Nowadays the problem of cooling computer chips is getting more and more complex, since modern processors generate more and more heat, while constantly becoming smaller and smaller. All the high-end Athlon CPUs require heat-sinks that are either made of copper, or equipped with copper inlay, while all the Pentium 4 chips already come with heat-spreaders made of special alloy and utilise huge heat-sinks for better cooling. With high-end CPUs currently dissipating a bit less than 100W of heat it is expected that they will emit 300 and more watts of heat in three or four years time. There are not really many ways to cool-down these hot CPUs and one of the solutions is to use liquid-cooling systems.
There are a number of problems with modern liquid-coolers that are used in personal computers. Basically speaking, I can remember two, or maybe, three types of liquid-coolers that are made for PCs these days. The first type are water-coolers, the second type are the so-called heat-pipes, while the third type is the most complicated and expensive and used in VapoChill solutions. The problem with water-coolers is that they are rather big and may leak, heat-pipes are interesting (read more about them in our Shuttle XPC review) and are even utilized in certain commercial products, but they in fact will not be able to cool-down CPUs of the future since the latter are too hot. There are a number of disadvantages with VapoChill. One of them is the price.
Probably, closed-circuit liquid-coolers that utilise heat-pipe technology have a bit more chances to go into mainstream market since they are rather cheap and are not dangerous in terms of leaking and so on. On the other hand, they may not be enough to cool-down future-generations of CPUs and GPUs and they may become obsolete.
Fortunately, according to this report a new type of conventional heat-pipes was invented in
The inventors claim that they will continue to implement different versions of solution in order to determine which one works better.