UII UPDATE 254 | MAY 2024
Intelligence Update

Is this air cooling’s last gasp?

Amidst the developments in the realm of liquid cooling, we at Uptime Intelligence continue to hear reports of air-cooled data centers that are achieving brow-raising levels of efficiency. Operators of these facilities often boast PUEs that are as strong as or even better than 1.1, albeit when typically handling dense compute racks — all without a drop of coolant in their IT systems.

All the while, evangelists of direct liquid cooling (DLC) and evangelists for cold plates and immersion techniques, as well as industry analysts and industry body ASHRAE, have warned of the impending physical limit of air cooling that will make it impractical for high-performance servers. How, then, are these data center operators able to achieve their efficiencies with traditional air cooling?

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