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Coolest possible loop

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Really simple question (i think), what is the coldest that a loop could run using standard water cooling kits?
I currently have a fairly normal look which has the CPU & GPU temp sit around 30, max load and overclock up to 60 (Celsius)

Are there any ways to get the cooler?

One thing i was looking at was alternatives to water (LN2, Dry Ice etc) but would it be possible to get these into a closed loop? from what iv read the temperature fluctuation would change the states to gas, building pressuring until BANG in a loop.... but are there other alternatives?

Any and all comments would be welcome smile.gif

Cheers
post #2 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by K41Nnz View Post

Really simple question (i think), what is the coldest that a loop could run using standard water cooling kits?
I currently have a fairly normal look which has the CPU & GPU temp sit around 30, max load and overclock up to 60 (Celsius)

Are there any ways to get the cooler?

One thing i was looking at was alternatives to water (LN2, Dry Ice etc) but would it be possible to get these into a closed loop? from what iv read the temperature fluctuation would change the states to gas, building pressuring until BANG in a loop.... but are there other alternatives?

Any and all comments would be welcome smile.gif

Cheers
With standard water cooling, you CANNOT get any cooler then room temperature. Now, that being said. I've been contemplating getting a mini-fridge. Mainly for drinks, but also because you could run a res inside the fridge and run some tubing to it. But thats extreme.
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post #3 of 8
Surprise, not a simple question! tongue.gif

As ADHDadditiv said, standard watercooling is limited by your ambient room temperature. Watercooling's superior efficiency comes from how much better water is at moving heat away from blocks/chips and carrying it to the radiators than air is, but at the end, the radiators are air-cooled.

LN2 and dry ice are pretty much only used for "stunt" cooling to get extreme overclocks for one-off boot screens. You wouldn't employ those techniques in a system intended for playing games or everyday computing.

When you talk about active cooling, you get into things like peltiers, bongs (evaporative cooling), or chillers for the most part. Bongs are the cheapest of those since it's quite low-tech.
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post #4 of 8
dry ice and LN2 requres a lot of care when used and it does not maintain its state(evaporates into gas). You have to be a hardcore overclocker to even consider this. An alternative would be phase change systems. I dont know much about them, but they are closed systems that can maintain their cooling over long periods of time. They are capable of zub zero temperatures down to around -50C from what I've heard, probably more or less depending on several factors. I would not consider either of the above for 24/7 use.

Watercooling can in theory cool down to room temperature, but its unlikely you will see such temperatures in a realistic scenario. With a water chiller you could get your temps lower than room temp. Also I saw a post on the forums some time ago about something called a "bong". According to the author of that thread those are capable of lower than room temps, but have the dissadvantage of being huge and taking up a lot of space.
Edited by zoid.srg - 4/11/14 at 3:38pm
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post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for those comments, really useful

So the limiting factor in temperature for water cooling is the reservoir at room temperature?
What if someone were to replace water with a solution that can go lower in temperature but stay liquid (such as alcohol), and then basically turn the radiator into small fridge to keep it bellow?
I am guessing it would require a lot of space but just conceptually - could this work for 24/7 operation?

Will go have a read up on both the changing state and bong suggestions
post #6 of 8
In a sense, since the water cools the blocks, but the water in turn gets cooled by air passing through the radiators. And yeah the res does return to room temp when the computer is off. So room temp is the ultimate limiting factor. In practice you will never get your coolant all the way down to ambient (when the computer is turned on) since the computer is always adding heat.

Water is actually one of the absolute best heat capacitors in nature, which is why it is used for cooling. That means that it holds and carries heat extremely well, which is what you want from a circulating coolant, so it can take heat away from where you don't want it, and deliver it somewhere else to be dispersed. A small handful of other substances are slightly better (I think ammonia is one), but water blows all of them out of the... water tongue.gif because water is also incredibly cheap, plentiful, and safe.

Alcohol is far too volatile and flammable to be used on its own, and its heat capacitance isn't anywhere as good as water's. When you add it to water to make anti-freeze, you are trading a lower freeze point for lower cooling efficiency. Sometimes that's a good trade eg. a car, but not in a PC unless you're doing some extreme cooling.
Edited by threephi - 4/12/14 at 3:04pm
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post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by ADHDadditiv View Post

With standard water cooling, you CANNOT get any cooler then room temperature. Now, that being said. I've been contemplating getting a mini-fridge. Mainly for drinks, but also because you could run a res inside the fridge and run some tubing to it. But thats extreme.

You better off getting a water chiller.
You'll kill your fridge really fast that way. It's not meant to deal with the heat a PC puts out.
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post #8 of 8
Even this ran at 35* under full load thumb.gif

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