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INFO: TEC / Peltiers Tips
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Old 26th May 2002, 01:52   #1
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INFO: TEC / Peltiers Tips

peltiers, or Thermo-Electric-Conductors, kick some friggin ***. Water Cooling IS a waste if you're not using some extreme cooling with it. I wouldn't suggest a 220W peltier, that's a HELLUVA lot of juice. My old reactor waterblock ( was a piece of sh*t, but it could still keep my 122W at bay. Now i've got the DangerDen Maze 2-2 with the built-in coldplate and dual 72W pelts, which i both got from BeCooling, and they come with female power connectors (no extra PSU needed here, if you got 400+ watts already).
You will need to pot them yourself, though.
1. just take some RTV silicone [i used the high-temperature red stuff, but i think the lower temps would work just as well]
2. put a pair of surgical gloves on, cause this stuff is a ***** to get off
3. squeeze some out onto your finger, and just push it around the sides of the TEC (where the metal sandwiched between the ceramic plates is exposed) and around the power wires. I had a problem with the wires falling off my peltiers at first, but a quick re-solder job makes a much more lasting bond.

As for your motherboard, First thing you should do is seal your bga, center slug area (where the cpu temp probe is) and around the socket with RTV silicone. put dielectric grease in your socket pins (THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!!!!) by squeezing it out on your finger and just pushing it into the pin holes. Some people think this is enough, but I'd never go without sealing the socket in neoprene. The top of the mobo around the socket is most necessary, and i've even put a good sized square on my sealed bga, for extra protection . You'll also want to cut out a little square to fit into your center slug area, but cut a slit in it, and bend the cpu temp probe up and put some Arctic Silver on it, to get a better temp reading.

For the waterblock, I strongly suggest a DangerDen or Swiftech. You will get the most bang for your buck from them. There are some crazy waterblock designs out there (and some of them are superior even to the Maze) but they are ludicrously overpriced.

For the coldplate if you're using peltier(s), get at least 1/4" copper or silver (my Maze 2-2 came with a nifty built-in peltier. The point of a cold plate is to separate the cold side of the peltier from the hot side as much as possible without losing thermal conductivity. 1/8" is too thin, and with anything over 1/4" will lose heat-transfer efficiency. The thing about peltiers is that one side stays cold only as long at the heat can be dissipated from the other side. If you plug a peltier into a computer and just feel the sides, at first, one will get cold and the other hot, but wait 3-5 seconds, and both sides will heat up considerably. This is also why you must NEVER turn your computer on with peltiers if your pumps arent' running. Trust me on this, the water in the waterblock will reach boiling temps, your tubing will melt, and you'll have one useless computer on your hands.

Don't take the road i did, with a reservoir/pump combo, unless you want to fit your whole system inside your case (like i did, in my antec SX1240). the more water you have, the better off you are (so long as you can keep it cold enough). If you want, you can incorporate a chiller into the system, but i think these are unsightly, and unneccesary, so long as you build your system right.

Make sure you'll be able to pump cold air into your radiator, cause that's where the real heat transfer takes place. I built a duct of my own design out of a sheet of tin that takes up the top two 5 1/4" bays of my case, and expands downwards to fit over the 90cfm 120mm fan in front of my cube. I also have a 130cfm ys-tech mounted on the back of the case, which makes all the difference in the world. Another great idea would be to construct a duct that would take air from outside, and pump it to your reservoir, but that would make the computer difficult to move, and i prefer to have a self-contained system.

My computer was completely screwed up for a couple days, i thought my kt7-r died on me, but i just got it up and running again. for about a week after i finished installing the new system, i was cooling both my 1.2ghz TB and my gainward gf3, using T connectors. Although this did work very well (with the hex hack, i was idling at 16C/16C at stock speeds, and 18C/16C at ~1450) When i went into games, the temp would rise to about 27C because of the stress on the video card (although 27C was the cpu temp, not the graphics card) I figure i could break 10C easy without the gf3 in there

// And what about powering your TEC .. It would be difficult to make / find a suitable PSU for your 220 Watt TEC?

haha, damn straight. you'd have to buy a special power supply from an electronics store (not radio shack )... a separate computer PSU wouldn't do the trick, because all peltiers over 122Watts are rated above 12V, most are at 24V. you can buy two cheap PSUs and wire them together, but it's dangerous (they can hold a strong charge even after being unplugged for weeks), and in my opinion, having two separate PSUs just for your TEC seems like a bit much. The delta (max temp difference between sides)on my 40mm 72Ws is around 60C, and they do a fine job. I also like having dual pelts (side by side, not one on top of the other, mind you) is that is doubles the surface area, and still performs well. Don't get anything less than 72W, though. The typical AMD cpu puts out around 50Watts of heat, if your peltiers can't even match that, your cpu will actually overheat.
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