Article: What Do Overclockers and Supercomputers Have in Common?
By: Ed Trice (, June 22, 2011 3:54 pm
Room: Moderated Discussions
Hello David,

And thanks for the welcome.

David Kanter ( on 6/22/11 wrote:
When you say -200C, what are you measuring? I'm talking about the junction temperature of the chip. I suspect you may be talking about something else, since I think silicon behaves oddly at those temperatures. But perhaps I'm wrong...


The temperature is measured at the CPU block. You might be able to get a glimpse of it on the video. Now if I could only find the link to it! The CPU will heat it up a bit, but it hovers around -179C even under full load. Of course, this is for very short duration. We have held -112C for long term runs using a different technology (Cascade Phase Change, which is a 2-stage process with 2 different gases).

David Kanter ( on 6/22/11 wrote:
A peltier is a heat exchanger, there's no reason why it needs to simply use the air to dump out heat. What about a Peltier that pumps heat to the liquid nitrogen? You could get a much larger surface area that way.


You'd want to use the cool side of the Peltier junction to lower temperatures, and aim the "waste heat" away from your components. I first believed that Peltier cooling held great promise. But, in June of 2010, we released this report:

It was sad that some of the published cooling specs were obviously fabricated (we never obtaining the cooling numbers that CoolIT of Canada claimed) because this would have been an awesome technology (no moving parts, no maintenance!)

I took out my old college thermodynamics book, and I looked up metals that had the greatest difference in Peltier/Seebeck coefficients. Unfortunately, Palladium is a metal in the Platinum Group (along with Gold and Silver) and its price was even higher than gold at one point! But you could make one heck of a Peltier junction with it!
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