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Cool Bitts Icebox makes a case for more immersive PC gaming

QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 24,442
Some years ago, Puget Systems made a liquid cooled desktop by using an aquarium as a case, filling it with mineral oil, and dunking almost the entire computer in it.  I'm not sure if they were the first to do that, but they were the first that I saw.  That more or less worked, though it wasn't ideal for a variety of reasons.  Among others, vendors will probably be skeptical of your attempts at RMAing a part if it returns coated in mineral oil.

Cool Bitts has decided to run with that idea with their new Icebox desktop PC case.  Rather than just being a weird, custom PC mod, they'll sell you a full kit for it.  Rather than just letting the liquid heat up, they have a radiator with fans, as well as a pump to move the liquid around.  Here's where they sell it:

Or a news story about it:

I'd assume that the hardest part of this is getting a suitable liquid.  Among the desired properties of the liquid are:
1)  extremely low electrical conductivity, so that it doesn't short circuit and thus fry your computer
2)  high thermal conductivity, so that it can readily pick up and dispose of heat
3)  high heat capacity, so that it can carry a lot of heat around
4)  low freezing point, so that it doesn't freeze if your room gets a little cold
5)  extremely low vapor pressure near room temperature so that it doesn't evaporate away
6)  low viscosity so that it is easy to pump it around
7)  non-corrosive to all common computer part materials, including a variety of metals and plastics
8)  non-toxic to humans, so that an inevitable spill isn't a medical emergency
9)  inhospitable to algae or anything else that might want to grow in it
10)  non-flammable, so that a spark doesn't cause an explosion and burn your house down
11)  transparent, so that you can actually see your computer

That's really not a good description of any common, household liquids.  So instead, the kit includes this:

That's a synthetic hydrocarbon designed for liquid cooling uses like this.  The idea is that you build your computer into the tank provided, then fill it with the coolant liquid.  The tank is large enough to support MicroATX motherboards, but not full size ATX or larger.

The case assumes that the motherboard is rotated 90 degrees from the usual orientation, so that the motherboard rear ports are on the top of the case, rather than the back, like with the Silverstone Raven cases.  This keeps those ports out of the liquid.  USB, Ethernet, and DisplayPort ports don't need to be liquid cooled, but filling them with a non-conductive liquid seems like a bad idea.

The price tag for Cool Bitts's full kit is $2450.  They'll also sell some individual components for less than that.  That makes it an expensive novelty item, of the sort that this site commonly runs hardware reviews of.  But it indisputably offers more immersion in your gaming than just about any other case out there.


  • H0urg1assH0urg1ass Member EpicPosts: 2,380
    If I win the lottery, then I'm building one of these for sure.

    Outside of that, I pull the old parts from my PC and either sell them or swap down to my kids computers that are always a generation behind mine.  If they want a nicer computer, then get a damn job.

    So drenching the parts in synthetic hydrocarbons that will be impossible to clean off during a part swap is out of the question at this point.
  • ChildoftheShadowsChildoftheShadows Member EpicPosts: 2,144
    Immersion or submersion? I'm confused. 
  • H0urg1assH0urg1ass Member EpicPosts: 2,380
    Immersion or submersion? I'm confused. 
    No no, this is the Rian Roundhead Johnson model, so Subversion.

    You put it together, pour the liquid in, turn it on and it blows every electronic circuit because he subverted your expectations by swapping the synthetic hydrocarbons with tap water!

    Haha!  Jokes on you!
  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,341
    Sounds fun. Wonder if I can put goldfish in with it
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 24,442
    DMKano said:
    Even if I had millions to waste on stupid shit, I wouldn't do this.
    It's not particularly practical, but most weird case designs aren't.  They're weird precisely because they're not that practical.  But it's still kind of cool.  And more interesting than some of the other weird stuff that this site does hardware reviews of like wall lighting.
  • 13lake13lake Member UncommonPosts: 719
    edited January 2020
    This is pretty cool, but I think a thermosiphon finally coming to market after years of almost show-ups is more interesting:

    If anyone's interested more about it, there's some new info in this thread about their plans, details, etc, esspecially the 7th page.

    Post edited by 13lake on
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