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Noctua's hulking passive CPU cooler delayed to Q1 2021

by Mark Tyson on 29 July 2020, 15:11

Tags: Noctua

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qaencg

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Noctua passive CPU cooler delayed

We last saw Noctua's fanless passive CPU cooler back at Computex 2019. That was over a year ago and the thermal solution has yet to turn up in distribution / retail. Now Fanless Tech is reporting that the "highly-anticipated fanless CPU cooler has been pushed back to Q1 2021." The site garnered this information from an official Noctua product roadmap slide, quietly updated earlier this month.

To recap on the qualities of the no-codename passive cooler, it is claimed to massively outdo its competitors by cooling up to 120W in a case with good natural air convection qualities. If you have a system fan or two in your case you can up the performance target to 180W or so.

By design the passive cooler is rather large and contains a lot of metal. Noctua has still managed to ensure "100 per cent RAM compatibility on LGA155x and AM4" socket systems. However, you will be strapping a >1.5kg weight to your socket, so perhaps a horizontal orientation motherboard would be preferable.

The updated roadmap isn't very precise time-wise, but the passive CPU cooler is at least 'pinned down' to appearing in Q1 2021, which is a modest 3 month window. Fanless Tech says it is understandable that the cooler was delayed as its thicker cooling fins require expensive new tools and a new manufacturing process to produce.

Next-gen NH-D15 arrives in 2021

HEXUS reviewed the classic Noctua NH-D15 CPU cooler back in April 2014. Since that time we have seen a cosmetic and mounting revamp in the shape of the Noctua NH-D15 chromax.black, which we reviewed in April this year.

Those waiting for a true next gen NH-D15 double tower cooler still face a wait. ComputerBase says that it was previously pencilled in for a Q1 2020 release but according to the new roadmap, that has been revised to '2021'. Expect the refinements to include an increased number of heatpipes but not to stray too far from the proven path elsewhere.

from Noctua's Instagram Q&A

One other item on the roadmap which might turn heads is the introduction of Noctua branded fans in white, starting from Q1 next year.



HEXUS Forums :: 10 Comments

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Wow, it looks like 12x1mm alu fins … I like it :D

What for are these windows in fins?
Re. ‘windows’ in fins, the stamped out metal has been bent at 90 degrees so there is an increase in surface area, and likely increased turbulence through the fin stack which improves heat transfer.

Edited to add: If and when it appears, it'll be interesting to see whether and how much the retail product differs from that prototype. Strikes me that there is a fair bit more they could do to optimise that design. Passive solutions are always a challenge due to the huge variation in potential installation and airflow scenarios. Trying to do one with this kind of energy dumping capacity is a big ask.
I still think it's a dumb design for a cooler. Under natural convection the lower limit on fin thickness is making it robust enough to handle, if the usual fin thickness is fine for the actively cooled models then it's several times thicker than you need for passive operation. If you need to add mass for thermal inertia then just slap a block of billet copper to the top side of the cold plate - no fancy stamping tools needed (they could have brought this to market already) and less stress on the motherboard. The tabs between the fins also look like they'd get in the way of the airflow with a horizontal motherboard.

The redux coolers sound interesting - if they're just the normal noctua heatsinks with grey fans on for less money then they could be good products
Looks like something out of a dystopian movie.
Xlucine
I still think it's a dumb design for a cooler. Under natural convection the lower limit on fin thickness is making it robust enough to handle, if the usual fin thickness is fine for the actively cooled models then it's several times thicker than you need for passive operation. If you need to add mass for thermal inertia then just slap a block of billet copper to the top side of the cold plate - no fancy stamping tools needed (they could have brought this to market already) and less stress on the motherboard. The tabs between the fins also look like they'd get in the way of the airflow with a horizontal motherboard.The redux coolers sound interesting - if they're just the normal noctua heatsinks with grey fans on for less money then they could be good products

this is Noctua we're talking about. They do things right, but it takes time. No one else will ever likely achieve what they finally achieve. So it will be ready when it's ready and if it doesnt quite work, they try again.

But as for being a dumb design - i think it's likely that Noctua know more about this than perhapas anyone else.