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.
In a move that the more astute members of the video-watching populace have been waiting for, Netflix announced its plans to finally leave Microsoft Silverlight behind, and move on over to HTML5 and also modern times.
Netflix uses Silverlight, Microsoft’s answer to Flash, to stream videos across the web to both Windows and OS X computers. Unfortunately, as many Linux users lament, Silverlight was one of the barriers preventing Netflix from running on the Linux platform. Sure, you could run it through Wine, but that would certainly be overkill just to play half of that episode of West Wing so you have something to watch while you quickly eat dinner. Netflix cited Microsoft’s closure of Silverlight 5 in 2021 (currently eight years away) as the reason why it’s looking for a new platform. However, we all secretly know it’s because Silverlight was always somewhat of a silly choice, and Netflix now has a legitimate reason to leave it behind without burning a bridge withMicrosoft.
Another benefit of Netflix switching is that HTML5 isn’t a browser plugin, whereas Silverlight is. It’s not difficult to install a browser plugin, but they can create extra issues, such as certain browsers not supporting them, or some people believing they’re a security risk.
The first implementation of HTML5 Netflix will come in Chrome OS, and the company has been testing it on the ARM-based Samsung Chromebook. After they deem Chromebook testing a success, they will then move to the big boys of Windows and OS X.
As for Linux, Silverlight wasn’t the only barrier. Netflix uses a proprietary DRM that runs on Windows and OS X, but not Linux. So, it’s not yet clear if this move to HTML5 will remove the need to run Netflix in Wine. If the user comments responding to Netflix’s announcement are any indication, though, people sure want to see Netflix come to Linux.