Oil Cooled PC With Scavenged Parts

Just a fun project to keep me entertained. It's my frist Oil build so I thought I'd ask you guys for tips. The aquarium case I'm using is pretty small so I thought I'd go for a CPU that I guessed wouldn't generate much heat. Also, what kind of oil should I use? Mineral Oil? Baby Oil? Vegetable Oil? Some other not said Oil?


I think I'll actually submerge the HDD, despite what everyone warns against. I figure that if I cover any found "air hole" on the Hard Drive while it's already running, that willl keep the whole thing from exploding and at the same time, keep oil out of the drive. I'm no genius though, so tell me if I'm completely wrong. I'm not too concerned if the hard drive dies (it's an old 40GB), I can always boot my OS off of a flash drive.


Here are some pictures in case anyone has any tips for my setup.


Pardon me for not posting the photos directly on here, it's a pain in the ass to post every single one :P

Mineral Oil is the one to use

Do not put your HDD in there. Just no. Other than that, have fun!

Is it an absolute no-no to submerge the hard drive? My problem is that the cables are too short to get the drive out of the case. Is it reasonable to try to survive on flash drives? Or should I buy an external HDD?

Yes, it is an absolute no-no to submerge hard disc drives, but if you had an SSD, tehn you could just get a large external storge and set it as a NAS or something. That's probably what I would do, but then again, I wouldn't be building an oil cooled PC. Too much hassle when trying to swap parts. And you want to go with mineral oil.

Looking at your pics I am sure you'd manage to mount tone hdd to the lid of the aquarium. The oils will fuck with the magnetism and spinning of the disk.

which cablthis too small? The power? You could try find an extenstion cable, maybe a local shop might have one left over the might be willing to give away if you explain what it's for. I don't see moles being used toif often any more.

Are you supposed to submerge the powersupply?

Yeah, power cable is too short. I'll see if I can find one. I would mount the drive on the lid of the aquarium, but it isn't flat enough to do that. I'll probably mount it to the side of the aquarium if I can find a long enough IDE cable.

Yes, the powersupply cant survive in the oil

The reason to not submerge the HDD is because the vent holes are actually there to equalize the pressure inside the HDD due to the spinning disks.  Also you will create all sorts of foaming from trying to spin disks so close together in a viscious liquid not to mention the extra energy to spin the disks.

You can put the psu in there but you need to mod it by removeing the psus fan BUT dont put the harddrive in there 


All the fans will work just fine submerged in the oil, so don't even worry about them. The main reason that you don't want to submerge the HDD in oil is because the discs will be slowed due to the significantly higher viscosity of the oil and the read/write heads will be unable to read and write properly through it. SSDs have no such qualms. You can also leave the fans on your GPU and CPU coolers, they'll function very similarly to how they would in an air cooled system and help to keep your components cool. They'll just look really amusing because they spin so much slower in oil.