ASUS Brings Liquid Metal Thermal Compound to ROG Laptops
Mike Sanders / 9 months ago
ASUS is one of the market leaders in terms of laptop designs and with their ROG (Republic of Gamers) branding, you know you’re getting a quality product. As part of their latest press release, however, ASUS has announced something more than a little interesting.
For all ASUS ROG laptop designs for 2020 (and moving forward), the company has announced that it will be using a liquid metal thermal compound to help improve (potentially by a significant margin) the temperature performance of its partnered processors.
What is Liquid Metal?
Liquid metals have low melting points that render them fluid at room temperature. These alloys are highly conductive, so they’re extremely effective at transferring thermal energy between surfaces like a processor die and heatsink. The benefits are well-established in overclocking and DIY circles and internal testing reinforced the appeal for gaming laptops. Our engineers observed a 10~20°C reduction in temperatures depending on the CPU.
The improved thermal interface creates a margin that can be used in different ways. Lower temperatures help processors sustain higher clock speeds for longer, and also prevent fans from ramping up to louder RPMs. The additional thermal headroom can also be used to reach even faster frequencies and higher performance.
Although liquid metal’s properties are consistent regardless of the processor, our research indicates that Intel CPUs have the most to gain. The die is small, with the heat concentrated in eight distinct regions of the chip. It’s also surrounded by a safe zone on the CPU package that’s free of surface-mounted components that don’t get along with electrically conductive materials. We want to deploy liquid metal where it can have the biggest benefit and be the most reliable.
There are different kinds of liquid metal on the market. We use Conductonaut from Thermal Grizzly because it has a lower concentration of tin. A design that isn’t as conductive as the gallium and indium that also make up the alloy. 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.
What Do We Think?
While this is a great move for ASUS in terms of improving CPU temperature control, it does perhaps reveal something about current (or upcoming) laptop designs. It is perhaps somewhat telling that ASUS specifically mentioned Intel with their Comet Lake-H platform being recently launched.
With some of the ‘higher-end’ designs running at 5.1GHz clock speeds, we did suspect that they might be pretty warm. As such, this transition might be ASUS’ way of attempting to control that.
All going well, however, we should get our hands on one of these new laptops in the very near future. We must admit, we’re very curious to see just what a difference this upgrade can make!
For more information, you can check out the official announcement website via the link here!
What do you think? Do you think this is indicative of Intel’s Comet Lake-H running hot? Do you own an ASUS ROG laptop? – Let us know in the comments!