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Go Silent With Massive Fanless CPU Heatsinks

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 21 comments

There is always an endless selection of accessories at Computex, it's sometimes difficult to weed through all the devices.

We did however stumble onto a selection of heatsinks that were passive but still impressive. Thermalright took the spotlight in terms of silent cooling this year--we think they did this last year too. The company showed off several big--literally--passive CPU heatsinks that we found were quite impressive.

Initially we felt that passive heatsinks were definitely not the right solution for those wanting to overclocking their CPUs. This makes sense because overclocking will demand something active if cooling by air, and liquid cooling for better results. Despite this, representatives from Thermalright claim that its heatsinks are so efficient, you can still overclock your processor. While we think this claim is true, the overclocking results you can get from a passive air cooling solution will be much more limited than what an active solution can deliver.

The heatsinks themselves are massive and quite heavy. If you plan to use these solutions in a tower case, make sure the heatsinks are secured tightly. At this point, the usual retention mechanism already applies a great deal of pressure to the motherboard, and so having the heatsinks essentially hanging on their side in a tower case, makes even for a more risky scenario.

Where do we see these working out best? In HTPCs that lay horizontally--and most do. This way, you'll get a silent cooling solution that won't put strain on your motherboard.

Discuss
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  • 10 Hide
    old_newbie , June 4, 2009 6:27 PM
    Quote:
    Where do we see these working out best? In HTPCs that lay horizontally--and most do.


    Not quite. Most HTPC cases are slim (at least the nice ones that look like an entertainment center component). These sinks look waaaay too tall to fit in an HTPC case.
  • 10 Hide
    the_one111 , June 4, 2009 6:17 PM
    "Weighing only a light 260 Lbs these heatsinks make sure your computer is icy cool!"
Other Comments
  • 10 Hide
    the_one111 , June 4, 2009 6:17 PM
    "Weighing only a light 260 Lbs these heatsinks make sure your computer is icy cool!"
  • 10 Hide
    old_newbie , June 4, 2009 6:27 PM
    Quote:
    Where do we see these working out best? In HTPCs that lay horizontally--and most do.


    Not quite. Most HTPC cases are slim (at least the nice ones that look like an entertainment center component). These sinks look waaaay too tall to fit in an HTPC case.
  • 5 Hide
    eyemaster , June 4, 2009 6:33 PM
    Those are massive! They will need a system of pulleys to keep them in a tower case! :) 
  • 2 Hide
    gabeherb345 , June 4, 2009 6:45 PM
    won't that just make the case hot if you don't got alot of exit fans 0_0???????????????
  • 8 Hide
    TidalWaveOne , June 4, 2009 6:59 PM
    I'd prefer a quiet fan.
  • 1 Hide
    zelog , June 4, 2009 7:36 PM
    Ooh, that round one... it's so pretty, does it glow?
  • 0 Hide
    stradric , June 4, 2009 7:52 PM
    ZirbmonkeyThe only reason water cooling can achieve lower sustained temps than air is because the radiator to pump the heat outside the case has more exchanging area than the average air solution.


    And here I was thinking it had to do with the specific heat of water being 4.19 joules / g where as the specific heat of air (according to wolframalpha) is .717 joules / g. That means water can absorb almost 6 times the energy that air can. Surface area be damned!
  • 1 Hide
    cablechewer , June 4, 2009 8:03 PM
    My server and my main desktop are both using passive coolers. The case fans draw out enough air to keep the case cool and I have a few less moving parts that can fail as they age. I am quite happy with them. In both instance I selected processors that are 65W or less on the TDP (the passive coolers claimed they could handle 89W, but I stayed lower just to be safe).

    Since my main desktop also has a 4870 in it the passive CPU cooler is more of a curiosity than anything else. Let me know when I can cool the 4870 passively and I will be really interested :D 
  • 3 Hide
    mavroxur , June 4, 2009 8:03 PM
    That round one reminds me of a cooling tower at a nuclear power plant
  • 0 Hide
    grieve , June 4, 2009 8:09 PM
    they don't look any larger then my Xigmatek...
  • 0 Hide
    cracklint , June 4, 2009 8:51 PM
    Wow, those look things look like sky scrapers in a futuristic city.
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , June 4, 2009 9:33 PM
    Since I run my computer bare on my desk, this might be a good idea :) 
  • 0 Hide
    superfatman , June 4, 2009 9:40 PM
    Looks like they have the Ultra 120 Extreme w/out fan on the bottom left picture. It's a heavy heat sink, but not as bad as the Zalman CNP 7700 I had once.
  • -6 Hide
    Shadow703793 , June 4, 2009 10:03 PM
    Easy solution: Get a TRUE 120 and slap a Yate Loon 120mm on it. Sadly most people don't know about Yate Loon fans as it is mainly used by watercoolers and only a very few places sell it (ie. Newegg doesn't have them). These are probably the best silent fans you can get.
  • 5 Hide
    Shadow703793 , June 4, 2009 10:06 PM
    Easy solution: Get a TRUE 120 and slap a Yate Loon 120mm on it. Sadly most people don't know about Yate Loon fans as it is mainly used by watercoolers and only a very few places sell it (ie. Newegg doesn't have them). These are probably the best silent fans you can get. And it will actually allow for quite a decent OC with very little noise. Your GPU fans are probably the loudest in the system.

    Btw, thumb down my previous comment, it was incomplete.
  • -1 Hide
    hellwig , June 4, 2009 10:21 PM
    ZirbmonkeyAll water does is move the heat from the CPU into the radiator. It's the radiator that does the heat removal. Water just provides the transportation.

    I agree with you Zirb. Whats the heat capacity of copper? Has to be more than water, meaning those copper heat pipes carry more heat away from the CPU than a liquid cooling system. In the end, any cooling system comes down to the efficiency of the radiator, which is why the water-cooler in this Tom's Hardware article did so poorly.

    Doesn't matter how big these passive heat sinks are if there's nothing to remove the heat from the sinks and out of the case.
  • 0 Hide
    anamaniac , June 4, 2009 10:47 PM
    Interesting, but they look expensive.

    That's a lot of metal, thus being pricey.
    They seem heavy, adding to shipping costs.

    I'd rather have a water cooling loop traveling all the way to my fridge or freezer. Keep the pumps in a noise insulated area to cancel the noise.

    Passive is nice, but a 200mm fan is more to my liking. ^_^
  • -2 Hide
    redgarl , June 4, 2009 11:00 PM
    Is that a joke or something? Who would spend 200$ on a HS if you can just change a fan for 10$ ?

    Seriously, you need to be insane to buy something like this.
  • -2 Hide
    redgarl , June 4, 2009 11:00 PM
    Is that a joke or something? Who would spend 200$ on a HS if you can just change a fan for 10$ ?

    Seriously, you need to be insane to buy something like this.
  • 0 Hide
    themike , June 5, 2009 2:50 AM
    No, you dont need to be insane to buy something like this. If you carry this heat sink in 3-4 computers and end up keeping it 10 years, it's cheap to buy yourself less annoying noise for soooooo many hours.

    But, I totally agree most people should look at something in the 40-80$ range with a good low rpm fan. Like me, I've actually been carrying my Thermalright XP120 and my zalman VF700-cu for a while!
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