What just happened? Not everyone is a fan of passive coolers, but they offer advantages over their air and water counterparts---quietness and no breakable moving parts being the main ones. Now, a leading manufacturers of CPU coolers, Noctua, is finally about to start mass production of its massive, 1.5Kg (3.3 pound) passive cooler, a prototype of which we first saw last year.
Back at Computex 2019, Noctua, maker of the ever-popular NH-D15 Air Cooler, revealed an early model of its upcoming 'Fanless CPU Cooler.' This absolute beast features twelve 1.5mm aluminum fins, six copper heatpipes, and a copper heatsink. According to Noctua, it uses an asymmetric design for better PCIe clearance and is 100 percent RAM compatible on LGA115x and AM4 motherboards.
Image credit: Fanless Tech
The cooler was demonstrated on an Intel Core i9-9900K---an eight-core chip that can reach 5GHz and has a TDP of 95W. The CPU reportedly ran at 95 degrees throughout, despite the test taking place for several hours in the hot conditions of Computex's floor.
Noctua said the cooler targets 120W in a fanless case or 180W with a quiet case fan nearby. Buyers also get some NT-H2 thermal compound bundled in the box.
Fanless Tech reports that the Noctua Fanless CPU Cooler is about to begin mass production, with a final design that looks pretty much the same as the Computex prototype. Expect it to arrive next month or February, though the price remains unknown.
While 3.3 pounds is a hefty unit, there have been heavier passive CPU coolers, including Thermalright's 4.1-pound True Copper passive heatsink.