Generally speaking, liquid cooling does not involve dunking your system into a vat of coolant. That would be crazy, and destructive. That is, unless you're Allied Computers, then it's just par for course.
Allied Computers is at the SC17 (SuperComputing) conference in Denver, Colorado, where it's showing off its Immersion Cooling technology. CNET covered (opens in new tab) this very thing back at Computex earlier this year, but it's so insanely awesome to look at that it's worth revisiting.
Have a look:
#SC17 Cool cooling solution!!! pic.twitter.com/8bwyGBy4nUNovember 14, 2017
At first glance, it appears as though Allied Computers has found a way to defy science by stocking a bunch of electrical components into a tub of water, but that's not water. It's a special liquid from 3M called Novec, and it's used in data centers where cooling is hyper critical.
The way it works is pretty interesting, and different from plopping a PC in oil, which has also been done before.
"In a two-phase immersion cooled system, electronic components are submerged into a bath of dielectric heat transfer liquids, which are much better heat conductors than air, water or oil. With their various low boiling points (ie, 49C vs. 100C in water), the fluids boil on the surface of heat generating components and rising vapor passively takes care of heat transfer," Applied Computers explains.
"In contrast to submersion oil cooling, liquids are clean, environmentally friendly and non-flammable. No heatsinks, pumps and jets are required to keep hardware cool. Circulation happens passively by the natural process of evaporation and without spending any extra energy," the company adds.
When CNET took a look at a liquid cooled system by Allied Computers earlier this year, it was running 10 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 graphics cards stripped of their heatsinks and cooling fans, and two Intel Xeon motherboards, in a small clear box.
The system being showed off at SC17 appears to be different—we count five graphics cards—but is still cool to look at.