Intel axes the development of their Cryo CPU Cooling Technology

Intel has ended the development of their Cryo Cooling Technology – Expect to see no new Thermoelectric CPU coolers from Intel and partners

As of July 1st 2023, Intel discontinued their Cryo Cooling Technology. This technology is what powers Thermoelectric CPU coolers like Cooler Master’s MasterLiquid ML360 Sub-Zero EVO. EK was also an Intel partner on this project with their QuantumX Delta TEC liquid cooling water block.

Intel’s Cryo Cooling Technology uses a combination of hardware, software, and firmware optimisations that are only present on supported Intel CPUs and motherboards. Now that the technology has been axed, Intel fans cannot utilise this technology to cool the company’s latest 14th generation Core CPUs to sub-zero temperatures.

Intel has not commented on why they have axed their TEC-based cooling program. It is likely that high costs and a lack of consumer interest are to blame. Intel’s TEC-enhanced cooling solutions were expensive, they were only (officially) compatible with Intel processors, and had a limited userbase. These extreme cooling solutions are only of interest to extreme overclockers. Their high pricing made them hard to recommend for anyone outside of this niche. EK’s QuantumX Delta TEC liquid cooling water block launched with a price tag of €379.95.

The secret sauce of Intel’s Cryo Cooling Technology

Intel’s Cryo technology worked the same way as all other TEC cooling technologies. Thermoelectric coolers use electrical power to transfer heat. This makes one side of a TEC hot and the other side of it cold. CPU heat transfers more readily to the cool side of the TEC, due to their larger thermal delta. The hot side of the TEC is then used to push more heat into its connected cooler. As far as the cooler is concerned, it is simply cooling a hotter processor. The cold side of the TEC then provides stronger CPU cooling and lower thermals. The main downside of TEC cooling is that the TEC itself requires power.

The secret sauce of Intel’s TEC cooling solutions is how it integrated with specific motherboards, processors, and system firmware. Condensation is a major issue for sub-ambient cooling solutions, and Intel worked hard to ensure that the TEC was not overutilized to prevent condensation while also keeping CPU thermals low. Intel wanted to create thermelectric coolers that everyone could use, making sub-ambient cooling available to all of their customers.

While it is sad to see Intel’s Cryo CPU cooling technology become discontinued, it is easy to see why this change has happened. Intel are trying to save money wherever they can and invest it into areas that will serve the company better long-term. Intel’s R&D funds are better spent elsewhere, where the investment will deliver larger rewards.

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Mark Campbell

Mark Campbell

A Northern Irish father, husband, and techie that works to turn tea and coffee into articles when he isn’t painting his extensive minis collection or using things to make other things.

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