Dry ice in combination with Custom Loop?!

Pasic

Weaksauce
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Dec 22, 2013
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Hi Yall,

I have spare Aquacomputer GTX Titax X ( 700 series ) waterblock. I was thinking (out side the box a little) what would happen if i added it into my custom loop, have it placed GPU side facing up inside tub and fill it with "dry ice" .

Thoughts ?

Added pic of the PC, PS 2nd strix is photoshoped in. =) I will be getting waterblock for stix just not sure if it is worth it yet.
 

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Zarathustra[H]

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You'd probably freeze your coolant, which would be bad.

You could get around that by using a coolant with a very low freezing point (antifreeze or something) but then you'd have to start worrying about condensation.

As soon as you drop the temp of your loop below the dew point, you'll start having condensation form on your tubes and blocks. This can also be dealt with but tends to be very messy. You can rub dielectric grease on everything to protect it, and insulate the hell out of your tubing.

Also, any below ambient gains your loop gets will be wasted as the radiators will heat the coolant right back up to ambient.

You'd also have to keep topping off that dry ice all the time.

Long story short, below ambient results are possible, but tend to be rather messy, labor intensive and costly to get working right, and are fraught with real risk of damage.

I'd recommend against this one.
 
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Like Zarathustra says, anything below ambient temps will condensate. May as well just pour cold water right onto your components and get it over with. (Same cooling effect and ultimate end result - pretty much guaranteed component death!) The amount of prep required to insulate everything when going below ambient is crazy.... Look up some videos of hard core overclockers using liquid nitrogen, it gets pretty intense... just watch how they have to prep. Just simply not worth it with dry ice. And again, it's not the dry ice that'll kill your rig - it's the water condensation from the air resulting from running sub-ambient cooled components that will do you in.
 
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Chapeau

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I think an easier way to achieve some serious cooling is to just pull a radiator out and drop that in a bucket. The massive thermal mass and greatly improved heat transfer will do wonders without going below zero.
If you dumped your dry ice into that periodically to lower the bucket water temperature you'd be fine.

Basically a more gentle variation of your proposal. Really, you'd just need something to moderate the temperature a little (instead of just dry ice) and to improve heat transfer ( the old block is only ok - not enough surface area).
 
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Pasic

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Thanks all! I'm glad i asked before spending more $. Damn condensation i never thought of it.

With the cooling of the 1080ti in particular, would there be any further performance gains if you could drop 45c celsius down to 20c celsius ? or pretty much you need LN2 to see any benefits. Stock is <70c celsius on strix under load.
 
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I think an easier way to achieve some serious cooling is to just pull a radiator out and drop that in a bucket. The massive thermal mass and greatly improved heat transfer will do wonders without going below zero.
If you dumped your dry ice into that periodically to lower the bucket water temperature you'd be fine.

Basically a more gentle variation of your proposal. Really, you'd just need something to moderate the temperature a little (instead of just dry ice) and to improve heat transfer ( the old block is only ok - not enough surface area).
BitWit Kyle did this on a video. The results were pretty impressive. More trouble than it's worth to me, but still cool.
 

Bandalo

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BitWit Kyle did this on a video. The results were pretty impressive. More trouble than it's worth to me, but still cool.

This works, but you still run into condensation issues once you start with sub-ambient cooling. You'd likely have condensation all along the lines and blocks back into the case, dripping on everything.
 

Bandalo

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Dec 15, 2010
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2,660
Thanks all! I'm glad i asked before spending more $. Damn condensation i never thought of it.

With the cooling of the 1080ti in particular, would there be any further performance gains if you could drop 45c celsius down to 20c celsius ? or pretty much you need LN2 to see any benefits. Stock is <70c celsius on strix under load.

Most of the testing I've seen on the 1080Ti don't show any gains once you get <40-45C. You can get max performance with almost any hybrid, AIO or custom loop.
 

Zarathustra[H]

Extremely [H]
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Like Zarathustra says, anything below ambient temps will condensate. May as well just pour cold water right onto your components and get it over with. (Same cooling effect and ultimate end result - pretty much guaranteed component death!) The amount of prep required to insulate everything when going below ambient is crazy.... Look up some videos of hard core overclockers using liquid nitrogen, it gets pretty intense... just watch how they have to prep. Just simply not worth it with dry ice. And again, it's not the dry ice that'll kill your rig - it's the water condensation from the air resulting from running sub-ambient cooled components that will do you in.


Well, you can go slightly below ambient without condensation, but it depends on the humidity level, and you'd have to be able to control the temperature pretty precisely. Go too low, and you get condensation.

You can use this dew point calculator to figure it out.

For instance, if you are in a 72F room, where the RH is 50%, you can go as low as 52F before condensation starts forming.

You'd probably want a healthy safety margin in there, and good controls, as the condensation can kill your system in a hurry.
 
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Gideon

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Just buy a water chiller and run no radiators if you want sub ambient with water. But condensation is a real issue, no matter how well I prepped I killed every motherboard eventually when I used phase change cooling. Granted the last board lasted 2 years under it but it still managed to find a way to eat the board. One of the reasons I stopped trying sub ambient and my modded phase change unit sits in a closet.
 
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