When processors run at maximum capacity, they generate a huge amount of heat, which poses a risk to their critical parts and components.
In this blog you will learn more about how liquid cooling helps computers avoid overheating and provides full functionality.
What is liquid cooling?
Liquid cooling uses coolant to transfer heat from your processor, and sometimes the GPU, and other components, to a heat sink, where the heat from the coolant is dissipated by cooling fans before circulating back to the processor.
Common in a data center, a liquid cooling system circulates liquid through a heatsink attached to the processor.
There are two types of liquid cooling systems: all-in-one (AIO) and custom cooling circuits.
AIO means that the system is literally all in one, while custom systems have additional parts and components that you have to install yourself.
How does liquid cooling work?
Both the AIO and the custom cooling circuits work in essentially the same way.
In AIO systems, the process begins with a base plate that is bonded to the IHS with a layer of thermal paste.
IHS stands for Integrated Heat Spreader, a metal outer processor cover that serves as a protective sheath around the processing silicon and a path for heat exchange between the processor and your CPU cooler.
IHS allows better heat transfer between the two surfaces. The metal surface of the base plate is part of the water block, which is designed to be filled with coolant.
Source: intel.com. A liquid cooling system circulates fluid through a heat sink attached to the processor.
The coolant absorbs heat from the base plate as it moves through the water block. It then continues to move through the system and up through one of the two pipes to the radiator.
As the liquid passes through the radiator, the heat passes from the hot processor to the cooler liquid. The radiator exposes the liquid to air, which helps it cool, and the fan attached to the radiator dissipates heat away from the cooler.
The cooled liquid is returned through the system to continue the process. The hot liquid then travels to a radiator at the back of the box and transfers the heat outside the box.
Custom cooling circuits
Custom cooling circuits are a bit more complicated than AIOs, as you have to provide and install each part of the cooling system yourself.
In addition to the radiator, fans and pipes, there are water blocks for each component in the circuit, a tank for retaining coolant and a pump for circulating liquid through the tank, water blocks and radiator.
In these settings, the server itself is located inside a rack, and the pipes connected to the radiator take hot liquid out of the system to a tank and bring filtered, cool liquid inside.
Source: servethehome.com. The system itself is located inside a rack, and the pipes connected to the radiator take hot liquid outside the system to a tank and bring filtered, cool liquid inside.
What are the benefits of liquid cooling?
Over time, CPU and GPU speeds have increased significantly. To generate new speeds, processors use more transistors, draw more power, run at a higher clock speed, and thus generate more heat than ever before.
Liquid cooling is even more efficient than traditional radiator technology in removing heat from components. This technology allows processors to run at higher speeds, while supporting the processor and graphics cards to work with the manufacturer’s temperature specifications.
This efficiency is one of the reasons why extreme overclockers tend to prefer this approach – in some cases doubling the CPU speed with very sophisticated liquid cooling settings.
In addition, liquid cooling has a quieter operation. Most modern combinations of radiator and fan generate a lot of noise because their fans work hard when circulating large volumes of air.
In fact, many high-performance processors require fan speeds above 500 rpm, and CPU overclocking requires even more airflow over the CPU. Liquid cooling reduces the resulting “engine noise”.
What are the disadvantages of liquid cooling?
They need space
Liquid cooling kits require a lot of space in the computer case to work efficiently. There should be room for items such as an impeller, fluid tank, pipes, fan and power supplies.
For this reason, liquid cooling systems require larger desktop systems. Much of the system may be outside the box, but this takes up space in or around the desktop.
Recent closed-loop technologies have reduced the overall footprint of older systems, but they still require space. In particular, they need enough clearance for the radiator to replace one of the internal fans of the housing.
Also, the pipes must reach from the component to be cooled to the radiator. Finally, a closed system cools only one component, so if you want liquid cooling of the CPU and video card, you need space for two systems.
Installation requires experience
A custom liquid cooling application requires a significant level of technical knowledge to install. Although you can purchase a kit from a cooling manufacturer, you still need to install it.
Each case has a different layout, so you need to cut and direct the tubes exactly to fit your case. If this is not done correctly, it can damage your system.
Who are some manufacturers of liquid cooling systems for data centers?
Here are some manufacturers of liquid cooling systems for data centers:
- Aspen Systems Inc.: Aspen shelving, power and cooling solutions ensure maximum integration alignment to ensure that your converged infrastructure can handle new and intensive workloads in any environment.
- LiquidStack: Formerly known as Allied Control Limited (ACL), LiquidStack has become the world’s largest supplier of liquid cooling. Liquid stack a pioneer in 2-phase immersion cooling and has won numerous awards for building the most efficient data centers in the world.
- Submariner: Submer’s mission is to make the work and construction of data centers more sustainable and efficient. Submer helps data centers design products, platforms, APIs, processes, and installations that will move hyperscalers, colocation, and huge industries to new levels of efficiency and innovation.
- Asperitis: Asperitas is a clean, high-tech company that specializes in immersion cooling. They provide cutting-edge immersion cooling solutions for energy-efficient, high-density data centers worldwide. An investment led by Shell Ventures has supported the acceleration of Asperitas’ mission to create sustainable data centers globally.
- Usystems: Usystems provides cooling products that improve data center cooling, focusing on efficient technologies that allow customers to achieve the required IT density, combined with unprecedented levels of sustainable cooling efficiency with scalability and without the need for additional cooling.
- Munters: Munters is a world leader in innovative, energy-efficient and sustainable climate solutions for mission-critical processes. They offer innovative, efficient and sustainable solutions for customers in many different industries where temperature and humidity control is extremely important.
- Iceotop Technologies Limited: Iceotop’s chassis-level precision immersion cooling solutions are designed to cool the entire IT stack in every application, from hyper-scale to extreme. 100% sealed at chassis level, Iceotop’s liquid cooling solutions offer extreme cooling features while isolating and protecting critical IT from the environment and atmosphere.
- Schneider Electric: Schneider Electric the goal is to enable everyone to make the most of our energy and resources, linking progress and sustainability for all. Schneider introduced the first commercially available integrated stand with chassis-based liquid immersion cooling. Immersion cooling promises lower operating costs, higher efficiency, lower footprint and fanless operation.
- Vertiv: Vertiv offers efficient and reliable heat management and humidity control solutions tailored to your specific size, location and business goals. Your critical equipment needs the best in precision cooling, and Vertiv delivers state-of-the-art equipment and controls, low operating costs and unrivaled expertise.
Liquid Cooling and Trenton Systems
Liquid cooling provides the necessary protection for your computer’s processors and components against overheating.
Most importantly, liquid cooling distributes heat over a wider surface than air, resulting in more efficient and quieter operation.
Trenton’s line of high-performance computing solutions is able to support rack-cooling systems for rack-mount and low-form computers, delivering maximum performance across a wide range of environments.
Our engineers work tirelessly to develop systems that can avoid overload and maintain low temperatures by removing CPU pressure.
Whether in all-in-one or customized contour form, hot air is kept away from critical parts and components to ensure maximum efficiency and computing power at the strategic, tactical and operational levels.