Here’s why this computer is submerged in clear oil


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There are many ways to customize a PC because there are tons of ways that you can build one. Everyone knows the classic air cooled PC setup, and for the more privileged people, there’s water cooling. However, I bet you’ve never heard of a mineral oil cooled PC.

 

credit: pureoverclock (PC demonstrating how air cooled PCs work)

credit: pureoverclock
(PC demonstrating how air cooled PCs work)

 

Water cooling involves pumping a sealed liquid within flexible tubes

Water cooling involves pumping a sealed liquid within flexible tubes

 

Now keep in mind, submerged PCs aren’t something you should use as a daily driver. It’s more of a fun do-it-yourself project. While there are some thermal advantages, it isn’t the best solution for overclocking situations. If the oil reaches above 50°C, it can lead to some serious tank failures (due to the constant heating and cooling of the tank). So it is not recommended to overclock or put extremely hot hardware into the oil. In addition, you can’t put mechanical components in the liquid.

A hard drive, for example, will move much slower and in turn the read and write speeds will be reduced (assuming the needle didn’t move off the platter first). More problems that come with submerged PCs is that mineral oil tends to creep upwards. So filling a tank to the very top with the liquid can cause the oil to reach and damage the cables. Mineral oil also “eats” rubber and will cause it to wear away (it eats thermal compound too).

Changing parts will also be the bane of everyone’s life, especially if you get mineral oil on any cable as it will make the cable stiff and you could pretty much snap it like a Kit-Kat bar.

You’re also probably wondering why this even works in the first place. Well, pure mineral oil is non-conductive which means it does not have the free electrons necessary to conduct electricity. Imagine it to be like thick air, even though it looks like water.

 

Where can I get this?  Due to the impracticality of submerged PC gaming and low demand (and awareness), not many manufactures even make this type of PC. In fact, I think only one company has made it so far. Unfortunately…well..just read it yourself:

 

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LinusTechTips made a video on the kit which you can view here:

 

How Submerged PCs Work

 

1. Submerge components

Standard computer components are submerged in mineral oil. The mineral oil is non-conductive, so the electronics do not short out.

credit: reddit.com/1fshtb

credit: reddit.com/1fshtb

2. Transfer heat to oil

Heat generated by the PC is transferred into the mineral oil at a rate over 5 times better than air.

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3. Dissipate heat

The mineral oil is pumped through a radiator to dissipate the heat into the ambient air.  Oil is great at holding heat but terrible and getting rid of it.755912_o3c28

 

 

So that’s what submerged PCs are and how they work. Since no manufactures makes this (none that I can find anyway), it’s really up to you to put it together yourself. So read up on thermodynamics and the chemistry of mineral oil, enjoy! Also, there’s no real benefit from this except that it looks super cool. And no, you can’t put fish inside of the tank, you fish killer.