The more powerful your computer, the better cooling it will need; electronic components heat up to alarming levels when you’re running the latest games, to the point where the hardware may be damaged. That’s why any self-respecting gaming computer has a well-designed airflow, with fans located in strategic locations; in addition, liquid cooling, consisting of an external radiator connected to the CPU or graphics, is gaining a lot of ground in recent years.
Of course, adding fans brings with it a great nuisance: noise. It is not pleasant to turn on the computer and it seems that a helicopter is flying because of the number of fans it has. The new processors, more and more efficient and with manufacturing processes that already reach 7 nm, will alleviate this problem a bit, but the real solution may be to put our computer in liquid.
An alternative method of cooling your PC
Ojo, finish reading this article before running off to put the computer under the tap. We are not talking about any liquid, of course, but about the Novec range developed by 3M. These chemicals are designed to safely dissipate the heat produced by the components of our computer.
Of course, Novec products are not something new. In 2017 they already surprised the world with a demonstration of what they were capable of; but now they have given another twist to this project, with the assembly of a small computer inside a liquid tank.
The computer has been created by Conny Larsson, an engineer at 3M, and demonstrates what future computers using these products for refrigeration could look like. The important thing is that, unlike previous demonstrations, this system is small enough to be used at home; it is not much bigger than a normal computer, and above all it looks much more shocking.
How this liquid-immersed computer works
The key is that the liquid developed by 3M has a very low boiling point; in the case of the Novec 7100, it is 61 ºC. As we see in the video, as soon as the computer starts to work bubbles form in the areas of the processor that produce more heat; at the top of the tank this vapour condenses and the liquid falls again. That’s why the system needs an external radiator, although it seems small enough not to be annoying.
Of course, the liquid is not electrically conductive, so it is possible to submerge the entire base plate. This also brings the benefit that all the components of the motherboard are cooled; for example, the VRM which are often the big forgotten ones.
At the moment, the Novec range is intended only for large projects and companies, and has too high a cost for the average user. But as prices go down, we wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes a good alternative for the modding hobby.