Cool Down That Snapdragon… with Ice Water (?!!)

Linus does his best Jobs pose...

Kudos to YouTuber (and fellow Canadian) Linus Sebastian for applying his knowledge of high-performance PCs to mobile phones. Just don’t expect to see a water-cooled smartphone in production anytime soon.

It started out as a test to prove/disprove claims that the new iPhone outperforms this year’s MacBook—which, in a previous video, Linus had found to be thermally throttled. The solution? Open up the CPU by cooling it down with ice water. Could the performance of the iPhone 6s be improved using the same method?

Actually, no. But… it’s an entirely different story with a phone powered by the infamous Snapdragon 810.

Here’s the video of Linus’s water-cooled phone test, which includes the iPhone, LG G4, Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, and two Snapdragon 810-powered phones—the ZTE Axon Pro and HTC One M9. All phones had benchmarking software run for 10 consecutive minutes, both under and above water:

The iPhone and LG G4 (running the Snapdragon 808) performed pretty much the same at both temperatures. The Exynos chip in the Samsung did about 10% better underwater. But the 810-powered ZTE did significantly better when cooled. And the M9? Even at 0 degrees Celsius it was still warm to the touch!

Long story short: If your phone is running a Snapdragon 810 you’re likely not getting the full performance potential of that chip.

Oh, and if you’re at all interested in the Axon Pro, Howard and I are meeting up with some folks from ZTE tomorrow. If you’ve any questions, ask away…

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