Unless you opt for one of the very low-power CPUs on the market today, chances are the processor inside your desktop PC has a fan attached to keep it cool. The higher performance the chip and the more you overclock, the more cooling required. And more cooling inevitably means more noise unless you go with a water cooling solution.
Specialist cooling company Noctua has teamed up with RotoSub to come up with a low noise solution that allows you to stick with air cooling, but removes the noise. They’ve done this by adding active noise cancellation to one of their CPU coolers for the very first time. A project that’s been ongoing for over a year.
The cooler is still in prototype form, but was on display at Computex 2013. It could actually be referred to as a cooling cube looking at the design, but is based on Noctua’s NH-D14 cooler using a twin-tower heatsink, which consists of two heatsink blocks and a fan mounted between them.
The noise cancellation is achieved through a combination of mic and speakers. The mic listens to the sound created by the cooler, then the speakers output the same sound with a phase difference. In so doing, destructive interference is created and the level of noise is cut significantly.
According to those able to listen to the prototype CPU cooler, there was actually no noise heard when the system was active. If you watch the demonstration video above you can clearly hear the difference the noise cancellation makes.
Such a system is sure to be popular and no doubt expensive. Based on the design, it should be possible to develop versions that work with all motherboards and CPUs, meaning Noctua could certainly have a hit on its hands here.
We’ve lost a few water-cooling companies in recent years but one of the longest-standing, and still-running has to be Primochill. It has always been a big advocate of interesting reservoirs and general water-cooling customisation, but with the likes of EK Waterblocks and Phobya now on the scene, it’s had to revamp its range to keep up with the times.
We didn’t look at its recent Myriad reservoir, but we heard a few stories about it being tricky to fit together. For the moment, Primochill has turned its focus away from bay reservoirs and clearly spent some time pondering how to make a difference in the tube reservoir arena. its offering, called the Compression Tube Reservoir (CTR), looks to solve a number of problems encountered when using this type of reservoir.
Its available in 80mm, 120mm, 240mm (tested) and 400mm variants, starting at a modest $40 and rising to $60 for the giant 400mm version. At the time of writing, we don’t have a firm UK price or stockist, but we’ll update the article as and when we do – at the moment, prices look like they’ll be somewhere between £30 and £50. It’s also one of the first tube reservoirs that’s available with different coloured acrylic, sporting blood red, yellow, UV blue and pink and even frosted versions.
If you’re keen on showing off your coolant, then the CTR has the lowest-profile end caps we’ve seen, allowing for a huge area of uninterrupted eye-candy with less than 10mm of the tube taken up securing the end caps. This is thanks to a new end cap fitting method, which we’re guessing gave the CTR its name, rather than having anything to do with compression fittings. One cap has four ports, with the other having two. Sadly, there are no blanking plugs provided and you’ll likely need to buy up to four of these if you’re just going with the standard inlet and outlet setup, to blank the remaining holes – something you don’t have to do with most other tube reservoirs.
The caps are actually two-piece affairs but unlike pretty much every other tube reservoir we’ve used, they don’t involve threads. We’ve certainly been on the receiving end of at least one cracked reservoir having over-tightened the end caps to stop a persistent leak so we were keen to see just how Primochill has got around this. An O-ring is sandwiched in the middle of the two sections of end cap. We took one apart and were initially stumped as to how to get it back together again. The excited teenager in us then subsided and we did the sensible thing of reaching for the instructions.