12 February 2014
New York Times: High-performance personal computers and many supercomputers use closed-loop liquid cooling systems to transport heat away from processors and graphics cards quietly and efficiently. Some computers take cooling even further by completely submerging the electronics in liquids such as mineral oil. For supercomputers, this form of cooling can significantly reduce the energy costs of running the computers. Tsubame KFC, run by the Tokyo Institute of Technology, is 50% more powerful than another supercomputer the institute runs, but it uses the same amount of electricity. Several other universities and some private companies are using synthetic liquids for both supercomputer and data center cooling. Mineral oil and the other cooling liquids used are not electrically conductive, which is what allows the computer parts to be completely submerged. However, moving parts such as fans and traditional, non-steady-state hard drives have to be removed or replaced by nonmoving components.