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Thermal output on PC compnants.

Posted: Sat Mar 26, 2016 3:35 pm
by Nova2
Wrathgar and Funk were having a discussion about which PC components to get to minimize thermal output (getting the room too hot).

One big thing is to make sure the components themselves are effectively cooled.
This makes sense but yet it does not, I will try my to best elaborate...
I will start with the bassics: If you think about it and you have your PC in a 10' x 10' room your effective ability to cool your PC and its components is by the ambient temperature in the room. So if your room is at 30c the the absolute minimum that you can cool your equipment to is 30c. As your components dumb BTUs into that room the ambient temperature of the room heats up raising your absolute minimum cooling temp and efficiency of your cooling systems. And to compound this problem the hotter your ambient temps get the hotter your equipment runs and the more BTUs they put out, kind of like when your heat-sinks are clogged with dust.
And that is factor one you need to beat, to be able to remove the heat as quickly and efficiently as possible from your equipment. Before your components become saturated with heat and dump more BTUs into the room. Ineffective cooling has the same effect as blocked and clogged up heat-sinks, you will be better off going with solutions that provide some over-kill to defeat this.

One of the best effective way to do this is by switching as much as you can over to water-cooling. You want to make sure you have enough radiator(s) to effectively cool everything, your loop should only be maxing out only 2c or 3c above ambient temperature after a couple hours of your workload.
The first two big hits for BTU output is your CPU and GPU, make sure to get good full coverage water-blocks for these components as the VRM and GRAM on the graphics cards get extremely hot.
The next two big sources of BTUs on your rig is the RAM and VRM on the motherboard. This will also depend upon how many RAM DIMMs being used and how big of a CPU you have (and how much over-clocking your doing with your CPU as well). Ram should be any ware from warm to hot to the touch. While your VRM can get very hot (uncomfortable to touch).

If you are finding hardware in your PC that is getting rather hot or uncomfortable to touch, you need to do something about it. There will only be so much you can do (both practically and budget-wise) to cool these components.
Some of these heat-buildups can be remedies with better air-flow through your case by adding fans or reconfiguring them. In other instances you may need to get bigger and more efficient heat-sinks for the componants. And others may need to be water-cooled to get them under control.
While some of these components can withstand the higher temps (where they are uncomfortable to the touch), you may experience performance hits as they will throttle down to manage their heat or suffer from other problems (like making mathematical or communication errors) from getting too hot.

In short:
The better you can cool off the components, the less BTUs they are going to let off.
The less BTUs the components give off, the less it is going to heat the room.
And the cooler the room is, the more effectively your components can be cooled.

There is only so much you can do practically and are within the limitations of your budget. But it is something to keep in mind when dealing with bigger components that demand power.

When I get my PC room set up in the basement, one of the things I am going to do is create a geo-thermal water-loop. Same principal of geo-thermal cooling (and heating) for homes and businesses.
I am going to trench in some copper-lines outside that will snake around in the yard. This will collect any heat the water-loop collects from the equipment, and completely remove it from the components as well as the room minimizing heat saturation of the room.
This solution will not be practical for everyone here. Cost-wise it is already going to be impractical for most. I live out on a farm and there are not any local laws prohibiting or taxing me on digging up my yard and laying in a water-loop to cool my PC. Plus after the tornado we had gotten a skidloader for cleanup and rebuilding, and a trenching attachment to go on it (we laid down, installed, and hooked up all the electrical lines from the main box to the main breaker-boxes). So all I need to worry about is the cost of materials.

Thermal output on PC compnants.

Posted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 4:10 pm
by Funk1777
The real problem is gaming. The first law of thermodynamics states in a roundabout fashion that a 500 watt space heater, a computer drawing 500 watts for gaming and 5x 100 watt light bulbs all heat your room the same amount. The rig wrathgar was buying will pull around 500 or 600 watts of power while gaming on high settings as he went with a 390x which performs better pound for pound at the cost of excessive power consumption. So his 6700k and 390x tdp is probably somwhere around 550ish watts where as going with a 980ti would lower the power draw 150 watts or so if not more at a significant inital cost.

The question becomes a long term financial plan that is complicated. When does the initial investment cost of running a hot card for cheaper break even with your long term electric bill for the system itself and the cost to air condition or run more fans in your room to maintain comfort with the extra 200 watts of power being consumed break even with the more expensive upfront cost yet cooler running of an nvidia card.

That said the 390x is a power house and for the price is amazing in what it can do and it benefits from the higher memory(8gb vs the 4gb on a gtx970) which is nice when running higher aa with a lot of textures or for 4k gaming.

The answer is to do a few things. First, dont run super awesome settings all the time in games that dont benefit much from it. I dont require shadows and lifelike skies for my shooter games and I dont run most games in 4k even though my rig is capable. They do look nicer but they come at a cost and when you have something that runs hot a lot it degrades its lifespan.

The second and most important is to limit your framerate. Gaming rigs and people who use them love to brag about fps numbers that are undetectable to the human eye. MSI afterburner and evga precision X are both great programs that let you throttle you video card for whatever game you are currently enjoying. Without these programs games love to run at max fps and temperature available and turning vsync on in game is , while similar, not the same and produces other problems at times. Ive had crappy looking games make my gtx980ti run around 80c where thermal throttling kicks in all in the name of running 200+fps by default. That's around 250watts from my graphics card alone with no discernible benefit(60ish fps looks the same as 220+ to the human eye).

The third is that a lot of games are not optimized for shit. Always check around when you start a new game that youll play a lot to see what testers have determined to work best. Some AA settings in mwo have problems. Ark is a game that my rig should be able to run fine at epic settings and 60fps but it doesnt work out that way. A couple links regarding mwo that may or may not be outdated regarding video settings and their effect. ... ings.5352/ what effects change helping you to see more enemies more clearly ... ugh-walls/ avoiding obstacles and clutter

Thermal output on PC compnants.

Posted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 6:39 pm
by Nova2
OK, your trying to find the economical sweet-spot taking into account the power consumption of the PC and what it takes to cool the room down from it's thermal output vs what your gaining in performance...

It is a good ball-park figure to say 100W of PC is equivalent to 100W of heater.

There are allot of other physics at play too with semiconductors and electronics, especially their conductivity and resistance in relation to what their temperature is.
And that is what my little article was about, to beat these factors from a practical stand-point to gain an extra half-hour to hour before you have to do something about the heat buildup in the room. And the more effective these cooling methods are instead of having to run your fans (or AC) all the time while gaming you only need it for a fraction of that time to bring that room back down to a nominal temperature.

Thermal output on PC compnants.

Posted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 11:29 pm
by Funk1777
Sounds like a cool idea for the geothermal loop, but if you are going to go that far id say install a real heatpump and save a small fortune on your heating and cooling costs over the years. Most of the upfront expense is in trenching and installing the piping/loop unless you happen to have a water body or groundwater close. Our new house has a 3 zone large bvoiler system for hot water radiant heat so its pretty damn efficient, quiet and comfortable, but we really regetted not going with geothermal in the last house as we had the land and our lp forced air was noisy and dirty even for a high end super high efficiency model. ... al-system/ a small cheapy system ... ermal.html just some basic info with nice pics

Thermal output on PC compnants.

Posted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 1:26 am
by Nova2
When we rebuilt, the entire basement is set up with in-floor heating (same thing you described boiler system with water pumped through tubing). Sadly for what we spend on it, it remains off most of the time. I do not even remember firing it up this winter and it stayed lower 70s (F).
We used Fox-Blocks (insulated concrete forms) to build our basement with, so it is well insulated. Not to mention stout; 8" thick concrete walls (fiber-mix) with 1/2" re-bar going every 16" horizontally and vertically.

Geo-thermal heating/cooling was discussed while rebuilding, but we had enough on our plate getting the basement set up, and all the other crap going on at the time. (That will be a discussion for later this year when some things finally blow over)
We are also up against some other problems trying to find a clean area to go since the shit-head we got for cleanup dug a shit-ton of holes and burred the debris shallow (this guys idea of 4' deep is around 1-2'). Ran into that when we had to install a leach-bed. I do not even think that thing is technically legal since it is over a junk hole with a big-ass cavity in the derbies when we trenched a leg for the leach-field, but I do not think the inspector wanted to get into the middle of that one either.
There is a guy in town that did that for some of his shops with geo-thermal heating/cooling, and he likes it very well. He is also into digging wells and the shop makes repair-parts and repairs mud-pumps, so he had a majority of the equipment on hand to do the work.

I looked at the info in the links. Our trencher attachment is 4', frost-line for my area is rated at 5' and during some of the coldest years waterlines 5.5' deep have been known to freeze and bust open. It was actually purchased for running electrical and data-cable, water-lines was an after thought.
Which is another issue I am going to have to tackle is getting the coolant too cold in the winter. Anti-freeze or glycol will cure the problem of coolant freezing, but not sweating. I am thinking about several loops (3-4) and just automate it with a micro controller to bypass the loops as needed to sustain the coolant above dew-points.
For those of you who have not played around with micro-controllers, I would suggest picking up an Arduino, If your going to just start off tinkering and learning I would recommend just getting an Uno and spending $25 on a SainSmart kit and expand from there. I do have a nice little electronics collection for my arduinos, so if you need some components or ICs for your projects don't be afraid to ask, I might have some spares.

My new house came with an electric furnace. I miss the old house with it's electric heat, it had a bunch of wires that ran through the ceiling to heat up the rooms. But what was awesome about it is each room was it's own zone that was controlled separately. This new furnace does not evenly heat and will bake you out of the smaller rooms while it is trying to heat up the living room where the thermostat is located.

Not to get too side tracked on the subject here, but since we mentioned basement...
I got a server-rack set up in the basement. As of right now it is has a switch that is rigged up for now to provide internet/network service for the devices and rooms in the house. I also have an older Dell 1950 III server that is an ESXi host. And the big 4U machine is my NAS. It also has an old APC SURT3000 battery backup, it can run the current equipment set up in it for about an hour without any extra battery-packs. I also have some future equipment to install in the rack as well stuff for doing security and what not. The rack itself is a Sun Microsystems Sun-Rack1000-42, a full 42U with 1 meter of mounting depth. I did not find out until after I got it that it came from the Austin TX AMD facility, which I tought was kind of cool, not to many people can say they have a server-rack in their house, but even far fewer can say theirs came from AMD. It came with all the PDU equipment fully functional, it (along with the UPS) is actually for the 208v you get from two legs off a 3-phase, but the specs shows it runs on 240v (and has been doing fine with 240v for over a year now).
I have some nerd-porn for it...

Thermal output on PC compnants.

Posted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 12:37 pm
by Funk1777
Thos fox blocks are really cool. I spent about 20 mins checking them out today and may go with something like that for redoing some of the rooms interior walls in our basement. We had the flooding down there so a lot of the finished stuff is being torn out(currently as a matter of fact) and its big enough at 2300sqft or so that it wont all be finished in the future as we have no use for that much room. I'm thinking of using those to redo the walls to the storage rooms and where the safe is.

How difficult were they to install? I see they use proprietary connectors and im figuring that will ding you for costs. I'm betting delivery may be a bitch so I may have to check around locally and see if anyone delivers and installs.

Thermal output on PC compnants.

Posted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 5:36 pm
by Nova2
I have seen guys use them for interior walls in their basement with them. I have also seen a guy build a house out of them too just the exterior walls.

Yea water/flooding was a big point for me too. I was gong to go around the foundation with 4" tile but the contractor suggested I use "Form-A-Drain" which is concrete forms perforated and hollowed out to act as tile to drain the water out. So on the inside and outside of the footings there is tiling from the form-a-drain as well as some 4" tiles going down the center of the two halves. THe form-a-drain was a bit spendier but it was also easier to work with as you leave the forms in place.
The rock used as infill was rather large too (5/8" is what we got), so that helps promote drainage as well.
And so far not a drop of water has come in from the basement we built. Do have some problems with the pre-fab house leaking.

The Fox-Blocks are not to bad to work with really. A contractor helped me get started with the first two layers on the house, and according to him its mostly comes down to getting first layer set down right, for the most of it they just fell into place.
castellated to fit together like legos.

We secured the blocks together by zip-tying (very large zip-ties) the plastic structures together on the inside of the blocks. However you are also going to secure them together on the inside and outside by screwing 2x4 to the wall vertically. On the corners there is a hole that you stick a 1/2" PVC pipe in to line up the blocks with.
There is also some thick wire structures that fit inside of the fox-blocks, you will end up putting a layer of them in about every 4' up. I wish I had more pics of the fox-blocks going up, it is just when we started and when we were poring concrete. "Dura-Wall" or Dura-Truss" is what it was called.

One thing I do regret not doing was going all the way up on the inside with 2x4s, this caused the top three layers to bend and distort when we filled the wall with concrete.

When you order them they typically come with a printed manual on how to install them.
They got allot of stuff on the website now that I do not remember seeing back then, like the 18-gauge studs that drop in those would have been nice...
Fore delivery we bought the Fox-Blocks from Menards, and they delivered the pallets to the site. I forgot what they charged for delivery.

If you got the extra room you could also make some interior walls and pored ceiling to make your own walk-in safe. I think that is what we are going to do with the storm-shelter we built in the basement.
I am going to look into putting up that fire-resistant dry-wall stuff around the shelter for this.

Thermal output on PC compnants.

Posted: Sat Apr 09, 2016 11:44 am
by Funk1777
Man, that looks nice, sturdy and clean. I am jealous.