Thermoelectric Cooling is a Bad Idea

Linus Tech Tips
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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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Science & Technology

Published on


Aug 11, 2019




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Comments 3 839
mac berry
mac berry 2 hours ago
Electric cars have the opposite problem during winter
yoyofargo 8 hours ago
Honestly would love to see another manufacturer take a crack at putting a small sterling engine on their heatsink fan. Not for like... amazing cooling or anything... for bragging rights lmao.
Methadras Day ago
I used to run Switftech Pelt coolers. They didn't catch on because they were expensive and required a lot of prep work to the CPU itself to prevent condensation which is a serious problem for Pelt cooling. You have to insulate against condensation and that can be tough for most people.
Master Max
Master Max Day ago
1:22 I almost had a heart attack!
Scott 1980
Scott 1980 2 days ago
Scrap wars only thing worth watching here anymore ....... ... his head is to big and out of realistic builds....
alex davidson
alex davidson 4 days ago
Seriously... Watches... And shit ones for that!!!
Nikolai Slater
Nikolai Slater 4 days ago
I swear when he said "what's even cooler" I was so sure it was gonna be a segway.
PowerDuDe_DK 5 days ago
Was that a mountain of thermal grease and a rock right before the intro???
BrockGrimes 6 days ago
Peltier Coolers were used in the late 90's to early 2000's with the computer modding boom and worked very well for OC purposes. Buy a standalone Peltier that sits right on the CPU, then add a cooler to chill the hot side of the Peltier. If you look at a computerator build where the freeze tray is used to chill a bucket of alcohol, thats then pumped through a water block sitting on a Peltier. It gets stupid freezing temps. We had to add water proofing due to condensation, etc etc etc. most of this was completely impractical but was built just for fun. A favorite was a 400mhz celeron to overclock as these were basically just cheapy pentium 3's. @Linus
Michael Athens
Michael Athens 6 days ago
ThunderF00t has a number of very in-depth videos on the subject of thermoelectric coolers and why they are absolute rubbish for applications like this. I cannot recommend his channel highly enough.
Crericper 7 days ago
Peltier device should be used based on water-cooling radiator. Which means the peltier devices should be connected after the radiator to achieve sub ambient temperature. So, Linus' 15 yr old engineered refrigerator cooler can retire now. 🤣
C Cooper
C Cooper 7 days ago
i had a tc cooler back in the day by i think thermaltake. if i remember right it was socket 939 first dual core days.the tc was one of the few coolers that worked. ran around 32c under gaming loads. the biggest problem was the switches to turn on and off the plates.i think thats was one main reason they stopped making them. then core count changed again and became not relevant.i may still have it in a box somewhere lol.
James Wisniewski
James Wisniewski 8 days ago
What was the heatsink he was talking about that was $50 cheaper than the NHU12, and had 2 times the heat pipes?
James Wisniewski
James Wisniewski 8 days ago
I had a cooler like that back when SLOT 1 Intel Pentium II CPU's were around... It had a HUGE TEC pad on it, and then a big ass heatsink and 2 fans too cool that. It worked about the same as if you used just the big ass heatsink. lol
BBROPHOTO 9 days ago
I was really surprised to see you didn't TEC cool your RED cameras as TEC cooling is awesome for camera sensors.
Slit Bodmod
Slit Bodmod 9 days ago
Them midrolls tho👌
M.C. OLEGARIO 9 days ago
you might wanna use a radiator coolant rather than an ordinary water when testing the thermo electric cooler.
Daniel Beard
Daniel Beard 10 days ago
Love the rock. That made me laugh.
Moto Cross
Moto Cross 11 days ago
theres peltierer´s celds?
Joseff Zerafa
Joseff Zerafa 11 days ago
Why didn't you use the tech cooler in the radiator of the water cooler?
Lakeland Records
Lakeland Records 13 days ago
Jesus lol...I get 27C at idle with the Corsair 115i and a 7900X. I don't think I've ever broke 40C under load at stock speeds.
Kelby Sutton
Kelby Sutton 13 days ago
1:24 wait are they using a rock a cpu cooler?!?!
Nmotsch idontwannagivemyrealname
"Draws 32 amps" "From Ebay" Sounds...safe...
TheyCallMe Doug
TheyCallMe Doug 13 days ago
Peltsier facts: 1: Peltsier need heat load to work. (Kinda suprised you did not know that) 2: because of 1*, you need to stack Peltsier elements to have reliable efficiency. 3: you can't run it on air. 4: if you run it on water you kinda need a open circuit, (one end of the hoes on the tap, end in the drain) 5: the best option is a water cooling system with another cooling medium then water so the heat can be absoreb and relsed faster then water can.
Dr Smugface
Dr Smugface 13 days ago
Laughs in Mora3 s.cooling (2500watt cooling)
bosna janje
bosna janje 14 days ago
wtf you litterly puted thermal paste on that cpu that it s enough for bizilion cpu s
Adam Sparrow
Adam Sparrow 16 days ago
How do I suggest products for you guys to review? You should definitely check out the ts100, it's a pocket size soldering station, everything you need in a very tiny package, with interchangeable tips. I've had one for about a year now and it's some of the best money I have ever spent. There's an easy access USB port which will let you update the firmware, my can go all the way up to 450x and a boost button.
zatbr1 16 days ago
Just wondering. Wat would happen if you were to cool the air going into the pc with thermoelectric cells without changing any of the internal cooling? Would it make a difference? I have some peltier cells. Perhaps i do it. Though saying that I don't have a super overclocked beast. Just a amd razen 5 with vega 11 without any thing else. Though I do like to tinker. 😁 And I do enjoy most of your vids.
Zorro Zalai
Zorro Zalai 17 days ago
The easy way to get it work is to put the thermoelectric cooling on an external radiator of a water cooling system, filled with antifreeze. This way you can have a larger area, up to a few m^2 (something like a room radiator), and up to around 10 kW thermoelectric cooling. But You shouldn't go below dew point, and it isn't energy efficient anyway.
luis santos
luis santos 18 days ago
him-ei bro why your pc is so big and heavy, do you have a big water sistem??? me-na bro i have a rock cooler him- thats a sick brand name bro me- it's not a name it's literally a rock
James Haviland
James Haviland 19 days ago
I use a Phononic Hex 2.0 on a Ryzen 3950X
WM6user 20 days ago
i have a 'tech' cooler that was built for a 486DX-4 overdrive chip. I also ave the 100Mhz 486DX-4 overdrive chip to go with it. cooling on it didn't wok all that well.
Don Ramon
Don Ramon 21 day ago
Why not use prime 95 for torture tests?
Don Ramon
Don Ramon 21 day ago
I remember diy peltier coolers people were using as far back as amd athlons
samusaron5000 21 day ago
Did I just see a rock heatsink?
LeBurgh 21 day ago
Hey can you test the cooling performance of the radiator by itself, against the radiator PLUS one of the chiller elements in the same loop? I think thermoelectric cooling may be a better assistant than the sole cooling power
believe me
believe me 22 days ago
Seriously, buy a small bar fridge, cut out a hole large enough for your computer and have the face of it exposed while the rest of it is inside keeping the whole dam computer cool.
juise99 23 days ago
I have a Peltier Cooler for my old slot 1 SL2QG Celeron 266.
Goy im
Goy im 24 days ago
40 cubic feet is all I need to cool
John Doe
John Doe 25 days ago
Yeah... you don't know what youre doing with peltiers
Nathaniel Raddin
Nathaniel Raddin 25 days ago
I just added cooling blocks in line with the radiator and shaved like 9c off my heat for 150w.
Chad Willmore
Chad Willmore 25 days ago
Ever heard of freon like in small ac units? It may be possible and more efficient? Use copper pipe with fans.
Ryan M.
Ryan M. 25 days ago
“DC Current” - Linus
Mahesh Sharma
Mahesh Sharma 25 days ago
I know its a little late and probably no one gonna notice this but don't you think the low performance has something to do with less surface area of the water block that is slapped on the TEC? probably a custom made full copper block with higher surface area on the cold side might help it transfer the heat as its always harder to remove the heat.
Nazgul Linux
Nazgul Linux Month ago
Electrons cannot "move" anywhere. Nor can they change "state". Electrons are not particles. They are electrostatic dynamos that only show mass-like properties when perturbed and these mass-like properties are called the magnetic moment. Because the dynamo becomes a dipole. Learn a bit of electrostatic field mechanics linus. Ffs before you deliver inaccurate 1950s information again.
Paul Robinson
Paul Robinson Month ago
Apple used Peltier coolers in their desktop PCs back in 90's. The Motorola CPU was mounted in the centre of the motherboard with the cooler on it and the fan was attached to a bracket that was part of the case. I think the models were the Quadra and Performa.
John Month ago
Can't help but think the TECs are just in the wrong places in these configurations.
Matt Hunkee
Matt Hunkee Month ago
Granted, this was tested on a test bench rather a close off computer case, so I would assume there'd be different results if this were performed in a case. More tedious, yes, but y know.
Salann Talmhainn
I'm sure someone has thought of this - but what about cooling a custom liquid cooler reservoir with the thermoelectric? or even a custom reservoir that is mostly clear with a small metal plate on it to put the cooling pad on it to drop temp of the fluid?
I seem to remember way back in the slot A celeron days, seeing a celeron 300 overclocked to almost 1ghz using peltier and liquid cooling (nitrogen maybe?). I think it was HardOCP that did it but I could be wrong. I want to say they got it to 1Ghz and it was a record of some kind. Also....ffs tin the tips. Dab solder on the iron and use that to transfer heat into the wires. THEN place solder on the hot wires to flow. Place shrink wrap over the wires prior and just slide it away while working then slide it up over the joint when done. Cold solder joints are the devil!!
Chris Kamper
Chris Kamper Month ago
Peltier elements... I wish people had never invented them.
Gas & Brass
Gas & Brass Month ago
Maybe I’m wrong, but isn’t this the same technology they use for heated and cooled seats? Where (if I remember correctly) reversing the polarity emits hot air instead? Maybe I’m wrong.
RadicalxEdward Month ago
You’re adding 300+ W worth of heat, so it’s never going to even match the water cooling loop alone.
So many things wrong with this. A peltier is limited in efficiency by the amount of heat that can be extracted from the hot side. Although your modules are 300w *they are NOT working anywhere close to their optimal efficiency at all* . That should be expected because they were designed for a completely different working load. LoL So you are experiencing terrible bottlenecks in the working performance. Here's what you should have done differently: First, use the water cooling system EXCLUSIVELY to extract heat from the HOT side of the peltier module - TA DAAA - this is what allows the cold side of the module to reach EXTREMELY LOW temperatures under heavy working loads!!! The cold side of the liquid cooled peltier module would be in DIRECT CONTACT with the CPU. That is the ONLY way to correctly engineer a peltier CPU cooler, PERIOD. You're great with computers but your engineering/physics is garbage. Not to be rude but you're being pretentious and downplaying something you really don't know the first thing about. Cooling with a peltier module is a great idea because I actually know what I'm doing, Linus ;)-
somethingbrite Month ago
TEC's wear out also.
mick00000000002 Month ago
I think the the radiator was warming the cool water in the room to Amber temp then to the system?
mick00000000002 Month ago
Plus why is the system so hot if you had such a big radiator. Are you shore the pump was running?
mick00000000002 Month ago
If you ran 4 or more spaced out in a block system with a fitting on each end. It would have more sefaces "area". It would keep it cool. With all you review. You must do it again. Your not thinking out of the box. Take care . And )
Gnar n' RAW steeze\\m//
holy neck beard
The A Holio
The A Holio Month ago
peltier chips are good for one things: using a joule thief circuit along with it you can make diy flashlights that are powered by your body warmth. power input creates temperature output and vice versa.
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