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Using Radiators to Cool CPUs

CmdrTaco posted more than 13 years ago | from the well-I-guess-that'd-work dept.

Hardware 245

dan writes "Overclockers Australia have a review up of the CPU Radiator Zen, a new approach to cooling your toasty CPU's. Rather than taking the traditional approach of a heatsink with lots of fins and a noisy 7,000rpm fan it uses radiator/heat pipe technology. The implementation of the unit is a bit flawed, but it is interesting to see where the technology is heading.. and if it can be done right I personally think this is where it will end up."

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fierce postage! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2533080)

i keep typing slashdot.orgy

first post (-1, Offtopic)

O'Bunny (325700) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533081)

First post? Really???

Silent? (3, Interesting)

chrysalis (50680) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533083)

How silent is this? It's cool for overclocking, but if it's silent, it could also be very cool for music makers.

Re:Silent? (2, Informative)

Chakat (320875) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533215)

It looks like its still farily loud. It's got two fans on it, so it's going to make a good amount of noise. Unfortunately, it's not the fanless system I was hoping for when I checked it out.

Plus, it looks like its not good for OCers. The device is very poorly designed, and busted caused damage to both the CPU and Mobo.

The Turd Report 11/07/2001 (-1)

The Turd Report (527733) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533086)

I had crab rangoons from Manchurian, in Herndon. They were wonderful. I had them with some green tea I had bought from Chinatown, in DC. This morning, my turds were an unusual color. They were green, bright lime green. It did not take much to get the turd out. It just slid right on out with minimal pushing. There was no smell, which I found to be odd. I will rate this turd a 7.

On a side note, I would like to talk about Bathroom Etiquate. There are a few cow-orkers who do not know these rules. The first is: Don't take the stall next to another person, if it can be avoided. That middle stall is the buffer stall; consider it to be no-man's land. Second rule is: Don't talk to the person in the next stall. Taking a dump is a time for thinking and meditation, or excremeditation, as I like to call it. Talking disrupts the thought process. The third rule is: Keep the grunting to an absolute minimum if there is another person in the stalls. Nothing worse than hearing some fool trying to take a big dump and grunting like a pig.

Re:The Turd Report 11/07/2001 (-1)

Guns n' Roses Troll (207208) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533140)

Those new frozen drinks from Burger King turn your shit green for a week. I can't find the URL now but there is a health webpage out there with documented cases. It's not fatal but I'd be a bit concerned if I was shitting neon.

Re:The Turd Report 11/07/2001 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2533179)

True-dat on the rules.

When I was in college, guys would come in and have a frickin conversation with you! Jesus christ! I'd always say "I'm concentrating on something here, would you shut up, or should I concentrate on rubbing it in your nose?"

I'd have to take dumps in the middle of the afternoon when everyone was in class.

The bathroom stall (or the "Thrown" as I like to call it) was the only place I could understand Physics.

-DFW : Banned, damnit.

Re:The Turd Report 11/07/2001 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2533213)

You mean "throne" ?

Re:The Turd Report 11/07/2001 (-1)

tt2k1 (532907) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533290)

Too bad the "Thrown" didn't help you understand English.

Re:The Turd Report 11/07/2001 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2533184)

Bathroom Etiquate

I hear you, man.

It's really annoying when some co-worker takes the next stall and strikes up a conversation with you. Hell, what the hell is wrong with these people? Taking a dump should be an anonymous act, not something you advertise -- especially if you can't keep it quiet (grunting, lots of gas or splashing).

Girls taking a dump (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2533221)

At my university the bathrooms for men and women are usually separated only by a thin prefab wall that's pretty much transparent when it comes to sound.

I don't know if I'm just fucked up but listening to these girls next door grunting while taking a dump (and all those "plop!" sounds don't make it any easier) really screws up my sex drive. Every time I see a gorgeous girl I can't help thinking about her grunting...

Obviously I've never been in a steady relationship. I guess you guys who have managed to move in with a female have gotten over this.

Retarded Mods (-1)

The Turd Report (527733) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533216)

I know saying Retarded Mod is redundant, but none the less... Who was the fuckwit that modded this as (-1, Offtopic)? It is already at -1, cuntstain! No wonder Slashdot is going down the shitter.

Re:The Turd Report 11/07/2001 (0, Informative)

neal n bob (531011) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533250)

amen to that. People are ignorant of the rules all the time here. Lucky for me there are a lot more women than men in my section of the building. There is a nice safe haven bathroom - it has an open window to the outside so it is very serene. But there is one guy who I swear forces himself to take 2 craps a day - grunting, stanky odor, the whole production. I usually try to do a fly by - if it is clear, I go take care of business. One time I went in while he was there - he was in the middle of a pause and I did not know it was him - then right as I sit down he starts grunting and groaning again. A tip for you kids - forcing one out is bad for your colon. You don't need to wait until it is poking its head out but you should not have to force it - you need to eat more fiber.

another way to do this (1)

avandesande (143899) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533088)

take a large copper cloth flat grounding wire, and attach to cpu. take the other end and attach to case. noisless cooling.

Heat Capacity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2533094)

I'm really surprised we dont see this method more often, and from OEMs. Given that water has the highest heat capacity of just about anything, this only makes sense. Look for more water cooled systems in the future.

Re:Heat Capacity (3, Insightful)

stilwebm (129567) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533165)

Several reasons why water is not commonly found in computers. One, water an electricity do no mix well. Two, it is very expensive to make the many parts required to keep water in the cooling system, keep it flowing, and still allow it to exchange the heat with air. By very expensive, I don't mean hundreds of dollars per CPU, but considering that a heatsink and fan combo are very inexpensive to manufacture...

Re:Heat Capacity (2)

sphealey (2855) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533209)

already been done? I do believe that one of the Cray models had a 'liquid cooled CPU', or something to that effect. I never saw the specifics on how it was done, if it was just the CPU, or if it was the whole machine being cooled that way.
For suitable values of "commonly", I guess. Mainframes (which probably process the majority of the world's bits, even today) have been water cooled since the 1960's.


Re:Heat Capacity (3, Insightful)

gorilla (36491) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533344)

Actually mainframes went away from water cooling, starting with Amdahl in 1979. Nowadays even IBM's highend mainframes are air cooled.

Re:Heat Capacity (2, Insightful)

pbur (88030) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533244)

IIRC, *pure* water doesn't conduct electricity. It's all the crap found in freshwater that make it conduct.

laptops already have this, no? (1)

emg178 (304822) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533099)

don't laptop's already have this?

Re:laptops already have this, no? (2, Informative)

x-ntric_one (534889) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533172)

I know that there is a company called Thermacore does it for Dell laptops. I have been able to play around with their heat pipes and they are amazing. I believe Thermacore does product for any laptop product higher than a C600. So to answer the question.. YES! Are there anymore company's like this besides these 2?

not really news (1)

akad0nric0 (398141) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533104)

Althought I don't have a link, I know they've done this as far back as the first pentiums. If I recall correctly, this was the ONLY way they could get the very first [then] brand-spankin-new Pentium's to work.

great story! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2533249)

why don't you just shut up you freeking dink?

Noisy Fans? (3, Insightful)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533105)

a noisy 7,000rpm fan

Maybe I'm just an old-school style computer guy, but is fan noise really that big of a deal? My computer is in an infants room and it doesn't wake up the baby (counterstrike pumped through 4 speakers does, but that's beside the point). Honestly, who has a huge issue with fan noise?

And why always complain about CPU fan noise? Doesn't the fans in the power supply make more noise, anyway?

Re:Noisy Fans? (1)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533122)

Another thing...
By looking at the pictures, it appears that the "radiator" is replacing the heatsink, and they still have fans on top.

Re:Noisy Fans? (2)

melquiades (314628) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533127)

I'm just an old-school style computer guy, but is fan noise really that big of a deal?

I don't think it has anything to do with being "old-school style" -- apparently you're just not a musician! Those of us who do musical work with our machines half the time and have hyper-sensitive ears the rest of the time find fans quite irritating.

Doesn't the fans in the power supply make more noise, anyway?

Not in my laptop! :) It's soooo close to silent, but darn, if I could just squeeze it down a few more decibels....

Re:Noisy Fans? (2)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533175)

Try working with a fanless desktop computer -- e.g., an iMac -- for a while and then go back to your regular desktop. See what a difference it makes. Fan noise never used to bother me until I got an iMac at home; now sitting down at my desk at work bothers the hell out of me for the first hour or so, because I'm always aware of the noise from the CPU. And I'm convinced that even if one isn't aware of it, the constant background noise harms productivity.

Not that it harms productivity as much as posting to /. when one should be coding, of course ... ;)

Re:Noisy Fans? spanking monkey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2533207)

You need it to be quiet so you can listen for people who might interupt your monkey-spanking session.

Re:Noisy Fans? (1)

yorgasor (109984) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533222)

I've got a GlobalWin fan for my Athlon that runs about 7k RPM, and when that sucker is on, you know it! My computer didn't use to be nearly that loud, and the power supply noise doesn't come close to touching it (and I have 2 power supplies in my case).

I would just _love_ to tone down the noise a bit, especially because I have two computers with this fan in my living room. When company is over, the noise does get a little annoying when you're trying to have a conversation.

Health Issues (5, Informative)

squaretorus (459130) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533246)

There is a documented link between low level noise and hearing and stress levels in those spending long times exposed to them.

The hum of a fan, whatever it is cooling, is often at a level that you might strain to hear clearly. It is these levels that can cause hearing strain. This is similar to eye strain when you need glasses and can give you monster headaches.

Many articles in New Scientist, among others, have covered this - normally relating to office environments.

Symptoms can be migranes, and a persistant ringing / humming sound when you are in a silent room / trying to sleep. Its worth checking out if you feel any of these because the long term stress levels can be harmful.

I don't know if its a problem for babies - but I know the effects are magnified many fold if you are exposed for long periods, i.e. all night. So I wouldn't leave the machine on 24/7 even if the baby doesn't seem bothered by it 'just in case'.

Re:Noisy Fans? (2)

bstrahm (241685) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533254)

The answer is obviously YES...

When I left my last company I had a dual Xeon system (3-4 fans if I recall) and a bunch of network switches, other boxen, etc. each with their own fans...

When I powered down when I left, I was SHOCKED at how quiet my cube got... I just keep a laptop in my cube now and use X/SSH/etc. to get at the "real" work machines that are elsewhere... I love the quiet.

Re:Noisy Fans? (2, Interesting)

Peter Dyck (201979) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533288)

is fan noise really that big of a deal?

Fans make noise. Period.

I'm one of those individuals who are simply driven mad by excessive computer noise which means that anything over 50 dB is intolerable. In fact, some time ago I sold my 600 MHz Duron PC because I couldn't stand the noise the CPU fan alone made. A CPU fanless Sun Blade 100 with a low rpm hard drive was heaven after the previous noise polluter (the power supply still makes noise, though). I'm quite content with the trade-off I had to make between computer speed and noise.

I still blame the CPU manufacturers for ignoring the heat problem (=noise problem) at the altar of unnecessary performance, though.

Re:Noisy Fans? (1)

L-Wave (515413) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533295)

oh how nice it would be to underclock my fan to ten rpms... *sigh* =)

Re:Noisy Fans? (1)

moored2 (456923) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533325)

That is why I have my computers rack mounted in a closet at home. Now if I can talk the wife into mounting an air conditioner in the closet.

You said it yourself... (2)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533327)

Your babe tolerates certain levels and sleeps through others.

For her (him?) it's Counterstrike. For others it's the fan on the CPU. For other's it's the whirring of the CDRW drive.

Me, I use a PowerBook because I *love* silence. I listen to my music *quiet*, so when the CPU or PS fan is louder than my music, I have issues.

My *new* PC is an 800MHz Celeron with a low speed fan and a 140W PS in order to supress noise. Tradeoffs of power and heat for noise and performance.

Has this... (2, Informative)

rmadmin (532701) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533110)

already been done? I do believe that one of the Cray models had a 'liquid cooled CPU', or something to that effect. I never saw the specifics on how it was done, if it was just the CPU, or if it was the whole machine being cooled that way.

I also remember someone else (Penguincomputing?) having the '1st commercial liquid cooled PC', which was a 1.6 Ghz(2x800Mhz) Dual Athlon.

Either way, its really cool to see this same technology replicated for private use.

Re:Has this... (2)

sphealey (2855) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533198)

already been done? I do believe that one of the Cray models had a 'liquid cooled CPU', or something to that effect. I never saw the specifics on how it was done, if it was just the CPU, or if it was the whole machine being cooled that way.
That's one of the most famous design hacks in computer hardware history (although that statement itself is a bit unfair, given the percentage of high performance hacks directly attributable to S. Cray): the entire processing section was submerged in liquid Freon, several hundred liters worth. There was a glass section so you could look in as with an aquarium, too.


Re:Cray (1)

xcjohn (64581) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533256)

yeah, cray has their "waterfall" system. Basically just letting liquid flow over the processor. And they look insanely cool.

Submerging circuit board in an inert liquid (5, Insightful)

melquiades (314628) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533112)

I remember seeing years ago on public television somebody demonstrating this amazing liquid which, I believe, was called "chlorinert". It looked and behaved more or less like water, but it was completely nonconductive. The guy demostrated by plugging in a lamp, submerging it in the liquid, and screwing in a bulb while it was submerged. It was pretty amazing.

They mentioned its possible application to CPU cooling in supercomputers -- the idea was that you would actually submerge whole circuit boards in the liquid, while pumping it through a conventional refrigeration unit. Heat sinks be damned!

Apparently it never caught on, though -- I can't find anything about it online. Even mighty google just says, "Did you mean 'chlorine'?" I think it was incredibly expensive; perhaps that's the reason.

Re:Submerging circuit board in an inert liquid (2, Informative)

Sir_Real (179104) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533142)

It was called Flourinert actually, and the reason it isn't used is that at high temps it turns into musturd gas... ;)

Re:Submerging circuit board in an inert liquid (1)

archen (447353) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533326)

it's actually sort of scary when you think about what would happen if a building full of computers using this suddenly started on fire. Instead of your normal fire, you have a simulation of a WWI battlefield and haz-mat teams evacuating everyone in the area.

Re:Submerging circuit board in an inert liquid (5, Informative)

Raptor CK (10482) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533159)

You mean Fluorinert? [google.com]

I remember seeing an overclocking/cooling experiment with this somewhere. Cool stuff, until it turns to mustard gas.

Re:Submerging circuit board in an inert liquid (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2533237)

It's also very expensive. Several hundered dollars a gallon. You'd probably be better off just buying a faster processor.

Re:Submerging circuit board in an inert liquid (2, Informative)

xcjohn (64581) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533229)

you may be thinking of flourinert. This is actually used. I remember seeing a setup down at the San Diego Supercomputer Center that cooled itself by litterally passing flourinert over certain parts. iirc they called it, simply, a waterfall... and was on one of the Cray's

Re:Submerging circuit board in an inert liquid (1)

rschwa (89030) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533255)

expensive, on the order of $500/gallon. I saw a thing where some guys immersed a celeron 500 in a flourinert bath intercooled with liquid nitrogen, clocked it up to like 1.2 gHz, but they got the wrong spec flourinert, and it gelled on them. My wife works at 3M, I keep bugging her to gank a couple of gallons for me so I can try it ;)

Re:Submerging circuit board in an inert liquid (2, Informative)

rschwa (89030) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533277)

aha! here's the link:
Wacky flourinert fun! [octools.com]

Re:Submerging circuit board in an inert liquid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2533284)

CFCs behave this way ("florinert" may be some brand name for a type of CFC). They are used very commonly for cleaning circuit boards, electronics, etc, because they are non-conductive and don't react much with anything.

Until, of course, they are disposed of, when they begin to wreak havoc on the environment. CFC use is becoming more and more restricted, due to environmental concerns. Ozone layer, anyone...

Re:Submerging circuit board in an inert liquid (1)

dbc (135354) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533286)

This was done on the ETA 10. The circuit board was submerged in refrigerant. The magic is not the coolant, but the circuit board technology. You have to be able to insert/remove the circuit board without the different thermal expansions rates of the various materials causing the circuit board to de-laminate and the components to sproing all over the place. (Now I feel old -- this is a ridiculously old technology... and I worked on a *predecessor* computer.. sheesh. "Gramps, over and out.")

Re:Submerging circuit board in an inert liquid (1)

liquidsin (398151) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533329)

There's no need for expensive, difficult to find chemicals. Mineral oil serves the same purpose (won't fry your computer), and can be cooled to some ridiculous temperature (it's still a liquid at -40 C). Check this [go.com] out for a story (first one google spit back at me, but there are many others)

Future visit to computer shop (5, Funny)

Chairboy (88841) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533114)

Me: "My computer has been making a strange sound."

Computer Mechanic crawls under my computer, then slides out a few minutes later and wipes oil off his hands with an old shop towel. "Looks like your radiator fan has lost a bearing. I can replace it, but I also have to put on a new belt. The old one is almost wore down. Also, you need an oil change. These new Septium-6 processors can really eat up an oil filter quick, and the color of this stuff is pretty dark now.

Me: "Boy, I remember when computers were so simple, I could just pop off the case and swap out components on my own."

Computer technician: "Ok gramps, whatever you say. You just sit yourself down out in the lobby and I'll have Betsy ring you up once I'm done. Shouldn't take more then a couple hours. Oh, and the tread on your network connector looks a little thin, can I suggest a new pair?"

Fuck it (-1)

Guns n' Roses Troll (207208) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533115)

I tried to get the first post but the fucking phone rang. Stupid customers.

Not the first time. (2)

TagrenHawk (19856) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533116)

This is not a new idea. This has been done before [wizard.com] .

Re:Not the first time. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2533242)

read the article - it's not the same thing you STUPID FUCK!

That is a vapor phase refrigeration system (2)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533302)

i.e. a refrigerator- that's extreme and a commercial company does the same thing (Kryotech). That is not the same thing as a phase change heat pipe and radiator (The device referred to in the article)- it's moving the heat, but it can't get the chip below ambient.

The vapor phase system CAN.

Radiator=water=dangerous! (1, Interesting)

Andreas(R) (448328) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533125)

In most cases, using a radiator means pumping water into your computer. And THAT is one big source of trouble. Just imagine what happens if one of the pipes cracks, or if a joint falls off!

And, my Athlon 1,5Ghz will instantly boil any water because it's ONE HOT MAMA!

Next time read the article- you'll look better. (2)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533273)

They're using heat pipe technology to move the stuff about- that doesn't mean water. Furthermore, radiators do NOT mean water is involved- alcohol or ethylene glycol work rather well in radiator applications (which is why I keep wondering what these people are thinking when they run liquid cooling systems with water.

Re:Next time read the article- you'll look better. (2)

cloudmaster (10662) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533322)

Water has a higher specific heat capacity than ethylene glycol, and therefore is better for transferring heat. The antifreeze in your car's radiator system is there to 1) stop the water from freezing, expanding, and breaking your engine/hoses/radiator and 2) to keep the aluminum parts from corroding.

Don't believe me? Drain your car's radiator, then fill it up with pure antifreeze. Your car will now run much hotter than it did before, I promise.

Alcohol, on the other hand, would be fine, I guess - as long as you keep it away from fire and stuff.

Hell, *I* know... (3)

legLess (127550) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533126)

I know where it'll end up: just like Reason in Snow Crash. Boxes will be nuclear powered and you'll have to have the heat exchanger immersed in water the whole time or it'll melt down.

In all seriousness, I do think this is the way things'll go. Remember all those air-cooled Volkswagen buses? Remember how people bolted radiators onto the side of them so they wouldn't explode in hot climates? Air-cooling will only carry you so far, especially with dinky little fans. For serious cooling you need serious metal-to-metal heat exchange.

Great (2)

British (51765) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533132)

Great, at this rate, we'll have tricked out computers a la The Fast and the Furious

Re:Great (-1)

Guns n' Roses Troll (207208) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533181)

That movie is disgusting. A bunch of rice boys with 20" chrome wheels, 4' wings, tin can muffler tips, and stickers plastered everywhere. Those stupid fucks couldn't tell a distributor from a pushrod.

Re:Great (-1)

tt2k1 (532907) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533337)

True dat. I wouldn't even have that much of an issue with the "looks fast == drives fast" methodology, if these dumbfucks actually had some sense of taste. But they don't. All around DC I see riceboys with kanji stickers, aerofoils of mismatched colors, and headlamp covers, lowered to an inch off the ground and thinking they're the shit. I mean, how can they not see how stupid their cars look?

Meanwhile, they get their asses whipped by stock Dodge minivans because they know nothing about engine tuning, aerodynamics, transmission adjustment or driving. I have to put up with these riceboys swerving all over the road thinking that they're playing Gran Turismo on the way to work.

Oh, I almost forgot the Mark of the Rice: the big loud muffler! "It doesn't matter if my car is fast, as long as it sounds like I have a big engine!" Aha ha ha ha ha ha ha...

These fucktards are an offense to humanity. Every time that I see some 16yo reading a "street racing" (hahaha) magazine and bitching about his rad Civic, I just want to fucking kill him.

Re:Great (2)

Leven Valera (127099) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533267)

Great, at this rate, we'll have tricked out computers a la The Fast and the Furious

"Well damn, you might have pulled 2 MFlop on me, but you have to remember I've got half the MHz of your Dell in this Hewlett Packard."

"So why'd you put an P4 sticker on it?"

is overclocking really necessary these days? (3, Insightful)

El Puerco Loco (31491) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533135)

it was cool when you could jack a celeron300a up to 450mhz and have it run faster than a pentium 450 at less than half the price, but with most processors today you're looking at maybe a 5 or 10 percent gain and maybe a 20 or 30 dollars in savings. the savings is nil when you have to buy a fancy cooling solution to keep running

Cool. Or rather, it will be when they perfect it. (2)

Anton Anatopopov (529711) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533136)

Wow, this is sort of based on the same principle as refrigerators and airconditioning units. It looks like it will be extremely effective at cooling down an overclocked CPU.

As someone who has never overclocked my CPU, I have nothing but admiration for those brave souls who risk destroying their hardware, and being prosecuted under the DMCA all for the sake of a few extra MHz. It is this pioneering spirit which shows why time and again hackers (not crackers) are at the cutting edge of computer technology.

I pity the poor tech support person at CompUSA when someone brings one of these suckers in for repair though. Looks like it will need a plumber as well as an electronics wizard, and we all know how expensive that can be :-)

Heat pipes have been in use for a long time (4, Interesting)

Sara Chan (138144) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533141)

I've got a 1998 Twinhead [twinhead.com] laptop that uses heat pipe technology for cooling. The laptop also has a fan, which almost never goes on, due to the heat pipe. (It was for the quiet fanless running that I bought a Twinhead.)

Twinhead advertising claims that their heat pipe technology is patented. I've no further details and couldn't find anything relevant on their web site.

Buy Windows XP. Give Bill Gates even more of your money.

I still like the homemade jobs (2, Interesting)

Count (107594) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533143)

Not that they are all practical but man they look so cool.



Images, Images. (1)

programic (139404) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533145)

This is causing me to have "far-side-comic" images of people with their sleeves rolled up in their offices, peeking under the "hood" of their desktop machines, with steam bellowing out of them.

"Just let it cool down for a few minutes, and start her up again."

Ever driven through the desert.

Re:Images, Images. (1)

einstein (10761) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533275)

"Just let it cool down for a few minutes, and start her up again."

you laugh, but I had a programming class in highschool where we worked on a bunch of 486DX4 100 MHz machines... with no air conditioning. On hot days towards the end of the school year, we couldn't compile our programs if the machine had been on a while. it was so hot the system was too unstable, but if we turned our machine off for a few minutes after coding, but before compiling, and we compiled immediately after booting, the program would compile...

Where "it" will end up (5, Insightful)

Jeffrey Baker (6191) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533149)

No this is hopefully NOT where it (CPU cooling technology) will end up. Ideally, it will end up with CPUs that consume less power and give off less heat, can withstand higher core temperatures, and can more efficiently transfer heat outside the core. Slapping a vapor refrigerator onto the CPU is the opposite of elegance.

Re:Where "it" will end up (2)

markmoss (301064) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533248)

It's not a "vapor refrigerator" but a heat pipe. It's non-powered, except for the fans that blow air through the radiator part of it. You could eliminate the fans by making the radiator larger.

Cost/performance ratio doesn't sound so good though. ($85 for cooling 10 degrees C better than an ordinary heatsink/fan, and not quite as good as the best performing (and enormous, I suppose) HSF's. Heat pipes are NASA technology, and there are few cost-effective applications on Earth. But if you really want a _quiet_ Pentium 3 or 4 system, your choices right now seem to be either immersing the motherboard in liquid, or a heatpipe to carry the heat out to a big fan-less radiator. Or else run non-bloated software on a CPU that doesn't need extreme heatsinking...

um, guys? (1, Insightful)

b0r1s (170449) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533150)

I agree that this is cool, but come on now, why are we posting stories about something that doesnt yet work? Can't we wait until it 1) works well (the page states that other high performance heat sinks with large fans outperform it), and 2)doesnt damage the chips (We first tested the Zen Radiator, then the PAL 6035, and finally the MC462. After the first run we thought it a good idea to run the test again with the Zen Radiator in order to verify our results. This turned out to be a bad idea. The installation was again rather painful. Again a lot of pressure and time was necessary until we finally managed to connect the Zen Radiator with the socket. After powering up, the OS did not boot. To make it short: when mounting the unit on the socket, we had damaged the CPU. Chunks from all 4 corners of the die were broken off.)...

It's cool and all, but if this were software, it would surely be beta. Do we really need beta announcements? (*cough* mozilla *cough*) ...

Old Idea? (1)

Archanagor (303653) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533152)

Hasn't this been done before, or is it just a different means of water cooling?

No matter how well-sealed they say it is, I don't trust water flowing around my machine. Call me old-fashioned, but...

Like the Beetle vs Water-pumpers (1)

betis70 (525817) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533153)

A similar change was seen in the auto industry - moving from air-cooled engines like the VW Beetle to the water-cooled VW Rabbit/Golf. I don't know of one air-cooled car left in production, though we still have air-cooled motorcycles (Harley) *sigh* But those Bugs were so easy to work on, and now I have to bring my GTI in to get hooked up to a diagnostic computer ... anyone have a Linux hack for this? Heh heh, talk about voiding warranties ..

Re:Like the Beetle vs Water-pumpers (1)

TheDick (453572) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533285)

Some high performance cars are still air-cooled. They aren't common, but they do exist. I think Porsche? was making one not too long ago....

Basically it was the next thing coming. (2, Informative)

BuBu_ (72690) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533156)

Well guys if you sat down and read the article all the way through and saw what was going on you could basically understand that this isn't that much of an innovation, just tweaking an already proven practice. People have been using water cooling for years, and basically this just takes water coolings model and just makes it self-contained (at least how I understood it) the only flaw that they are going to run into is keeping the coolant cool at all times which will be hard since in water cooling setups there is a return pipe to the cooler/recycled water..

Over all I give em two thumbs up for at least tweaking a proven practice, but then again they need some more work to really get the idea going.


"Why, when I was your age..." (0, Offtopic)

Embedded Geek (532893) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533158)

BEGIN Old_Codger:

Can't help remembering the original (128K & 512K) Macs. No fan. I worked at a third party shop in high school and we did a land office business replacing blown flyback transformers in the Summer - dang things had a manufacturing flaw and dropped like flies. Inveitably, I was able to sell the customer a fan, either a pizeoelectric, completlely internal "butterfly" one or the traditional "hole in the case" one.

The irony, of course, was that the new flybacks didn't have the flaw and, although its always good to have a frosty CPU, the fan's value was questionable.

END(Old Codger)

Other reviews (4, Interesting)

alewando (854) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533162)

Other sites have also reviewed the Radiator Zen SCR325-2F:

The reviews are all favorable, but it's not clear whether this is simply because the reviewers are blinded by the "hey, it's neat!" factor, or whether the Radiator Zen SCR325-2F actually has a legitimate technical advantage. But hey, it is neat, so I can't blame them.

Re:Other reviews (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2533253)

You really have to wonder about the ability of the reviewers. First they forced the cooler down onto the CPU when it obviously wasn't fitting properly, second they destroyed PCB traces while doing it. Idiots. All you need to run a hardware review site is a web page and plenty of time on your hands, skill 100% optional.

good looking but... (1)

frankmu (68782) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533167)

ouch. the article mentions breaking both the mother board and the cpu while installing this unit. that, plus the expense of the cooler itself makes it a very expensive overclocking job.

i'll stick to my alpha's

Watercooling is great... (1)

XRayX (325543) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533169)

A Friend of mine just bought a complete set from Aqua-Computer [aqua-computer.de] for his Athlon 1.4 Ghz. It's now running 1.6 at 30C constantly.
The radiator doesn't make any silence, but the other fans in the tower still do. Okay you can also cool CPU, Notrhbridge and GraphicsCard with one radiator, using Cupley and Twinpley, but the Towerfans still is noisy.
You can build a realy quiet PC with it, but it's very expensive (my friend paid around 400$)

Re:Watercooling is great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2533301)

what the hell does this have to do with anything?

Less Power consumption has been the answer (1)

snatchitup (466222) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533176)

We ask why isn't this currently in use? The simple answer is that the pace of innovation in the chips themselves far outpaces the demand for newer cooling methods. Sure the newer chips generate more heat, but we're talking millions more transistors, but now each of these transistors in generating far less heat.

They gave it a positive review? (2, Informative)

512k (125874) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533177)

and it physically broke their CPU and their mobo..if it were me, I wouldn't have anything positive to say about it.

Also reviewed... (5, Informative)

Daniel Rutter (126873) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533180)

...by, ahem, me, as part of my monster cooler comparison [dansdata.com] .

The Zen review is on page four [dansdata.com] .

And don't forget... (1)

Tharsis (7591) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533190)

And don't forget to water your computer every now and then. Also, they say talking to your computer will make it go faster.

Nice page design (0, Troll)

ryanvm (247662) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533193)

This is totally offtopic, but what kind of moron writes a web page with a black background and grey text?!?

If anyone went through the trouble of reading this article, let me know what it says.

Over Clocker Cooling Comedy? (2)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533195)

What comes to mind was that article about the blokes who stuffed their computer into freezer. I can't find the link right now.

But I can imagine that this would be the logical conclusion of this development trend.

With the engineering and all, it might be just easier to dump everything into a vat of freon in a deep freeze some place.

or just make a refrigerated rack system.

This is the link you're thinking of (2)

Yarn (75) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533310)

Project Eunuch [totl.net] from the Temple ov thee Lemur.

It is a joke.

Terrible design (1)

DragonWyatt (62035) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533199)

Ok, so the basic premise is sound: build a heat pump to move the heat away from the CPU.
But they screwed up nearly every design decision they had!
  • Poor clearances on the baseplate;
  • incorrect dimensions on the mounting clips;
  • Plastic mounting clips! (AMD meltdown badness, anyone?)
  • Shoddy construction (the evaporation unit "floats" in the CPU assembly, for example, instead of securely attached)
no thanks.

so it would work! (2, Interesting)

xcjohn (64581) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533204)

I had used this same basic idea in a project about 2 years ago in a computer project. I've still got the 3d models for it too. My partner for the project and myself were told to design a computer for a specific market and come up with design, info, and a marketing pitch. Let's see if i can find the model.... ha! found it! http://lenin.nu/~jwhite/graphics/gallery/comp [lenin.nu] . basically we had coolant being pumped through a specialized heatsync, through a set up copper coils with fans next to each coil drawing the heat away and pumped back through the heatsync. I always wanted to see it actually implemented.

This would be great... (2, Insightful)

daemonc (145175) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533252)

...if it hadn't DESTROYED their CPU and their motherboard.

Mr Coffee motherboard (3, Funny)

BrentRJones (68067) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533265)

Now for sale: The Mr Coffeee motherboard. (Patent Pending.) Yes it works well, but only on processors over 400 MHz. Makes up to 6 cups per hour.

Retailer and investor inquires welcome.

Who really care? (1)

Racher (34432) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533278)

You know, not to be an annoying b*tch or anything. But, stick a heatsink and fan (if required) on your cpu. Keep it cool.

Otherwise it's like, I spend 16 hours and over $300 dollars creating the custom case rig with liquid oxegen flowing past every heatsink in my case. Now instead of 45 deg. C I get it down to 42! Shut up already.

I've never had a cooling problem, worried about my heatsink falling off and anything like that. My 1.4 AMD is at 53 c under full load, after being clocked to 1.533 it's now at 55c. That is well within acceptable limits. I don't have a moded case, or many fans, I have a powersupply, and a fan on the heatsink.

Some people need to get a life and stop worrying about cooling their cpu down one little degree more. sheesh!

Re:Who really care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2533318)

No one here is worrying. The same things go one with cars. No one really cares about the extra performance, its just for bragging rights.

Besides, everyone knows for proper cooling you use water-cooled peltiers.

not really a new idea (2)

cr@ckwhore (165454) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533279)

The idea of using radiant cooling isn't really a new concept in computing... people have been using radiators with liquid cooling implimentations for quite a while.

K.I.S.S. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2533319)

Why not just shrink-wrap your entire CPU and toss it in the freezer? With a small hole in the freezer's side you can run extra long cables and an external CD-ROM to any room in the house. Need to reboot? Then it's time to cook a frozen pizza.


Been used in servers for a long time (1)

Saidin (105994) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533330)

They have been using these things in big servers for awhile now. Not because they perform better, but because you don't want the reliability problem of "What if my fan dies".

A family scene ten years from now... (0, Offtopic)

marijnm (454978) | more than 13 years ago | (#2533338)

"Son, it's so cold in the house"

"But Mom, I don't want to play quake8 again!"
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