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Ice Box Custom PC System design idea...

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I dont know if anyone has ever thought about this but I thought it might be a good idea. On ebay you can get a cheap ice box like shown below and I was thinking if you want good cooling then why not build your system in an icebox with water cooling.

Take a regular tower and put your system together with all the water cooling you want and then mount the radiators and fans to the walls of the icebox. Drills holes for cables to run through in the side of the icebox and then cover with insullation or weather stripping. You will need longer hosing and maybe extensions for the fans but thats cheap. You could either get to the drive bays by opening the door of the icebox or you could build them into the walls of the icebox so you dont have to go into the icebox to get to them.

500375

http://www.ebay.com/sch/Upright-Chest-Freezers-/71260/i.html?_catref=1

The whole system would run cooler and the cpu and whatever else you had in the water loop would stay at great temperatures. This would be a lot cheaper than getting phase change or anything like that. Or even if you didnt want to put water cooling and just wanted to have fan and heatsink cooling that would still work great. Granted it will take up a decent amount more space and creativity but if overclocking is important to the owner than this may work out great especially since it could run 24/7 easily. Better than spending hundreds on phase change or hundreds on watercooling. The biggest factor would probably be the labor which if you have basic common sense and a little creativity this would not be that hard. These go for roughly $100 on ebay and i would say you could get a better one for a litte more and your still saving money. Power consumtion would depend on how much the user overclocks but it shouldnt be as bad as if you were to have phase change or a very large water cooling unit. Even just comparing high end water cooling to the ice box with heatsink fans would be cheaper and would keep temps down a whole lot more than water cooling at room temperature.

What do you guys think? Do you think there would be too much condensation? What are some of the major problems you think you would run into in this icebox build?

I personally think it would work out great if it was done right. If it was done professionally and get the form factor way down then it would turn out to be a cheap effective solution imo.
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post #2 of 8
The fridge won't last long. It's not designed to cool things actively producing heat. This is a dead horse in Mike Vic's home.
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post #3 of 8
sorry but idea has been thought of many times before. unfortunately an ice box is not designed to cool the heat output of a CPU. basically the condenser is not designed to run constantly so eventually it burns out. Also you need to consider condensation as well
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post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by selectstriker2 View Post

sorry but idea has been thought of many times before. unfortunately an ice box is not designed to cool the heat output of a CPU. basically the condenser is not designed to run constantly so eventually it burns out. Also you need to consider condensation as well
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post #5 of 8
The concept has been discussed a lot here so you may want to put your flak jacket on. redface.gif

Your biggest problem is condensation. And it is a big, big problem. Otherwise the concept would be seen in the wild more then it is discussed. wink.gif
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post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
You might be able to put a motor from a huge freezer and put it on a small icebox. Or maybe even two motors on one box. This might make up for the extra cooling needed. Then for condensation, a decent dehumidifier for $35 could be used....
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post #7 of 8
As mention from another thread: http://www.overclock.net/t/1201201/cold-air-intake-but-different-condensation/0_50#post_16220459
Quote:
Condensation only forms when warm moist air comes in contact with a cold surface. You just need to maintain a constant positive pressure of cold air inside the case. This means blocking off all fans ports except for the inlet and outlet. You really should only have fans feeding the case as this will keep it under pressure. No need for exhaust fans except the psu of course. If the duct work is very long then you may need a small booster fan in the exhaust.

I can't stress enough how important the positive pressure is
. This will keep the warm moist air out. You should always be able to feel the cold air coming out the cracks in the case. If the pc is going to be on 24/7 then make sure the airflow isn't reduced or lost. It's best to have the supply fan independent of the pc but on the same UPS. This way if the pc crashes the fan/s keep the airflow going. It also allows you to maintain temp in the case till next boot. You'll be booting with a high oc so will need the case cold anyways. I use a 172x150x51mm 230cfm 120vac fan on speed controller for the supply fan. Duct is 6" flex. The fan is located right at the window adapter. The window's screen keeps snow from getting sucked in.

For best results direct the airflow to the cpu and gpu/s.

If you plan to shut everything down while cold then unplug the psu and let the pc slowly warm up to room temp.

Good Luck!
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post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
I currently have a cold air intake on my system.. Used 4" flexible hose to run to back of the radiator from outside (-0C). My cpu temps idle stay around 10c and load around 45-50c and this is at 5.1Ghz. I dont have any condensation. I have the 4" hose wrapped with insulation...
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