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Question Curious (as always) completely passive cooling gaming rig?

BarkingGhostar

Diamond Member
Nov 20, 2009
9,775
2,411
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When the culture of PC builders/gamers went away from fans to water cooled systems, they did so to eliminate fan noise. Now it has been years since my last non-WC build and I see that fans are all over the place, kind of like herpes of the PC case. Are there no current examples of truly passive (absolutely no fans) gaming rigs out there these days?
 

MalVeauX

Senior member
Dec 19, 2008
638
166
116
Heya,

Watercooling still requires fans, and the radiators are huge and often have two or three fans on it. Watercooling isn't quieter. It's just something else to do, fun, etc. Something to spend money on. You'll find there's not a big difference in temp control for the common user, it's only at the extremes that you find differences. And of course, the idea of the watercooling setup having the CPU, GPU, etc, all in a circuit doing this.

Passive cooling can be done; but it's not easy. The CPU/GPU get hot under 100% load. A fan is not needed, but thermal handling is needed, so to do that you'd have to have a way to carry the heat away from the CPU/GPU. The heat sink would have to be enormous. And even then, you'd be targeting the high side of tolerance for the equipment. You can find heat sinks for this. They're monstrously huge, which requires a huge case. But then the problem is also the case, because you need air flow through the case, which won't happen without a mechanism to produce positive/negative pressure so that air flows through the gradient. This won't happen without a fan somewhere.

Thing is, a big CPU cooler can be dead silent with a fan on it. Just use 120mm fans. Slow RPM. They're quieter than the standing noise in your house.

GPU's get loud, no matter what. They get hot.

But you can game with an APU, like a latest release Ryzen APU that will have all the CPU/GPU in one chip under one huge heat sink with two big slow quiet fans. It would be just as quiet as a completely passive system, but way easier to build without specialty gear (look to laptops for guidance on specialty gear to build with really).

And of course, these days, a phone/table is used for gaming a lot, and is completely silent for operation with no fans. Depends on the games you're talking about.

So really, unless you're into top end graphics and competition, just look to a Ryzen APU, get a huge heat sink with a big quiet fan (120mm). It doesn't have to be pricy. The Hyper EVO 212 with a Noctua quiet fan is dead silent. I have three running in my office right now, can't hear them, lots of fans running, but can't hear them, running 50% RPM on most of them. The only device I hear when things are kicking is my GPU (1660 Super with two big fans, but they're loud and I cannot replace them).

Very best,
 

DeathReborn

Platinum Member
Oct 11, 2005
2,381
287
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There is a "Beast" coming that claims to run a 3800XT + 2080 Super with no fans, the case is quite simply called: The Beast.

 

BarkingGhostar

Diamond Member
Nov 20, 2009
9,775
2,411
136
There is a "Beast" coming that claims to run a 3800XT + 2080 Super with no fans, the case is quite simply called: The Beast.

Looking at this graphic, The Beast isn't fanless. They just move then from the CPU/video to the top of the massive heatpiped radiators:

 

BarkingGhostar

Diamond Member
Nov 20, 2009
9,775
2,411
136
OK, during the middle of the night I watched several fanless cooling solution videos. The two best fanless products seemed nice if not cumbersome but the best one was just discontinued. Still, I see where the fanless heat-pipe designed units are so big they tend to interfere with the first PCIe slot which usually has one's video card sitting in it. BTW, this brings up an aspect of the industry behind the ATX base design and maybe a need for an ATX-g design for gamers and making the change to where the main PCI slot is located.
 

killster1

Diamond Member
Mar 15, 2007
6,048
429
126
submerged systems would have no fans and be passive. Not sure since i never have used one but they might require some sort of bubbler at the bottom to help move teh oil around like in a fish tank.
so many fans because the more fans you have the slower they can run, i remember using a 200mm fan
 
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