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  • Cooling ideas -/w console PC; in mustang?

    I've had this going for a couple years now. I've got just about everything under the sun setup with it that I set out to do, but..

    This is the only lasting hurdle for this, since this is probably a faster PC than most people's desktop, coupled with being in such a confined space it's quite the pain in the *** in winter. Odd I know, summer is fine, but in winter with the heat going the console gets a decent amount of the floor heat syphoned into it, and it has nowhere to go, so the PSU and/or the MB cut-off due to exceeding their heat specs. It's quite frustrating.

    I'm just wondering if any others have come across this issue and what they've done to resolve it, tubing, cutting into the car's ductwork, etc..

    I've done all I could think of offhand, replaced the CPU cooler to a server based low profile 775 heatsink with blower, put a single slot fan blower over the GPU heatsink.. trouble is they really have nowhere direct to push the air to since the back is butted up against the car's firewall.
    2008 Ford Mustang GT/CS CARPC(99%)
    Software: Ride/Road-Runner, Digital FX skin 5.x, iGuidance 2011, GPSgate on Win7 64bit

  • #2
    Try liquid cooling system look for it on the web

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    • #3
      I cut one duct and blocked it with insulation. The air was redirected to other outputs.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by jontheinstaller
        Try liquid cooling system look for it on the web
        I'm familiar with the concept, but the idea of using water even without factoring the space constraints with a normal water-block on a stable desktop makes me nervous, let alone in a car-pc that's constantly jolted. Not a "bad" idea per-say, but at least in my opinion not something I'd even try in a car setup.

        Originally posted by RipplingHurst
        I cut one duct and blocked it with insulation. The air was redirected to other outputs.
        So you just cut out a section, then molded a tunnel of insulation around it, with no tubing or the like right? What did you use to cut into it? I suppose I could dremel out a section in my center console, then adapt some kind of flap with some kind of large plastic tubing to follow the flow as to not be countering the effect if the car's HVAC was on.
        2008 Ford Mustang GT/CS CARPC(99%)
        Software: Ride/Road-Runner, Digital FX skin 5.x, iGuidance 2011, GPSgate on Win7 64bit

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        • #5
          In my Tracer install I filled in the vents closest to my CarPC with "Great Stuff" or whatever it's called. Sliced off the extra after it dried and called it good. I looked around for some kind of flap or butterfly valve style but came up empty. I think this would be a fantastic idea if the parts could be found.

          A water cooled system would probably be a terrible idea in a car depending on your location. I know of no automotive grade liquid coolers that can withstand such extreme changes in temperature. I could think of pumps seizing, coolant freezing, lines breaking, etc... bad idea. However... I've been thinking about using one during the summer and switching over to a heatsink/fan during the winter.

          An issue I could see with this is pumping around and cooling the coolant if my car has been sitting out in the heat for while, before I power up the PC. Otherwise I'm going to be pumping around extremely hot liquid.

          Pics of where your PC is installed?
          Tidder

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Wayne613 View Post
            So you just cut out a section, then molded a tunnel of insulation around it, with no tubing or the like right? What did you use to cut into it? I suppose I could dremel out a section in my center console, then adapt some kind of flap with some kind of large plastic tubing to follow the flow as to not be countering the effect if the car's HVAC was on.
            Yes, exactly that. I used a dremel. It can be very hard plastic (as it was for me), so plan accordingly. It's very hard to tell more without pictures, but I believe you're on the right track with the above.
            Worklogs: 08 Sequoia Platinum Carputer (In Progress!)
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            07 Infiniti Fx35 (done!) & 06 Infiniti M35 (gone...)

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            • #7
              not saying to get it or not to get it, but if you do liquid cooling i highly suggest only using compression fittings, so you don't have to worry about it leaking at the fittings I use bitspower and koolance (for my desktop pc), but I doubt it matters what name brand really. Also water cools really fast, so you don't have to worry about hot water flowing through your system once you turn it on (as long as radiator is placed where it can get air and fans put on it), but you might have to worry about the water heating up well the computers off?

              Another thing I just use distilled water and silver because the coolant you buy is pretty much water and anti-freeze most of the time and anti-freeze doesn't absorb heat as good as water does. The reason for anti-freeze is to kill bacteria, but if you use silver and distilled water it will do the trick . The silver I use are called killcoils. You can use those or you can go out and buy a piece of 99.9 percent pure silver just make sure it is big enough, so it won't go through the tubing and can just sit in the tank.

              If your afraid of the water freeze due to cold winters though maybe putting like 25/75 or 50/50 anti-freeze will solve that problem since that is what they do in cars anyways.

              Once again I am neither suggesting or not suggesting using water cooling.
              2002 Honda Civic Ex --Worklog

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              • #8
                Most of the non-conductive coolants have a temp range from about 150F to -30F...plus you don't have to worry about a leak causing a problem.
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                • #9
                  Correct me if i'm wrong, but I believe if you poured it for example on the motherboard then you might still have issues. I believe it is just a lot less likely to mess something up. If you used compression fittings you pretty much would only have to worry about the tubbing getting snagged on something or damaged.

                  Anyways yeah they do make non-conductive or w.e. coolant I forgot about that and in a car because of winter it would be a lot better then using anti-freeze if somehow you did get a leak and as long as temps don't get below there freezing point.
                  2002 Honda Civic Ex --Worklog

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Tidder View Post
                    In my Tracer install I filled in the vents closest to my CarPC with "Great Stuff" or whatever it's called. Sliced off the extra after it dried and called it good. I looked around for some kind of flap or butterfly valve style but came up empty. I think this would be a fantastic idea if the parts could be found.

                    A water cooled system would probably be a terrible idea in a car depending on your location. I know of no automotive grade liquid coolers that can withstand such extreme changes in temperature. I could think of pumps seizing, coolant freezing, lines breaking, etc... bad idea. However... I've been thinking about using one during the summer and switching over to a heatsink/fan during the winter.

                    Pics of where your PC is installed?
                    Yeah, I'll have to browse home-depot with this in mind sometime as there's got to be something suitable for this use there I'd think; maybe even just block off a single vent entirely for exhaust purposes.

                    Even though liquid cooling is hinted at still, with all the issues I can think of off-hand that could be problematic, space, leaking, temp variables, being constantly jolted, etc.. The temperatures can reach 110F to -30F here, the later is unusual, but it does happen in winter some years. So while that would solve it, I think long-term I'd be looking at an insurance claim in the making.

                    Afraid I don't have any of the console with everything removed. But my old thread with my install pics is still around, here is one of the unit installed for reference, and here's the full thread, of course this it doesn't help much as you can't see how jammed it is by this, but it is butting up to the main HVAC plastic vent base, which is part of the problem.

                    The further refinement has helped, it's not cutting off due to heat now that I can tell (I ran it for a 45min trip with the heat on yesterday), but it's still insanely high to me. Highest values being 69C for GPU, and a few celcius less for the CPU cores.
                    2008 Ford Mustang GT/CS CARPC(99%)
                    Software: Ride/Road-Runner, Digital FX skin 5.x, iGuidance 2011, GPSgate on Win7 64bit

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                    • #11
                      Some GPUs can run hot though without any issue. For example I have a ati 4870 x2 air cooled in my desktop and when playing games it runs at around 85C and normally runs at 75C to 78C idle.
                      2002 Honda Civic Ex --Worklog

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                      • #12
                        yeah, and i have this nvidia gtx 480m in a 15" gx640 laptop...

                        no, but seriously. I wouldnt think anyone with a car computer should have anything but integrated intel graphics? that will stay cool.

                        Its all about airflow though.

                        Oh, 69c max is not bad. I know it sounds high.
                        If you run a program like ORTHOS prime stress test or superpi then you should know how easily running programs on you PC will make it overheat.

                        Mostly over 85c is whats considered to be damaging. A good PC will idle under 40c and then not reach 80c while gaming/engineering/rendering 3d pixar epics or what have you.

                        Wait a minute, what are you doing with a 3ghz core 2 duo in a car in the first place? apparently I have much to learn.

                        Once again I will bring up the extreme heat differences of laptop vs desktop core 2 series CPUs.
                        I have an overclocked 3+ ghz quad core laptop CPU. Its only 45w TDP, well under 65w of slower, 2 core desktop CPU!
                        and the P series... is 25w! you could practically cool that with a desktop ACPI heatsink!


                        Anway rant over. there is software that will probably be more helpful, such as RMclock. a little undervolting goes a long way.

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                        • #13
                          or underclock in bios and skip extra programs . He might need the power though who knows what he does or doesn't do.
                          2002 Honda Civic Ex --Worklog

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by cla1067 View Post
                            or underclock in bios and skip extra programs . He might need the power though who knows what he does or doesn't do.
                            Which is what I already did, it helps a little, but as I stated it's never a problem in summer even in 100+ F temps when it's been sitting out all day in direct sunlight, it's just winter with the heater on butted up against the plastic vent source. I obviously don't "need" it all, but he was more intent on a rant than providing info, so I let 'em. I just get tired of justifying not wishing to upgrade to get extra power for more monitors, apps, etc if needed.

                            Many I've seen end up doing this multiple times for the same car because they want to do a "little" extra, and their atom or the like just can't quite make the grade any more. It's obvious if he believes my setup is overkill he has yet to view many others with multiple desktops installed in their vehicles. Unless I need 12 monitors to display 1080p movies, etc, I'm actually *certain* I will not need to do a do-over with this setup.

                            I should have researched more however on the usual operating temps of the modern core 2's and higher-end GPU's though, what I'm at now seems to be close to the norm, so the re-shifting and replacing of the stock HS's with some AS3 seems to be doing it.

                            It would still probably be in my best interest to get better air-flow regardless, or else risk getting all this overkill only to have it die early due to this and having to be force-ably upgraded anyhow. But at least now I can drive downstate without it shutting itself off after 20mins.
                            2008 Ford Mustang GT/CS CARPC(99%)
                            Software: Ride/Road-Runner, Digital FX skin 5.x, iGuidance 2011, GPSgate on Win7 64bit

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Wayne613 View Post
                              Which is what I already did, it helps a little, but as I stated it's never a problem in summer even in 100+ F temps when it's been sitting out all day in direct sunlight, it's just winter with the heater on butted up against the plastic vent source. I obviously don't "need" it all, but he was more intent on a rant than providing info, so I let 'em.
                              Yeah, well what else were you gonna do? :P just kididng. I'm still here btw.
                              I just get tired of justifying not wishing to upgrade to get extra power for more monitors, apps, etc if needed.

                              Many I've seen end up doing this multiple times for the same car because they want to do a "little" extra, and their atom or the like just can't quite make the grade any more. It's obvious if he believes my setup is overkill he has yet to view many others with multiple desktops installed in their vehicles. Unless I need 12 monitors to display 1080p movies, etc, I'm actually *certain* I will not need to do a do-over with this setup.
                              I don't have beliefs about whether your setup is overkill or not, on the contrary I think its pretty awesome that something like this exists and mostly because it was you and not a car company that did it.
                              I did say I have a lot to learn as well, although I know cooling systems like the back of my hand I'm obviously not a car guy.
                              Mainly what I was thinking is that I'd do it differently, which is sort of a no brainer, I mean everyone does it differently. If I need 3ghz for example I would start with a p8700 2.53ghz or something for ~100$ at 25w and then do a 266-333mhz fsb mod effective bus 1066-1333mhz so the base multiplier 9.5 x 333 = about 3.1ghz.

                              With a setup like that i would be *certain* to never ever run down my car battery, even if I lived in my car and used the computer for weeks without starting the car.
                              I should have researched more however on the usual operating temps of the modern core 2's and higher-end GPU's though, what I'm at now seems to be close to the norm, so the re-shifting and replacing of the stock HS's with some AS3 seems to be doing it.

                              It would still probably be in my best interest to get better air-flow regardless, or else risk getting all this overkill only to have it die early due to this and having to be force-ably upgraded anyhow. But at least now I can drive downstate without it shutting itself off after 20mins.
                              What would be really cool is if you could have an air intake for the winter that cooled it with outside air :P no fans required!


                              The thing about RMclock though is that the downclock is not permanent, and you can set profiles, change it all while its running. Also, undervolting is the key here that can be way better than downclocking.

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