Watercooling goes mobile with the Asus GX700 gaming notebook

Shawn Knight

Posts: 12,589   +124
Staff member

Watercooling was once reserved for hardcore overclockers and gamers. Constructing a liquid cooling loop meant piecing together various parts from different manufacturers, plumbing the lines yourself and crossing your fingers that there were no leaks when you flipped the switch.

Occasionally, a Peltier (TEC) was thrown in for good measure, but that's a discussion for another time.

The watercooling landscape today is much more mainstream than it used to. Self-contained, plug-and-play kits now allow virtually anyone to watercool their system. As long as you can install a heatsink, you can install a watercooling kit. Sure, these all-in-one kits may not offer the level of performance you’d get home a homebrew kit but most rival the cooling performance of top-level air coolers and they're also a great deal cheaper, factors that make them good enough for most.

Regardless of how you approach it, there’s one common theme here: desktops.

Asus, however, believes watercooling should be a mobile experience.

At the IFA trade show in Berlin, the company is showing off its flagship 17-inch GX700 gaming notebook. Specs are scare although Asus claims it’ll be the first 17-inch gaming laptop to sport a 4K resolution display. It’s reportedly powered by an Intel K-series Skylake CPU and Nvidia GeForce GTX graphics.

Computerbase.de claims the system is loaded with an Intel i7-6820HK chip (base clock of 2.7GHz, turbo frequency of 3.6GHz), a whopping 64GB of RAM and an unreleased Nvidia graphics card that reports 2,048 cores, a clock speed of 1,190MHz, 128 TMUs, 64 ROPS and 160GB/s of memory bandwidth.

What makes the GX700 so unique it its “docking base,” which is actually a standalone watercooling solution. The notebook works perfectly fine without the additional cooling, making it just as portable as any other high-end gaming system. Attaching it to the cooling base, however, allows you to really push the hardware to the edge and can increase performance by as much as 80 percent according to Asus.

That’s a massive performance boost which may indicate that the notebook throttles down the GPU speeds greatly when not liquid cooled. Either way, we look forward to substantiating these claims on the test bench when the time comes.

For serious mobile gamers, hauling around an extra piece of hardware that’s even larger than the notebook wouldn’t be the end of the world yet at that point, it might make more sense to invest in a SFF desktop PC and a small monitor.

We’re hearing that Asus plans to make the GX700 available by the end of the year. No word yet on how much it’ll cost although if you have to ask that question, it’s probably safe to assume it’s out of your price range.

What are your thoughts on a watercooled laptop? Is this just a gimmick to draw attention to its other products or do you think Asus has something special on its hands? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Posts: 2,437   +1,940
TechSpot Elite
The real issue I see is, how hard is it to switch out components? If it is a pain or impossible to upgrade it, then it will end up becoming two pointless paper weights in a matter of time.

Or is the liquid cooling system more like a cooling pad? Thus it could be used by any laptop.


Posts: 8,645   +3,281
Somebody had to take the plunge sooner or later (no pun intended). It looks cool (again no pun intended) if nothing else. For now it's very niche.


Posts: 64   +42
This is kinda crazy but I could see it working for someone who needs a mobile computer for work or school and just use the integrated graphics but then when they get home and want to game they hook it up to the base and turn on the discrete graphics and crank up the settings. Sounds pretty expensive though. Like probably $4k combined.


Posts: 1,382   +72
I know I took a dump on the operating table when I had my eye surgery, but this would be rediculous.


Posts: 1,008   +546
Definitely a niche product. It seems like they did this just to be able to say they did it.


Posts: 1,868   +900
4K on a 17" screen is pointless... what a waste. Honestly 1080p is just fine on that size of screen.


Posts: 284   +99
Ummmm, I must be old fashioned. If want to game, I use a desktop. This product just seems absolutely silly to me. Laptops that are "desktop replacements" end up being in my experience, unreliable and bulky.


Posts: 138   +47
An unreleased NVidia card means it will probably be something faster than the 980M behemoth. It will be fast enough to run 99% of the games out there on extremely high settings. If this cooling station can increase performance and framerates up to 80%, that's insane! We will have to see it in action to see real world benchmarks.

Alienware has their external graphics amplifier which is great future-proofing. You could get a new 980 TI overclocked edition like the Zotac Amp Extreme version and boost your graphics. Essentialy holding onto the laptop for many years

But.wheather it's a graphics amplifier or a water cooling station, the main issue is the quality of the components of the actual laptop themselves. If these laptops are only meant to last 3-4 years, what's the piont in adding these enhancers? You'll be forced to buy a new laptop in a few years anyway, and the cardss will be much faster by then according to Moore's law.

I'd say right now get a 980m laptop off kijji or something. I got a Alienware M17 with a 980M and SSD for just $1,700 cash ( on a laptop worth $2800).


Posts: 138   +47
Ummmm, I must be old fashioned. If want to game, I use a desktop. This product just seems absolutely silly to me. Laptops that are "desktop replacements" end up being in my experience, unreliable and bulky.
Unless it' s a thin laptop like Razer's sporting a 970M, laptops should not be bulky. But still, let's say you are moving around alot in a job. Let's say you are in the Navy or something. You travel on boats for months a time, get stationed at different locations.... you don't want to carry your mid-tower case along everywhere as well as a monitor. A bulky gaming powerhouse laptop will let you game on max settings aon a decent size screen and give you a certain LEVEL of portability.

I wouldn't take such a laptop to classes or coffee shops. It would be very much a HOME computer. A home that is changing or mobile.

Laptops like Razer's 970M thin laptop are pretty good too. The graphics will get better and the laptops thinnger. Eventualy you can get a powerhouse laptop that is thin too, as long as you have the money.

Amazing what money can buy.