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Idea for 2 Stage Water/Alcohol Cooler for use in new Ryzen build

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ChernobylCool

New Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2017
Location
Florida USA
New poster here, i did my best to see if there were any previous threads that were along the same idea as this. So I wanted to get your input on what you think of this. So With Ryzen coming out next month I was going to do a new build in a primarily tempered glass case, with kindof a biohazard/radioactive theme to it, but since I know the 95W (made by AMD the heat masters of the computer world) part plus the two GPU cards I will have in it (I have to see if the next gen ATI stuff is better than 2 GTX 1080 in SLI). The thing is going to throw off a lot of heat.

Okay so here is what I was thinking, I want next to no noise level, and no ambient heat coming from the computer itself which is going to sit next to me which and I don't want the side of me facing my computer to start sweating as if I am becoming a slow roasted turkey. So for the silence factor and overclockability I want to water cool, furthermore there is a window directly next to where the CPU will sit so to further reduce the noise (or atleast make it further away) I was going to do an external radiator and place it outside. However I noticed a few bottlenecks in this plan. As I live in Florida it rarely gets below 70°F (21°C) and usually is somewhere between 80° - 90°F depending upon the time of the year, so those ambient temperatures are waaay to hot to support any type of efficient cooling. Wrench in my plan... I think not... so my next idea was to use the radiator in a bucket of circulated water but i quickly realized this water will quickly be bottlenecked by the fact that it will hit the ambient outdoor temperature and further be heated by the radiator losing any cooling benefit.

My current idea is to run the radiator into a deep chest freezer in a bath of isopropyl alcohol that will have a current maintained by a fish tank pump, and I could use the top of the chest freezer as extra counter space in my outdoor cooking area. I could throw a secondary radiator into the alcohol loop but that might be overkill as I think the sub zero temperatures of the freezer will chill the alcohol to an adequate level.

So some issues I can foresee happening with this build is
A.) water will be being ran into the freezer if the computer (and pump) is turned off will the section of the first stage coolant in the freezer freeze?
i.)i could rig a separate power system for the pump and leave it going all the time so it will decrease the amount of time the coolant is exposed, kind of like leaving a faucet on in the winter. However will this lead to the first stage coolant being chilled to sub ambient temperatures and condensation
B.) I could also add a small percentage of alcohol to the water in the first stage loop to the point where it will have an antifreeze like effect, but how will this affect the cooling performance of the cooling loop.

It is an ambitious project, and feel free to shoot holes in my idea, offer suggestions, or ask questions.
 

knoober

Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2015
It seems like anti-freeze (like you put in your car) might be a valid solution. I went and did some quick google just to make sure it wasnt a completely bad idea, and it seems to be debatable by those that are knowledgeable in water cooling.

The main resons for debate seem to fall into 2 categories :
1) computer do not experience extreme heat or extreme cold like an engine does : therefore antifreeze is overkill

2) apparently (and Im just believing what i read here, you will have to do your own checking) water has the best specific heat: meaning that it works best for removing heat from your loop.

Good luck! :)
 

Lochekey

Senior Pink Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2015
Let's start with the chest freezer. Long term use of the chest freezer well not work as the compressor in the freezer is not designed to handle this type of heat load.

The second issue with going sub ambient is condensation and truthfully for a 24/7 rig the pain of dealing with a condensation problem is not worth it.


Your idea of an external rad is a good one and you have 2 options. Put it outside in the shade and go extra large on the radiator to help with the high ambient heat. Just be aware that if it gets cold and freezes it will burst. The other option is to keep it inside and just move it away from the area of your computer desk. Once again If you go with a large radiator you it will allow you to run slow fans and keep the noise level down while maintaining good cooling.

I would look at either a Phobya Nova/Supernova radiator or a Watercool MO-RA3 radiator. Either will be large enough to suit either application I mentioned above.
 
OP
ChernobylCool

ChernobylCool

New Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2017
Location
Florida USA
After doing some more research it became rapidly apparent that chest freezers are indeed not optimal for this sort of usage, and I like your idea for the oversized rad. i don't think i will have to worry about it freezing I live in the southern part of the state and in my lifetime the temp has gotten to the low 30s only a handful of times. but I guess i could just leave my computer running overnight if it ever does get that cold. I would shudder to think if i was putting a tarp and a space heater near my rad like it was some sort of azalea bush

- - - Updated - - -

I think that you can't use actual car antifreeze because it is Poly Ethylene Glycol and that will react with PETG tubing if you use it
 

knoober

Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2015
This is more of a question for the water cooling gurus than anything else but might be helpful for the OP: is there anything about standard WC components that rules out a geothermal loop? My idea is to bury the radiator a few feet down and skip the fans. I am just concerned that a standard radiator would not expel enough heat if buried rather than having airflow pass over it.

As far as the ethylene glycol is concerned : you could be right, but it was suggested in side reading that commercial pc coolants all contain ethylene glycol as well. My water cooling days are FAR in the future though so I've got time to investigate before putting that claim to the test. It doesn't seem like you are going to use antifreeze, but if you head that direction be sure to do your homework :)
 

Lochekey

Senior Pink Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2015
There are multiple options for antifreeze agents but unless you are going that route I will save that for later.

As for the geothermal loop, it is an option but burying a standard radiator will not work and component design will need to be slightly different. You will normally want to get it a few feet below ground level as well though. Some municipalities have strict guidelines on burying a ground loop though due to ground water problems so you may want to check into that if you go that route.
 

Alaric

New Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2011
Location
Satan's Colon, US
I thought we had a member who has or had a geothermal loop set up? I want to say Mandrake4565 or Johan45 but I'm not positive on that.
 

GTXJackBauer

Water Cooling Senior Member, #TEAMH20HNO
Joined
May 22, 2011
Location
USA
A former member does have a thread here on geothermal but it's gonna be a PITA, unless someone want's to do this as a project and deal with all the regulations and labor needed.

I agree with Lock on the idea of just getting a external rad, as already posted and keep it either in the same room or in a different room. It will dissipate the same amount of heat if not more efficiently.

I almost forgot to ask, do you not have A/C? It would surely help, as long as you're not pumping the coldest A/C air to the rig which might cause condensation, dependent on your dew point.
 

Conumdrum

Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2007
Location
Small town Emlenton, PA
The geothermal loop he made worked well. It was a few $100 in tubing alone and he dug a ditch many many many ft long with a backhoe maybe 6' down. Then cutting a hole in the wall with all the fittings etc. He did a very good job.
 
OP
ChernobylCool

ChernobylCool

New Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2017
Location
Florida USA
A former member does have a thread here on geothermal but it's gonna be a PITA, unless someone want's to do this as a project and deal with all the regulations and labor needed.

I agree with Lock on the idea of just getting a external rad, as already posted and keep it either in the same room or in a different room. It will dissipate the same amount of heat if not more efficiently.

I almost forgot to ask, do you not have A/C? It would surely help, as long as you're not pumping the coldest A/C air to the rig which might cause condensation, dependent on your dew point.
That geothermal idea sounds interesting, but as I rent the property I live at i don't think the land lord will appreciate all the concrete i would have to sledge up and the permits i would have to pull to get the job done, not to mention here in FL we have a very high water table and you can hardly dig 6ft before your hole fills with water, I saw something today on Linus Tech Tips where he did an external rad outside the house, given his project was a bit more ambitious as he was water cooling 5 different PCs on a whole room circuit, and he also lost functional use of one of the bathrooms in his office. But it worked! (He is also in Canada though)
. So I do run AC in my house, (Aside from when I was in the military, I've always lived in FL. I was really surprised when I found out some houses up north don't even have AC systems) I keep it around 76°F (24°C) in the house we do have high relative humidity usually between 60-90% here, so the glasses of sweet tea sweat almost instantaneously. but I've never had an issue. Even when I have kept my house in the 60s before, I haven't had issues with things on the inside of the house forming condensation.
 

GTXJackBauer

Water Cooling Senior Member, #TEAMH20HNO
Joined
May 22, 2011
Location
USA
If you can keep a 20c-25c ambient temp, you'll get great temps under load, of course dependent on the kind of loop you assembled. Are you on a budget, etc.?

So it looks like you're going to go the normal custom water cooling route like everyone else after all.

Have you read up on our intro to water cooling stickies? Granted you might have some ideas on how this works but there might be some things left out.

Also, have a look at other simple custom water cooling builds. Most house everything inside the case. Might want to research first what kind of H20 gear you'll need to cool said components while keeping things quiet and than go case shopping to house them all in properly unless you're looking to go external.

Here's a great intro video I like showing new comers.

 

Thick8

Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2015
Geothermal is not really a viable option in S. Florida.
Condensation is a real concern down there as well. It can form on a glass of tap water left out in the shade. Nasty humid both outdoors and indoors.
If you didn't mind the relatively quiet hum of a window A/C unit you could do an inexpensive ducted case build. You wouldn't need a water system and there would be no condensation worries.

BTW: Current, not former member http://www.overclockers.com/forums/showthread.php/759850-Journey-to-geothermal?highlight=geothermal
 
Last edited:

Alaric

New Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2011
Location
Satan's Colon, US
Especially south Florida. I grew up 20 minutes west of Ft. Lauderdale (20 minutes driving took you a lot farther west of Ft. Liquordale in 1970) and 3 feet was closer to where we hit water digging. The iron content won't do your heat exchanger any good, either. Imagine all the brown stains on the houses from the sprinklers between the fins of a radiator. That's no good.
 

Mandrake4565

Mr. Clean Senior Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2012
I thought we had a member who has or had a geothermal loop set up? I want to say Mandrake4565 or Johan45 but I'm not positive on that.
Not I, I do use the radiator out the window trick during the winter months for benching purposes. Though, as said this isn't a viable option for South Florida. As mentioned above, even if you were able to get sub-ambient temperatures outside compared to inside condensation would be constant battle. I agree with Lochekey going with a large radiator such as a "Phobya Nova/Supernova radiator or a Watercool MO-RA3 radiator." seems to be your best option. If you get a set of really good fans you would likely not hear them at all. The only issue is the heat will be dumped inside the room you're in unless you can place the radiator in another room/basement (if there is one).
 
OP
ChernobylCool

ChernobylCool

New Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2017
Location
Florida USA
Yeah it will be a serious plumbing project to get it into another room with any sort of wife approval factor. But I am up to the task. Unfortunately down here due to the high water table, we generally don't build basements in our houses, and also we build our houses on concrete slab for the most part (I have seen very few houses with a built in crawlspace in FL). So if any piping needs to be run to go to another room it would have to be through the attic. So I will design something up, I'll post some pictures, and sketches of the design if you guys are interested, as I go through the steps of getting it done. later this week I was going to order all my parts for the Ryzen build but I want to have more of the cooling solution hammered out before I actually get choose some of the internal loop components.
 

GTXJackBauer

Water Cooling Senior Member, #TEAMH20HNO
Joined
May 22, 2011
Location
USA
I'm not sure I'd put the rad in the attic since they usually have warmer air up there as opposed to the rooms with cooler air unless cooler air is circulated through there.