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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.