Huge fanless CPU cooler dissipates 100W

One of the coolest-looking things we saw at CES was a passive CPU cooler not-so-inconspicuously tucked into a Raven enclosure at the Silverstone booth. The heatsink is made by Korean company NOFAN (for folks obsessed with silence, they sure like to shout) and found its way onto Akiba PC Hotline today. Looks like the cooler, dubbed the CR-100A, will cost nearly $500 when sold in a kit with a NOFAN case and PSU, neither of which have fans. Duh!

Rather than using cooling fins, the CR-100A relies on what look like ornately bent bicycle spokes to conduct heat away from a system’s CPU. The cooler is said to support processors with TDP ratings up to 100W, which includes all of Intel’s Sandy Bridge models. Good luck finding a case that’ll fit the thing, though. The CR-100A measures nearly nine inches in diameter, is just over five inches tall, and weighs close to two pounds.

While I can appreciate the desire to have a passively cooled PC, the options for graphics cards aren’t great. Besides, good fans are pretty quiet these days, and the trend towards larger diameters means you don’t need many spinners to keep a potent system’s temperatures under control.

Comments closed
    • just brew it!
    • 8 years ago

    Form over function. The cooler has relatively little surface area for its size, which will severely limit its performance. A comparably sized heatpipe cooler with the fan removed would probably perform better.

    Kind of reminds me of Thermaltake’s original Golden Orb (a.k.a. “Core Crusher”) coolers for Socket A. All show and no go.

    • rhysl
    • 8 years ago

    That is the most rediculous POS i have ever seen , !

    I do fine with stock intel fan for my Corei7 2500 processor in a Antec p8h67-i deluxe in a antec fusion remote black case.. blooming quiet

    • FuturePastNow
    • 8 years ago

    The case they’re using isn’t the best. This seems made for cases that have fans at both the top and rear (which is the new fad in cases), so you have air being pulled through the fins on all sides. Maybe get a little turbulence in the center where the two perpendicular airflows meet.

    • pragma
    • 8 years ago

    When talking about passive cooling, the optimum position for finned heatsink is obviously vertical (vertical fin channels). By arranging the fins in a circle, performance is compromised.

    Optimal fin spacing depends on channel length (heatsink height). For a 150mm tall passive heatsink, this might be around 7mm (and thicker fins). With forced cooling on same size HS, the optimal fin spacing is perhaps 2.5 – 3.5 mm. Bigger HS means larger fin spacing. Stronger fan means smaller fin spacing.

    There are not that many CPU coolers designed for passive cooling. Most have densely packed fins that require a fan.

    I have found that SCYTHE NINJA2 can passively cool ~60W. (Tested with lynnfield quad-core @3GHZ 1.076V. Probably will throttle on a warm summer day). However, it makes no sense to cook your computer, plus an additional fan can lower the noise if rpms are all kept <1200.
    My setup is passive when idle (apart from PSU fan), but a case fan starts when cpu is at 45 deg C. There is a funnel from the side of the Ninja to the fan, so that the fan EXTRACTS hot air, thus contributing to case cooling… It never ceases to amaze me that to this day, cooling is typically arranged with the hottest components (CPU/GPU) dissipating INTO the case.

      • Chrispy_
      • 8 years ago

      At last, someone posting who understands thermodynamics. It frustrates the hell out of me, as an engineering graduate, that so many heatsinks are made to look good, not to work well.

      This design is basically crap, and heatsink efficiency is exponentially proportonal to the difference in temperature between the heatsource and the ambient air temperature. Given that it’s only rated at 100W max, I suspect the CPU’s under that lump of bicycle spokes is going to get pretty warm.

    • albundy
    • 8 years ago

    whats the point? i keep my pc in a closet outside my room, so i could care less about the noise it makes, as i dont hear it. all i run are a 20ft usb repeater cable and an 20ft hdmi cable. my keyboard, mouse, headphones, gamepad are all wireless.

    • egon
    • 8 years ago

    Seems like a solution in search of a problem. You need a roomy case to house it, but the roomier cases are less demanding thermally and easier to keep quiet with the essentially inaudible fans available nowadays. In fact as a PC silencing enthusiast, the pain with CPU coolers is now less often about noise and more often about clearance issues in micro-ATX and smaller cases.

    One group it might appeal to are quiet PC enthusiasts who overclock, provided it outperforms existing solutions.

    • Kaleid
    • 8 years ago

    Already cool i3 530 @ 4.04 passively with a Scythe Mugen II rev B. Only two case fans and they run at 500rpm.

    • cheerful hamster
    • 8 years ago

    I build digital audio workstations so I’m all for passive cooling where possible, but I can’t imagine any of my customers being willing to sacrifice two expansion slots for this thing. I can hear a fly fart, but this is just crazy, including the price tag. The near silent coolers from Noctua and even Zalman are plenty good enough.

      • destroy.all.monsters
      • 8 years ago

      You do realize that 500 smackers includes the psu and the case right?

      You gotta point about the expansion slots though, however there’s a lot of firewire and usb audio devices out there that serve the professional market. Not to mention pci and pci-e expansion boxes (virtuavia, magma et.al.)

    • maxxcool
    • 8 years ago

    ummmm those are *running fans* in the bottom of the case….

      • destroy.all.monsters
      • 8 years ago

      The *heatsink* is made by NOFAN, the name of the company that makes them. The case by Silverstone.

      This information is right there in the article.

    • NeelyCam
    • 8 years ago

    I have a Thermalright HR-02 on my i7-2600k:

    [url<]http://www.rwlabs.com/article.php?id=318[/url<] Fits in this case... [url<]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129038[/url<] ...as long as you take out the included "high-efficiency" PSU (and use a PicoPSU instead). Small case, SNB, 100% fanless. 22W idle. Can be done. I did add a very slow, practically noiseless case fan to make the SNB Turbo more powerful, but it's not absolutely necessary.

    • UberGerbil
    • 8 years ago

    I just look at that and imagine a fan nestled in the middle — it’s just begging for it. I wonder what the internal dimensions are? Maybe you could make the fanblades out of [url=http://www.manufacturingdigital.com/sectors/easyjet-spray-its-planes-nano-paint<]nano-painted[/url<] unobtainium. Then you'd have the most ridiculous FHS combo ever.

      • bittermann
      • 8 years ago

      Get one of those 140mm fans to sit on top of it…wouldn’t need many rpm’s to push a lot of air.

      • Corrado
      • 8 years ago

      If you sealed the top and bottom, and put a fan in the middle pushing up and it would pull air in from all 360 degrees of the thing and push it straight out. Should work pretty well actually.

    • tone21705
    • 8 years ago

    I am sure the three large fans in that picture will make up for the silence of that behemoth. Fail.

    • Pettytheft
    • 8 years ago

    After buying my Fractal case and setting it up with some quiet fans and video card, I don’t see the purpose of this. If I’m watching a movie, gaming or listening to music I can’t hear a thing. It is whisper quiet with great temps.

    • Arclight
    • 8 years ago

    What is this I don’t even……

      • ozymandias
      • 8 years ago

      it’s not that new: xbitlabs reviewed the case quite some time ago:

      [url<]http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cases/display/nofen-set-a40.html[/url<]

    • ronch
    • 8 years ago

    $500. Gigantic size. Questionable value. Absence of cooling performance figures (probably will cause your CPU to run near thermal limits as I expect that 100W TDP support to be quite optimistic).

    I’m not amazed by the product. I’m amazed at the folks who actually buy these things.

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 8 years ago

      “probably will cause your CPU to run near thermal limits”

      Seriously, wtf?!? A stock Intel heatsink is basically a few aluminum fins that barely has more surface area than the chip package itself.

        • Deanjo
        • 8 years ago

        [quote<]A stock Intel heatsink is basically a few aluminum fins that barely has more surface area than the chip package itself.[/quote<] Exaggerate much?

          • OneArmedScissor
          • 8 years ago

          No. I have probably ten of them that are an inch or so tall and literally just a small spiral of aluminum fins. And those are probably better than the dinky block of aluminum AMD uses for quad-cores, which easily fits into cases small enough to mount to the back of a monitor. This is what the companies who have to cover the warranty include on purpose.

          Exaggerating is claiming that a two pound, massive array of heatpipes and fins that radiates heat towards every single fan in the case isn’t going to work.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 8 years ago

            then you’re severely overestimating the surface area of the silicon or underestimating the surface area of those fins.

          • [TR]
          • 8 years ago

          I cool my i5 2500K with a fanless flat-headed pin attached to the chip with duct tape, so yeah, he’s exaggerating!

          PS: That cooling setup looks like this _|_ The pin doesn’t even get too hot, but Intel says they’ll only give me the warranty if I use a cooler… bah.

      • Corrado
      • 8 years ago

      Why would my 45W TDP CPU run near thermal limits on a 100W TDP Cooler? This is likely not a cooler for high end CPUs. Its for mid and low end CPUs that don’t dissipate much heat in the first place.

        • Farting Bob
        • 8 years ago

        I can cool my 2500k fanless with my sycthe heatsink. It cost £35. I have an intake fan in my case and thats it right now. In the winter i could probably turn that off and not worry (actually id be worried about my GPU also running fanless, but not about the CPU).

        This design is hugely ineffective. The spokes will provide almost no cooling ability which is why it needs so many of them in such a large wheel.

        Rather than actually sell these as real products, why dont they just sell is as geek art?

          • NeelyCam
          • 8 years ago

          SNB’s are able to throttle if they heat up too much. It’s pretty damn impossible these days to kill a CPU (unless you overvolt like mad).

      • destroy.all.monsters
      • 8 years ago

      The 500 is not just for the heatsink, it’s for the special fanless case, and fanless psu as well. All of this information is in the first paragraph.

      There’s reviews out there. Frankly a quiet computer has a lot of uses in various fields including pro audio.

      • Sunburn74
      • 8 years ago

      its 500 bucks for a completely passive case, not just a cpu cooler. this means fanless cpu cooler, fanless psu, fanless case.

      its a silent computing enthusiast dream (like myself) and for 500 bucks isn’t exactly too pricey (consider my FT02 case cost 250, my seasonic x-750 psu cost 160, and my thermalright ultra 120 cpu cooler cost 60).

      There are guys who are into overclocking, those into undervolting, those into folding, hi power computing, low power computing, etc. There’s also a large contingent of guys who want their PC to be as silent as possible and will pay for premium parts in order to get to that point (guys like me, and like everyone else on silentpcreview.com forums). Just take things with a grain of salt and realize just because you’re not in that market, doesn’t mean there aren’t others.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 8 years ago

    Man, screw this stuff. Whatever happened to the Good Old Days of 7000RPM fans from Delta and Thermaltake? I want my computer to SCREAM IN AGONY in a valiant effort to keep cool, that way I know it’s running.

      • BoBzeBuilder
      • 8 years ago

      I want my Nforce-4 9000RMP chipset fan back.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 8 years ago

        I don’t know how many times I’ve put my computer to sleep (or told it to shut down, depending on BIOS settings) when I’ve hit the power button because I can’t hear it. That kind of lost productivity is bull shit.

      • puppetworx
      • 8 years ago

      Same, that way NO-ONE can hear me masturbate.

        • dpaus
        • 8 years ago

        They do, but you don’t hear them scream when they walk in the room…..

      • destroy.all.monsters
      • 8 years ago

      Reminds me of those IWill dpmax cases back in the day. Damn things sounded like jet engines taking off.

      • swaaye
      • 8 years ago

      Globalwin FOP32 or Alpha PAL6035 with 7000RPM fan. Classic y2k enthusiast Tbird setups.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 8 years ago

        I had a Thermaltake Volcano 6Cu+ which actually took a chunk out of my right thumb. I still have a bit of an indentation where the fan bit me.

        For fun here’s a review: [url<]http://www.frostytech.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=824[/url<]

          • Applecrusher
          • 8 years ago

          Vantec tornado here.
          When I couldn’t stand the noise any more i used it to suck up ants.

          • swaaye
          • 8 years ago

          I had one of those at one point too. 🙂

        • Corrado
        • 8 years ago

        I had an Alpha PAL on my Slot A Athlon 700mhz @ 1ghz. <3 golden fingers.

      • anotherengineer
      • 8 years ago

      LOL

      That’s not a fan.

      Now this is a fan.

      [url<]http://www.midwesternfan.com/5.html[/url<] [url<]http://www.northernblower.com/fans/custom/[/url<] Noise - you don't wanna know.

        • swaaye
        • 8 years ago

        Does it propel the planet?

        • UberGerbil
        • 8 years ago

        “Up to 500,000 cfm” 😀
        It allows me to keep my computer cool [i<]and[/i<] practice my freefall relative work without an airplane!

    • dpaus
    • 8 years ago

    I’d rather see someone implement that Dyson blade-less fan in a case!

    EDIT: That would be these: [url<]http://www.dyson.com/fans/default.asp[/url<]

      • UberGerbil
      • 8 years ago

      You realize the Dyson “air multiplier” has a fan, it is just hidden? And I suspect that it doesn’t work very well with any backpressure, which would tend to kill the flow of entrained air that makes it work as a room fan. It might function as a case fan (if there was another one pulling air out of the case to keep pressure neutral or negative) but it would be terrible as a CPU fan (in fact, mounted on a heatsink most of the air would probably bounce back and flow up through the center)

        • dpaus
        • 8 years ago

        Yes, I know there are hidden ‘blades’, but have you heard one? It’s virtually silent. But if used to force room air [i<]into[/i<] a case (with passive exit), it should still be able to achieve about 50% of the volume of a traditional fan - but with no noise. Agreed; it wouldn't work at all as a CPU fan, but I was thinking of it as a case fan for use with this doohickey.

      • Malphas
      • 8 years ago

      Interesting as those are, they actually do contain fans in the base of the unit, or a “mixed-flow impeller” to be exact (still just an oddly shaped fan though).

    • cjb110
    • 8 years ago

    I found a case, funnily enough its that Silverstone one in the picture!

    But being serious, doesn’t the spec for ATX mention this kinda thing? i.e. they know where the socket is, they know where the first slot will be. So apart from funky memory coolers, it should fit most cases surely?

      • Corrado
      • 8 years ago

      You probably need those 140+MM fans in the front pushing air over the heatsink.

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