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Thread: Fish tank PC anyone?

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    Senior Member Andy3536's Avatar
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    Fish tank PC anyone?

    YouTube - Mineral Oil Cooling System

    I thought this looked great, along with some of the others at you tube that really looked like fish tanks.
    So, wondering why more people didn't do it i had a look at what mineral oil costs........£9.99 a litre, thats £270 for a 6 gallon tank.
    Nice to look at though, mabee I could start stealing baby oil from tescos......

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    Re: Fish tank PC anyone?

    i saw that ages ago
    we had a big debate at college about it, and what substances it would work under i.e. no electrical conductivity.
    and also talked about not putting the HDD under due to pressure difference, and not putting optical drives under as the speed of like would be different in a different medium

    edit: by big debate i mean, me and 2 mates
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    Senior Member Hicks12's Avatar
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    Re: Fish tank PC anyone?

    saw this ages ago and my friend tried it with his old rig, works very good .

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    Re: Fish tank PC anyone?

    Awesome.You know what i had this idea in my mind for some time but didnt want to take the risk.

    I would like to add some baby fish into the tank as well Fish swimming in the tank will do the cooling trust me

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    Re: Fish tank PC anyone?

    £9.99 a litre, thats £270 for a 6 gallon tank.
    And there a very good reason not many people do it.

    There's another one people tend to overlook, heat capasity and loss

    While liquid has a far higher heat capasity than air so it can absorb far more heat than air, however in a normal pc you're constantly pushing air through the case so the heat is being pumped back out into the environment.

    But in enclosed fish tank there is relatively little heat exchange from the liquid into the suround envronment, so while it'll start of fairly cool, the longer it run the hotter the fluid will become, granted with 6 gallons of fluid it's going to take a long while to heat up but if you run it 24/7 you'll get problems if yoy don't include something to disperse the heat.

    I seem to remember a few years back seeing an artical about an oil submerged system where they used the radiator and heat exchange coil out of a minibar fridge to keep the oil cool.

    Also gets a bit messy if your have to change or replace anything.

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    Re: Fish tank PC anyone?

    Wow, thats cool. Imagine if you actually had fish swimming about in there :/
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    Re: Fish tank PC anyone?

    A good use for GM, fish that can survive in mineral oil to make PC's look pretty

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    Re: Fish tank PC anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pob255 View Post
    And there a very good reason not many people do it.

    There's another one people tend to overlook, heat capasity and loss

    While liquid has a far higher heat capasity than air so it can absorb far more heat than air, however in a normal pc you're constantly pushing air through the case so the heat is being pumped back out into the environment.

    But in enclosed fish tank there is relatively little heat exchange from the liquid into the suround envronment, so while it'll start of fairly cool, the longer it run the hotter the fluid will become, granted with 6 gallons of fluid it's going to take a long while to heat up but if you run it 24/7 you'll get problems if yoy don't include something to disperse the heat.

    I seem to remember a few years back seeing an artical about an oil submerged system where they used the radiator and heat exchange coil out of a minibar fridge to keep the oil cool.

    Also gets a bit messy if your have to change or replace anything.
    thats true but their is a way around that, just like water cooling with convection currents etc.
    It does work well for a good few hours , can drop a bit but still beats air so far as i can tell(m8s old rig so cant compare too similars).

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    Welcome to stampytown! Salazaar's Avatar
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    Re: Fish tank PC anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pob255 View Post
    And there a very good reason not many people do it.

    There's another one people tend to overlook, heat capasity and loss

    While liquid has a far higher heat capasity than air so it can absorb far more heat than air, however in a normal pc you're constantly pushing air through the case so the heat is being pumped back out into the environment.

    But in enclosed fish tank there is relatively little heat exchange from the liquid into the suround envronment, so while it'll start of fairly cool, the longer it run the hotter the fluid will become, granted with 6 gallons of fluid it's going to take a long while to heat up but if you run it 24/7 you'll get problems if yoy don't include something to disperse the heat.

    I seem to remember a few years back seeing an artical about an oil submerged system where they used the radiator and heat exchange coil out of a minibar fridge to keep the oil cool.

    Also gets a bit messy if your have to change or replace anything.
    I was going to say the same thing. Convection within the system will only get you so much cooling until you've raised the temperature of the entire volume of oil to 60-70C and you start running into serious problems.
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    Re: Fish tank PC anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks12 View Post
    thats true but their is a way around that, just like water cooling with convection currents etc.
    Can't see any way to avoid mess if you need to change a component?

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    Senior Member Pob255's Avatar
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    Re: Fish tank PC anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks12 View Post
    thats true but their is a way around that, just like water cooling with convection currents etc.
    It does work well for a good few hours , can drop a bit but still beats air so far as i can tell(m8s old rig so cant compare too similars).
    Ahh but water cooled rigs work differntly, in a cooling loop you'll have a radiator to remove the heat from the liquid and move it into the air which is then shifted out into the environment (ie the air around us and hense into everything else around us.

    In that fishtank the only source for the oil to loose the heat it's absorbed would be radiation through a not very conductive plastic fish tank with a relatively small surface area.

    which is why in the artical I saw a few years back they used bits from a fridge as a methord of shifting the heat out of the oil bath and into the environment
    Howstuffworks "Parts of a Refrigerator"
    I seem to remember reading/seeing it in a magazine back in the late 90's, thinking about what you could do now, use a pump and large radiator from a water cooling loop (if you could submerge the pump all well and good ) hang the radiator off the back of the fish tank or hiide it in the top.
    The pump would pump the oil up from the the tank through the radiator and back into the tank that should help shead the heat from the oil into the air/environment.

    Must admit to currently being of half a mind to hang onto some of my old pc bits to build an oil bath pc for a summer project.

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    Re: Fish tank PC anyone?

    yeh thats right, or threw the case, he had a big chunk of metal (alot of copper xD) on the back which helped get rid of it, water cooling is still the second most efficient though with phase cooling coming on top .

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    Re: Fish tank PC anyone?

    That's great The bubbles were a nice touch at the end.

    Could have a few wind up bath fish in there swimming around.

    I think if the entire back panel of the tank was made out of metal, it would probably absorb a lot of the heat and then you could disperse it into the room from there, like a giant heatsink. You could even put fans on the back. I wonder how this would affect the lifespan of stuff. Would fans burn out really quick because of all the resistance of spinning in oil? Would stuff start decaying and going yellowy after a while?

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    Senior Member Hicks12's Avatar
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    Re: Fish tank PC anyone?

    the fans have too work harder too push the same as oil is denser then air(pretty obvious) and so it gives more strain and effectively reduces the life of the fan. It does however last about 6months--> a year, as far as i remember, pain too clean after and you need too make sure its cleaned really good, if you got the money too spend and seriously want too overclock look into phase cooling.

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