Captherm Systems builds PC phase-change cooler with explosions

Water cooling has been the pinnacle of PC cooling for over a decade. Now, at CES 2014, a challenger has finally emerged – Captherm System’s MP1120.

Though the name is rather dull, the MP1120 is exciting for PC enthusiasts because it’s a simple, integrated phase-change cooler that attaches using a mundane processor socket adapter. Phase-change cooling works by using a liquid that is heated until it changes to vapor. The vapor then moves to a condenser, where it’s changed back to liquid and returned to the processor. 

This is more efficient than water-cooling and doesn’t require the use of a pump, which can break, leak, or (in some cases) make an annoying sucking sound. Indeed, the lengths taken by Captherm to banish the problems of a pump are as absurd as they are glorious. The corrosion-resistant metals used to build the MP1120 won’t accept a strong, long-lasting bond by normal means, so explosion welding is used instead.

That’s exactly what it sounds like. Chunks of material are placed together in slabs and then bonded by the force of an explosion. They’re then cut to fit the cooler, which means there is no chance the bond will weaken and, in turn, allow leakage. 

The company has also fitted the MP1120 with a window that makes the phase-change process visible. You can literally see your processor turning water to vapor. And you have a choice of colors to light your experience, because the cooler comes with customizable LED lighting.

Captherm says it will sell the MP1120 for $249. That’s a lot for a CPU cooler, but it’s actually much less expensive than the handful of phase-change cooling kits already available, which usually sell for almost $1,000 (and sometimes more). The MP1120 will also be much easier to install. 

Expect to see the Captherm MP1120 at online retailers in March 2014. 

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