Blog home  >  PC cooling system - back in the day and my latest design
PermalinkSubmitted: 5:56 pm on Jan-30-2015By: fatedev.com
I have been designing and building cooling systems for computers (not just PC) for about 18 years. My use of technology is way before this but real personal computing with the 386 MHz opened the doors to the mass market and so the real PC component companies boomed.

Way back when really learning about PC cooling there where some of us playing with water cooling at a time when most people had no clue about computers let alone advanced cooling systems. The price of these set-ups or building your own at the time was crazy and as a student I didn't exactly have a money tree. What I did have was my own place to live and obviously that includes fresh running water.. and so I began designing a new system to water cool my 500 MHz CPU and a Sapphire Radeon card which I cannot remember by now but either way I had water cooling heat sinks for both.

I used a 100 litre bucket which had a fresh water intake directly of the water mains at a super nice 12 degrees Celsius, this had a solenoid value which only opened when the temperature of the water exceeded 18c. An overflow pipe ran to the drain and that is the entire system for nice cold water without fans. Next the actual system used an aquarium jet pump to pump the water to the CPU then GPU and back to the bucket. The pump was essentially noise free and so was my system with no case fans. At the time we over-clocked but I again don't remember specifics but I do remember how we all played with the "newest" games running the best they could without lag and no screen artefacts.

Playing with cooling set-ups after that was also fun but it went weird for a while with oil and other crazy set-ups until eventually returning to regular heat-sinks and fans. A bit like fashion it keeps going in circles.

The problem

For the last 3 years we have had really hot summers which has peaked my computer to new temperature heights even limiting use of the system during really bad days. The issue is the location of the room in relation to the sun which we get all day almost and so this year I'm taking a pre-emptive approach and building a new case now while it is still cold.

My solution

The plan is have no case fans which will be 2 less than what I have now. Next the primary issue is not the total heat but the devices which create the most heat, those being essentially the CPU and generally hard-drives. So the design must place the HDD outside of the case and attempt to disperse as much of the CPU heat outside of the case instead of out of the top.

Next I step away from the conventional box shape design which is pretty inefficient and instead look to make use of the natural law of physics to aid cooling. So the new case changes width half way up to compress air flow up the case, this creates an Venturi effect increasing the speed of the air. Additionally I can make use of the heat being created from the Hard-drives above the case which itself forces hot air up which in turn pulls colder air from below up. This vacuum effect if carefully placed will assist in literately sucking air inside the case out without the use of a fan.

There are many more important elements to the design in order for it too work as I intend but the final project page as always will show step by step photos with explanations as a finished product.

Until then!