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  • Sub Zero Cooled

    As more and more of us are going below zero with cooling and more and more threads are popping up on the subject I thought it was about time it had its own thread. Now before you say, it’s a cooling thread and that’s another section, I want to point out that only a few people are daft enough to think that the best way to cool their system is sub-zero for 24/7 use and it is for the most part a benchmark only cooling solution.

    Now with that out of the way we can talk cooling, phase, dry ice or liquid nitrogen are the main types with liquid helium being another much more rare way. Phase is a mechanical way of doing it where much like an air con or refrigerator unit gas is compressed so it condenses and cools but instead of air or a box it’s piped to a metal plate to cool a cpu, or anything you can strap it to. Phase units can be chained together with the next being colder than the last, these multi stage units are often called cascades. ln2 and dice are much the same in terms of hardware used, a big metal pot, but differ in the range of temp that they can achieve with dice being -78c and ln2 being -195c. Well that’s about the point at which they evaporate but with enough time and coolant you can make things very cold. ln2 is poured direct into the pot while dice is solid and needs a solvent to become a usable solution. Some people use acetone, others say pure alcohol is better but as i have not yet used either i could not say.

    For all types of sub-zero cooling one thing that is much the same is the fact it needs insulation. Objects at these extreme low temps are so cold that they can make snow from the air around it and we all know how well electrics and water play together. It is also I think the biggest fear someone has when starting with these types of cooling, I mean nobody wants to short something and kill a piece of hardware and that is a very possible risk. The theory is that if you can keep the air away from the coldest parts then you will not get condensation on your hardware.

    With that in mind here is how I do mine.


    [screenshot]http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o164/marsey99/cpu%20socket%20insulation%20for%20phase%20cooler/IMG_20121011_005213.jpg[/screenshot]

    That’s it all; working bottom to top it goes together like this. Top left it’s the back plate with mounting screws, on top of that it is the neoprene sheet with the paper towel cut-out between it and the eraser putty. Then it’s the mobo with more putty on top, again another sheet of paper towel before the neoprene gets clamped on top by the head of the phase unit. I have painted the mobo with clear nail varnish too (liquid tape is a better, none permanent way) it’s in case the worst does happen and the mobo gets any condensation but so far in the many hours I have had it running I have not once seen that it is needed.

    [screenshot]http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o164/marsey99/cpu%20socket%20insulation%20for%20phase%20cooler/IMG_20121011_023008.jpg[/screenshot]

    So I start on the back by rolling out the eraser into a thin sheet and then cut it to the right size and shape. I take that sheet and press it down onto the pcb, it’s almost like kneading bread, sort of.

    [screenshot]http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o164/marsey99/cpu%20socket%20insulation%20for%20phase%20cooler/IMG_20121011_023023.jpg[/screenshot]

    Quite quickly you will have that done and dusted and you will be putting the back plate on, don’t just use the screws to push thru the eraser as it’s a pain to remove from the threads later, use a toothpick or hole punch or anything you can. Push it out from the front of the board so the holes line up right and then flatten the putty back down and push it from the back so the bolts go in easy. Once I have the back plate in place I start on the front, unlike the rear it’s not as easy to do so you can’t just do a flat piece. I find rolling it out like a sausage is best as it make it easier to fill all the gaps.

    [screenshot]http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o164/marsey99/cpu%20socket%20insulation%20for%20phase%20cooler/IMG_20121011_031341.jpg[/screenshot]

    Cutting it down into smaller blocks so I can build it up in two or more layers to ensure it is all covered, kneading it into the gaps as I go, a toothpick is handy to push it into the smaller gaps.

    [screenshot]http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o164/marsey99/cpu%20socket%20insulation%20for%20phase%20cooler/IMG_20121011_031401.jpg[/screenshot]

    This is the part you will spend the longest doing as most boards have the power circuitry around the socket like this, some don’t but most do.

    [screenshot]http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o164/marsey99/cpu%20socket%20insulation%20for%20phase%20cooler/IMG_20121011_033923.jpg[/screenshot]

    That looks like about enough of that to me.

    [screenshot]http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o164/marsey99/cpu%20socket%20insulation%20for%20phase%20cooler/IMG_20121011_034216.jpg[/screenshot]

    Insulation tape.

    [screenshot]http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o164/marsey99/cpu%20socket%20insulation%20for%20phase%20cooler/IMG_20121011_034320.jpg[/screenshot]

    Paper towel.

    [screenshot]http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o164/marsey99/cpu%20socket%20insulation%20for%20phase%20cooler/IMG_20121011_034406.jpg[/screenshot]

    Neoprene.


    Now I am not saying that’s the best way to do it, or the only way just how I do it on this mobo, it is what I have found works best for me and allows for the easiest way to swap cpu. I do hope that some of the other guys post how they do theirs so we can all see other ways to skin this cat.
    Last edited by luke22; 11-10-12, 09:41.
    "Those able to see beyond the shadows and lies of their culture will never be understood, let alone believed, by the masses."
    Plato

  • #2
    Very Nice guide

    I should hopefully be having some LN2 delivered in the next week or 2 and have a couple of boards to prep for it so will try to get step by step pictures.
    Last edited by ScunnyUK; 11-10-12, 06:54.
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    • #3
      I personally cover the caps around the socket more. I also paint the everything under the heat sinks with liquid tape just to be sure.

      Originally posted by coiler
      Then go all out dogging, after i've finished rimming of course

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      • #4
        while i would like to cover the caps more, and have in the past i found it affected the contact and cpu temp. i use them as the level for the top of the putty and the tape is a precaution to keep the air out.
        "Those able to see beyond the shadows and lies of their culture will never be understood, let alone believed, by the masses."
        Plato

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        • #5
          fantastic Marsey, just what i needed

          just a question, does the entire of the back of the mobo need liquid taped or just the area around the socket?

          Best Thermal Paste 2017 Comparison

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          • #6
            i have done the whole board but its overkill (tbh i got carried away as it made the mobo look like new again xD) you only need to do the area where you see i put the eraser on the back, maybe the socket + 25mm?

            the longer the session the more you will need to do tbh.
            "Those able to see beyond the shadows and lies of their culture will never be understood, let alone believed, by the masses."
            Plato

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            • #7
              Originally posted by marsey99 View Post
              i have done the whole board but its overkill (tbh i got carried away as it made the mobo look like new again xD) you only need to do the area where you see i put the eraser on the back, maybe the socket + 20mm?
              awesome

              be overkill to go over the eraser with armaflex to be even safer?

              Best Thermal Paste 2017 Comparison

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              • #8
                you could use less eraser and the armaflex under the neoprene if you wanted i guess, i didnt see the need.
                "Those able to see beyond the shadows and lies of their culture will never be understood, let alone believed, by the masses."
                Plato

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                • #9
                  You can use armaflex as it acts like a sponge and then freezes as the temps drop so that catches lots of the condensation. With the back of the mobo, I just liquid tape it and then a little armaflex around the backplate area (if using a pot or a phase) as it lessens the risk of the mount backplate breaking the seal of the liquid tape.
                  With my set up, I no loner use mounts as I my bench table has a clamp built in for the pot.

                  Originally posted by coiler
                  Then go all out dogging, after i've finished rimming of course

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                  • #10
                    Marsey, I love you, but please fix the god damn grammatical errors in the OP.... No capitals.... it drives me mad


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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by almighty15 View Post
                      Marsey, I love you, but please fix the god damn grammatical errors in the OP.... No capitals.... it drives me mad
                      got a PM from Henry before, about how i wanted the flex line to be, Case mounting wise, or benchtable mounting wise

                      so might hopefully have this sometime next week

                      Best Thermal Paste 2017 Comparison

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by gavbon View Post
                        Got a PM from Henry before, about how i wanted the flex line to be, Case mounting wise, or bench table mounting wise

                        So might hopefully have this sometime next week
                        Hmmm.... Looks like he's planning on replacing it then rather then patching it up, better for you then


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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by almighty15 View Post
                          Marsey, I love you, but please fix the god damn grammatical errors in the OP.... No capitals.... it drives me mad
                          NO
                          "Those able to see beyond the shadows and lies of their culture will never be understood, let alone believed, by the masses."
                          Plato

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by almighty15 View Post
                            Hmmm.... Looks like he's planning on replacing it then rather then patching it up, better for you then
                            thought that myself

                            Originally posted by marsey99 View Post
                            NO
                            YES!

                            Best Thermal Paste 2017 Comparison

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                            • #15
                              Nice one Marsey

                              Was hoping someone with more experience would start a thread like this as the benching thread was getting a bit messy with all the sub-zero chat !

                              is there any specific multimeter/digital thermometer you guys would reccomend seeing as I'm going to need one.

                              had a thorough read on cold boot bugs last night, what a nightmare ! but hey I guess its all a learning curve.
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