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Old 5th February, 2002, 03:51 AM
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My Experiment and follow up questions

Ok well all of this talk about EXTREME cooling really got me wondering... how much does the silicon really expand and contract?

So I got REALLY bored and took my old TNT2 ultra video card and put it in a ziploc bag with a bunch of water and put it in the freezer over night. I then awoke and dumped that bad boy into a pot of boiling water and nothing happened... that I could see anyway. So after about an hour of switching between ice baths and boiling water, I dried it off and put it in my computer. Still worked...

Is the temperature differential not great enough or more specifically should I try colder temps? I can buy some freeze spray which is like -65F.... And there is a cryogenic place right near me which could give me some nice gas lol... any thoughts?
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Old 5th February, 2002, 07:30 AM
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Where were you when they needed scriptwriters for the olde Timex commercials? "..Timex, it takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'."

I think the idea is to take a room temperature Vidcard, put it in a freezer for 30 minutes, take it out of the freezer and then twist the stock HSF off of it. Then you can install a "manly" HSF on it.

Hopefully, the freezer makes the glue that the manufacturer used between the GPU and and its HSF brittle, thereby making it easy to break off the stock HSF.
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Old 5th February, 2002, 08:39 AM
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The life time of the a silicon IC is determined in part by the number of "thermal cycles", not so much how intense of a thermal cycle. But the more intense the thermal cycle the more damage is created. Over time and over many many (millions ???) thermal cycles the silcon breaks down on a microscopic level.

Entropy is a ***** . . . .
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Old 5th February, 2002, 10:54 AM
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The biggest problem is the difference in contraction between the chip package and the silicon itself. Certainly if you bring the entire package down cold enough, you'll either break the packaging, or put enough stress on the silicon for it to shatter. Thermal cycling tends to put stress on the bond wires as well, and they're very thin wires indeed.

Silicon and it's packaging is generally fine down to -40C. Below that, and you're into unknown territory. Manufacturers don't provide that information, figuring that 99.99% of applications for their semiconductors won't go below -20, never mind -40!

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Old 5th February, 2002, 06:03 PM
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Dang... so then if I was going to really do anything close to what i wanted to do in the first place I would have to make some sort of closed loop cooling system with liquid nitrogen or liquid helium and then I would have to just use that setup on an old CPU and just have it cycle on and off? lol

I think it would be a better idea to figure out a way to increase an already efficient cooling system- such as the vapochill- and figure out a way to make it handle a much higher wattage output. I don't know the specifics, but if the current setup can keep up to 200 watts at -20C, then let's try to make it handle up to 400 watts at maybe -40C.
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Old 6th February, 2002, 10:18 PM
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Welcome to AOA's "BBS," CreePing_DeatH! I'm far from a cooling expert. I seem to remember that Vapochilled OC'd Athlons run at 5C. Mebbe it was -5C? Didn't similarly cooled OC'd P3E's see -20C?

It probably requires an exponential increase in cooling ability to achieve an even 15% cooler processor. Drat.
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Old 6th February, 2002, 11:40 PM
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Thanks for the welcome ... I am going to start talking to a couple of companies that specialize in phase change cooling systems. I need to know if they are practical at all... I believe that using Liquid Helium was discussed... Unfortunately I fell off the face of the earth so I have to find that company again.
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Old 7th February, 2002, 03:20 AM
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It's funny, it will survive all that, but you fall walking across the room with it and it dies
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Old 7th February, 2002, 07:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by dimmreaper
The life time of the a silicon IC is determined in part by the number of "thermal cycles", not so much how intense of a thermal cycle. But the more intense the thermal cycle the more damage is created. Over time and over many many (millions ???) thermal cycles the silcon breaks down on a microscopic level.

Entropy is a ***** . . . .

I believe thermal cycling is when chips workout of there sockets over time.

Rob
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Old 7th February, 2002, 10:17 AM
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Quote:
The biggest problem is the difference in contraction between the chip package and the silicon itself. Certainly if you bring the entire package down cold enough, you'll either break the packaging, or put enough stress on the silicon for it to shatter
The problem does lie with differential expansion with temperature. For any given change in temperature, a given length of silicon will expand less than the same length of metal. If, as with an IC, the silicon is bonded to the metal, then the metal is quite capable of tearing the silicon apart - the force exerted by even small amounts of metal is huge.

Just for info: linear expansion coefficients of stuff:

Aluminium: C = 0.224E-4 (ref temp 20ºC)
Copper: C = 0.162E-4 (ref temp 20ºC)
Silicon: C = 0.0763E-4 (ref temp 40ºC)

I think it works like Lt = Lref (1 + C(T - Tref ))

Anyway, the result is the same - below some temperature the internal stresses in the chip will be too great for the silicon to cope. Similarly above a certain temperature there'll be a problem. I should add that the above correlations only have a limited temperature range (+/- 5ºC from the reference). I have a 4th order correlation here that I couldn't be bothered to type... does anyone know how hot a core gets when it goes pop?
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Old 8th February, 2002, 10:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Phil
It's funny, it will survive all that, but you fall walking across the room with it and it dies
I am so glad that that happened to some one else, thought it was just me
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