Computex 2018: CaseKing and Der8auer Debut Phase Shift Cooler AIO Prototype

Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | June 5, 2018 - 07:42 PM |
Tagged: phase change, overclocking, der8auer, computex 2018, computex, closed loop cooling

Famed overclocker Der8auer and Berlin-based online retailer CaseKing showed off a prototype phase change cooler at Computex 2018. The new cooler is a pressurized and closed system that places a block over the processor and uses a vertical tube to connect to a holding tank and a condenser that is cooled by a copper fin stack and two 90mm fans. While phase change cooling is nothing new, what is interesting about this prototype is that the team plans to bring what they call a Phase Shift Cooler to market as a commercial product like an AIO liquid cooler sometime before the end of the year.

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The system uses a 3M Novec-like fluid (it is not Novec, however, according to Gamer's Nexus in speaking with CaseKing at Computex) with a low boiling point. The system is pressurized, and the boiling point can be changed by adjusting the pressure of the cooling “loop”. As the processor heats up, the liquid begins boiling off and gas rises up the tube to the condenser where it cools and changes back into a liquid which then flows back into the CPU block with the help of gravity (which does limit placement of the condenser to vertical case orientations above the CPU. The copper fins of the condenser plate are cooled using two fans that do not need to spin at high RPMs.

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According to Gamer’s Nexus, Der8auer and CaseKing plan to reduce the size of the cooler and hydralic tubing to make it more in line with a typical 240mm or 360mm AIO liquid cooler and it would be comparable in performance with them without the need for a pump and its associated noise, size, and risk of failure. The Phase Shift Cooler should also be quieter as well, with the planned cooler moving from 90mm to 120mm fans on the final product and the fans not needing to spin up as fast as those high-pressure fans used with water cooling radiators. I have to say that it is an interesting proposition and I am looking forward to more information on this cooler as it progresses!

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June 6, 2018 | 02:22 AM - Posted by Kareha

Will it be as good as my Noctua DH-15, as that still compares very favourably with a good majority of AIO coolers. I still don't like the idea of putting fluids into a PC case, regardless of what water cooling experts say, there is still a risk of leakage and dead PC parts.

June 6, 2018 | 02:56 AM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

If this coolant leaked, it would likely just flash off to vapor instantly, meaning no damage to parts except for the overheating CPU once all of it leaked out.

June 6, 2018 | 05:56 AM - Posted by Stef (not verified)

If it's like the 3M's Novec the liquid is completely dielectric as it's used for immersion cooling, it may not vaporize instantly at room temperature but won't damage anything

June 6, 2018 | 07:03 AM - Posted by James

Heat pipes, like those used in your air cooler, generally have water in them as a working fluid. They aren't as likely to leak as an AIO liquid cooler, but they still have a very small amount of liquid in them.

This phase change cooler is actually very similar to a heat pipe. Heat pipes use a liquid like water as a working fluid. They lower the pressure in the heat pipe to decrease the boiling point of the water to desired temperature range. The water will essentially boil off the hot end, vapor moves quickly to the cold end, condenses, and then drips back under gravity or wicks back to the hot end via capillary action.

This device does the opposite. They start with somthing that boils at a lower temperature and raise the pressure up to get the boiling point into the working range. It will boil off at the hot end, rise to the top, condense, and flow back down.

June 6, 2018 | 07:44 AM - Posted by ipkh

I'd love to see this with the 34 degree novec instead. Maybe some GPU blocks as well. Way easier than full immersion style.

June 6, 2018 | 12:23 PM - Posted by Anonymouse (not verified)

1) Phase /change/ cooling, not 'phase shift'

2) The entire reason Novec exists is because it is NOT a perfluorocarbon.

3) Novec is not restricted in the EU. 3M sell it as a replacement for substances that ARE banned (e.g. PFCs, nPB, etc)

Chances are extremely high this is a closed-loop Novec phase-change cooler, basically a big atmospheric-pressure heat-pipe.

June 7, 2018 | 05:55 PM - Posted by Anonymousse (not verified)

I'm going to bet my left nut it's either pentane or hexane, since both boil at under 100°C and both make expo center owners queasy

June 9, 2018 | 04:22 AM - Posted by Schizo (not verified)

Yeah, and they are both flammable.. not a good idea inside a PC if you ask me. lol

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