What you will need:
A stable configuration:
This is certainly the most important thing. It’s not when you’re cold that you’ll have to start tweaking and testing things. Ideally, you should already have your best memory profile saved and your OS ready with the various benchmarks you’ll need. Basically, when you go to start testing in the cold, you should only have to worry about the processor, your memory kit or your GPU. Otherwise, you risk wasting precious time and getting frustrated with your first cold session. It is therefore ideal to have already carried out a series of tests in aircooling or water cooling beforehand.
This is the most important element because without it, there is no cooling. Let’s start with a short explanation of what dry ice is. Dry ice (-78.5°C) is produced by hydraulically compressing liquid CO2. It was given the name “dry ice” because it leaves no residue after evaporation. This is because the ice sublimates as a gas (not as a liquid) and both the frozen product and its packaging remain intact. Dry ice has a high cooling capacity and has no taste or smell.
Also, be careful with its storage. Do not put it in your freezer. The freezer is not designed for this purpose and you risk damaging it. Dry ice can be stored in its delivery bag and in an isothermal container, but not hermetically sealed! One of the disadvantages is that its shelf life is quite short as you lose a certain quantity every day. It is therefore interesting to get it on the day of your tests or for the next day. If it is cold, leave the container outside.
Acetone or alcohol:
Don’t worry, it’s not for drinking during the tests, though… As dry ice is mostly in stick form, it is necessary to have a liquid to bridge the gap between the base of the bucket and the dry ice sticks. As we have shown on the previous page, without liquid, the contact is very poor. This is why we will choose a simple internal maze, so that the different cavities can be easily filled. Imagine the amount of liquid that has to be poured into the KingPiN T-Rex bucket for example. The best choice is acetone, as it remains in its liquid form down to a temperature of -95.4°C. It can therefore be combined with dry ice, which has a temperature of -78.5°C, without the risk of the acetone turning to ice. Acetone is a volatile, very fluid, clear and colourless liquid with a pungent and aromatic odour. Beware of vapours as its volatility is high, about 10 times that of water. The tests should therefore be carried out in a sufficiently ventilated area. Also beware of splashes, which can stain your components if you use too much acetone.
A thermometer :
Even if it is not a requirement as with LN2 tests, it is always a plus. It is possible to find thermometers that accept K-type temperature probes on Amazon. But this is not really a requirement as we will be filling our bucket completely with dry ice. It is almost impossible to play with the temperature with dry ice as with nitrogen.
For our purposes, we will use the KTH K-type thermometer sold by Elmor. It can accommodate two K-type probes. These probes have a wide operating range from -200°C to 1600°C. The KTH K-type thermometer can be powered either by using two AAA batteries or via a USB type C cable. The package includes an acrylic case with a stand to position it face up and a cable for connection to the UART port.
Insulation for your motherboard and pot:
In order to preserve your material, a good insulation is necessary around the socket. You can either use charcoal rubber or neoprene. Charcoal gum takes a little longer to insulate, but is very effective as it is more airtight. As far as the insulation of the pot is concerned, if you opt for the ECO pot model from Bartxstore, it is delivered with insulation for the pot as well as for the back of your motherboard and the socket.
This is an essential element to take into account for cold testing. It is best to choose a thermal paste that is designed to “hold up” under cold. Under the action of cold, traditional pastes can “crack”, i.e. they freeze and therefore no longer ensure the transfer role between the base of the pot and the IHS of your processor. This is a bit of a disaster, as you have to reheat your pot to restore the paste to its original texture.
We can recommend KingPin’s KPx High Performance and Thermal Grizzly’s Kryonaut Extreme.
Recommendations to consider:
The use of dry ice, acetone and more generally extreme overclocking requires taking precautions such as being in a well ventilated room. We cannot be held responsible for any consequences that could damage your equipment. By respecting the different steps stated above, you will avoid any problems and will have a good time torturing your equipment 🙂