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Overclocking was once considered a dark and forbidden art, but no more. Now overclocking is an accepted part of computer components. From the CPU manufactures across the board (bad pun intended) and ASUS has been at the forefront of that evolution with the ROG range of motherboards. Just as the hardware used for overclocking has evolved and developed so has the manner in which overclocking is practiced.

A very early Swiftech CPU waterblock

A very early Swiftech CPU waterblock

Back in the early days of overclocking it was immediately apparent that with increased performance came a corresponding increase in heat. Heat caused by the increased voltages needed to produce the higher frequency of the hardware being overclocked. At that time air coolers were the only options. Pioneers of that time developed the then radical notion of water cooling your CPU. For a while this was enough, but only for a short while. Even with new and innovative design idea and a rapid take up by the enthusiast market water  cooling would never be enough to satisfy the need for raw speed.

A more current Swiftech CPU water block: The Apogee XT

A more current Swiftech CPU water block: The Apogee XT

Folks tried all sorts of novel solutions and it was inevitable that sub zero cooling would be the next logical step either using mechanical means such as a electrical refridgeration unit modified or custom built to suite purpose.

A single stage phase change unit

A single stage phase change unit

Or how about this:

A CPU pot used by Youngpro 2006

A CPU pot used by Youngpro in 2006

Sub zero cooling can be achieved in many different ways. Our friends who live in very cold climates are able to have air coolers at sub zero cooling simply by opening a window. But that solution is no practical at all. A lot of fun possibly if you are wrapped up warm and snug. A far more elegant and universal solution was to use materials that are commercially available and can be used as and when required. Iced water was experimented with and used quite successfully back in the day and still is a very popular way of gaining a few extra megahertz without going the extreme route.

Unknown Iced Water Cooling Unit

The real leap forward in what can only be described as extreme overclocking came about when substances like Dry Ice and Liquid Nitrogen were introduced to the over-clocking scene. Just where the first Liquid Nitrogen benching session happened is open to discussion and debate but once the first drop had been poured the sport was changed forever.

A Kingpincooling CPU LN2 pot reflecting the evolving design philosophy on LN2 cooling

However with most developments or radical changes in how things are done, there are new situations or challenges that need to be overcome. Dry Ice or LN2 overclocking was no different. There are two main challenges. The first is condensation and water and electronics are not a good combination, the second are the effects of cold on other components. This guide will discuss the innovative and different ways people from all over the globe have managed both challenges.

A few hours of extreme cooled benchmarking. Image courtesy of HWBot.org

A few hours of extreme cooled benchmarking. Image courtesy of HWBot.org


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Comments

FireRx08-07-13 01:21 AM Reply With Quote
what about the condensation and pin rot that can develop in the CPU Socket? also that hole on the lid of the processor?
HiVizMan08-07-13 09:40 AM Reply With Quote
The key to the whole insulation thing is to make your seal around the cooler and the processor air tight. You do not want moisture that is transported in the air forming condensation. As to the pin rot (love the term) that is not an issue when you are going hard on LN2. As you break down your system at the end of the session. So no worries about that.

Pin rot is a new one for me. If there is water in the socket you will have shorts going on and that will result in your pins melting and fusing, or your CPU being damaged.

I was looking for this article the other day so thanks for pulling it out again for me.

Just out of interest did it make sense to you? And what would you like to see added or included, I did not put anything for SS or phase cooling for those who run their systems 24/7.
FireRx08-07-13 12:54 PM Reply With Quote
HiVizMan said:
The key to the whole insulation thing is to make your seal around the cooler and the processor air tight. You do not want moisture that is transported in the air forming condensation. As to the pin rot (love the term) that is not an issue when you are going hard on LN2. As you break down your system at the end of the session. So no worries about that.

Pin rot is a new one for me. If there is water in the socket you will have shorts going on and that will result in your pins melting and fusing, or your CPU being damaged.

I was looking for this article the other day so thanks for pulling it out again for me.

Just out of interest did it make sense to you? And what would you like to see added or included, I did not put anything for SS or phase cooling for those who run their systems 24/7.


Yeah it works well for LN2 usage and a good guide. However for Peltiers, and Phase Change where you using active cooling 24/7 the vaseline bath in the socket is a proven method for me to prevent condensation in and around the Socket, as well as the back of the board behind the socket. I use a hair dryer to soften /melt the vaseline to a liquid state, an seal the socket while installing the CPU. I works great on my current x-58 board that's been running 24/7 for 4 years now. LOL. learned a lot on the insulation thing. "Pin rot" came from the peltier /phase change era.
Praz08-07-13 01:04 PM Reply With Quote
The only way socket damage will occur with SS is with inadequate insulation. If the socket is isolated from the environment and the block insulation properly seals to the board condensation in the socket cannot occur. If a person is unsure of the sealing or the sealing application used does not provide an airtight seal than Vaseline or dielectric grease is a viable option although a bit messy.
alyraver08-08-13 10:34 AM Reply With Quote
For my chiller to be at 4c 24/7 I insulated my mobo using the guide shown. It helped a lot but one thing I thought was missing was the CPU block and fittings insulation method.

I too used silicone grease direct in the socket which will stop any condensation gettin in there and a big bang

However I have since stripped down my entire system again to properly insulate my mobo with silicone rubber rather than putty. I think the artists eraser I got wasn't good at moulding.
I then also added 2 neoprene layers on my mobo with only the space cut out for cpu block to fit.

The problem I had was that condensation was forming on the cpu block itself and causing the armaflex tape on my fittings to peel away. This was because I left areas on my cpu block uncovered and therefore condensation got in. I have now completely sealed my Ek cpu block using armaflex tape and silicone rubber to create an air tight space when its positioned on the mobo.

For my tubing I found that armaflex tape worked well too.

As for the hole on the cpu thing I too was concerned about it, but I assume as its in an airtight space its ok?
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