Noctua is well known for its highly efficient air coolers offering high performance. Still, some users want to have a PC that produces no noise at all and who prefer fanless cooling systems and cases. Now, Noctua’s proficient passive coolers have always been something that enthusiast its users, and it looks like their dreams are about to come true ‘very soon.’ Noctua’s fanless CPU cooler is finally about to launch, with the Austrian company.
Noctua first revealed its idea about a fanless CPU cooler in mid-2019 at the Computex trade show. The tower heatsink featured multiple aluminum fins, six heat pipes, and weighed around 3.3 pounds (1.5 kilograms). It was designed to cool a CPU up to 120W TDP in a completely fanless case, or a processor up to 180W TDP in a case equipped with quiet fans, or when equipped with a fan itself.
The device was initially designed for AMD’s AM4 and Intel’s LGA115x platforms, though it is expected to be compatible with LGA1200 and LGA1700. In 2019, Noctua presented the prototype on a fanless desktop case built with an Intel Core i9-9900K processor running at 95 watts. Still, the Intel processor got hot at 92 to 95 degrees celsius while the PC was running a CPU stress-test workload.
Noctua is very serious about its R&D process and validation of its products, so it took the company time to finalize its passive CPU cooler as it was expected that Noctua could be releasing the Passive CPU Cooler in Q1, but the company delayed the launch until Q2. When asked to be a bit more accurate, a company’s representative confirmed on Twitter that the unit is ‘coming very soon.’
Noctua recently talked about the problem it faced in designing its fanless CPU cooler. The company aims to that their cooling systems have to remove relatively large amounts of heat at all times as modern desktop processors work and their bursty behavior. Therefore, a passive cooling system for a processor is not just a large heatsink with loads of fins and without a fan but is a completely different device from an engineering standpoint.
Jakob Dellinger, a representative for Noctua, in an interview with RelaxedTech, said that
“The key challenge is that for a passive cooler to be truly effective, design parameters such as fin pitch and fin thickness need to be quite different… You need a certain pitch to get low enough flow resistance for sufficient natural convection and a certain fin thickness in order to get the mass that is required for absorbing enough thermal energy.”
“This means that different manufacturing machinery is required, e.g., much stronger stamping presses, etc. Getting this sorted in a reasonably cost-efficient way was quite a challenge. We found the technical possibility thrilling and hope that many customers will share this feeling. There’s a certain beauty and simplicity to going completely fanless rather than just running slow fans, there’s no real possible point of failure, less dust build-up, and of course, the bliss of complete silence.”
Noctua has yet to clear about the pricing of its passive cooler, but the least we now know is the product is set to hit the market shortly.