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IBM Hydro Cluster Water Cooling  (Source: IBM)
IBM Power 575 performs at 600 GFlops per node

Computer enthusiasts that overclock their CPUs have known for a long time that liquid cooling has the potential to cool the processor better than air cooling. Liquid cooling in the enthusiast space is common and has even given way in the extreme performance categories to much more exotic means of cooling processors.

In the supercomputer realm companies like IBM have traditionally relied on air cooling for the CPUs via air conditioning for the room the supercomputer is in. IBM introduced its latest supercomputer called the Power 575, which is equipped with IBM’s latest Power6 microprocessor. The Power 575 has moved from air cooling to liquid cooling and thanks to the liquid cooling useing water-chilled copper plates located above each processor, the new supercomputer requires 80% fewer air conditioning units.

The significantly reduced need for air conditioning means that the energy needed to cool the data center can be reduced by 40%. IBM researchers say water can be up to 4,000 times more efficient than air cooling for computer systems.

The Power 575 supercomputer has 448 cores per rack and provides over five times the performance of its predecessor and is three times more energy efficient per rack. Each rack features 14 2U nodes each consisting of 32 4.7GHz cores of Power6 and 3.5TB of memory. Each node is capable of 600 GFlops and is three times more efficient in GFlops per kilowatt than the Power5 air-cooled processors.

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RE: Water Cooling
By SectionEight on 4/10/2008 8:26:04 AM , Rating: 4
I've seen a demo in which they submerged the entire mobo in non-conductive coolant and it ran fine. Pretty cool, if impractical.

RE: Water Cooling
By tastyratz on 4/10/2008 11:55:28 AM , Rating: 3
Water cooling has a very practical application as well
Its starting to become more attractive to OEM's too.
Water allows you to cool more efficiently, in a smaller space, and in a quieter fashion.
Water cooling for people such as me allows me to scale my computer beyond speeds available to me in retail for bottom dollar.
My computer runs more silent with water than you could ever achieve practically with air cooling. I have built my computer specifically around silent computing.

Some people do not need want or have time to overclock so perhaps its not for you. See beyond the obvious market and you can see a great potential for many other applications if this were to be adopted.

RE: Water Cooling
By snownpaint on 4/11/2008 10:56:04 AM , Rating: 2
I saw that stuff on the old TV show "Beyond 2000". They took an old Mac, and submerged it while it was running.. (happy mac startup face an all).. Also the liquid would bubble indicating where a short was on a board.. Finally, I have heard of extreme overclockers, that take a tank full of this liquid and run AC coils into it, to get extremely low temperatures to run their machine in.

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