Liquid Cooling: The Next Big Thing?

It certainly doesn’t sound bad in theory–and the concept has been mentioned before– but so far the number of laptops with water cooling on the market has amounted to zero.The main problem is rather obvious if you’ve ever seen a liquid-cooled desktop. Pumps, hoses, radiators, regulators, thermostats and whatnot normally take up a great deal of space. In other words, the prospect of packing all of those things into a laptop does not look realistic in the real world. However, this is precisely what the cooling specialists at Asetek has managed to do with the help of some clever engineering. The company is specifically targeting gaming laptops and all-in-one PCs with its new small form-factor liquid cooling solution. Here’s the demonstration:

Sure, the Alienware M18x is clearly not the smallest laptop on the market, but getting all that gadgetry inside that 18-inch frame still looks like a major challenge. With the new cooling solution in place, Asetek increased the clock speed of both the CPU and the dual GTX 580M GPUs. The processor clock was increased from 3.5 GHz to 4.4 GHz and the GPUs were increased from 680MHz to 800MHz.  This resulted in a 3DMark Vantage score of about 25,000 points, or a 23% increase compared to the standard frequencies. The 3DMark 11 score was improved by 18% and the gaming part of PCMark Vantage was improved by 16%.

How much this solution is going to cost is still unknown, but those who can afford a fully tricked out M18x may consider it a bargain. If or when it ships from Asetek’s labs to the consumer market is also still a mystery. Perhaps it will be offered as a hideously expensive upgrade in future gaming machines.


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