Sunday, September 6, 2020

Mad Scientist

 I have my old PC I built in 2004.  It still runs awesome (it has a copy of Windows Vista that I don't boot into).  Recently, the memory crashed, so I ordered some new RAM for it.  While it was out, another project I've been procrastinating started.  I wanted to quiet it down a bit so I started working on my liquid cooling setup.  First, I got all the parts together and started assembling :

My first implementation had the liquid split before each CPU.  I'll tell you in hindsight that this is a bad idea.  I was lucky enough to not have the system fully installed before I realized that.  If the liquid splits, one of those tubes could have an air pocket that prevents liquid from flowing there.  That means you'd have one CPU not getting cooled.  Again, bad idea.  Here it is, replete with a ton of air pockets that I could not clear out because of the arrangement :

My second iteration cycles just fine.  I pipe one quad-core CPU output as an input to the other CPU.  Yes, that second CPU will run hotter.  But with the speed of the liquid, it should be minimal.

Once I validated that I have a functioning closed-loop on the liquid, I started looking at the wiring.  I need to power all three fans on the radiator, and I need to power the pump.  That means I need a molex splitter and a molex-to-3-fan adapter.  Those have been ordered, and should arrive some time this week.  Once those arrive, it will be time to actually bolt it all together.  I need to bolt the radiator and the pump to the chassis, and then I can find a way to anchor my ugly, cheap reservoir (yes, that reservoir is a pickle jar with one tube extended all the way down to pick up the water/additives).

Again, I don't care how this one looks - I'm not going for "style" points here.  If I did, I'd have used a red-dye instead of a blue one.  It is simply a proof of concept before I do the other liquid-cooling setup.  That one is also an older machine (again, a 2003 dual CPU [each being a quad-core Xeon]).  That one is specifically intended to be a work of art.  Reservoirs will be glass jars with custom lids and fittings turned on the lathe, copper and brass manifolds all out in the open (no chassis other than a carbon fiber back plane to hold it all together, think "exposed steampunk").  I am getting close to crossing that one off my list since I'm now taking my first steps.

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