Thermoelectric Cooling is a Bad Idea

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  • Published: 11 August 2019
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    People keep emailing us saying “Hey Linus, you should look at Peltier Coolers!” – and I’ve finally given in, so here is a video about why it’s a bad idea.

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Comments • 3 515

  • Kevin Knight Photography

    Use radiator water cooler with fans to dissipate the heat from hot side of peltier, then use peltier cold side to chill water and pump through water block on CPU, then send the output hot water from out side of CPU block over to the radiator. Complete loop.

    • Grim Reefer
      Grim Reefer  5 hours back

      Nice Pot Plant!

      • Gasoline
        Gasoline  9 hours back

        *32:9 aspect ratio*
        Is this cinematic enough guys?

        • DrachenSeele
          DrachenSeele  15 hours back

          Tip for the blender benchmark, don't use the BMW for heavy testing, try the cosmos laundromat one!! This one brings my pc to its knees! The cpu has no time to get warm on the BMW

          • ComatoseChimera
            ComatoseChimera  15 hours back

            what if you combined the 2, use a radiation to cool the water most of the way and then a TEC to push it colder?

            • ZZstaff
              ZZstaff  24 hours back

              I used a Peltier 20 or 25 years ago and was not impressed. I cannot believe they are around for desktop use. Overclock the CPU & GPU then put a power hungry Peltier in the mix to increase power usage and heat inside the case? Great idea!

              • Johnny Two Hands
                Johnny Two Hands  1 days back

                I installed a WaterSeer right on my motherboard and now all the children in Africa have cold fresh water and chilly CPU’s.

                • DanielVidz
                  DanielVidz  2 days back

                  Bad cooling idea..
                  Mercury liquid cooling.. it's HEAVY metal

                  • DanielVidz
                    DanielVidz  2 days back

                    Why not leave the rad in the loop?
                    CPU>radiator>reservoir>pump>TEC

                    • Agent Shepard
                      Agent Shepard  2 days back

                      The rock at the beginning slayed me

                      • Andrew
                        Andrew  2 days back

                        Maybe put a radiator and a thermoelectric cooler in the same loop and see the benefits

                        • Chasse Court
                          Chasse Court  2 days back

                          Maybe a TEG would help as opposed to a TEC

                          • Peter Wood
                            Peter Wood  2 days back

                            Mercury in the loop

                            • Evan Yoohoo
                              Evan Yoohoo  2 days back

                              What about inserting the two chillers AFTER the normal radiator?

                              • travis moore
                                travis moore  2 days back

                                What if you use acetone instead of water cooling.???

                                • travis moore
                                  travis moore  2 days back

                                  My bad cooling idea was to squirt liquid butane onto my chip. The other bad idea was to use the fridge freezer to cool may game boy pocket to make it run faster. And yes it did run fast until it warmed up. So That was how I zipped though pokemon one but cold winter days bundled up in the cold was not practical. That and dew on the screen was not fun.

                                  • dumyyyyyy
                                    dumyyyyyy  2 days back

                                    Thats why i have done the freon cooling system on my computer from 2010, the original ideea was a peltier module , but the power consumption was 300W only from peltier, the TDP of the CPU was 50W, so the hot side of the peltier required to dissipate 350W of heat. But with freon cooling, the power consumption has increased with "only" 74W, and the CPU themperature was -10°C in average (-13°C in idle and -7°C at full load with prime 95). For who is interested, you can find the build and testing video on my channel.

                                    • Mr Electron
                                      Mr Electron  2 days back

                                      Yeah ! More than half the power is wasted in Heat

                                      • fragmat marsel
                                        fragmat marsel  3 days back

                                        Gz, u need to change termopaste under processor cap, or better use der8auer selected processors to make a good test

                                        • nik gaming
                                          nik gaming  3 days back

                                          linus have you heard of #RTXon ?

                                          • Aaron Andrew
                                            Aaron Andrew  3 days back

                                            Out of experience, Try to cool with a thin sheet of aluminum foil as a thermal compound on a good water cooler. if done correctly and you get a snug fit and clean foil with alcohol you might just be surprised....

                                            • dawson gamblin
                                              dawson gamblin  3 days back

                                              son of a bitch i been asking for this one fore a while XD

                                              • Dan Lapain
                                                Dan Lapain  3 days back

                                                Peltiers are better for saving hydro by using the heat to generate electricity instead. Which is a peltiers alternative use case when no electricity is being pumped into it.

                                                • TKG_Enforcer
                                                  TKG_Enforcer  3 days back

                                                  so the kickstarter one is basically a pc radiator that doesnt cool the water back down for reuse

                                                  • Walter Ceal
                                                    Walter Ceal  3 days back

                                                    I think all those kits are overpriced. I use the tec-1 12706 peltier with a smear of graphite thermal paste between the cpu and peltier as well as between the peltier and aluminum heat sink. I also used some spray silicone on the aluminium heat sink and gave it a coating of graphite powder which conducts heat 4X faster than copper and radiates heat 13% more effectively than aluminium.

                                                    I have no issues with cooling no matter how hard I run my 2.8 ghz system. I use 72 watts. 🙂

                                                    I also use the peltier to build small scale thermoelectric generators. My best build so far is 1,300 watts with two tea candles as my heat source.

                                                    • Joseph Richmond
                                                      Joseph Richmond  3 days back

                                                      The first thing I notice is Linus's shaggy neck hair :O

                                                      • SIMULAR É
                                                        SIMULAR É  3 days back

                                                        I had a peltier plate, and some years ago i really reached the same results, unfortunately, the Peltier could be a good idea, but...no way.

                                                        • numnum numnum
                                                          numnum numnum  3 days back

                                                          @thepeltiernibblers, you guys could try a pyramid of peltier elements on top of eachothers, making a cascade sort of build. 1st cools the CPU, second Cools first and so on... Up to 4 or 5 units,. This will reduce temps to minus 40...ooh new name for you, minus Linus :)

                                                          • Ginger Snaps
                                                            Ginger Snaps  3 days back

                                                            It makes more sense to cool a thermal camera thermoelectrically...

                                                            • Magnfreð Jensson
                                                              Magnfreð Jensson  4 days back

                                                              Hey Linus, i have heat proplem in my 13" MacBook Pro late 2011. Yes i have already clean the cooler and air way. What can i do? The fan never stopp.

                                                              • zvxcvxcz
                                                                zvxcvxcz  4 days back

                                                                The peltiers move heat fast, the trouble is that it is bottlenecked, ultimately the heat has to get out to the air, making the shift from the cpu to water or to copper faster doesn't help much if it has nowhere to go from there and the overall system becomes saturated. Hence why Linus needed a longer test, but the system he was using was not as good at moving heat to the air as the radiators.

                                                                • Noah
                                                                  Noah  4 days back

                                                                  bad cooling ideas... puts rock on cpu 😂😂

                                                                  • MrSkotsbox
                                                                    MrSkotsbox  4 days back

                                                                    It's a bad idea the way you win about it. I don't understand why you hook such massive radiators and bands on them. It doesn't take that much. People build little chillers to keep their drinks cool in their car using the Thermoelectric pads. Building something like this and putting your reservoir on it. Then hooking up your cooling system just like you normally would with the radiator fan. We'll get you about a 5° drop. You can use your 3-D printer to print a really neat holder. And you only needed 40 or 60 mm fan and a small heatsink on the heat side. Something I did 10 years ago. And I could probably do a much better job now days using 3-D printer.

                                                                    • TheDock
                                                                      TheDock  4 days back

                                                                      Should try water cooling an air cooler. Like, take the top part of the air cooler and make a small tank for it. Also, put a water pump to move the water around inside the tank.

                                                                      • Kernelpickle
                                                                        Kernelpickle  4 days back

                                                                        Worse cooling idea? A liquid cooling loop filled with mercury!

                                                                        • bitset
                                                                          bitset  4 days back

                                                                          Hey Linus, Google "Vortex Cooler" and give that a try. (super noisy, but super cold)

                                                                          • Dyno900
                                                                            Dyno900  4 days back

                                                                            Funny how this video is sponsored by a watch company and Linus stopped wearing a watch himself.

                                                                            • Pete Nielsen
                                                                              Pete Nielsen  4 days back

                                                                              I tried a cooler similar to this back when Athlon processors were the latest AMD CPUs and it was a bad idea even then!

                                                                              • Frank Pajea
                                                                                Frank Pajea  4 days back

                                                                                You make a Coolerstein

                                                                                • Mohd Arifin
                                                                                  Mohd Arifin  4 days back

                                                                                  Why you never do software setup for Thermoelectric Cooling?? Software came with heatsink.

                                                                                  • AstralStorm
                                                                                    AstralStorm  5 days back

                                                                                    TEC only makes kind of sense if you want to do sub zero chilling. You use a huge radiator and sub zero liquid to cool things. Many level stacks.

                                                                                    For sane sized system, it just adds lot of power to disperse inside the case.

                                                                                    Freon gas cooler is much more efficient but louder.

                                                                                    • Dan Solomon
                                                                                      Dan Solomon  5 days back

                                                                                      " I did a fair amount... While you were gone" burn!

                                                                                      • James Wisniewski
                                                                                        James Wisniewski  5 days back

                                                                                        I have one of these for and AMD Slot A CPU from around 2001. It was on an Athlon 700Mhz cpu... Had 2 TEC pads, and 3 really high RPM fans...

                                                                                        • theden.se
                                                                                          theden.se  5 days back

                                                                                          First one I ran across in early 00's is this one from Thermaltake http://oyvind.servehttp.com/thermaltake_subzero4g_tec.htm

                                                                                          • kensters DM
                                                                                            kensters DM  5 days back

                                                                                            Hey Linus try thermoelectric on your radiator blocks see the performance

                                                                                            • Jesper Valentin
                                                                                              Jesper Valentin  5 days back

                                                                                              Wheres the follow up video with the 545W peltier module?

                                                                                              • Yew Tewb
                                                                                                Yew Tewb  22 hours back

                                                                                                Dude its been four days...CHILL out

                                                                                            • Chris Davies
                                                                                              Chris Davies  5 days back

                                                                                              I successfully used an 80-watt peltier on my PC back before you guys were begging for happy meals. I inserted it between the CPU and the heatsink, and used lots of silver-based thermal goop. With the exact same fan speed settings, I was able to drop the core temps by 6 degrees C, and thus achieve a 67% overclock, compared to a 50% overclock. That meant I saved about $1,000 on the CPU. So the extra power wasn't really an issue.


                                                                                              More recently, I designed and built a Peltier-based stove fan for atop our fire. It uses an alloy base to absorb the heat, and a massive old Coolermaster heatsink with 6 heatpipes. The temperature differential drives a 12" RC plane propellor which blows air over the heatsink, and maintains a 40-50 degree C difference between the two sides of the peltier. This generates 1.3 volts, and enough current to drive the propellor sufficiently quickly to remove a huge amount of heat from the flue.

                                                                                              To avoid heat-soak, the device has to sit perched right at the front of the fire, so that cool air from in front of the fire can be pulled in to cool the heatsink. The thing is so well made, that it starts automatically when you light the fire, and it runs until the firebox cools to the point you can just touch it.

                                                                                              • slader 1126
                                                                                                slader 1126  5 days back

                                                                                                Your better off just using a small water chiller in the loop then you can just set the temp you want and it will stay there or close to it any small or mini water chiller will work