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Modder tries spinning an entire PC to cool it, but centrifugal force has other ideas

WTF?! Usually, the fans go inside the PC, but a modder wanted to see if arranging things the other way around had thermal advantages. Aside from increased chassis size, the test highlighted clear safety reasons why users shouldn’t spin computer hardware at high RPMs.

In a recent video, a Chinese PC hardware modder and influencer attempted to cool a PC by spinning the entire motherboard and heatsink inside a giant fan. While the results were inconclusive, the trial also showed how to turn a CPU cooler into a deadly weapon.

For the initial phase, the modder, we will call “Baka,” built a simple rotating disc and sat a small motherboard with an Intel Core i5 2500K and a modest heat sink on top of it with no chassis. Although she successfully booted the PC as it spun, the small cooler was insufficient, and the spin provided no extra airflow. Playing Plants vs Zombies on integrated graphics with the CPU running at about 2.2 GHz brought temperatures to 100C.

To improve things, Baka installed an oversized heat sink and 3D printed a set of giant fan blades to surround the system as it spun, then mounted it at the center of a massive box fan. Although the thermals from the later trials are unclear, the PC successfully ran Plants vs Zombies without overheating. However, the final test is where things flew out of control.

Baka sat the fan and PC outdoors and increased the fan speed until it shifted across the ground. Eventually, the cooler was thrown from the motherboard at a high enough speed to cause harm if Baka hadn’t been hiding behind a riot shield.

The experiment leaves at least two questions unanswered: How would the test PC fare with a dedicated GPU running high-end games, and would a more complex spinning apparatus on both sides of the heatsink keep it more securely in place?

This isn’t Baka’s first test with unconventional cooling methods. Last January, she ran an i9-13900K and a GeForce RTX 4090 in an open case outdoors during historic -63F weather. A liquid cooling solution froze solid, but a massive and extremely loud array of fans kept the CPU at 15C while running at 6.18 GHz, and the GPU held at -40C.

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