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Gaming laptops have made big strides in recent years, but let's be honest: getting great frame rates on a mobile device is easier said than done. A pair of new products unveiled over the last couple of days hold the promise of powerful portable performance, however. First up is the GTX 680's little brother, the Kepler-based 600M class mobile GPUs, which are smaller, faster and less power-hungry than their predecessors. Meanwhile, the thermal gurus over at Asetek have introduced a new slim form factor liquid cooling technology designed just for notebooks and AIOs -- then overclocked a Alienware M18x to 4.4 GHz to show off its chops.
Nvidia says its 600M GPUs are small and energy efficient enough to fit into Ultrabooks, but adds enough oomph that the first Ultrabook running the 640M -- the Acer Aspire Timeline Ultra M3 -- is capable of playing Battlefield 3 at Ultra settings. (Although, to be fair, the Timeline Ultra M3 stretches the definition of an Ultrabook at 5 lbs. on the nose.) In fact, Nvidia told PC World that the 640M can handle any game currently on the market. The GPU won't drag you down when you aren't gaming, either; the 600M series utilizes Nvidia's Optimus switching technology to disable the GPU when a notebook's integrated Intel graphics are up to handling less intensive tasks.
The Asetek mobile liquid cooling technology, on the other hand, combines liquid cooling with enhanced heat exchanging, but otherwise works basically as you'd expect it to. From the Asetek press release: Slim form factor liquid cooling technology takes full advantage of the fact that CPUs and GPUs are rarely fully stressed at the same time. The technology interconnects all of the thermal management devices enabling them to dynamically “borrow” idle cooling capacity from one another. In addition, the liquid cooled coldplate has less thermal resistance than a heat pipe.
The video above is kind of bland, but it explains how the new liquid cooling system allowed Asetek to overclock an Alienware M18x to new heights (and new benchmark scores). The notebook's 3.5 GHz Core i7-2920XM was boosted to 4.4 GHz and the dual Radeon 6990M GPUs got bumped from 680MHz to 800MHz, all while putting out less noise than the standard air-cooled M18x. No word on pricing or availability, unfortunately -- but don't expect it to be cheap.