Redditor shows off insanely massive passively-cooled RTX 3080 prototype

Photograph of a prototype Nvidia RTX 3080 FE Passive Cooling project, with 10 total coolers attached.
Photograph of a prototype Nvidia RTX 3080 FE Passive Cooling project, with 10 total coolers attached.. (Image credit: Everynametaken9 on Reddit)

Unique cooling challenges are posed to PC hardware enthusiasts all the time — especially when their ambitions involve custom cases or out-of-the-box approaches. Today, the club of "out-of-the-box approaches" has been joined by a Redditor with a prototype passively-cooled Nvidia RTX 3080 with 10 attached CPU air coolers [h/t Fanless Tech].

Redditor Everynametaken9 posted to the Nvidia subreddit asking for feedback on their prototype — they're hesitant to try it without receiving feedback from others. The highest-voted comment immediately advises a complete overhaul of the build, feeling its approach won't work without custom heat pipes in a "Christmas tree" configuration, due to concerns about the copper bar's heat dissipation.

This may be yet-untested, but a project like this isn't impossible to pull off. Everynametaken9 cited MonsterLabo as an inspiration, which debuted as a case capable of passive cooling up to 400 Watts in heat. MonsterLabo's most recent passive-cooled "The Beast" case is also sold in a configuration on their site that includes an RTX 4080. So it certainly isn't impossible to execute.

More recently, we also saw Streacom show off a passive cooling PC case at Computex 2023 which was claimed to be capable of passive cooling up to 600W of thermal power. As it turns out, ambitious passive cooling hardware projects with ultra-quiet noise levels aren't just for laptops, smartphones, and Raspberry Pis. With the right approach, even high-end hardware can have a shot at passive cooling.

However, we'd recommend that anyone trying these projects for themselves use them in a fairly well-ventilated room. Passive cooling is, at best, just really efficient heat dissipation — and that heat's gotta go somewhere. Of course, nothing is stopping you from attaching a few very quiet fans to these constructs if you want to be extra safe — even MonsterLabo's "Insane" system config includes 2 be Quiet! Silent Wings fans— though that does defy the labeling of proper passive cooling.

We hope to see more of this passively-cooled RTX 3080 project as it progresses. Benchmarks would be especially appealing to see if it ever reaches a working condition, as well as up-to-date photos of whatever the final configuration ends up being.

Christopher Harper
Contributing Writer

Christopher Harper has been a successful freelance tech writer specializing in PC hardware and gaming since 2015, and ghostwrote for various B2B clients in High School before that. Outside of work, Christopher is best known to friends and rivals as an active competitive player in various eSports (particularly fighting games and arena shooters) and a purveyor of music ranging from Jimi Hendrix to Killer Mike to the Sonic Adventure 2 soundtrack.

  • deesider
    It's amazing that someone with so many coolers would understand so little about cooling.
  • Giroro
    The build is clearly a joke making fun of passive cooler mods.
  • COLGeek
    Is it April already?
  • d0x360
    Looks cool!?

    That is quite possibly the dumbest looking thing I've ever seen even if made for a laugh and if not then this person has absolutely no clue what they are doing.

    What a waste of materials.. we should be trying to eliminate waste not make more of it for Internet credit
  • brandonjclark

    If it had some heatsinks for it's largest 'sinks, that'd would've made me LOL harder!
  • Notton
    Dude must have thought copper heatpipes were solid on the inside and decided to use a copper ingot as the core.

    The copper ingot might cost more than the RTX 3080 and all those tower heatsinks combined.
  • tek-check
    d0x360 said:
    What a waste of materials.. we should be trying to eliminate waste not make more of it for Internet credit
    This should be told to GPU vendors who put gigantic 3 fan desings on class 60 cards.
  • USAFRet
    Don't show the thing until you can show us the temps.