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.