- What mineral oil do you use, and where do you get it?
- What about using Glycol, Motor Oil, Mono Ethylene, Mono Proyplene, Vegetable Oil, etc?
- What's the point of this project? Crazy overclocking?
- Why doesn't the mineral oil fry the electronics?
- Won't the mineral oil put too much load on the fans, causing them to fail?
- Won't the mineral oil eat away at the rubber, making capacitors blow or components fall apart?
- Won't the air bubbles introduce water through air humidity?
- How often do you have to add more oil?
- This is fake, there is no way this would work.
- Where is the hard drive and CDROM?
- Why didn't you submerge the hard drive?
- Where did you get that radiator?
- Dood! Put fishez in ur tank!!!1
- OK. No fish, but how about C:\HORSES ?
Q: What mineral oil do you use, and where do you get it?
A: We use a White Mineral Oil from STE Oil called "Crystal Plus 70T". It's odorless, clear, and very electrically resistant. You can order this oil directly from our vendor at http://store.steoil.com/mineral-oil-pc-kit/
Q: What about using Glycol, Motor Oil, Mono Ethylene, Mono Proyplene, Vegetable Oil, etc?
A: We have not tested any other oil types in our aquarium system. We recommend using only Crystal Plus 70T White Mineral Oil for this project.
Q: What's the point of this project? Crazy overclocking?
A: The custom mineral oil pc project has always been intended as a cool conversation piece, and a fun do-it-yourself project. While there are certainly some thermal advantages, submersion cooling is usually not the best solution for overclocking. Due to the risk of tank failure if the oil reaches temperatures above 50C, we do not recommend submerging overclocked or extremely hot hardware in this system.
Q: Why doesn't the mineral oil fry the electronics?
A: Mineral oil is not conductive. It may look like water, but it behaves very differently. Pure mineral oil does not have the free electrons necessary to conduct electricity.
Q: Won't the mineral oil put too much load on the fans, causing them to fail?
A: No, we have not experienced this. Even if they did fail, it wouldn't matter as the fans themselves do not actually circulate the oil very much. We leave them running just because they were fun to look at, and to answer just this question! After years of operation, our fans are spinning exactly like they did at the beginning.
Q: Won't the mineral oil eat away at the rubber, making capacitors blow or components fall apart?
A: We've seen many variations on this question. Some people say the motherboard will fall apart, others that the acrylic tank will dissolve away to nothing! In reality, we have seen absolutely zero effect. All components are perfectly intact, and the system remains rock solid. The only impact we have seen is on rubber-based wire insulation. So as long as you make sure your wire insulation is not rubber-based you should not have any problems. If you are not sure about the insulation material, we suggest dunking part of the wire in mineral oil for a few days to see if the insulation degrades
The only other problem is with adhesives -- the label stickers on the memory came off, and the adhesive backing on the weather stripping became useless. However, it seems somewhat selective. The label stickers on the video card and motherboard are just fine. But to answer the cries of doom and gloom -- we've seen no indications yet. All the rubber seals are intact, and the capacitors are completely unaffected. It seems as if we'll be able to run this system for quite some time, if not indefinitely.
Q: Won't the air bubbles introduce water through air humidity?
A: Any water introduced would sink to the bottom because it is more dense than the mineral oil. This is good, because there is a gap of about a half inch before it hits any electronics. So, we should be able to see it pool there and have plenty of time to react. After many years, with the bubbles running 24 hours a day, we do not see even a trace of water. It is possible it will be hard to make out since the mineral oil is clear, but the difference in density should give us a slight "lava lamp" type appearance.
Q: How often do you have to add more oil?
A: Our first setup had a problem where oil would wick down the cables, causing a very slow "leak." We solved this issue by having no cables run directly into the oil, but rather use a connector at the top of the tank. This breaks the suction or siphon effect. Since then, we have noticed absolutely no drop in oil level.
Q: This is fake, there is no way this would work.
A: You're welcome to come by and give it a look in person! Directions to our Seattle facility where it is on display can be found on our Contact Us page.
Q: Where is the hard drive and CDROM?
A: We didn't submerge the hard drive, but rather hid it inside the plastic molding on top of the aquarium. There is no CDROM drive -- we plug in a USB drive when needed.
Q: Why didn't you submerge the hard drive?
A: While the oil is not conductive, it is viscous. If oil were to get inside the hard drive, that would be the end of the drive -- the platters wouldn't be able to spin at full speed, and the read heads would be restricted from free motion. Since hard drives have small holes to equalize air pressure, oil will get inside. Trust us. We tested it. However, SSD drives would definitely be no problem.
Q: Where did you get that radiator?
A: Our original radiator is imported from Germany, and is no longer available. We now keep appropriate radiators in stock ourselves.
Q: Dood! Put fishez in ur tank!!!1
A: No. They would die.
Q: OK. No fish, but how about C:\HORSES ?
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