[Beowulf] 96 cores in silent and small enclosure

Lux, Jim (337C) james.p.lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Thu Apr 8 13:57:31 PDT 2010

> >
> Those guys were at SC09. There is one reason above all else why oil
> cooling like this will never work it's just too messy. If you touched
> anything at that booth, you were almost guaranteed to get oil on your
> hands. There were plenty of paper towels being handed out at that booth.

This is why the halogenated hydrocarbons (Freons) are nice.. they evaporate quickly. (at the expense of ozone layer depletion.. but hey, with the big cluster being cooled by the Freon, you'll be able to more accurately predict the effect, right?)

> And imagine taking a system out of the oil to replace components. Can
> you imagine trying to replace a slippery hard drive or CPU? Think of all
> those little damn screws that you always drop into the case when trying
> to reattach something. Now add some oily slipperyness.

With oil, you can hose it off with kerosene.. or better yet  hexane or pentane, which is a lot less viscous and dissolves the oil nicely. Then the hydrocarbon evaporates.  Still a mess, though, but better. (we won't get into other industrial issues that arise.. kids, don't try this at home)

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