CES 2022 | MSI joins Asus, Dell, and Lenovo in offering liquid metal cooling for its gaming laptops
Ask any respectable desktop PC builder and he or she will tell you that liquid metal can be more effective than the standard silicone or epoxy grease. However, liquid metal is also pricier and much more difficult to apply especially at a factory scale. Asus and Dell started offering liquid metal options for some of their gaming laptops in early 2021 and Lenovo is expected to announce something similar this month. MSI, who is one of the largest and most popular gaming laptop makers worldwide, had no such liquid metal options until now.
Certain MSI gaming laptops this year will have "Phase-Change Liquid Metal Pad" thermal paste atop the CPU. True to its name, the liquid metal is a solid or pasty solution until reaching 58 C where it will then melt to be a more efficient conductor of heat. MSI says the phase change will allow the thermal paste to avoid crystallization over long periods which would reduce the conductivity or effectiveness of the solution. The exact composition of the phase-change liquid metal pad is patent pending and only higher-end gaming laptops with Intel 12th gen Core i9 CPUs like the 2022 Raider GE76 or GE66 will feature the technology. The performance boost is expected to be around 10 percent when compared to standard thermal paste.
A key limitation of the phase-change liquid metal pad is that it must be applied by hand during the configuration process. MSI says the solution can be tricky to apply since it is more solid than liquid at room temperature. The current lack of an automated process means it will be costlier for MSI at a mass production level whereas Asus has already developed an automatic liquid metal application process for all of its ROG laptops. In turn, MSI says its liquid metal solution will retain its conductivity properties for longer.