember, I was having some crazy heat problems before, and I also am limited by a crowded mid-size case (meaning no water cooling) which I can not upgrade to to lack of room.

Anyway, I figured I would give this a try, because air cooling would just not cut it anymore, and I was not about to stop overclocking my processor lol.

So, I gave the Ultra ChillTec a try (The newest one).
Ultra ChillTec Black Overclocking CPU Cooler - LGA 775/1366, AM2/AM2+/AM3 at TigerDirect.com

The following is with my old processor (9850 BE OC'd to 3Ghz)

Before, with my Arctic Freezer 64 the processor idled around 40c and went well over 70ish (sometimes hitting 80) under load. (Yes, I have tried re-seating it and such, It is just a hot mofo processor).

With this chilltec, my idle temps were 28c (ambient is 22c or 72f). and it will not go above 60c on the same overclock with the same processor (under 100% load).

Those previous numbers were with my OC'd 9859 BE Processor, the next set of numbers is with my new 1055T (The Non BE one) (Oc'd to 3.4).

The idle temps on the 1055T are much nicer than the 9850 to begin with, but here are some numbers.
My first attempt at the install of this, I messed up a little bit and it was not mounted exactly correctly, as a result, the sensor on the cooler was in an odd place so it thought it was hotter than it was, so it was continuously cooling at full power (Was scaring me because the temperatures according to speed fan were around 12c, occasionally dropping to single digits! After running a few tests with it, I re-seated the unit and it is now cooling as it should. With an ambient temperature of 22c the processor remains cool at a continuous 22-23c idle (never going below ambient, nor much above it). Under 100% load (after 4 hours) the temperature readings according to speedfan were level at 55c (Have been trying to get hotter, and I seem to be unable) with almost no fluctuation at all.

There is increased power draw, but I believe it is only 50w under full load (more than I would like but nothing really to cry about.

As far as noise goes, at 100% fan speed, it is about 28db, but the fan is not usually at 100%

This is nice because unless it starts to heat up (30% load or greater) the thermoelectric part of the cooler is not even on, it is a big heat-sink with a fan (which is nice because you don't need to worry about going below ambient temperature (it is a worry as stated above due to condensation). It is also nice because the amount of cooling that is done with the thermoelectric plate scales as well.

Until the fan gets cranking, it does not add to the overall noise level of my case, which would not matter anyway, because I have a vary loud case.

Overall, I would say it is a good buy if you are in my situation which is not having enough room (or you move the case very frequently) for water cooling, but air cooling does not cut it. Water cooling is still a good bang for your buck, and I am sure some top of the line air coolers can come close to this, but this provided a good situation for me.

I managed to find it on sale for under $100 which makes it a good investment for me, The usual price I believe is $115

If I am not mistaken, there are three different versions of this floating around, A first generation thermoelectric (Sensors, internal display, external mounted power box) A second generation one, same as the first, but more for overclocking with a bit better cooler. And the latest one, which has no internal display, and no external mounted box, instead, everything is built into or under the heat-sink (this is the version I chose)

Also, there is a tan version, which is just the heatsink part of it, without the peltier cooler part of it. I think that one goes for $80.
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