You can have a passively-cooled GeForce RTX 3080... for a price

nanoguy

Posts: 740   +12
Staff member
In brief: Over the years there have been endless attempts at creating 100% passively-cooled PCs, but most of those builds used lower end components. It turns out that you can have a silent system equipped with an Nvidia RTX 3080, but it's neither cheap nor extremely practical for most people.

For fans of silent PCs, passively cooling the CPU has traditionally been easier to achieve than with graphics cards, mostly because of the difference in power draw from the two components. There are companies that dedicate to offer custom-built PCs for those who want that fanless experience, and enthusiasts love to put things to the test and see how far one can push these systems.

A recent most notable experiment for a passively cooled CPU was that of YouTuber der8auer, who managed to get an Intel Core i9-9900K running Far Cry 5 at 1080p without melting down. Otherwise, manufacturers like Noctua have been working on passive CPU coolers for years, and soon you'll be able to use its massive 3.3-pound heatsink to cool some of the higher end CPUs from Intel and AMD.

Passively-cooled graphics cards have also been around for quite sometime thanks to the likes of Zotac, Powercolor, Palit, XFX, and Gainward. However, as power consumption for mid-range and high-end graphics cards has been on an upward trend, these days you're unlikely to see anything other than an Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti, GTX 1650, the resurrected GTX 710, or the oddball, undervolted and underclocked RTX card with a huge aftermarket heatsink on it.

Still, if money is no object, there are especially-constructed PC cases that can passively cool high-end gaming hardware.

As spotted by FanlessTech, there's such a setup dubbed "Turemetal UP10" that can cool an Nvidia RTX 3080 along with an AMD Ryzen 5 5600X CPU, but there are, of course, some caveats to such a solution.

The first is that running a game with the RTX 3080 on stock settings will definitely overwhelm the cooling system, which is comprised of several heatpipes and a number of large heatsinks. Reducing clocks and the card's power limit are a must, as the manufacturer of the Turemetal UP10 found that just stressing the RTX 3080 in Furmark would result in temperatures close to 90 degrees Celsius in a relatively cool room with an ambient temperature of just 13.6 degrees.

The second problem is the price, which starts at $770 for the case alone. Factor in the difficulty and cost of getting your hands on an RTX 3080 and this becomes a truly exotic solution.

The AMD Ryzen 5 5600X along with a fanless PSU should prove easier to find, but ultimately it's all down to how far you're willing to go to have a completely silent PC. For some, the DIY journey required to achieve it is just as rewarding as the end result.

Permalink to story.

 

Faelan

Posts: 58   +49
Ah, you think you got yourself a nice silent PC because you got rid of all the fans?

Let me introduce you to my friend, Mr. Coilwhine. Do they have a solution for that as well? I mean, my RTX 3090 sounds like an MG 42 when running the benchmark in RDR2. I can hear it loud and clear over my fans even when ramped up. Thankfully, it’s the only game where I can hear it once the fans are going.
 

redhat

Posts: 148   +185
I dont understand why people/companies aim to create a 100% passively-cooling solution, I mean a good cooler with very low fan noise that human cannot hear in normal condition would be much better and practical.
 

defaultluser

Posts: 119   +86
Yeah, no. The quest for this is then whole reason semi-passive GPU cooling was invented.

The ones who still insist n this fir big GPUs have never heard of the word compromise!
 
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hahahanoobs

Posts: 3,292   +1,472
Let me introduce you to my friend, Mr. Coilwhine. Do they have a solution for that as well?
That wouldn't be their problem.
Could be the card, could be the PSU. Could be couple other things.
Even though some vendors will tell you it's normal, it can be corrected at home.
 

Peter Farkas

Posts: 533   +379
Ah, you think you got yourself a nice silent PC because you got rid of all the fans?

Let me introduce you to my friend, Mr. Coilwhine. Do they have a solution for that as well? I mean, my RTX 3090 sounds like an MG 42 when running the benchmark in RDR2. I can hear it loud and clear over my fans even when ramped up. Thankfully, it’s the only game where I can hear it once the fans are going.
did you try undervolting at stock clocks? That usually helps a lot.
 

koblongata

Posts: 400   +218
I dont understand why people/companies aim to create a 100% passively-cooling solution, I mean a good cooler with very low fan noise that human cannot hear in normal condition would be much better and practical.

For ease of maintenance I think, though only once a year maybe. And the sheer elegance.
 

Farkinell

Posts: 137   +206
If silence means that much to you, can’t you just put the PC in a different room and run cables to the display? Or some kind of hush box thing used for projectors?

Cooling won’t be great but it’ll be better and cheaper than 5kg of expensive aluminium fins bolted to your GPU.
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 8,001   +6,775
I still want to see the brave soul that creates a tank filled with non-conductive liquids that the entire computer can be submerged in. This would be attached to a simple pump leading to a automobile radiator with fan and circulate back to the tank. Although I'm not sure it could be called passive, I'm sure it could be considered effective! (NOTE: Optional double wide trailer to put the entire rig in is not included in this offer)
 

Shadowboxer

Posts: 1,447   +1,044
Ah, you think you got yourself a nice silent PC because you got rid of all the fans?

Let me introduce you to my friend, Mr. Coilwhine. Do they have a solution for that as well? I mean, my RTX 3090 sounds like an MG 42 when running the benchmark in RDR2. I can hear it loud and clear over my fans even when ramped up. Thankfully, it’s the only game where I can hear it once the fans are going.

It’s more likely to be ground loop feedback between your speakers and your PC. To remove that you would need to get an external DAC with its own silent power supply, preferably on a different outlet.

I had the exact same problem with RDR2 and once I isolated my DACs power using a dongle between my PC and the DAC with its own power, the whining went away.

https://ifi-audio.com/products/idefender3-0/
 

Faelan

Posts: 58   +49
did you try undervolting at stock clocks? That usually helps a lot.
Yes and the effect is very noticeable in RDR2. You don't even have to undervolt. Simply setting the power limit to 120% makes a lot more noise than the default 100% and lowering it will also reduce the coil whine, but it never completely goes away. Funny thing is, something like Furmark at max 120% (480w power draw) is surprisingly quiet. There's just a faint chatter that I can hear before the fans kick in. Most games are thankfully like that, but RDR2 for some reason just triggers it. Still, there's enough coil whine that without the fans, it would be very noticeable in a quiet room. Heck, when it's completely quiet here, I can hear the coil whine from my M.2 SSDs when they're being put under load.

Not a huge issue since there's nearly always some background noise going on and I always wear a headset when gaming, but for someone hoping that merely getting rid of the fans will solve everything... yeah... sorry... coil whine is a thing and it's a bit of a lottery, which isn't ideal given the current GPU situation where being picky isn't much of an option.
 

Faelan

Posts: 58   +49
It’s more likely to be ground loop feedback between your speakers and your PC. To remove that you would need to get an external DAC with its own silent power supply, preferably on a different outlet.

I had the exact same problem with RDR2 and once I isolated my DACs power using a dongle between my PC and the DAC with its own power, the whining went away.

https://ifi-audio.com/products/idefender3-0/
Good idea. Except I'm already using a wireless headset. I'm absolutely sure the sound is coming from the GPU. It could be a grounding issue though. The electrical installation in this apartment dates back to the 70s and only the outlets in the kitchen and bathroom supports 3 prong grounded plugs. The rest are not grounded. I suppose I could try and get an extension cord and plug it into the grounded outlet in the kitchen.
 

OortCloud

Posts: 577   +430
I still want to see the brave soul that creates a tank filled with non-conductive liquids that the entire computer can be submerged in. This would be attached to a simple pump leading to a automobile radiator with fan and circulate back to the tank. Although I'm not sure it could be called passive, I'm sure it could be considered effective! (NOTE: Optional double wide trailer to put the entire rig in is not included in this offer)
They already exist, just search for 'mineral oil cooled PC' and you'll find loads of them.
 

Peter Farkas

Posts: 533   +379
Yes and the effect is very noticeable in RDR2. You don't even have to undervolt. Simply setting the power limit to 120% makes a lot more noise than the default 100% and lowering it will also reduce the coil whine, but it never completely goes away. Funny thing is, something like Furmark at max 120% (480w power draw) is surprisingly quiet. There's just a faint chatter that I can hear before the fans kick in. Most games are thankfully like that, but RDR2 for some reason just triggers it. Still, there's enough coil whine that without the fans, it would be very noticeable in a quiet room. Heck, when it's completely quiet here, I can hear the coil whine from my M.2 SSDs when they're being put under load.

Not a huge issue since there's nearly always some background noise going on and I always wear a headset when gaming, but for someone hoping that merely getting rid of the fans will solve everything... yeah... sorry... coil whine is a thing and it's a bit of a lottery, which isn't ideal given the current GPU situation where being picky isn't much of an option.
I hear you, I am a noise freak as well. :) Coil wine is the worst, fans can be replaced with expensive high-end versions that are practically silent but coil wine is just there.
 

Amariami

Posts: 41   +12
did you try undervolting at stock clocks? That usually helps a lot.
yeah, a lot of reduced performance :(

I see few people are clueless about coil whine noise.:eyes:
That's vibration component from the electromagnetic inductors, transformers, and capacitors

1. First, you have to know what specifically is causing the high-pitched noise
2. You can use thermal pads, isolated it then pressing with a heatsink on GPU, heatsink from the chipset, heatsink from vrm, or something to press it

2. You can paint it with "insulating varnish" or called "coil lacquer" (you can buy it online), put on specific coils that you suspect are causing the high-pitched noise.
Once it dries, the liquid will form a thick, protective barrier around the coils that should help reduce or even completely stop the coil whine.

You could also use silicone glue or hot glue if you prefer then combined it with a thermal pad and heatsink.

TL;DR = just hug the vibratour 🙈
 
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