TeamGroup has launched the first industrial grade vapour chamber cooling technology for M.2 SSDs.
Vapour chamber cooling is much more effective than cooling via a copper heatpipe. Vapour chamber cooling is a two-phase heat transfer, and to put it simply it has a much higher effective thermal conductivity than solid Copper.
- Two-phase heatpipe : 10,000 W/mK
- Solid Copper : 400 W/mK
As computer technology improves, the demand for high speed and high performance computing rises. SSDs were introduced into the market to overcome the slow speeds offered by HDDs. In the past few years, many manufacturers have introduced a vast number of SSDs into the market. The two form factors offered currently are SATA and M.2.
As read/write speeds are exceeding the 5 digit mark, the amount of heat produced is raising concerns for SSDs. To solve this problem, a vast number of solutions were offered by SSD manufacturers but recently TeamGroup has launched the first vapour chamber cooling technology for M.2 SSDs.
In a nutshell, a fluid is pumped to an extreme end (hot spot) of the PCIe M.2 SSD, after vaporization, the liquid condenses at another end (cooler spot) where heat is dissipated via the aluminium heat sinks. In order to verify their claims, a number of tests were conducted at an ambient temperature of 85*C where we saw impressive results.
The VC (Vapour Chamber) cooled M.2 SSD is 75% faster than the SSD performing without a heatsink. It is to be noted that, you wont always be using your PC in an oven so these benchmarks may not scale accordingly at room temperature.
You can read more details regarding this upcoming tech here.
How does it actually work?
So, what exactly are vapour chambers you may ask? Vapours chambers work similarly to heat pipes. In a heat pipe, a liquid flows through the pipe which has two extreme ends. At one end, the liquid boils and the gas molecules travel upwards (single direction) towards a cooler point. At that other end, the molecules condense back to a liquid which then travels back to the hotter end.
The advantage? It has better thermal efficiency than just stacking multiple copper heatpipes on top of another if cost and size is taken into account aswell.
Well “What’s the difference between a heat pipe and a vapour chamber”? A vapour chamber is larger and allows for heat dissipation in multiple directions whereas a heat pipe only allows the heat to flow out of one direction.
The main concept here being that heat is spread over a large surface area as compared to the heat pipe which offers a relatively smaller surface area while being linear. Mathematically,
Q= K (AΔT)/L
The amount of heat transferred is directly proportional to the surface area (where Vapour Chamber>>Heat Pipe) leading to much higher efficiency on using a vapour chamber.
Vapour chamber cooling technology has brought revolutionary changes into the market allowing for faster performance without facing thermal throttling. It will be interesting to see how cooling advances in the future as CPUs nowadays are reaching closer to 90*C even with water cooling.