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Question Passive cooling CPU with FD Meshify and No-Fan CR-80EH

HerrKaLeu

Member
Nov 23, 2016
98
5
41
I saw them selling a passive PC. They basically use a FD Meshify case (probably remove all filters), and a NoFan CR-80EH copper cooler. Allegedly this cooler is rated to 80W..... so my idea is anyone can do that with off-the shelf

Is that realistic, or is a 65W CPU the limit?

I even think some really slow case fans pushing air into the case could be almost silent and help this passive heatsink. I already have a Seasonic passive PSU.

Since with no or little convective airflow the RAM, VRM etc. don't get cooled well, does that mean all these components have a shorter life? I assume the idea of having some large slow inlet fans will help with that.
 

Magic Carpet

Diamond Member
Oct 2, 2011
3,262
69
91
At best you will only have increased power consumption the times it goes above certain temperature, at worst you will have performance degradation due to throttling. And if you add fans, you might as well choose a different case altogether, you want to keep dust build-up to a minimum.

There’s too much marketing in this segment, imo.
 

HerrKaLeu

Member
Nov 23, 2016
98
5
41
At best you will only have increased power consumption the times it goes above certain temperature, at worst you will have performance degradation due to throttling. And if you add fans, you might as well choose a different case altogether, you want to keep dust build-up to a minimum.

There’s too much marketing in this segment, imo.
Yeah, that is what I'm afraid of. The average user will not notice that the CPU runs a few hundred MHz lower. So it will always look like it works fine. I have an i7700K and I ripped all my DVDs, which takes a few hours each. Originally I had a 92mm cooler, and it would jump between 4,000 and 4,200 MHz on all 4 cores. Then i added a 120mm cooler, and it runs at 4,400 MHz on all 4 cores for hours (no OC, this is an H170 board). The thing is, in both cases the PC is usable and if I wasn't a nerd who looks at clock speed, I would not have noticed a difference besides a rip taking a few minutes more or less.

And the capacitors et al will last the one-year warranty... I'd like to hear from an actual user of such case what their clock speeds under load are and what longevity is. I doubt the CPU will ever break, but all the board elements and RAM need cooling.

In my case the HDD is the last remaining loud element. And I'm convinced my fanless PSU makes some noise. the fans,.... inaudible. and for the cost of that passive cooler you can get a 140mm Noctua cooler and have low noise, and a LOT of cooling capacity if you need it. I think the passive PC is more an "accomplishment" thing than an actual need.
 

Magic Carpet

Diamond Member
Oct 2, 2011
3,262
69
91
Yeah, that is what I'm afraid of. The average user will not notice that the CPU runs a few hundred MHz lower. So it will always look like it works fine. I have an i7700K and I ripped all my DVDs, which takes a few hours each. Originally I had a 92mm cooler, and it would jump between 4,000 and 4,200 MHz on all 4 cores. Then i added a 120mm cooler, and it runs at 4,400 MHz on all 4 cores for hours (no OC, this is an H170 board). The thing is, in both cases the PC is usable and if I wasn't a nerd who looks at clock speed, I would not have noticed a difference besides a rip taking a few minutes more or less.
Exactly. Newer hardware run extremely well when thermally throttled, gradually reducing clock speed until temps stabilize. If it happens only occasionally of course, it's not big a deal, but becomes a problem when throttling affects day to day tasks, this, however mostly happens on newer laptops, though (NB. Desktop > Laptop any day). Stock Intel 4c/8t CPUs are easy on VRMs, it's ok to pair them with cheapo 3+1 boards.

And the capacitors et al will last the one-year warranty... I'd like to hear from an actual user of such case what their clock speeds under load are and what longevity is. I doubt the CPU will ever break, but all the board elements and RAM need cooling.
Doing so 24/7 of course not good long term but should easily last the warranty period. Usually the board craps out first anyway. I have killed several boards doing thermal tests, but never a modern CPU. Make sure, the board on Auto settings doesn't give cpu more voltage than necessary, though (it's a good idea to apply a small undervolt in this case). Heat and voltage don't mix well together.

In my case the HDD is the last remaining loud element.
Even the newer ones are fairly audible, during parking/unparking/seeking operations. 2.5" hdds are much quieter in this regard, you want to try one of those, if you are not ready to exclusively move to solid state storage just yet.

And I'm convinced my fanless PSU makes some noise
It can only make electrical noise, depending on load. Varies sample to sample. Don't worry about it, it's a very quality piece of hardware, especially under lower loads! Saving up electricity is always a good thing.

. the fans,.... inaudible. and for the cost of that passive cooler you can get a 140mm Noctua cooler and have low noise, and a LOT of cooling capacity if you need it. I think the passive PC is more an "accomplishment" thing than an actual need.
Spot on. It's always best to invest in some higher quality be quiet! / Noctua cooling instead. I've done passive builds, but they turn out to be a bit expensive and still very limited in processing power. It is much better to build a quiet computer instead, so you have flexibility in both, processing power and noise.
 
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chrisjames61

Senior member
Dec 31, 2013
655
373
136
I saw them selling a passive PC. They basically use a FD Meshify case (probably remove all filters), and a NoFan CR-80EH copper cooler. Allegedly this cooler is rated to 80W..... so my idea is anyone can do that with off-the shelf

Is that realistic, or is a 65W CPU the limit?

I even think some really slow case fans pushing air into the case could be almost silent and help this passive heatsink. I already have a Seasonic passive PSU.

Since with no or little convective airflow the RAM, VRM etc. don't get cooled well, does that mean all these components have a shorter life? I assume the idea of having some large slow inlet fans will help with that.
If you are going to run any fans at all it wouldn't make sense not to use a cpu fan. I would just run it at a low rpm. It won't be any louder than the case fans. TBH that cooler looks like a piece of junk. I would look for a solid copper Delta cooler.
 

HerrKaLeu

Member
Nov 23, 2016
98
5
41
Exactly. Newer hardware run extremely well when thermally throttled, gradually reducing clock speed until temps stabilize. If it happens only occasionally of course, it's not big a deal, but becomes a problem when throttling affects day to day tasks, this, however mostly happens on newer laptops, though (NB. Desktop > Laptop any day). Stock Intel 4c/8t CPUs are easy on VRMs, it's ok to pair them with cheapo 3+1 boards.

Doing so 24/7 of course not good long term but should easily last the warranty period. Usually the board craps out first anyway. I have killed several boards doing thermal tests, but never a modern CPU. ....

Even the newer ones are fairly audible, during parking/unparking/seeking operations. 2.5" hdds are much quieter in this regard, you want to try one of those, if you are not ready to exclusively move to solid state storage just yet.


It can only make electrical noise, depending on load. Varies sample to sample. Don't worry about it, it's a very quality piece of hardware, especially under lower loads! Saving up electricity is always a good thing.
The problem with throttling is that the user pays for a powerful CPU, but when power is actually needed, it has less power. May as well have bought a cheaper CPU with less clock speed.

I'm sure it lasts the 1-year warranty they offer. As someone who keeps hardware for a long time (I reuse my main rig hardware in media PCs, and also sell to relatives) and who is concerned with all that waste, I definitely like to keep PCs cool. This is what bothers me about the Dell et al, they are built to work 3-4 years and then get disposed (bad cooling, and proprietary hardware making repair or upgrade difficult)

I'm in the process of replacing my HDD with an SSD. I never did the 2.5" HDD. More expensive, slower. Then I will see how noisy the electronics are.

I don't remember my thought process when I bought the fanless PSU. It is Platinum certified, so that is good. But since I have case fans, I don't really save on noise compared to a good silent 120mm fan PSU. there are other problems with a fanless PSU. they ar elimited to bottom-mounting. So in a cheaper case with the PSU on top they may not work. And the little heat they dissipate, goes into the case, requiring some more airflow in the case. A fan-cooled bottom-mounted PSU draws air from the bottom and pushes it out of the rear - perfect for case thermals. Another problem with this PSU is that since It is upside-down (do vent air to top into the case), the cables are at the bottom. This limits on of my bottom fans to 120mm instead of 140mm. So it introduces some noise penalty.

If you are going to run any fans at all it wouldn't make sense not to use a CPU fan. I would just run it at a low rpm. It won't be any louder than the case fans. TBH that cooler looks like a piece of junk. I would look for a solid copper Delta cooler.
Agree, the 120/140 mm CPU fans can be really inaudible. My case has 4 very slow intake fans (2 bottom, 2 front). i used to have 2 exhaust fans int he rear and rear-top position. But removing them kept CPU and mobo temps the same.

The passive money is better spent on SSD over HDD for even less noise and more speed.
 

Magic Carpet

Diamond Member
Oct 2, 2011
3,262
69
91
The problem with throttling is that the user pays for a powerful CPU, but when power is actually needed, it has less power. May as well have bought a cheaper CPU with less clock speed.
This is exactly what's happening in the mobile space. The race to have the lightest, slimmest chassis made vendors compromise on cooling significantly. Shall we make a class-action lawsuit?

EDIT:
This was easily the worst purchase in my entire life. Totally fanless too.
 
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