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Old 02-26-2005, 01:36 PM   #1
zhangmaike
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Question Some hardware-related temperature questions


Can anyone forsee any problems with chilling a motherboard (the cpu, memory, cards, etc. - NOT the drives) to below freezing temperatures?

Also, it's pretty obvious how hardware can have a maximum operating humidity rating, but what's with the minimum operating humidity? ... How can an electronic device have a minimum required amount of humidity to operate?

Thanks!
 
Old 02-26-2005, 01:58 PM   #2
harken
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Physically speaking, one can talk about minimum percent of humidity required because very low humidity means either heat or freezing, so it's temperature related. Yet I don't think that such a problem can arise for day-to-day use of electronic equipments.
Regarding chilling...think for example at CPUs: they are manufactured using hundredths of microns technology. What if a transistor will simply "crack" due to freezing (contraction)?

As for detailed specifications, visit the manufacturer's site, it must have the docs somewhere.

Last edited by harken; 02-26-2005 at 02:03 PM.
 
Old 02-26-2005, 05:36 PM   #3
zhangmaike
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Ah. I see.

... I've heard of CPU cooling devices which chill the CPU to sub-zero temperatures, well below freezing, without any problems (vapochill, etc). Now, given that the CPU can take such cold conditions, will a motherboard follow suit? Or is that another story all together? I'm just don't want my motherboard to snap in half from thermal stress... (my motherboard has no listed temperature specs)
 
Old 02-26-2005, 05:51 PM   #4
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Sounds great as long as one can keep water vapor out. When you turn off the system and it warms up and is not in a sealed enviroment like a frigerator then condensation can start and if you start up the system with water on it, it can short out. On cooling if there is any humdity then dew will develope and frost. All can kill the system.

I've seen a place that test equipment to sub zero tempertures for the Government. I was around when one of the test occur where the door on the test equipment is opened while running near -130 degrees. It snowed for 20 minutes. That was cool.

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Old 02-27-2005, 12:40 AM   #5
Megamieuwsel
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On the part of humidity :
If the humidity runs too low , the risk of static discharges rises exponentially.
That's not a good thing with electronics....

Advised air-humidity for a CompHardware-lab is generally at 50%.

Not to mention the health-issues with too low humidity.

Last edited by Megamieuwsel; 02-27-2005 at 12:41 AM.
 
Old 02-27-2005, 01:33 AM   #6
zhangmaike
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If the computer is in a sealed environment, would the risk of static discharge still be an issue? It seems that humidity, in this case, would be a greater concern as I intend to chill the circuitry, and condensation / ice is not desirable.
 
Old 02-27-2005, 01:51 AM   #7
harken
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Maybe if you come up with some details would spot some light on what you're trying to do. First of all, why chilling the circuitry? Is it some sort of experiment or are you planning some trip where weather conditions are extreme? And what exactly do you mean by sealed environment? 'Cause the principles of thermodinamics aren't the same for sealed (or closed) environments vs. not sealed ones (that's AFAIK, I can't bet on it).
Is the hardware you're operating with designed for this kind of stuff or is it regular equipment, found in any computers store?
 
Old 02-27-2005, 05:38 PM   #8
zhangmaike
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It's just regular equiptment, and it's an experiment. I've been tinkering with some overclocking, but my computer's starting to get too hot. Typically, people try to find ways of cooling the CPU when overclocking. I thought it might be simpler (and cheaper) to keep my air cooling setup and simply put the whole motherboard in a refrigeration unit of sorts.

So... Regular equiptment; Experiment; Sealed as in thermally insulated from the outside world in a 2x2x2 foot cube.
 
Old 02-27-2005, 10:44 PM   #9
Megamieuwsel
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Even in a sealed environment , static discharges will stay being a factor to consider : Internally , a comp runs on DC.
Also ; Any moving parts are prone to work up some static : Harddrives and fans are notorious for it and need to be properly grounded.

But since you were thinking about a fridge kinda setup , I wouldn't worry about too low humidity , rather the other way around...
 
Old 02-27-2005, 11:12 PM   #10
zhangmaike
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I was going to keep the harddrives outside, anyway, because the cold temperatures would warp the discs... and I guess I'll ground the fans somehow...

...But I'm still worried about thermal stress. At around 0 degrees fahrenheit, could the circuit boards and wires shrink / flex to the point of breakage?
 
  


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