Liquid Cooling Becoming Mainstream

With CPUs getting faster [and hotter] cooling is becoming more and more of an issue. This is even truer in the package systems like Dell and HP; where there is limited space in the smaller form factor cases preferred by the big box stores and businesses. As it stands right now, the only way to cool off the higher end systems is to cram larger heatsinks with faster and louder fans to keep everything cool.

All of that started to change as we see companies pushing out small, easy to use, and self-contained water cooling systems. With the launch of Asetek’s LowCost-LiquidCooling in 2007, we saw companies such as HP launching its BlackBird and Firebird liquid-cooled systems. The trend didn’t stop there. CoolIT’s OEM-friendly Domino ALC kit [Advanced Liquid Cooling] launched last year and you can now see the beginnings of a trend; this compact cooling system had enough juice behind it to keep even the Core i7 running at stock speeds. It was not much of a surprise when MAINGEAR and CyberPower PC entered into agreements with CoolIT as well. The CoolIT Domino would appear as the stock cooling system in some of their high-end custom systems. Later we saw iBUYPOWER drop Asetek liquid cooling systems into their high end gaming systems. Be warned that succesful liquid-cooling design is not a walk in part, as Acer experienced with its Predator series. The company rushed to copy HP’s Blackbird 002 concept and made several errors, ruining the efficiency of liquid-cooling, as cooling experts noticed.

This is pushing water cooling right into the mainstream. A stark departure from the enthusiast only arena it was in just a few years ago. In fact in 2007 NEC was building all-in-one systems  with internal water cooling. These were not high-end but simple one piece systems aimed at the business or home user. 

HP has recently announced the use of liquid cooling in their Z series workstations to help provide more efficient cooling and to reduce noise. But the ball does not stop rolling at the desktop; there is word of a new laptop water cooling system Fujitsu showed off a concept  laptop water cooling system of how this would work in preparation of the i7 entering the laptop space.

The reasons for this move are pretty easy to see. Water cooling can [if done properly] cool as efficiently as a much larger air cooler, a water cooling system will make significantly less noise and if sealed can be almost maintenance free. The next time you go to buy a new computer you may find that it is not cooled by air but by water.