Noctua might have had a small booth showing off its products at Computex, but it had plenty to show for itself. On the booth was a new and conceptual design with a large aluminum tower heat sink weighing around 1.5 kg. This means processors drawing up to 120 W can be used while eliminating noise levels to zero.

Well known for its high-end air CPU cooling solutions and unique color theme, Noctua has designed a completely fanless CPU cooler with the capacity to handle CPU loads of up to 120 W. After speaking to Noctua about this concept design, they stated that the 120 W is guaranteed with this design providing the chassis has adequate convection, and plenty of breathing room. In tighter environments, the concept can stretch to 180 W with quiet chassis fans, or a fan directly placed onto the cooler. The bulk is made up of aluminum, with an asymmetrical design designed for better PCIe slot clearance, as well as being compatible with memorty on both Intel's LGA115X and AMD's AM4 chipsets.

On the booth was a test system demonstrating the concept, which currently has no name, while it was cooling an Intel Core i9-9900K on an ASUS Prime Z390-A motherboard running Prime95, inside a Jonsbo UM4 chassis. While the temperatures weren't exactly helped on by a warm Taiwanese climate, the Noctua fanless averaged a CPU core temperature of around 94 °C under a full Prime 95 load running all day. That's quite impressive given the Core i9-9900K is a premium processor, although the high temperature did thermally throttle the processor down.

While the Noctua Fanless CPU cooler is still completely conceptual, it's due to be completed and released some time in 2020.

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  • azazel1024 - Friday, June 7, 2019 - link

    Actually it would be a volume increase of 3dB if you went from one fan at X noise to two fans each at X noise. You'd have twice the sound level (which is a 3dB increase). So if you went from a case with one fan at 30dB and then upgraded it to have 4 fans at 3dB, you'd end up at 36dB (two doublings of sound pressure, from one to two and then two to four). Reply
  • konbala - Thursday, June 6, 2019 - link

    Wonder why there isn't more fanless design like Airtop's, probably it's not easy and it's patented... Reply
  • Valantar - Thursday, June 6, 2019 - link

    Price. It might be patented, but they can't patent a heatsink, which is what the case panels are if you boil it down. Give your panels some surface area, add heatpipes to get them warm, it'll work. HDPlex and Streacom both make good passive cases, but they do hobble themselves a bit by using only the short sides as heatsinks. Of course, the Airtop also uses a custom motherboard and GPU mount, which makes it easier for them to implement. Reply
  • npz - Thursday, June 6, 2019 - link

    Well at least they're honest about subjecting to worst possible conditions and seeing how the prototype holds up. But seeing every core throttle like that is not helpful in determining a realistic application. I really like the idea though and would probably get it. I know being next to a case fan would help immensely.

    I also wonder what if they made those thick fins with copper instead? Like instead of only the base being (nickel coated) copper, the whole thing can be a continuous, maybe extruded piece of copper, without having the fins soldered
  • khanikun - Thursday, June 6, 2019 - link

    I'd assume you'd want a lay down case and maybe some supports under the motherboard to handle the weight of something that big, in copper. They'd still need to solder the heatpipes though. Don't think it'd work very well without them. Reply
  • Valantar - Thursday, June 6, 2019 - link

    A: That would weigh a ridiculous amount. Likely enough to break your motherboard if mounted in its intended orientation (the tabs between the fins block airflow if you mount this horizontally). It's 1.5kg when made of aluminium. Copper is 3.3x the density. Take a bit away due to the heatpipes and base already being copper, you'd still have a 6-7kg heatsink. That would likely rip your CPU socket right out of the motherboard.

    B: Tooling for an extruder like that would likely cost millions of dollars. You see how big this is, right? Assembling it out of stamped plate metal would be _far_ cheaper.

    C: Extruding the whole thing would make adding heatpipes very difficult, making it significantly worse in terms of cooling.
  • npz - Thursday, June 6, 2019 - link

    Yeah I figure weight would be a problem but I was thinking maybe a strong enough backplate would mitigate that since the torque is right around the socket. The mobo itself is fixed on 3 screws right above the socket and another row of 3 a little below for ATX posotion so flex would be limited to socket area.

    Tooling is already expensive for anything custom. Just creating a new case of new design/shape requires up to a million dollars worth of tooling.

    I don't know if it really would require heatpipes, maybe but since heatpipes are just transferring the heat to the fins to dissipate anyways, wouldn't more efficient fins with better connectivity and direct conductivity from the base preclude the need for them?
  • sonny73n - Thursday, June 6, 2019 - link

    Wow great concept! Nobody has ever thought of it before - a chunky 20 pounds heatsink hanging on your motherboard. Reply
  • Valantar - Thursday, June 6, 2019 - link

    You need to work on your metric-to-gibberish conversions. Reply
  • mobutu - Thursday, June 6, 2019 - link

    well it might be 94 degree celsius but slap a quality fan on it, undervolted so it spins at ~300rpm, and you get a nice 60-70 degree celsius.

    do the same for the gpu

    and the psu can totally get by being 100% passive, just get a nice platinum one which is very efficient.

    and I can guarantee you you won't hear it, not even in a silent/quiet anechoic studio chamber.

    (ofc, quality components so no click-clack nor electronic noises etc)

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