For those obsessed with silencing their PCs, passive cooling is the holy grail. A cooler can't make any noise if it has no fans or other moving parts. Zalman's latest design fits the bill, and it's already won an Innovation Award ahead of next year's Consumer Electronics Show.
Dubbed the FX100-Cube, the cooler surrounds an open center channel with four walls of vertical fins anchored to 10 heatpipes. As one might expect, the heatsink is rather substantial, with 5.9" x 5.9" x 6.2" dimensions and a weight of 1.9 lbs. FanlessTech says the cooler is rated to dissipate up to 77W, which rules out most AMD CPUs but covers everything in Intel's Ivy Bridge family, including the top-of-the-line Core i7-3770K.
There's no word on how much this monster will cost or when it will be available to the public, but you can expect to see the cooler on display at CES in January. We'll be at the show, and we may have to visit Zalman to see this puppy in the flesh. Given the downward trend in processor TDPs, I'm sure more cooler makers will start dabbling in passive designs.