When a computer reaches the extreme of its performance, due to the applications executed in it that require a high speed of processes, the equipment suffers a considerable increase of the internal temperature, so it becomes necessary an adequate cooling that prevents the failures and until the final destruction of the elements that compose the PC. As we all know, heat is a great enemy for the components of a computer, since by raising the temperature inside the cabinet there is a risk that the elements will burn or deform, and thus stop working forever.
In many cases, when users take the maximum possibilities of their computers, modifying the behavior of cards, memories and others to run powerful applications, as are commonly the most advanced and sophisticated PC games of last generation, they demand too much from these components, and as a result they generate more heat than they can support by design. At this point, extreme cooling, using liquid nitrogen, must also be used.
- Extreme computer cooling with liquid nitrogen
- Nitrogen implementation in the PC
- What is a Pot or Evaporator in Liquid Nitrogen Refrigeration?
- Care of the PC when cooling with liquid nitrogen
- Key tips for cooling a PC with liquid nitrogen
- Precautions in Liquid Nitrogen cooling
- How and where to work with Liquid Nitrogen when cooling a PC?
- What to do in case of spillage or loss of liquid nitrogen?
- Computer Cooling with Nitrogen FAQS
Extreme computer cooling with liquid nitrogen
Those users who perform the most extreme overclocking on their PC usually also incorporate a liquid nitrogen cooling system, as this is the most powerful type of cooling available today, and perhaps the only one capable of dissipating the enormous heat released by the modified components.
Remember that overclocking consists of modifying the clock frequencies and voltages of the computer components, especially the microprocessors, in order to obtain greater performance from the equipment.
To implement overclocking together with liquid nitrogen cooling, it is necessary to have important knowledge in this field, and to evaluate each of the aspects that make the operation of our PC, taking into account the isolation of the elements and the temperatures that must be reached, in order to avoid possible inconveniences derived from using liquid nitrogen as a coolant.
It is important to analyse what the condensation times will be, as well as the use of the cold, since in the case of liquid nitrogen they are usually shorter than in other cooling systems.
It should be noted that liquid nitrogen is basically pure nitrogen in liquid state, which has a temperature equal to or lower than -195.8 C and a density of 0.707 g/ml., and among its characteristics we will mention that it is colorless and odorless, and very dangerous to handle, as we will see later on in this same post.
Nitrogen implementation in the PC
For computer lovers, especially those who usually practice overclocking and modding of PCs, one of the most important requirements that must meet their equipment is to have adequate cooling to allow them to continue working with extreme performance. To this end, most experienced overclocking users incorporate liquid nitrogen cooling.
In general, liquid nitrogen is used to maintain the proper temperature of the microprocessor, since it is only recommended for those components that can reach near-melting temperatures.
By incorporating liquid nitrogen into the cooling of a computer, it is possible to reach -195.8 C to send it cold and keep the processor that has been “overclocked” at a suitable temperature to increase its performance and speed.
What is a Pot or Evaporator in Liquid Nitrogen Refrigeration?
To carry out a correct cooling of the microprocessor by liquid nitrogen it is necessary to acquire an evaporator for NL2, device that is popularly known as Pot.
In general, these containers that will contain the nitrogen are usually made of resistant materials combining aluminium, copper and nickel, to give them greater robustness.
Aluminium pottery is usually cheaper and has a thermal conductivity of 237 W/(m-K), although copper pottery is more efficient as it allows a heat conductivity of 400 W/(m-K). This evaporator must be placed on the processor and be correctly fastened to avoid vibrations and possible spills, and then the liquid nitrogen will be poured inside it to reach the desired temperatures.
Care of the PC when cooling with liquid nitrogen
Before cooling using liquid nitrogen, it is essential to properly isolate various PC components, which can be seriously damaged by the gas, such as the socket area and the motherboard mosfet.
The isolation must be done because when the liquid nitrogen is introduced into the Pot, a shock will be produced in the gas that will sharply decrease the temperature of the sector to -120 C and even -190 C.
This immediate temperature decrease causes a phenomenon called condensation, which causes the emanation of water drops that can fall on the motherboard and produce a short in its circuits.
There are several techniques for isolating these components, although most users who practice this type of method usually choose materials such as neoprene, armaflex, or Artist Eraser.
Key tips for cooling a PC with liquid nitrogen
When the liquid nitrogen is dumped into the Pot, it is also recommended to use extra fans inside the equipment in order to extend the time until condensation, and to have paper napkins to dry in the places where we notice that water has been deposited.
It is necessary to use a special thermometer that provides the possibility of measuring temperature ranges that are reached with the liquid nitrogen, with their respective probes that will be placed before dumping the nitrogen into the Pot. Ideally, two probes should be placed, one at the base of the Pot and the other near the motherboard’s socket, in order to constantly monitor the temperature reached inside our computer.
There are several procedures that are used to carry out a liquid nitrogen cooling of the microprocessor, and each experienced user has his own technique, although the most important thing in this field is to carry out a responsible work and taking all the necessary precautions to avoid the permanent breakage of our equipment, or possible accidents that we may suffer.
Precautions in Liquid Nitrogen cooling
As we have already mentioned, one of the ways to maintain the right temperature in computers operating under the overclocking technique, in order to take the performance of the equipment to the extreme, is the use of liquid nitrogen for cooling. But before starting to list the precautions we must take when using liquid nitrogen to cool a PC, the first question we must ask ourselves is What is liquid nitrogen, since we must be fully aware of how dangerous it can be to use liquid nitrogen.
Nitrogen is a colourless, odourless, non-flammable cryogenic liquid that turns into a gas when it comes into contact with ambient temperature and pressure. Due to its composition, it can cause cold burns to the skin.
Nitrogen is very dangerous, as it is an inert gas that displaces oxygen and can cause severe burns to the skin. It is recommended that it be handled with extreme care, following the safety instructions that accompany the product when it is purchased.
Liquid nitrogen that comes into contact with oxygen reacts violently with organic materials, such as oil and grease, so it is recommended that you avoid contact of the nitrogen with materials that are incompatible with it.
Since handling liquid nitrogen can result in a serious accident, not only for our computer but also for ourselves, it is advisable to take a series of precautions that will prevent us from being victims of major accidents.
That is why we must always bear in mind that any small error or carelessness in the implementation of this type of cooling in the computer can result in the breakage of our equipment, and even in accidents where we are physically damaged. That is why it is necessary to take extreme precautions when using liquid nitrogen.
We must also take into consideration that in order for cooling by liquid nitrogen to be possible without inconvenience, we must first make a test and analysis of various factors related to our computer, evaluating whether its components are suitable for this type of method, from the microprocessor, through the motherboard, and each of the elements that includes our PC.
In addition, we must observe various environmental conditions in which the equipment is located, such as the humidity and temperature of the room.
How and where to work with Liquid Nitrogen when cooling a PC?
To avoid serious accidents, it is advisable to work with liquid nitrogen in well ventilated environments, use containers specially designed to contain the gas, which can resist pressure and avoid possible physical damage.
It is advisable to use special protective gloves, and safety glasses with side protection or full face shields. Inhalation of the gas should also be avoided, as it is an asphyxiating gas, which can even lead to a lack of oxygen, causing death.
One of the most common effects that occur in those who handle liquid nitrogen, beyond the relevant care, is usually the freezing of the skin in the areas that have come into contact with the gas.
In this case it is essential to return the ideal temperature to the affected area by means of warm water baths that do not exceed 40, and to go to a space where one can breathe pure air.
What to do in case of spillage or loss of liquid nitrogen?
In the event that there is a spill or loss of nitrogen in the container that contains it, it is necessary to evacuate the room in which we are working, and perform an adequate ventilation of the environment to let the oxygen in, and we should not enter the room until there is not enough oxygen to breathe without being affected by the nitrogen.
Due to its composition, liquid nitrogen is capable of freezing everything around it, so it is widely used to maintain the temperature of microprocessors in extreme performance computers.
In addition, in terms of visual appearance, this type of cooling is usually very striking, because of the way the nitrogen is transported and stored, and also because of the gas that emanates when the temperature of the container with nitrogen increases on contact with a hot body.
Due to these characteristics, liquid cooling using liquid nitrogen is usually the method of choice for those experienced users who like to assemble equipment for presentation at trade fairs and exhibitions, since due to its danger it is not recommended for home use.
Computer Cooling with Nitrogen FAQS
Can you use liquid nitrogen to cool a computer?
The point of liquid nitrogen overclocking is to get your CPU way, way colder than it would normally be with an air cooler or a radiator. … So your CPU is running, producing heat. You pour in liquid nitrogen, which is very cold.
What is liquid nitrogen used for?
Liquid nitrogen, which has a boiling point of -196C, is used for a variety of things, such as a coolant for computers, in medicine to remove unwanted skin, warts and pre-cancerous cells, and in cryogenics, where scientists study the effect of very cold temperatures on materials.
- liquid nitrogen processor