Aquarium coolers and overclocking

Never thought you’d see those two words on the same line. We are working away at more overclock. The old Sandy Bridge runs at 4.95GHz reliably (48×103) as long as the mineral oil bath stays cool (less than 98F), but the cooling fans alone don’t do that when running a video game. It looks like they are fine with normal running where dissipation is something like 100 watts, but at full speed with two GPUs, I’m estimating that we are injecting 500-600 watts into the cooling bath.

The Intel Burn Test shows that the system can run Linpack well across runs, so we just need to keep it cool.

So what to do to get really stable overclock is to find a way to cool it. So on to Aquarium coolers. These are designed to lower the temperature of systems by removing heat. Ironically they are going to be louder than the PC itself, but hopefully you will have just turned on the sound a bit and it isn’t always needed. So on to some math at Marine Depot:

JBJ Arctica seems like a pretty good brand and it can be hooked up the existing ½” line that we are using. Or we can use a side system where we have an additional pump. This is a good idea because they we can run both the radiator (with its 9 fans) and the chiller in parallel at high loads and at low loads, the chiller won’t operate. Running through Rapid Tables shows that  a 500 watt dissipation requires 1800 BTUs per hour. The 1/15 Nano pump takes out 900 BTUs. But the next models up appear to be the right ones the:

| Horsepower | BTU/hr | Model | Watts eq | Price |

| 1/10 HP  | 1200 | DBA-075 | 350 Watts | $560 Marine Depot |

| 1/5 HP | 2400 | DBA-150 | 700Watts | $720 Marine Depot |

| ¼ HP | 3000 | DBE-200 | 880 Watts | $720 Amazon |

| ¼ HP | 3200 | Aqua Euro ¼ | 900 watts | $600 Marine Depot |

So the 1/5 HP or the ¼ HP seems about right balancing size of the thing and remembering that we have a radiator running too. Also at Amazon the Hamilton Technology Aqua Euro ¼ HP at $580 gets very good reviews. The other problem is that these things are huge. The ¼ HP Aqua Euro is 18 x 18 x 12 and weights 60 pounds but the 1/10 is 14 x 10 x 14 so quite a bit smaller than a 1.5 foot cube but only handles about 350 watts of cooling. So even though it weights 40 pounds and requires 200-600 gph of flow, it seems like this is the thing

The other things that are needed are a pump and 3/4″ hose and fittings, so you need:

  • Pump

  • Intake hose from water, Hose from Pump Out to Chiller In, and then chiller return a total of three

  • Then you need three connectors to make it all tight.