What is liquid metal? …
Why should another heat-conducting compound, normally referred to as heat-conducting paste, work so much better than the product used by the manufacturer? And why doesn’t manufacturers use it as standard?
A first-class thermal compound, which transfers the heat from the CPU to the heat sink, has a thermal conductivity value of approx. 7-11 W/m/K. Worse examples even only 1 W/m/K. Copper, of which at least the core consists with many heat sinks, has a thermal conductivity of approx. 300 W/m/K. Based on these numerical values one can quickly see that the heat conduction paste between CPU and cooler represents a certain choke in heat transfer.
We will now replace the classic heat conduction paste with liquid metal, which, as the name suggests, is liquid metal. But wait, metal is solid and not liquid? Metal can be liquid at room temperature. A metal to which this still applies and which used to be found in thermometers is mercury.
The liquid metal, which we now use as a heat conductor between the CPU and the cooler, consists mainly of zinc, gallium and indium. It has a thermal conductivity of an incredible 73 W/m/K and transports the CPU waste heat 7-10 times as well into the cooler as high-quality heat conduction paste. This means that the heat in the CPU accumulates less, so that the temperature in the CPU drops.
You have to consider this …
There are a few conditions that must be observed when using this product.
Many will wonder why this liquid metal is not already used by the laptop manufacturers, where the cooler is always factory mounted on the CPU.
On the one hand, due to corrosion, liquid metal must not be associated with aluminium, from which some coolers are made. On the other hand, liquid metal is difficult to apply to the CPU and to diffuse evenly. Liquid metal is electrically conductive and this can lead to a short circuit.
But if you have a heat sink made of copper on the CPU contact surface, work carefully and take a few small precautions, liquid metal can dramatically improve the cooling performance of the existing cooling system. Whether you’re running a laptop or a water-cooled PC, OC enthusiasts will even head their CPU, as mentioned earlier, and apply the liquid metal between CPU DIE and heatspreader, and between heatspreader and heat sink.
The next step shows how this works with a laptop cooling system.
Preparation for liquid metal …