Submerging your PC in cooking oil seems like one of the worst ideas ever suggested, but it’s been done by the guys at Tom’s Hardware. Turns out that oil is a pretty good coolant, and as it doesn’t conduct electricity, won’t short out your components.
The associated Digg story links to a few other people who have tried similar things. My personal favourite is this one – in my opinion, he’s done a better job by avoiding the gratuitous use of silicone sealant and employing mineral oil to improve visibility and presumably reduce the chance of the oil becoming rancid. I also like the airbrick which sends bubbles up through the case.
I’m interested in trying something similar – I replaced my graphics card today and stuck the old card’s fan in a pot of sunflower oil. When I powered it up, it started spinning as normal, although silently and a lot less quickly. I’m not ready to rebuild my main PC in a fishtank full of baby oil, but I’m tempted to drag an old junk PC down from the loft and see how it fares as a silent, oil-cooled system.
Note that it’s unlikely that you’ll end up with a completely silent system – certain components such as the drives and power supply are definitely best kept out of the oil – but you can at least reduce fan noise and maybe even improve cooling at the same time.
Obviously, experimenting with cooling-by-oil-submersion is not without its risks – there’s a chance that you’ll fry (no pun intended) your system and/or end up with a pool of oil on the floor – but you can certainly have fun trying.
2 comments on “The Oil PC”
That story is ridiculous. It’s mad what people try. I sorta get the idea but still. I mean on BBC today was some researchers who claim to have bread fluresent pigs. crazy. And on Engadget was a toilet roll holder with an IPOD dock!!!
Anyway glad to see your keeping yourself busy barny with your own mad cap experiements. I got a good one you could try. Attach some pot puri to your computer case fan so that it blows a nice smell across your desk all day. :-) That was just off the top of my head but I bet if you searched google you might find somebody already tried it. :-)
Anyway I’m actually at work so should get back to doing something but since its a Friday I just can’t be bothered. I’m on Skype at work (hardhammy) if anybody wants to have a chat anytime since i’m sooo bored. At least I got your blog to read every day, nice one barney.
Hey, I’ll try and catch you on Skype sometime. Just checked out your site, it’s cool. One thing though – you can change the description of my site now as it’s not as out of date as it used to be ;)