Noctua NH-P1 Passive Cooler

CosmicCruncher

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Noctua have brought out a new huge passive CPU cooler, I believe this one has been in the making for a few years. I've always wanted to do a completely passive build. You run in to a few limitations going 100% fanless though, you have a lower performance ceiling and still need some airflow to keep components cool. This means a high airflow case or an open bench works best.

What are your thoughts? Outside of specialty applications, would you be prepared to make some sacrifices for 100% silence or do modern ultra quiet fans with low idles negate the appeal a 100% passive build might have once had?

Check out this review by GamersNexus which goes in to detail on how the heatsink performs:

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Retro

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Ok, I've not looked at that review yet, but I can tell you that I've got the Noctua NH-D14 in my PC for a decade now and wouldn't trade it for any other cooler.

It's got one 120mm fan and one 140mm fan. Both are run at a slow speed with the supplied resistors (DC control, not PWM) and I can barely hear them, plus the cooling performance is still excellent. This is with an open case sitting on the desk just to the right of me, where every little sound is audible.

On top of this, the fluid dynamic bearings are showing ZERO signs of wear of after a decade of heavy use at this slow speed. That's incredible and what a testament to the quality of this cooler; I didn't think it was possible. The cooler cost me about £70 at the time and is one of the best investments that I ever made. I don't even need any case fans.

Back to this passive cooler and I can tell you without even looking at the review that the quality will be superb, as will the cooling performance for its class (fanless).

Overall though, I would get a cooler with fans on it. Seems a safer bet to prevent overheating under the most taxing conditions, especially if overclocked.
 
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