Intel Considers to Bundle Liquid Cooling Solution with Next-Generation Enthusiast Processors

Intel May Bundle Liquid Cooling Option for Sandy Bridge E Microprocessors

by Anton Shilov
04/21/2011 | 03:12 PM

Intel Corp. is considering to bundle a liquid cooling solution with its next-generation enthusiast-class central processing units (CPUs) code-named Sandy Bridge E (SNB-E). The liquid-based cooler will allow Intel’s Extreme Edition (XE) microprocessors to work at even higher frequencies and thus offer higher performance overall.


For many years Intel has been bundling rather simple cooling solutions with its boxed chips, but recently the company started to offer coolers with heat-pipes for microprocessors in LGA1366 and LGA1156 form-factors. At the Intel Developer Forum in Beijing, China, Intel’s engineers presented a paper called “Overclocking Intel Processor Based Desktop and Mobile Platforms”, where they discussed past, present and future of the company’s support of overclocking as a phenomenon.

Among other things, the document claims that “SNB-E generation considering boxed liquid cooling”. The bundled liquid-based thermal solution – to be offered with boxed microprocessors - will be the first time for Intel to officially support enthusiast-class coolers and will also create an additional selling point of Intel’s next-generation Sandy Bridge E-series microprocessors in LGA2011 form-factor. Besides, bundling liquid cooler with a CPU will indisputably increase popularity of such solutions in generation.

The slide shows Corsair H50 liquid cooler, but Intel may bundle a different solution. The Bright Side of News web-sites notes that there are only two companies who could land a contract of this magnitude: Asetek and CoolIT Systems. Corsair's liquid cooling system is designed and manufactured by Asetek, while CoolIT Systems recently announced cooperation with Corsair on future solutions.

Intel Sandy Bridge E microprocessors due in Q4 2011 are specifically designed for enthusiasts, who demand maximum performance. For example, the chips will carry "extra large cache" to maximize speed of single-threaded or dual-threaded applications, quad-channel memory controller and a number of other enhancements. Sandy Bridge E chips with four or six cores will be paired with code-named Patsburg core-logic set. Platforms based on the latter will feature external base frequency generators  and clock-speeds of buses like SATA or USB locked. As a result, enthusiasts will be able to boost clock-speed of microprocessors using traditional methods by increasing DMI frequencies, something that will allow them to easily and more efficiently to overclock their CPUs.

Thanks to a number of micro-architectural enhancements of Sandy Bridge, the new line of extreme processors promises to be very fast. It remains to be seen whether six-core Intel processors will be able to outperform eight-core chips from Advanced Micro Devices, which are due to be released in Q2 - Q3 2011.