Noctua and RotoSub are working on a CPU cooler that employs active noise cancellation in its pursuit of silence. We saw an early prototype demoed at Computex last year, and an updated version was at this year's show. Noctua has also posted a video of the latest design in action:
The noise-cancellation tech uses a magnetic field to generate minute vibrations in the fan blades. A microphone takes in the noise produced by the fan and then tunes the blade vibration to cancel it out. At least in the video, that approach seems to be effective at masking the fan hum, which admittedly seems a little on the loud side for a modern spinner. You can read more about the design here.
The cooler shown in the video looks a lot more polished than what we saw last year. It sandwiches a single, shrouded, 140-mm fan between a pair of radiator towers fed by six heatpipes. The radiators are shaped to avoid bumping into taller DIMMs, and the microphone is situated on the side of the radiator. Although the design is "almost completed," the finished product isn't expected to hit mass production until the middle of 2014.
Noctua doesn't mention a price, but we were told last year that adding noise cancellation would probably double the cost of the fan. The R-ANC will likely be priced in the same realm as exotic water coolers. Fittingly, perhaps, Noctua is also working on a noise-cancelling fan specifically for liquid cooling radiators. The 120-mm radiator fan is at an "earlier development stage," so I wouldn't expect it to be available anytime soon.
Active noise cancellation is slick, but I can't help but think it's a little wasted on the CPU. Quiet cooling solutions abound, and most of the noise generated by modern rigs seems to come from fans onboard the graphics card. It will be interesting to see if noise cancellation eventually makes its way to GPU cooling.
|AMD's Radeon Software Crimson Edition: an overview||56|
|Asus updates Zenbook UX305 with a Skylake Core M CPU||13|
|Shuttle XPC Nano's svelte body is clad in black and gold||7|
|AMD ends driver support for non-GCN Radeon cards||51|
|Dell owns up to eDellRoot hole and provides removal instructions||14|
|MIT researchers say many popular Android apps call out covertly||8|
|Dell gets Superfishy by shipping PCs with self-signed root certificates||46|
|It's an early Black Friday deals extravaganza||34|
|Mozilla axes heavyweight Firefox themes and tab groups||59|