April 7, 2020 | 11:00
Asus has switched to using a liquid metal thermal compound for its 2020 ROG gaming laptop range, in an unusual move for the laptop market.
More typically used by overclockers in desktop units, Asus reckons this is the first time that liquid metal thermal compound has been used in widespread use in a mainstream laptop. We can't think of another example either. With this move, Asus has needed to make a few tweaks to its production process given that this type of thermal compound is usually applied manually, so the firm has needed to adjust to mass production and application.
It's using Conductonaut from Thermal Grizzly with a plan to pair it up with the 10th Gen Intel Core processors we've all heard plenty about in recent times.
The benefits of liquid metal have been well known amongst overclockers thanks to their highly conductive alloys meaning they're great at transferring thermal energy between the processor die and the heatsink. Asus reckons switching to liquid metal has led to a 10-20C reduction in temperatures, depending on the CPU, which is certainly appealing to anyone who's tried to play a game on their gaming laptop while balancing it on their lap. Those things tend to get hot fast.
Asus also believes that the change in liquid compound means that its processors will sustain higher clock speeds for longer, while also cutting down on fan noise. A cooler CPU should mean laptop fans won't have to hit the higher RPMs as often which is both convenient and great for longevity.
It seems Asus's research has found that Intel CPUs have the most to gain here, hence the use of the 10th Gen chips. In the explainer by the company, it points out that Intel CPUs have a restricted area around the die that's free of capacitors so we're guessing that's where the advantages are with application. The above video goes a bit more into depth about how it all came about, and the actual engineering process.
The new combination of Intel CPUs and liquid metal thermal compound will be available from Q2 so that's a few months away just yet, but it'll be interesting to see what a difference it actually makes during use. This could be a game changer for gaming laptops - pun not intended.
December 11 2020 | 17:30