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Air Conditioner for your tower?

  1. Aug 17, 2012 #1


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    I am always looking for the right combination of cooling products to keep my system frosty and in my digital travels I have encountered a wide variety of fans, heat sinks and liquid cooling units. Now perhaps I have just overlooked them but why has no manufacturer ever come out with a micro air conditioner for the average tower case? fans can only do so much so why has no one tried something to drain the heat more efficiently? I used to have my tower in the basement which was poorly insulated and as a result during the winter the room was a refrigerator. as a result of *that* the internal temperature of my case was about 73f/23c.
    the same setup with the same cooling system at my office runs at about 104f/40c.

    seems that keeping environment cool would be a lot more effective then blowing air on the chips. so why have I never seen this? would an A/C unit produce too much humidity to be safe inside a tower case or is it simply too expensive to produce an A/C on such a small scale? or have these things been out and I am shouting at the rain for nothing? ;)

    The setup I personally use is an AMD Fx-6100 with a mid tower case, I use 4 120mm fans postioned at the bottom of the case blowing inward to produce positive presure. there are two 120mm vents at the top of the case for the exhaust.

    I would love to hear what you folks have to say and would love to hear what kind of cooling solutions you use.

  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 17, 2012 #2


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    Gold Member

    I've seen a couple of people that has hitched their pc / server up to an ordinary A/C unit however I reckon there probably is a limit on how small an A/C unit can be made and remain both cost and energy efficient without being too loud.

    There are a couple of different below ambient cooling systems for cooling pcs.

    The first and most extreme would be LN2 which is used by benchmarkers trying to get the highest GHz out of their cpu but is totally impractical for normal usage.

    Then there's Peltier heat pumps which basically are a small flat bimetallic plate that gets hot on one side (which you attach a regular watercooler or air cooler to) and the other side gets cold (which you attach to the cpu's IHS)

    Finally there's phase change systems which work like the cooling system in your fridge with a pump and condenser to circulate and cool a coolant liquid.

    I think the main reason that A/C isn't as popular is probably because of the humidity as you meantioned because any below ambient cooling in a pc can cause condensation inside the pc.
  4. Aug 17, 2012 #3
    That's the reason I've always heard. Once you start having to deal with water condensation it's time to just submerge the whole thing in oil or some other nonconductive coolant which has the added benefit of being much quieter and capable of protecting the entire system in extreme environments such as dusty factory floors or whatever. You might be able to deal with condensation from an air conditioner, but the cost/benefits are questionable.
  5. Aug 17, 2012 #4


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    I've seen people build air-conditioners to cool their CPUs. There is always the problem of condensation, but that is taken care of by insulating the pipes. I think they're also pretty dang loud. They are also very expensive.
  6. Aug 21, 2012 #5


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    Staff: Mentor

    While I'm aware that that's what people say, it just isn't true. Everything inside the case is equal to or greater than the temperature of the chilled air being blown in, so no condensation can form inside the case. The outside of the case is cooler than your room air, so it is the outside of the case where condensation would form. But you can prevent this by:

    1. Ensuring the supply temperature of the computer AC unit is higher than the supply temperature of your house AC unit.
    2. Mixing a little bit of ambient air in with the computer AC air before it goes into the computer.
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