Introduction and Technology
Price: £94.99 inc VAT (Superleggera) £114.99 (LMX)
Best Price: http://pricebomb.co.uk
Anything to do with “Liquid Metal” conjures up images of the T-1000 from Terminator 2 for most people, but Danish manufacturer Danamics has finally put the technology to a less nefarious use. The firm is currently offering two liquid-metal based CPU coolers in its range; the LMX and the LMX Superleggera. For those not up to speed with their Italian automotive lingo, the latter translates to “Super Light” and refers to the fact that this cheaper variant ships without the Silenx fans of the LMX. You also have to choose between either an AMD or an Intel version whereas the full price LMX comes with mounting hardware for both platforms. The two products otherwise look and perform identically. The LMX first caught our attention a few weeks ago when we spotted British performance PC specialist Chillblast.com offering the coolers in its aggressively overclocked “Fusion Elemental” PC. A few phone calls later and the firm kindly shipped over its well used (and abused) demo unit for our evaluation.
Danamics assures us that Cyberdyne Systems had no part in the liquid metal technology used in the LMX, but the Sodium Potassium Alloy used within the cooler is still pretty exciting stuff. It reacts in a volatile manner with air (leading to restricted usage in some territories) but in a sealed environment like the LMX’s heat pipes, this won’t be an issue. As you’d expect the liquid metal is extremely effective at transferring heat, and unlike water doesn’t require any moving parts to circulate. Instead Danamics employs an electromagnetic pump to move the metal around the cooler.
When voltage is applied to the pump’s electrodes the electrons within the liquid metal alloy start moving. When electrons move in the presence of a magnetic field it creates a force that acts in a direction perpendicular to field, propelling the liquid around the heat pipe circuit. Two important advantages the LMX holds over water cooling are that the cooler is still reasonably effective should the pump fail, and secondly there are no moving parts to wear out.
Weighing in at well over a Kilo the heat sink is immense. It may look like a traditional tower heat sink but the heat pipes are arranged in such a way to to allow the liquid to circulate effectively, depositing the heat collected from the processor into the heat sink’s fins as it goes. In addition to the cooler itself you get a glossy install guide, a compact disk with product info, the relevant mounting hardware and a tube of thermal goop. If you buy the full-fat LMX you also get mounting hardware for AMD chips and two 2000rpm transparent Silenx fans. The cooler's base is not mirror flat (it lacks nickel plating) but is very well lapped and made perfect contact with our i7 processor.