Liquid cooling lets the Alienware M18x run at 44GHz

first_imgChoosing to use a laptop over a desktop machine usually means making a performance compromise. You can’t get as much performance out of a laptop compared to a PC, and when you do increase performance battery life suffers. Another major issue is one of heat. In such an small area are packed many hot running components such as the CPU, GPU, and RAM. Keeping them all cool is difficult, and the noise from fans also has to be managed so as not to be too distracting.Overclocking a laptop is possible, but comes with risks. Typically the cooling included in a laptop is adequate, meaning at stock speeds the machine will get warm, but won’t overheat. As soon as you start overclocking the cooling can quickly fail leaving you with an unstable machine.Asetek believes it has a solution to this problem: liquid cooling for laptops. It’s not a new method of cooling by any means, but it does offer a major advantage over heatsink and fan cooling due to the fact multiple components can be cooled through a single system.The company has developed a new slim form factor liquid cooling system for use in both performance laptops and all-in-one PCs. To demonstrate what their system is capable of, Asetek installed the liquid cooling unit in an Alienware M18x laptop and started overclocking.The end result was an increase in the Core i7 CPU speed to 4.4GHz, up from 3.5GHz (Turbo Clock Speed). The GPU speed was increased from 600MHz to 800MHz. In real terms that saw benchmarks results increase 18% in 3D Mark 11, 16% in PCMark Vantage, and 23% in 3D Mark Vantage. At the same time the laptop is producing less noise due to a lack of fans, and less heat due to better thermal management from the liquid cooling. Asetek also claim the standard cooling included with the laptop could not cope with the CPU and GPU running at these speeds.One area not touched on is power requirements. Is this liquid cooling system going to draw more power than the equivalent heatsink/fan solution? If not, then it does look like a better solution for performance laptops. It also makes it possible to use faster stock chips rather than overclocking because more heat can be dealt with.Whether any manufacturers decide to use Asetek’s solution depends on the power use mentioned above and how much the system costs.Read more at Aseteklast_img