Subject: General Tech, Systems | October 2, 2012 - 04:44 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: trinity, silent pc, passive cooling, asus, APU, amd
AMD officially launched its desktop Trinity APUs (Accelerated Processing Units) today, and along with the new processors are a number of new socket FM2 motherboards to support them. One of the cooler motherboard and Trinity APU pairings was shown off today in a completely silent PC by ASUS and AMD in the Akihabara district of Tokyo, Japan.
The silent system is nested inside a Streacom FC5 chassis that does double duty as a case and heatsink for the AMD APU. Inside the system is an unidentified power supply, two DDR3 DIMMS, Corsair Force SSD, ASUS F2A85-M PRO motherboard, and – of course – the AMD A10-5700K APU that we recently reviewed.
The APU is covered by an aluminum and copper block that is then connected to the metal case via four heatpipes. Then, the outside of the case has a finned design to provide more cooling surface area (but likely just to make it look cooler, heh).
This passively cooled system would make for a really nice home theater PC case, and the GPU prowess of the Trinity APU is well suited to such a task. You can find more photos of the fan-less Trinity system over at FanlessTech.
What do you think of Trinity, and will you be using it in your next build?
Subject: Cases and Cooling | July 24, 2012 - 09:58 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: silentmaxx, passive cooling, hsf, cpu cooling, cooler
Having a silent system without fans is a noble goal, but CPUs generally need at least one. A new heatsink from Silentmaxx called the TwinBlock is designed to passively cool processors up to approximately 100W. Supporting sockets 774, 775, 1155, 1156, 1366 on the Intel side and 939, 940, and AMD 2/3 for AMD processors, it is compatible with just about any processor. The TwinBlock is, in a word, massive. Weighting in a just over 3 pounds, the heatsink measures 210mm (B) x 135mm (D) x 160mm (H) mm. It features a copper base with 10 heatpipes that connect to two aluminum fin arrays.
Interestingly, FanlessTech pointed us to a new computer build – the Fanless I-850 Gamer – that the company is planning to use the passive heatsink with to create a silent gaming PC. The PC can be equipped with up to an Intel Core i7-3960X Sandy Bridge-E processor and up to either an AMD 7970 or NVIDIA GTX 670 graphics card. The processor is cooled using the TwinBlock cooler while the GPUs are using custom coolers that should only kick on the fans over long gaming sessions or folding. The Fanless I-850 starts at 1279,00€ for the base configuration.
It is possible to buy just the heatsink, however. The Silentmaxx TwinBlock cooler can be yours for about $120 USD (€ 99.90 inc. VAT). More photos of the cooler are available below, and you can read more about the cooler on the SilentMaxx website.
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 2, 2012 - 06:53 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: passive cooling, nvidia, kepler, gtx 680, gpu
Chinese graphics card manufacturer Colorful recently showed off a massive NVIDIA GTX 680 GPU. Massive may even be an understatement, as this card uses not one, but two heatsinks – and more heatpipes that Josh can shake a GPU at – to passively cool the fastest single GPU graphics card that NVIDIA has.
While there is no word on pricing, availability, or clock speeds, the iGAME NVIDIA GTX 680 is a silent GPU that is going to need a seriously large case. One heatsink attaches as you would expect, right over the GPU, GDDR5 memory, and VRMs. It uses 140 aluminum fins and seven heatpipes traveling the length of the PCB to distribute heat.
From there, six copper heatpipes transfer heat to a second heatsink with another 140 fins and seven heatpipes(!). This second heatsink appears to float over the top of the card, supported by the six heatpipes. The heatsink and PCB are black, with a blue piece covering the two heatsinks that features the iGame and NVIDIA GTX 680 logos. The back of the card features a single DVI port, a DisplayPort, and a full-size HDMI port.
For the PC gamer that values silent performance with the least compromises possible, this card is looking like the perfect solution – assuming it comes to market, of course. If you are interested in seeing more photos of this passively cooled GTX 680 graphics card, check out the EXPReview story.
Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | June 11, 2012 - 06:29 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Silverstone, SST-HE02, passive cooling
Olivier of FanlessTech notified us of a recent SilverStone passive CPU cooler. If you would prefer to jam your case with a giant piece of metal than hear a fan whine -- you should read on. I must say, this gets me interested.
I hope this will continue to be a trend of not needing to trade-off between performance and silence.
It is becoming very difficult to find passive cooling systems for PC parts and it becomes even more difficult if you actually want a good PC when all is said and done. The latest cooler from SilverStone will support CPUs up to 95W which is well over what is required for even the higher-end 77W Ivy Bridge processors.
If only there would be options like this for a GTX 680 or similar GPU.
It is a shame that passive power supplies seem to have not crept too far past 500W and that GPU coolers have been getting substantially less and less passive over time. But I guess someone needs to break the ice and I am glad that you will at least have an option for passively cooling higher-end CPUs and maybe we will see that trickle into other high-end PC markets.
The SST-HE02 is expected to cost $70 and will be available late in Q3 of this year.
Subject: Graphics Cards | June 7, 2012 - 02:40 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: video, sapphire, radeon 7770, passive cooling, graphics card, gpu, computex
Not to be left out of the Computex news, graphics card manufacturer Sapphire Technology unveiled a passively cooled AMD Radeon 7770 graphics card running at reference clock speeds. Following the release of the company’s factory overclocked Vapor-X 7770, the new Sapphire HD 7770 Ultimate 1GB card is the first to sport a passive cooler – other vendors are going in the opposite direction by using custom (active) coolers to push up reference clockspeeds for factory overclocked cards.
What makes the sapphire card neat is that the company did not have to underclock the GPU or memory in order to make a passive cooler feasible. With this card, you will get a silent GPU with the same specs and speeds as the reference 7770 we recently reviewed. The card looks to take up about two PCI expansion slots and utilizes a horizontal stack of vertically aligned (if that makes sense?) aluminum fins connected to the GPU via four heatpipes. Because of the cooler, the card is about 25% longer than a reference card, so keep that in mind if you are considering this for a HTPC build using a tiny case.
Beyond the cooler, which is arguably the most important aspect of the card, the Saphhire 7770 Ultimate 1GB is nearly identical to AMD’s reference design. The only major change is that Sapphire had to move the GDDR5 memory chips to the opposite (top, when installed in the case) side of the PCB in order to accommodate the cooler. With that said, the video outputs on the graphics card are a small improvement over the reference design with an additional DVI port (thanks to not needing a full fan grill in the second PCI slot) bringing the total to two DVI ports, one full size HDMI, and one full size DisplayPort. Otherwise, the GPU is stock, running at 1GHz while the 1GB of GDDR5 memory is likely running at 1125 MHz (stock speeds). The Cape Verde-based graphics card contains 640 stream processors, 1.5 billion transistors, 1.28 Teraflops of compute performance, and a Texture fill rate of 40 giga-transfers per second (GT/s). The full specifications of the 7770 GPU core can be found in our review.
The MSRP of reference AMD HD 7770 cards is $159 but expect the Sapphire card to come in a bit above that number thanks to the custom cooler. You can find more photos of the passively cooled Sapphire GPU over at AnandTech who managed to snag some good shots of the card at the company’s Computex booth.
In case you missed it, our video review of the HD 7770 card is embedded below in which we show off the (7770 and 7750) card also show off several custom 7770 designs from MSI, XFX, and others. It should bring you up to speed on what the 7770 is and where it stands in terms of performance with other cards from AMD and NVIDIA.
Subject: Systems | January 13, 2012 - 02:40 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: htpc, passive cooling, arctic, MC001-BD
Arctic (not Cooling) is a company which currently offers five different Atom powered HTPCs, one of which Overclockers Online got their hands on. The MC001-BD has a 1.6Ghz Atom D525, an HD5430 GPU, 4GB DDR3, 500GB HDD and a 4x Blu-Ray drive; what it does not have is a TV Tuner which will cost you an extra $30 to include. It is also not running Windows MCE, instead you get a full installation of Windows 7 Home Premium. Although this machine will suffer if you attempt to run general productivity software it is powerful enough for perfect HD media playback and the strictly passive cooling will allow you to unobtrusively place this machine with the rest of your A/V equipment.
"There haven’t been very many products in the market that has truly fired me up and got me as excited as the MC001-BD. Many companies have tried to make HTPC that are compact and quiet but I usually find that I can do better for less. The MC001-BD is probably the first where I wouldn’t be able to do that. With over ten years experience in system cooling they were able to engineer an Entertainment Center that was both compact and passively cooled."
Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:
- Asus O!Play Mini HD Media Player Review @ Tweaknews
- Western Digital TV Live Media Player @ XSReviews
- Eminent EM 7280 RT3 HD media player 320GB @ XSReviews
- PowerColor JustSling @ techPowerUp
- SilverStone Grandia DG06 HTPC Chassis @ MissingRemote
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 12, 2011 - 02:19 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: powercolor, passive cooling, hd6850
Powercolor's SCS3 HD6850 1GB GDDR5 graphics card is an odd beast, neither fish nor fowl but a strange hybrid of the two. To passively cool an HD6850 you need a lot of metal, about 4 slots worth in fact, which makes it all but impossible to use this card in an HTPC or other SFF system. That size also makes it rather hard to set up in Crossfire system and for extreme performance you need to think about adding a fan in close proximity if not attached to the heatsink, which makes paying the extra money for this card a poor decision. That said, Benchmark Reviews saw good performance and even managed a respectable overclock with this card, though even with good airflow through their case they saw troubling temperatures on occasion. Even if you can't picture yourself picking up the card it is worth clicking through just to see the heatsink.
"PowerColor's a familiar name to the AMD Radeon community. If they don't offer the widest variety of variations on AMD's reference designs, I don't know who does! They have no fewer than eight different versions of AMD's Radeon HD6850 card, ranging from factory-overclocked "PCS+" variants to a single-slot-cooler version to the one Benchmark Reviews is looking at today: the passively-cooled PowerColor SCS3 HD6850 1GB GDDR5. This card uses a massive fan-less heat sink to offer the performance of an HD6850 without any noise at all, and is certainly one of the highest-performing graphics cards I've ever seen with a passive cooler. Will this really work? How far will it overclock? Let's take a look."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- Sapphire HD 6950 Dirt 3 Edition DX11 Video Card Review @Hi Tech Legion
- Sapphire Radeon HD 6770 FleX Edition Review @ Techgage
- PowerColor HD6990 LCS @ OC3D
- HIS HD 6970 IceQ Turbo & HD 6950 IceQ X Turbo X Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Arctic Cooling Accelero Twin Turbo Pro VGA Cooler Crossfire Review @ eTeknix
- NVIDIA GeForce GT 520 @ Phoronix
- Asus GTX580 DirectCu II @ Overclockers.com
- GIGABYTE GTX 560 Ti OC Video Card @ [H]ard|OCP