While not an issue with the prebuilt consoles, cooling is a persistent issue with computers and laptops. Typically CPU’s are cooled with fans, or water with a paste transferring the heat to the cooling device from the CPU. Normal thermal conducting paste is normally a mixture of silicone and epoxies, designed to contain electrical current while transferring the heat.
Asus, a popular manufacturer of laptops and computer parts, has designed and patented a new process that utilizes a liquid metal thermal paste. Liquid metal based pastes utilize metals that are liquid at room such as mercury, francium, and gallium which are mixed with other conductive metals. Liquid metal pastes are often more difficult to apply, as it is far less viscous and adhesive than typical paste, thus requiring them to be done precisely by hand instead of machine applied during mass production. An issue that Asus claims to have conquered, with the metal liquid paste being applied to their next line of ROG laptops.
Naturally, Asus has kept the process close to the chest declining any details on what comprises the paste exactly. “Rather than working closely with Thermal Grizzly like we do with other partners, we purchased initial quantities more casually to keep the project a secret. Not even Intel knew of our plans during development,” Asus commented in the blog post.
Despite the secrecy on the details of the paste, Asus did demonstrate and detail the application process. A machine brush passes over the CPU seventeen times vertically, as it applies the paste. The motion of the machine is designed to mimic the motion of the human wrist.
“Our engineers observed a 10~20°C reduction in temperatures depending on the CPU.”
The reduction in temperature will allow the fans attached to the CPU to run cooler, or for the CPU to boost further before reaching thermal throttling. A reduction in noise or better performance would be decided by the machine user.
The next ROG laptop lineup will be equipped with 10th generation Intel processors. Asus opted for Intel over their competitor AMD, whose recent lineup of CPUs has become more popular due to their superior performance because the edges of Intel’s chips are covered allowing the application of paste. Whereas AMD uses the edge to add exposed circuitry, which would short the CPU is the paste would transfer a current over it. More details will be revealed when the lineup of laptops is put on the market in the second quarter of 2020.