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Talk'n Talk'n Cool'n With Joe #4
Date Posted: Dec 10 2000
Author: Joe
Posting Type: Article
Category: FAQ's, Editorials, Q&A's
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Talk'n Cool'n With Joe #4 By: Joe

Welcome to Your Forum. I am going to use this as a Question and Answer area.  I receive e-mails every day about cooling this and cooling that. Well I am going to answer them :)  In the future please E-mail questions to CoolTalk@ProCooling.com . At some point There may be a web cast version also ( working out some details). Now I am NOT an expert or a person holding a PHD in physics, or thermo dynamics, so I may be a lil off, but the theory should be correct :) hehehe  If you have a PHD or just know yer stuff, and see me screw up some fact, please email me and let me know!

Sorry for the delay, been concentrating on DH3 and other stuff for the last month :)

Now lets get onto the Questions:

Q: How Does a Peltier Cascade, or "Stacking" work?

Talk'n Cool'n W/Joe Issues

A: Very Good.   Umm Well I am guessing more of an answer you are looking for is HOW as in what makes it work . OK Imagine you have 3 Peltiers "Stacked".  The configuration would be CPU || Cold Side of Pelt1 |HotSide of Pelt 1||Cold Side of Pelt 2| HotSide of Pelt 2|| Cold Side of Pelt 3 | VERY Hot side of Pelt 3|.   Now on the Hot side of Pelt 3 it will be REALLY HOT. and on the Cold side of Pelt 1 it will be REALLY COLD.  The way it works is pelts work like "Heat Pumps" and are literally SUCKING the heat from one side and trying to expel it on the other side. So Not only do you have the heat that running a Pelt generates ( lets say 100 watts) heating up the hotside of pelt 1, but you also have the CPU temp ( lets say 50 watts (ok so its not a AMD CPU :) being pulled through it. So Now we have 150watts of heat sitting on the back side of the Pelt.  The Second Pelt comes in and Cools the second side of the pelt only as far as it can.  So the second pelts Cold side is hardly cold. Its actually quite warm. With 150watts being pushed at it it can only pull 100 watts. So the surfaces have a bit of heat build up, but its still cool compared to the hot side. This increases the Temp delta to a lower temp for the CPU as the pelt is able to get rid of a lot of its heat  rapidly to the other pelt.. Now on the Hot side.. its VERY hot. Now you have 250watts of heat ( or the round about equivalent) to be dispelled.  The Lowly 3rd pelt actually is a 3rd wheel in all this. After about 2 pelts the efficiency drops A LOT.  the 3rd pelt cant pull the extreme heat the 2nd pelt is pushing at it but it can pull more then a normal water block could, But the sides are hardly cool at this point. By pulling the heat faster off the 2nd pelt it makes the 1st pelt run cooler, and in turn runs yer CPU cooler.  But the 3rd CPU is dispelling some AWESOME heat, just rough numbers say that 350Watts of heat is NOT far off.  You will need to strap a DAMN good copper water block and have a huge radiator.  Your CPU will be Colder by a huge amount compared to a single Pelt, but your power requirements have jumped 2 fold, and you have a problem with getting rid of all that heat. 

There is another way of running Pelts together, and that's in parallel.  This is actually a lot more efficient then the stacked setup, but you cant do it on socket mobo's that easy.  You basically make a big cold plate and have 2 or more pelts all on the surface the same way.  Have a big cooling block across all their backs and cool them all at the same time.

Q: Antifreeze? Worth it in my H2O setup?

A: Depends. Are you going to be running below Freezing? or just cooling the hot side of a pelt?  If you are going to be doing some 0F - 32F+ Deg Cooling ( hanging it out your window in winter)  Try using some of the LowTox Antifreeze but in a very mind dilution.  The reason I don't say just dump it in is cause the heat transfer properties of Glycol and Antifreeze is much lower then Water alone. So Adding some to water wont hurt it much, but adding a lot may.  Also Water Wetter has a mild version of antifreeze in it, just add some of that to your coolant and that should protect ya to around 10 - 15 Deg F.

Q: Copper Shims??? I am worried about cracking my Core!

A: Ok.. I have a sort of militant view on this. It is - If you cant seat a freak'n HSF straight and not crack your core, WHY ARE YOU OPENING YOUR CASE?!   Shims do one of 3 things for you:

  1. They obstruct your HSF/Block from sitting on the core correctly, and then you Burn up CPUs faster then Kyle @ HardOCP with a box of TBirds,and an 8 footed HSF
  2. Short or Damage components on the CPU
  3. Give you a FALSE sense of safety, when the chance they actually help you is slim to none.

LOOSE THE FREAK'n TRAINING WHEELS PEOPLE!  This is JUST like learning to ride a bike.. you don't know you can do it without the training wheels till you take em off and found that you prolly never needed them. You Center the HSF on yer CPU, hold it with one hand to keep it solid, and clip the clips onto the socket... Ohh that was hard.
A few FALSE claims that these things do that I have heard:

  1. "They Improve heat transfer" - BS.  If anything they help aid in condensation on the ceramic CPU parts by transferring the cold to the CPU plate.
  2. Extend the life of your CPU  - HA!   Dunno if you get a CPU with a Core a slightly different height, or a mal formed Shim.. yer Core wont be long for this world, either it will crack, burn, or chip.
  3. "It Cant hurt to use one" - please see above statements.

Welcome to the world of cooling folks, Keep the Retail HSF on the CPU if you want the training wheels, if you want to do it the right way and honestly, the SAFER way, just take it slow, watch what you are doing and BE CAREFUL, No amount of copper under yer HSF can make up for that.

Q: Can I water Cool my Notebook?

A: Sure!  Just get some small lines, an itty bitty pump, a small radiator, and a small fan. all set. Oh and a small water block :)  If you do, I wanna see it!  Already tried to get someone to water cool his PlayStation 2 for us :)

Q: Thermal Paste Removal, That cleaner paste out there any good?

A: Thermal paste is SIMPLE to remove, and MUCH cheaper then the "Specialty" or special  "Silver Removal Pastes" out there.  OK, Go to Walgreens, pick up a bottle of unscented nail polish remover that contains Acetone for like 2$. Or go to an Ace hardware wear and for like 10$ get a 1 gallon jug of pure acetone.  Put it on a Q-Tip and there you have it, a nice clean core!  No Gimmicks, it just works! ( I know that's pretty important to me.  Functionality before useless Frills.)

In MOST cases if you take a strong paper towel and your finger you can get rid of the majority of all the paste off the core, then just touch up with the Acetone.

Q: Orbage - Good Cooling for my 900Mhz AMD Space Heater?

A: Sure!, They are made to handle a Ghz TBird+ CPU.  If you are doing some insane or high end OC'n then maybe you should look at the Supper ORB but the Chrome one will work just Jim Dandy for your cpu!

Q: Air Flow in My Case? Do I need more coming in then I do going out?

A: You don't need MORE, but you should get close to even. Count up all the fans Blowing into your case ( normally in the front, or a blow hole or something)... find the CFM rating for each fan and add it up. Now take your Exhaust fans and add them up the same way. Subtract them from each other and what's ever left is your "Extra" or "Lack" of CFM. If your case has a big difference ( 50 - 100 CFM) then you are creating a negative/positive static pressure in your case.  If its Negative then that means your PS fan or something is performing FAR worse then it normally would. its actually having air sucked IN around the edges of the fan instead of all blowing out. It will also suck air through your CD/DVD ROM, Tape Drives Floppy's,  etc... contaminating them with dust more then normal. Running at a positive static pressure is a good thing, or better then the other way around. This way the hot air in the case is looking to escape any way it can..  But this will also contribute to Fan performance being less then it should blowing into the case. I would try and get it to within +/- 10 - 15 CFM. To keep the air flow true and your fans running at peak performance.  I am battle'n this beast with DH3 right now actually it had 290CFM coming in, and 350 Going out, so to keep everything running as good as it should I am reversing some fans and maybe increasing the size of a few.

Q: Which is better the lil Black hayden Radiators, or the Copper tube with many fins forced path setup? ( Not a real question.. I have been asked it before.. but I thought I would inject something I noticed over the past week on DH3)

A: All I have to say is "What are you using it for?"  For 99% of all uses I can think of the Lil Black radiators are by far better. BUT I found a flaw in them ( first one I have!). I found it this week when thinking about the coolant flow setup in DH3, and how I ran one of the radiators.   One of the Radiators is Facing DOWN, so the inlet and exit are toward the floor.  In Forced path it wouldn't matter at all.   But these radiators are multi path/Parallel setups where the water doesn't HAVE to travel to the top or all the fins if it doesn't need to.  The problem I saw was this :

If the Radiator is full of air before you fill it, and you pump water into it with it upside down, it will get SOME of the air out, but I would venture to say 1/3 of the radiator will remain air filled.  In the sort term you could just tilt it up while its filling for the first time, but that's not what I wanted to do. What I came up with was this - Tap a hole in the top of the radiator, and have a valve, then when you are filling, pinch the exit hose a bit, and open the valve.  The Water will rise and fill the entire radiator rapidly pushing the air our the top valve.  Once you see coolant, close the valve and leave it closed and sealed. release the exit hose and you are all set. Every 2 or 3 weeks you may want to just crack the valve quick to let any air that collects in the radiator to escape.

I have gone one step further and moved the exhaust fitting to the top of the radiator to make it so that the coolant MUST low through the entire radiator and out the top. More on all this in the DH3 write up in a week or so. Just wanting to give that FYI for anyone running one of these radiators UPSIDE DOWN ( so the nozzles are pointed at the floor.).

That's all for this issue, I'm bout to fall asleep :), Remember send in your questions to CoolTalk@ProCooling.com and get some answers! A Quick thanks to Chip at OCWC for some info on some of the stuff here.

Take Care,



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