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RedDeerGuy1's avatar

What are different liquids that you have used as a coolant for a computer?

Asked by RedDeerGuy1 (24336points) 2 months ago

How did they fare?

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19 Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Keep all liquids far away from computers.

Desktop computers usually have internal fans to cool themselves.

smudges's avatar

I used Koolaid once…computer died. ~

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Linus tech tips, from YouTube, used sparkling mineral water.

Also tap water might not be a good idea.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@RedDeerGuy1 Do you mean he poured water on a computer? Please elaborate.

You must keep computers and smartphones dry at all times.

You must not get any device that uses electricity wet ever.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake He used as a coolant in a plastic tube in the motherboard. It appears normal for high end computing. I have never done it, but have seen the practice on YouTube videos.

He tried different types of water. Sparkling mineral water, distilled water, tap water.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

OK. Now I understand. That seems possible. For simple computers like we use everyday, you can’t use a water cooling system.

ragingloli's avatar

Linus used imported sparkling water only because it was the most expensive option for his 30000 “compensator” build. It caused problems because it kept spurting out of the tubes.
Distilled water is usually best for that.
Then he paired it with an expensive thermo-electric peltier cooling module that only offered effective cooling at idle temperatures, or gaming. As soon as you put the CPU under full load, it caused a CPU temperature above 100°C.

I am using a simple AIO water cooler from Arctic, to cool my 5950X.

Zaku's avatar

My friend successfully used a big bucket of ice.

Jeruba's avatar

I don’t understand how you would use any kind of coolant with a personal computer or laptop. I have a little platform with a fan in it that the laptop sits on. The fan cycles off and on, I suppose with some kind of temperature sensor. Doesn’t this type of thing perform an adequate cooling function?

ragingloli's avatar

The coolant is used to transfer heat away from the CPU, and sometimes the GPU, to a larger radiator that is bigger and thus more effective than a normal tower cooler that would sit on top of the CPU. A normal tower cooler’s size is limited by the width of the case, the weight of the cooler pulling on the motherboard, and access to other components, while the radiator of a liquid cooler can sit flat at the side of the case, also enabling it to push warm air directly out of the case, whereas a normal tower cooler just pushes the warm air into the case and has to rely on case fans to push the warm air outside.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Mineral oil. You can submerge everything except the hard drive and safely keep it sub ambient.

SnipSnip's avatar

I do not put liquid in, on, or around the computer.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@ragingloli Does anyone ever use thermal heat pipes to draw heat away from the CPU/GPU to a radiator on the outside of the case?
I’ve held a 6mm diameter pipe15cm long, and just dipped one end into a cup of boiling water. I had to drop it in about a second because the end I was holding got so hot.
The devices are completely sealed and require no power to operate.
I’m sure they are available from your local engineering supply house like McMaster-Carr.

ragingloli's avatar

@LuckyGuy
The problem with these is lack of flexibility. Heatpipes are used in Air coolers to move the heat to the fins, and in laptops, both cases where the manufacturer has full control over the layout.
But if you are selling to consumers, you have to deal with all sorts of cases, motherboard layouts, and various hardware that would get in the way.
Even in custom water cooling, where you build the water cooling loop yourself, you have to manually cut and bend the hard plastic tubing to fit into your case.
Metal heat pipes are just not feasible for that.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@ragingloli Got it. Thanks!
I used one to cool a specific spot in a zinc casting. It worked great.
They are incredible science toys.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I tried to cool down the hotkeys on my keyboard by spilling icewater on it.

ragingloli's avatar

@LuckyGuy I added some links to pictures

Forever_Free's avatar

I have used Refrigerant based cooling for in cabinet computer cooling where a large chiller unit was overkill.

RocketGuy's avatar

Liquid cooling has been done before but it’s rather complicated:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immersion_cooling

Easier to use lots of air + clean heat sinks.

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