Interest in a 0db, high capacity, dust free passive solution, for top end CPU/GPUs?

N4CR

Supreme [H]ardness
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As per the title - is there any interest in this?

I have been pursuing building the perfect, passive, silent system for over ten years.

After considering a build with a custom fully CNC case over the last few months, plus as quiet of an h2o system as possible, after a brainwave, I finally figured out a viable approach to cool a high end rig, in complete solid state silence. I'm a big fan of this approach - reliable and it always works no matter what. The old, proven Scythe Ninja rev1, really opened my eyes to what is possible with a good design.

From what I've seen on the market over the years, there is currently no other existing solution to do this, e.g. passively cool a 5960x, two Fury X/980ti/titans clocked up the wazooo, plus the rest of the motherboard components etc, without water, in a totally sealed case.

Closest thing I know of, with water, was the old Zalman Reserator V1 fanless, however I don't know how it would fare with the latest crop of CPUs.

Past efforts to market, have had very limited thermal capacity, pretty much all CPU only. Not including e.g. the Arctic passive GPU cooler which is inside the case. For this design, I'd be looking at a solution which has the capacity of a decent water cooling setup, e.g. 1.5-2kW of cooling capacity, at under >38 degrees temperature delta. It might run a little hotter than water, assuming absolute worst case load and minimal air movement in the room but it would be unbeatable for total silence and maintenance free operation. A huge dent in that thermal delta could be made with some 180mm + 18db type fans or circulation in the room, however this could defeat the purpose.

This solution would not be light weight, approx 45kg with components, it would be similar size to a double wide tower case, perhaps slightly larger. It would have no fans, no pump noise, no water maintenance, no worries, no vibrations, no dust filters, no nothing making noise unless you have coil whine. Even then, it would severely dampen it. Also no dusting of electronics - a fully sealed design. After fixing computers for many years, maintaining my own is truly a bore, I do enjoy the eye candy though!

It would be more function over form, more for workstation users, a 'build it once don't worry about it and don't change it for a long time' type approach, however it's definitely possible to make it something unique and striking looking.

Is this something of interest to you [H] users?


Also as a further note, I work with a German company which builds ultra high end laser projection systems, a niche market leader, these are often custom built and with highly overkill active air cooled (usually also TEC, sometimes TEC+water) cooling systems. Very modern 3, 5 axis CNC machines, a 6/Y axis dual turret CNC lathe and the rest to go with it.. practically everything is designed and made in-house.
Another thing we've looked into is full CNC case builds also, but this passive idea may be more of interest (and value added) than simply a case.

Your thoughts are appreciated, Hardocp! Cheers.
 
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4330thgink

Gawd
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Mar 8, 2001
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653
Just about the only way to have a 0dB computer case is to have it in space, or complete vacuum.

You can certainly get it much quieter than ambient, but 0dB is practically impossible.
 

N4CR

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Fair call, my bad for being sucked in to marketing lingo! Adjusted title to suit. But yes, under ambient levels, by all intents and purposes, truly real-world silent, basically down to the noise floor of the electronics inside, which will be muffled by the sealed design anyway. I find the 'silent' moniker totally abused this day and age.

Something which doesn't drive the hifi types nuts. Any noise generally pisses me off, especially in quiet games.
 

chx

Gawd
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No, 0dB is very much possible, http://metku.net/index.html?path=mods/passive/index_eng this project cooled a 89W CPU and a 65W GPU with a 20kg heatsink. The Reserator was only 6.5kg http://www.xoxide.com/zalman-reserator-1-v2.html

You need to ask the silentpcreview forum folks they will go absolutely nuts over this.

Also, you need to look into a freight forwarder for the 40kg chassis you are about to make :) just the shipping will be $100+. The question is not whether people are interested but whether they are interested in a chassis $500+ shipped because I believe that's where this will end up.

Crudely, if you take a rectangular cuboid with an ATX motherboard laying on the bottom and about 60-80cm high and make the four side walls out of massive aluminium heatsinks and come up with a way to conduct the CPU and GPU heat to them (sliding heatpipes? PCIe riser so the video card is mounted on the heatsink itself?) then this cat is in the bag. Doable? Yes. Would I want to be the one who needs to lift this thing? Each side panel is going to run about 10-12kg...
 
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BigDov

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Interesting. I'd say for sure, like chx said, go scour the forums at silentpcreview and see if you can find some ideas, and maybe even register and see if bluefront's posts are still there. The dude had some great concepts he put together that might help inspire.

With regard to your original question, it's a cool idea, but I don't see me being able to utilize something like that. However, that wouldn't stop me for one minute looking at / watching your progress :)

With the system in my signature, it's barely audible over ambient currently, unless I'm playing a taxing game which is pretty rare. Just sitting here browsing and what-not, it's just about close enough to silent that I don't know how much more effort to put into it.
 

N4CR

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Hello all, thank you for the feedback and suggestions. Feel like a wally for not even thinking of our brothers and sisters over at silentpc...

I'd expect the costs would be even higher for shipping, a 60kg laser projector is 300-400 euros to ship around the other side of the world (about as far/worst case as possible), building also will be more costly too, as it will be full CNC, aluminium alone will probably be a few hundred + machine time, anodising. This is not intended to be cheap, I don't see much chance for many uptakes, but those who want no compromises for silence and cooling capability will be very keen indeed. The way I see it, if I'm spending $3-4000USD or more on hardware, a grand or two for a good case + cooling system, plus the time saving of 'set, forget and no worry/dusting/water changing/etc', is part of the investment. It's tax deductible as it's for work (and sometimes play) purposes.

Sure it's not as pretty and cool to show your mates, as a balls out watercooling setup, but that's not the point. It's a utilitarian approach to to an unrivalled reliability and zero maintenance cooling + case system. But it will look very unique, almost alien. Little bit like some of the esoteric hifi designs out there.
I have used one case for over 14 years, so a good case investment for me is something that lasts a long time. I wouldn't expect anything less from this next build.


chx, thanks for the link, it seemed familiar at first, because I had seen that build many many years ago when investigating this path, at another point in time. My design will only have four heatpipes at most, plus be easier to remove the CPU/GPU, so a vastly simplified approach with much higher surface area for around twice the given weight, approx 5-6x the surface area or more.

I have built many LED systems passively cooled, for over 5 years now, many pulling hundreds of watts, which are cool to the touch and have great junction temperatures, plus lifetimes exceeding rated specifications for anything else on the market, this build is just a natural next step now. My formulas work out and have proven themselves time and time again.

The only problem (cooling wise) with that square heatsink design, is the fins need to be longer and have wider spacing, the heatsink they used is more orientated towards an active design. I personally would not do it this way, as you say, mounting things becomes a little strange, plus putting it together becomes a bit of a bitch. A PCI-e flex riser or two, is part of the solution though :)

BigDov, similar thoughts with my rig, dual 18db 180mm fans means it's very quiet for majority of tasks, only time it gets loud is the ref blower fan going nuts on the GPU with a heavy game. Which kills it a little for me. An arctic accelero or similar isn't so bad though, but I'm yearning for absolute silence. When achieved, it's total bliss and anything but seems almost deafening, as white noise. But I'm a little funny about noise!

Again thanks to all and I will check out silentPC! Cheers [H]
 
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