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-   -   CPU Cooling Senior Project Advice (http://classroom.all-science-fair-projects.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2067)

mbengtson 07-19-2006 05:29 AM

CPU Cooling Senior Project Advice
 
Hello! Thank you for looking at this; I'm struggling here.

I was wondering if you would mind giving me some advice on a high school science project. The project is based on heat conduction and CPU water cooling.

I am interested in CPU cooling, and wanted to relate it somehow to my year-long senior science project. I have arrived at several problems concerning this project, however, and would appreciate any advice you could give me.

CPU water cooling is meant for PC enthusiasts who "overclock" their processors. Overclocking is done primarily to increase the performance of the CPU so that, say, a $200 CPU acts like a $350 one; faster. There are drawbacks to this practice, one of which being increased heat output. Normal computer fans simply aren't a practical solution, as this increases noise and energy consumption. I'm not sure whether or not water cooling is more efficient yet; I will have to research how much a computer normally costs (electrically) to run with fans vs a water pump.

Water cooling is one alternative to the fans that are typically used in home PCs. The WC (watercooling) system consists of tubes, a water block (that allows the coolant to run across the surface of the CPU to draw heat away via convection), a radiator, and a pump.

What I will be testing will be the coolant chemistry. The coolant consists of one part water (majority), and one part something else (ie bleach, soap, antifreeze). I will be testing different proportions/mixtures of the water + additive and record the results (temperature) to hopefully come up with a conclusion regarding which mixture is most effective.

The goal of my project is to demonstrate how WC can be a safe, sound, and efficient way to cool overclocked PCs. I would possibly propose a solution regarding school computers. The PCs the school buys run along the $1,000 range. If they built their own computers and overclocked them to provide the speed needed for school applications such as Mathematica, the price tag could possibly be reduced to $600 or maybe $500 per computer, and the water cooling would allow for completely silent operation of the lab.

One problem I have encountered is the sophistication of this project; Do you think that this could be considered a high-school senior project?? I am worried that it will come across as being too simple. Although the testing process will be tedious, it is, in fact, quite simple. I will be cleaning the tubing of 5 computers that I have, and testing each coolant twice on each computer, yielding 10 data per coolant. It will be time consuming as well,
as the computers will be ran for 1 hour under each coolant, so that's 2+ hours per coolant. Does this seem viable to you?

My father suggested that I wouldn't learn anything from this project. I think I will; I will be learning the thermal properties of liquids, and how different chemicals effect the heat conductivity of a fluid. Do you think that this is enough? Thank you SOOO much for your time and help!!!!

Mik

dreamerofeternity 07-20-2006 06:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mbengtson
Hello! Thank you for looking at this; I'm struggling here.

I was wondering if you would mind giving me some advice on a high school science project. The project is based on heat conduction and CPU water cooling.

I am interested in CPU cooling, and wanted to relate it somehow to my year-long senior science project. I have arrived at several problems concerning this project, however, and would appreciate any advice you could give me.

CPU water cooling is meant for PC enthusiasts who "overclock" their processors. Overclocking is done primarily to increase the performance of the CPU so that, say, a $200 CPU acts like a $350 one; faster. There are drawbacks to this practice, one of which being increased heat output. Normal computer fans simply aren't a practical solution, as this increases noise and energy consumption. I'm not sure whether or not water cooling is more efficient yet; I will have to research how much a computer normally costs (electrically) to run with fans vs a water pump.

Water cooling is one alternative to the fans that are typically used in home PCs. The WC (watercooling) system consists of tubes, a water block (that allows the coolant to run across the surface of the CPU to draw heat away via convection), a radiator, and a pump.

What I will be testing will be the coolant chemistry. The coolant consists of one part water (majority), and one part something else (ie bleach, soap, antifreeze). I will be testing different proportions/mixtures of the water + additive and record the results (temperature) to hopefully come up with a conclusion regarding which mixture is most effective.

The goal of my project is to demonstrate how WC can be a safe, sound, and efficient way to cool overclocked PCs. I would possibly propose a solution regarding school computers. The PCs the school buys run along the $1,000 range. If they built their own computers and overclocked them to provide the speed needed for school applications such as Mathematica, the price tag could possibly be reduced to $600 or maybe $500 per computer, and the water cooling would allow for completely silent operation of the lab.

One problem I have encountered is the sophistication of this project; Do you think that this could be considered a high-school senior project?? I am worried that it will come across as being too simple. Although the testing process will be tedious, it is, in fact, quite simple. I will be cleaning the tubing of 5 computers that I have, and testing each coolant twice on each computer, yielding 10 data per coolant. It will be time consuming as well,
as the computers will be ran for 1 hour under each coolant, so that's 2+ hours per coolant. Does this seem viable to you?

My father suggested that I wouldn't learn anything from this project. I think I will; I will be learning the thermal properties of liquids, and how different chemicals effect the heat conductivity of a fluid. Do you think that this is enough? Thank you SOOO much for your time and help!!!!

Mik


This is more complex than some of the high schools projects, definitely. It's really how far you want to take it. I'm sure you can think of other ways to do this experiment. For example, you can test for the optimized amount of WC you're using, or other optimizations, or different conditions, etc.

It would work out, don't worry. :D

mbengtson 08-30-2006 04:38 PM

All of the formulas I have found so far are way too advanced for me. I'm not sure what to do. AHHHHHHHH *smashes head into wall repeatedly*

mcnaryxc 09-14-2006 09:43 PM

I understand the project and I think it's great, but you gotta understand what's going on with the world now. I mean, I am a computer builder and understand what you are trying to do. I know the computers the school buys aren't cheap, but water cooling isn't what the school is looking for. The schools don't overclock the cpu's anyway because of the computer's warrenty they get with Dell or other companies. Water cooling is new technology, but Intel and AMD are coming out with cpu's now that have a smaller architecture and create less heat. Going form 90nm to 65nm and smaller. These create less heat. Right now, I run a P4 640 3.2ghz w/HT and 64 bit on and sure, it creates a lot of heat. But what I did was buy a big copper heatsink. It costs half the cost of water cooling and does its job really well. The only problem with this is that it heats up my whole case and makes my room 5 degress warmer. If you could figure something out that was cheap and makes cases cooler and doesn't take up a lot of room, it would be great. Heck, id buy it. But keep in mind, air cooling is at least half the cost or less of water cooling. Good luck!

mbengtson 09-15-2006 04:17 PM

Thank you for your time. I think I will be doing something with synthetic coolants and trying to obtain the desirable thermodynamic properties with such coolants. DaAAnKs!!!

dreamerofeternity 09-16-2006 06:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mcnaryxc
I understand the project and I think it's great, but you gotta understand what's going on with the world now. I mean, I am a computer builder and understand what you are trying to do. I know the computers the school buys aren't cheap, but water cooling isn't what the school is looking for. The schools don't overclock the cpu's anyway because of the computer's warrenty they get with Dell or other companies. Water cooling is new technology, but Intel and AMD are coming out with cpu's now that have a smaller architecture and create less heat. Going form 90nm to 65nm and smaller. These create less heat. Right now, I run a P4 640 3.2ghz w/HT and 64 bit on and sure, it creates a lot of heat. But what I did was buy a big copper heatsink. It costs half the cost of water cooling and does its job really well. The only problem with this is that it heats up my whole case and makes my room 5 degress warmer. If you could figure something out that was cheap and makes cases cooler and doesn't take up a lot of room, it would be great. Heck, id buy it. But keep in mind, air cooling is at least half the cost or less of water cooling. Good luck!

We would really want you as a mentor. Do you want to apply for trainee mentor?

mbengtson 09-16-2006 08:44 AM

My whole idea behind this project has changed significantly over the past day or two. Instead of water-cooling (thank you for all of your help potential mentor guy), I am now interested in superconductivity. I am not sure exactly how it works, but it is very interesting. I was thinking of possibly 'fooling around' with some synthetic chemistry and possibly come up with a low-level superconductor, but I have absolutely no idea how this 'synthetic' process takes place. How difficult is it to join ions in predetermined patterns? I would like to re-make some of the current superconductors and then try and develop an understanding of how it all works. Is this, iyho, a better idea?

Thank you!


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