The headline sounds as weird as this story, but fact is that Intel has performed this test and has discovered that mineral oil cooling is a lot more efficient than liquid cooling.
Surprise? Let’s get a few things straight here.
Every company nowadays is looking to invest (or experiment) in cheaper ways to create silicon efficiency (parts inside machinery, engines, computers, phones). In the computing industry this is highly important as the internal components constantly generate heat. Principle in any machinery, the more heat the less performance and more effort is required to ‘cool something down’. Understand that heat creates limits, and limits can be removed through the process of efficient cooling.
Many geeks now and in the past have succumbed to combinations of cooling methods. Water liquid cooling using special radiator and/fans for components like CPU, hard drive, fans – but all were maintained separately, meaning each cooling equipment was attached to work for its designated component (liquid cooling for CPU, fans for hard disk, etc).
What’s different here? The usage of mineral oil is the biggest factor, but what stands out here is the fact that the entire motherboard along with compatible parts were kept under mineral oil that was ‘cooled’. The “Green Revolution Cooling” discovered that mineral oil can be the best alternative to air-cooling. Apparently no damage was done to the hardware (as compared to what water can do), reliability and cost savings are seen as the biggest gain here. Most oil is thrown away after being cooked or used up, not sure if oil can be re-used. For now it’s aimed at servers and data warehouses but let’s see how far Intel can go with this.