A very unusual Danamics LMX cooling system fell into the hands of popular overclocker and video blogger Roman “der8auer” Hartung. One enthusiast called it “possibly the most dangerous CPU cooler” in the world.
The Danamics LMX looks like a traditional single-tower air cooling system with multiple heat pipes. Its main feature is that there is liquid metal in its heat pipes. In this case, it is not the usual alloy of gallium, indium and tin, which is often promoted as an excellent thermal interface for transferring heat from the processor to the cooling system, but an alloy of two alkali metals – sodium and potassium. This alloy is chemically aggressive and can ignite in air and on contact with water.
According to der8auer, the Danamics LMX CPU cooler was an attempt to increase the efficiency of traditional heat pipes. It is noted that since 2008, and possibly earlier, developers at Danamics have been exploring the possibility of using liquid metal alloys in heat pipes of processor coolers. However, the LMX cooler model, which ended up in the hands of a German enthusiast, was released in limited numbers in early 2010.
When examining the Danamics LMX cooler, the overclocker found that the heat capacity of the liquid metal alloy in this cooling system is only a quarter higher than that of water. At the same time, its thermal conductivity is 30 times higher. Although the latter feature is impressive, it has virtually no meaning in the context of a closed, compact circuit of heat pipes within the processor.
Another feature of the Danamics LMX cooler is that it is equipped with a special pump. It is installed at the top of the cooling system and hidden under a cover. In the picture above you can see the pump with the cover removed. This is an electromagnetic neodymium pump powered by fairly thick cables designed for a current of 30A. During operation, the cables heat up significantly to 40-50 degrees Celsius, the enthusiast noted.
The enthusiast tested the effectiveness of the Danamics LMX cooling system in synthetic and gaming tests. For comparison, der8auer took a normal Noctua NH-U12A air CPU cooler with a 120mm fan. The test system was based on the flagship processor Intel Core i9-12900KS.
No clear winner could be determined between the two coolers in the games. Both cooling systems showed generally similar results. Cinebench’s synthetic test provided a clearer picture. The normal Noctua air cooler was 5-6 degrees more efficient. At the same time, der8auer noted that the Danamics LMX performed quite well considering its age. However, in the Noctua processor, heat-conducting tubes with conventional refrigerant still proved to be more effective than a liquid metal alloy made of sodium and potassium.
Whether the development of the Danamics LMX cooler had any impact on the company’s future fortunes is unknown. But the company that developed this cooling system closed in the same year, 2010. To this day, only a few prototypes and early samples of the LMX cooler, which were once sent to reviewers and testers, survive.
At the end of the video, Roman Hartung reflected on the dangers of transporting LMX coolers. Any accident that damages even a single cooling system could become a much more serious disaster.