[Beowulf] watercooling

Vincent Diepeveen diep at xs4all.nl
Wed Dec 28 11:00:03 PST 2011

Yeah Jim good comments,

I was thinking for my cluster to overclock, which is why i guess some  
posted the overclocking sentences,
and wanted to do it a bit more cheapskate.

Latest idea now was to save costs by using for say a node or 16,
to order 16 cpu blocks and 16 small pumps and 2 cheap big reservoirs:

Coldreservoir ==> 16 minipumps ==> 16 cpu blocks ==> Hotreservoir

Now have a big pump from the hotreservoir to outside, or maybe even 2,
and put on the roof a big car radiatior, dirt cheap in fact, and a  
big fan which works on 24 volts.

Maybe even 2.

Then pump it back into the coldreservoir (gravity).

Guessing i can get at most nodes around a 4.5Ghz or so @ 6 cores  
gulftown maybe (gulftown is fastest cpu for Diep
of course sandy bridge with 6 cores or more as well when at same Ghz,  
in fact sandy bridge has 4 channels so is a
tad faster than the 3 channel gulftown but that's peanuts).

Not sure this setup works as i fear pressure differences if the huge  
pump doesn't pump at the same speed like the 16
small pumps.



On Dec 28, 2011, at 7:42 PM, Lux, Jim (337C) wrote:

> An SSD wouldn't be a problem. No spinning disks in air, etc.
> And, in general, I'd work real hard to find a better cooling  
> solution than
> oil immersion.  It's a mess.
>  About 5-10 years ago on this list we had some discussions on this  
> - I was
> thinking about a portable cluster for use in the field by  
> archaeologists,
> so it had to be cheap.. No Defense Department weapons system scale  
> budgets
> in the social sciences.  And it also had to be rugged and work in wide
> temperatures My "use case" was processing electrical resistance  
> tomography
> or ground penetrating radar (generically, iterative inversion) in  
> Central
> American jungle or Middle Eastern deserts.  (Where Indiana Jones  
> goes, so
> goes the Lux Field'wulf)
> If I were building something that had to be sealed, and needed to  
> get the
> heat out to the outer surface (e.g. A minicluster in a box for a dusty
> field environment) and I wanted to use inexpensive commodity  
> components,
> what I would think about is some scheme where you have a pump that  
> sprays
> an inert cooling liquid (one of the inexpensive Freons, I think.. Not
> necessarily Fluorinert) over the boards.  Sort of like a "dry sump"
> lubrication system in a racing engine.
> But it would take some serious engineering.. And one might wonder  
> whether
> it would be easier and cheaper just to design for conduction  
> cooling with
> things like wedgelocks to hold the cards in (and provide a thermal  
> path.
> Or do something like package a small airconditioner with the cluster
> (although my notional package is "checkable as luggage/carryable on  
> back
> of pack animal or backseat of car, so full sized rack is out of the
> question)
> As a production item, I think the wedgelock/conduction cooled  
> scheme might
> be better (and I'd spend some time with some mobos looking at their
> thermal properties.  A suitable "clamp" scheme for the edges might be
> enough, along with existing heatpipe type technologies.
> On 12/28/11 10:04 AM, "Jonathan Aquilina" <eagles051387 at gmail.com>  
> wrote:
>> On 12/28/2011 11:17 AM, Lux, Jim (337C) wrote:
>>> I'm not sure I'd be plunging a disk drive into oil.  Most drive  
>>> cases
>>> I've
>>> seen have a vent plug.  Maybe the holes are small enough so that  
>>> the oil
>>> molecules don't make it through, but air does, but temperature  
>>> cycling
>>> is
>>> going to force oil into the case eventually.
>> Jim would you plunge an SSD in there? So you wouldnt advise using
>> mineral oil like the video shows?
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