Cooler Master Demos 3D Vapor Chamber CPU Cooler Tech

Cooler Master showed us its next generation CPU cooling technology at CES 2015, which it calls "3D Vapor Chamber." Simply put, it's an evolution of the company's vapor chamber technology. Vapor chambers for CPU coolers are sealed, flat-ish metal pockets filled with fluid. As the CPU heats the liquid in the vapor chamber, the liquid ensures that it is dissipated evenly to the copper heat pipes, thus eliminating hot spots and ensuring better cooling.

Cooler Master has taken the concept to the next level by effectively making the heat pipes part of the actual vapor chamber. Instead of laying on top of the vapor chamber, the heat pipes are connected to it. The heatsink and heat pipes create a closed vapor chamber system. Thus, the warmed liquid is run up through the fin assembly of the cooler.

The idea is straightforward, and it's reasonable to expect this 3D Vapor Chamber technology to maximize the cooling efficiency of an air cooler.

Currently, though, all Cooler Master has is some basic mockups of how a 3D Vapor Chamber would look with the pipes connected to the heat sink vapor chamber, but we expect the company to have working prototypes, if not market-ready products, by Computex later this year.

When we asked about the potential issue of the pipes' rigidity due to the possible lack of internal reinforcement, Cooler Master told us that we should expect the same rigidity as regular copper heat pipes. However, a company representative also noted that Cooler Master has yet to finalize a manufacturing process, so we should perhaps assign a small asterisk next to that claim.

Still, Cooler Master is an OEM, so the company can leverage its own internal process technology to quickly churn through prototypes without relying on a third party.

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  • jossrik
    I thought the problem with vapor chambers was the direction they were facing. In the picture it looks all good, but in reality that cooler would be sideways, so wouldn't the vapor condense on the side (bottom) of the cooler? Same problem for video cards, I understand the tech, with the way video cards sit in a case, the heat source is the top of the cooler, and for a liquid vapor chamber you'd need the bottom for the liquid, there aren't any liquids that are lighter than their vapor counterparts... Am I missing something?
  • leo2kp
    How is this any different than a direct-contact heatpipe?
  • dwatterworth
    How is this any different than a direct-contact heatpipe?

    It's different from a direct contact heatpipe in the way that the whole CPU lid would be covered evenly, instead of problems faced with heatpipe orientation, missed CPU hotspots etc. Even DC heatpipes that are mashed together will have different heat transfer rates where the heatpipes merge and form thicker copper sections.