Silent Power PC is cooled by copper foam

TR member willyolio posted this in our forums earlier today, and I'm still not quite sure what to make of it. Those crafty Germans have designed a passively cooled desktop PC with a huge, sponge-like heatsink at the top. Dubbed the Silent Power, the system looks pretty unique, to say the least:

Here's the pitch, according to Google's translation of the Silent Power website:

The Silent Power uses as a heat sink copper metal foam. Copper conducts heat better than any other industrial metal. The structure of a foam, the heat can spread over an enormous area. To the very hot regions inside the metal foam, the air is heated more than in the outer regions. The air expands due to the heat in the inner stronger and is pressed automatically to the outside. This creates its own micro-circulation, which dissipates the heat more efficiently. A fan as cooling is no longer necessary.

The Silent Power is being offered for pre-order in three flavors, which are priced at €699, €769, and €1,159 (that's $787, $1,030, and $1,552 in greenbacks). The base config includes a quad-core Core i7-4785T chip, 8GB of RAM, GeForce GTX 760 graphics, and a 500GB solid-state drive, while the higher-end models feature more RAM and storage.

There's a twist, though: as I understand it, this is a crowd-funded project, and pre-orders contribute to the Silent Power's funding goal. The effort is already at €26,924 out of a €45,000 target, so it may have a good chance of succeeding.

I think it's a cool concept, but as the gerbils have pointed out in our forums, there are some clearly apparent drawbacks. Over time, dust will likely gather in the copper mesh, and the copper itself will likely corrode, which will reduce the mesh's ability to dissipate heat effectively. I can't tell from the Google-translated German whether the folks behind this design have thought of all this, but for now, color me skeptical.

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