IFA (think CES, but with a lot more German) runs this week from September 4 to 9, but if early press is any indication, Asus has just swept the show. The company’s new GX700 laptop isn’t just fast — it’s overclocked and watercooled. If Asus hadn’t distributed photos, we might have thought the company was playing word games, and referring to a new heat pipe design or CLLC (closed-loop liquid cooler) as a water-cooled design just to drum up some press. Nope. It’s water-cooled, as a few additional shots made clear.
The photo above doesn’t actually do a very good job of showing how large the water cooler is compared with the rest of the laptop, but The Verge snapped a shot that frames the two components better.
Current high-end gaming laptops are often referred as desktop replacements, since they can weigh anywhere from 8-15 lbs and pack components with heat outputs that could sterilize a porn star. The GX700 puts an entirely new spin on that nickname. It doesn’t just replace your desktop computer, it replaces your desktop. Additional photos confirm that there are water pipe attachments at the back of the unit for connecting to the external cooler.
Computerbase.de went a step further than most and confirmed which hardware is running under the hood. According to their reports, the system packs 64GB of RAM and utilizes an Intel Core i7-6820HK with a base frequency of 2.7GHz and a turbo frequency of 3.6GHz. The GPU is particularly interesting — it’s an as-yet-unreleased model from Nvidia. Currently, the top-end GTX 980M packs 1,536 GPU cores, 160GB/s of memory bandwidth, 96 TMUs, 64 ROPS, and a base clock of 1,308MHz. The GX700, in contrast, reports 2,048 cores, a 1,190MHz clock speed, 128 TMUs, 64 ROPS, and 160GB/s of memory bandwidth.
Those specs put this new GPU in-between the GTX 980M and the standard desktop GTX 980. It wouldn’t surprise us if Nvidia is planning to unveil the first mobile Titan. Now that the brand is well-established, launching a mobile iteration of the architecture could make sense — and while most laptops can’t dissipate enough heat to make that practical, if any laptop ever could, it’ll be this one. According to Asus, the water cooler is used only for the GPU, which could also mean that the graphics card is programmed for a much higher boost clock when the water cooling module is enabled.
It uses water cooling — but it doesn’t have to
One key concern of many gamers is going to be whether or not the system has to use water cooling. Asus told Computerbase.de that it doesn’t, but that hooking up the water cooler and cranking up clock speeds on both the CPU and graphics card can increase performance by as much as 80%. That’s a very interesting claim — but the sheer size of that number gives us a bit of pause.
There’s no doubt that overclocking a GPU with water can give you huge performance boosts.When I reviewed the VisionTek CryoVenom R9 290, I saw that card outperform the air-cooled R9 290 by up to 20%. 20%, however, is a far cry from 80% — and it implies that when you disconnect the water cooler, the GPU throttles down hard to keep its own power consumption in check. Then again, the GTX 980M has proven to be a remarkably good mobile GPU, offering excellent performance with less throttling than we’ve seen in previous mobile hardware. This one could go either way, but the laptop can be disconnected from its water cooler and transported.
No word on price yet, but we suspect that if you have to ask, you can’t afford it.