Internal DesignThe internal workings of the Asus C90S are unlike any laptop we have seen before, largely due to the upgradable design. Also because of the Turbo Engine, there was no need to cramp all the cooling inside over the components, which comes at the cost of a less compact design.
Asus uses heat pipes to direct the heat away from components to the rear of the case, where it is expelled via four 40mm fans. The fans generally operate at very low volumes, though they do spin up once temperatures reach a certain threshold, more often than not when running demanding applications like games. In this scenario the fans can make a lot of noise, which can become annoying.
The internal design is not nearly as cramped as we thought it might be and installing or removing components is very easy.
Removing the CPU, for example, can be done in less than a minute. There are four screws holding the CPU heatsink in place, once these are removed the cooler simply pops out. The cooling system is completely modular, meaning that the CPU, GPU, and chipset heatsinks are all individual. Given that the C90S uses desktop processors, beneath the CPU heatsink you will find a standard LGA775 socket.
Adding memory is much like any other laptop and again this procedure takes well under a minute. The optical drive and hard drive are equally as easy to remove and install. The graphics card, again, easy. First the heatsink must be removed and then there is a second heat spreader that extracts heat from the GPU and memory chips. Once this has been removed, there are just two more screws that need to be undone in order to remove the graphics card.
Under the graphics card is the chipset, which obviously cannot be removed. The chipset is cooled using a heatsink connected to a heatpipe that runs to an array of fins in the Turbo Engine unit. Also, located near the CPU are mini-PCI slots that can be used to install a wireless card and a TV Tuner, both of which came installed in our C90S sample.
There is also a Bluetooth adapter next to the wireless card in the second mini-PCI slot. Overall the internal design of the C90S is very impressive, giving this laptop desktop-like upgradability.