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Author Topic: Mineral oil submersion?  (Read 7878 times)
AlexWaters
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March 10, 2012, 08:30:25 PM
 #1

I have two 6950's running at around 50c on full load. They are water cooled, and it is fairly low maintenance.

My girlfriend would like to setup a mining/gaming rig, so I'm curious if I should suggest water cooling (like mine) or oil submersion.

Would I need to radiate the oil in order to keep the temps down? Does anyone have an oil submersion mining rig?

Other than the oil wicking up external components, and not submerging HDDs, are there any other tips/pitfalls?

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March 10, 2012, 08:46:48 PM
 #2

http://www.pugetsystems.com/mineral-oil-pc.php is very informative.

For a mining rig, you'll definitely need a radiator. For a gaming rig that isn't used more than a couple of hours at once it might work without one because the oil can store lots of heat.

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March 10, 2012, 08:52:31 PM
 #3

Mineral oil has quite poor thermal transfer capacity, google around about it and you'll notice it doesn't really work for computers at all.

If you see the load temperatures in that article it becomes imminently clear ...
Bubbles.... So basicly, they are moving the heat out with air

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March 10, 2012, 10:21:55 PM
 #4

Also, cables have great capillaries properties. After about 3 weeks, you may notice oil coming out the other end of your cat5, ect.

Ive noticed a few 5870 blocks around on the market. Thats where I would go if your going to water cool. Also remember that watercooling a rig is different that a gaming machine. 

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March 10, 2012, 10:37:41 PM
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Mineral oil has quite poor thermal transfer capacity, google around about it and you'll notice it doesn't really work for computers at all.

If you see the load temperatures in that article it becomes imminently clear ...
Bubbles.... So basicly, they are moving the heat out with air

So with bubbles I should expect oil submersion cooling to be on par with my water cooling? I'm not looking to keep my cards ice cold - I just want them beneath 60c (so that I can o/c) on load.

I could probably re-purpose an old water cooling rig to radiate the oil, or should I just add a bunch of bubbles?

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March 10, 2012, 10:46:08 PM
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Mineral oil has quite poor thermal transfer capacity, google around about it and you'll notice it doesn't really work for computers at all.

If you see the load temperatures in that article it becomes imminently clear ...
Bubbles.... So basicly, they are moving the heat out with air

So with bubbles I should expect oil submersion cooling to be on par with my water cooling? I'm not looking to keep my cards ice cold - I just want them beneath 60c (so that I can o/c) on load.

I don't think those bubbles were really intended as serious cooling, more as a visual effect. If you want to dissipate a lot of heat 24/7 (e.g. for mining) you should add a radiator (like they did at some point as well).

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March 10, 2012, 10:51:48 PM
 #7

And to my note about oil creeping up the cables, if you made a bridge deck to house your pump and rad setup, just connect your cables there and continue the connections on the top.

hmmmm, thinking about all this now.

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March 10, 2012, 10:55:04 PM
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Done oil before. Huge pain in the ass. Unless you like thai massage parlors.
I would stick with water, oil still needs to be circulated and it is very very very^12 very messy and inconvenient.

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March 10, 2012, 11:06:29 PM
 #9

Oil is not a good cooling solution even with radiators.
If you RTFA you'd notice they are running at near cracking point - the temperature where CPU simply cracks internally due to heat!!

Oil sucks as a cooling medium in this usage. (Infact, in almost any)

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March 11, 2012, 12:14:37 AM
 #10

So what about distilled water to keep this discussion in the spirit of the post? I know that its not a long term solution, but what are the pros and cons.


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March 11, 2012, 12:22:44 AM
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So what about distilled water to keep this discussion in the spirit of the post? I know that its not a long term solution, but what are the pros and cons.

Fried system? Cheesy

But i guess if you use enough of electronics varnish .....

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March 11, 2012, 12:25:42 AM
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So what about distilled water to keep this discussion in the spirit of the post? I know that its not a long term solution, but what are the pros and cons.
Salts will eventually leech in

It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.

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March 11, 2012, 12:49:32 AM
 #13

So what about distilled water to keep this discussion in the spirit of the post? I know that its not a long term solution, but what are the pros and cons.



As in submerge the cards in distilled water?  You will kill the system.  Period.  Distilled water has a very low conductivity but it soaks up ions from contaminants like a sponge.  If anything is less than clean room clean it will increase the conductivity of the DW and kill the cards.

There are fluids which are non condcutive are resist the absorbtion of ions but they tend to be very expensive (more expensive than using solid waterblocks and cheap ole distilled water).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iz4o3W6IJM

Some early super computers have processing boards which were submersion cooled.
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March 11, 2012, 01:31:55 AM
 #14

Oil is not a good cooling solution even with radiators.
If you RTFA you'd notice they are running at near cracking point - the temperature where CPU simply cracks internally due to heat!!

Oil sucks as a cooling medium in this usage. (Infact, in almost any)



Yup, oil cooling totally sucks.  It's just every power company in the world has no clue what they are doing.  I bet you could become a billionaire by selling them water blocks.

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AlexWaters
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March 11, 2012, 01:37:35 AM
 #15

Thanks!

It sounds like oil submersion is not viable for efficient Bitcoin mining...

Does anyone disagree?

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March 11, 2012, 01:55:01 AM
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Yup, oil cooling totally sucks.  It's just every power company in the world has no clue what they are doing.  I bet you could become a billionaire by selling them water blocks.

For this task it does.
Just because something works in another scenario does not mean it's a silver bullet for all scenarios.

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March 11, 2012, 02:04:48 AM
 #17

Oil is not a good cooling solution even with radiators.
If you RTFA you'd notice they are running at near cracking point - the temperature where CPU simply cracks internally due to heat!!

Oil sucks as a cooling medium in this usage. (Infact, in almost any)



Yup, oil cooling totally sucks.  It's just every power company in the world has no clue what they are doing.  I bet you could become a billionaire by selling them water blocks.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transformer_oil
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March 11, 2012, 03:16:45 AM
 #18

Oil cooling is good for all metal items.  It is bad when you add in some plastic items.  Some plastic items will degrade in oil.  It may take a month or a few months but something will go wrong.  It is good for show in computing but not for anything long term unless it designed from the ground up for that purpose.  I know of no computer parts 'rated' for oil.   There are a lot of plastic items in a modern computer. 

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March 11, 2012, 10:59:31 AM
 #19

Also the heat transfer rate sucks for computers which cannot exceed too much the ambient.
If you can have large difference on ambient oil works.

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March 11, 2012, 11:40:39 AM
 #20



Sorry, I just have to add on this that refined mineral oil submersion is being used to cool datacenter servers.

It is a workable solution.  If mineral oil was potentially damaging over long term to so many possible board components then they probably wouldn't be submerging rackmount servers in mineral oil baths.

http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2011/04/12/green-revolutions-immersion-cooling-in-action/


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