Noctua's development of a passive CPU cooler is turning into quite a saga. The last time HEXUS reported on this long-awaited product was back in July last year when we heard that the product had been "pushed back to Q1 2021." Obviously that chilly quarter has come and gone, but in the meantime, there has been an update to the timescale and a revealing interview with a Noctua exec to chew over.
A semi-official update on the timescale of the unnamed passive CPU cooler from Noctua is quite pleasing as it is claimed to be "coming very soon". A Noctua social media manager made this comment in response to a Tweet by Fanless Tech, which was highlighting an interview published by Relaxed Tech. The interview was with Jakob Dellinger, the press and PR manager at Noctua.
In the Dellinger interview we get some insight into the thought and development tasks behind the upcoming passive CPU cooler from Noctua. It is made clear that you can't really just use a bulked-up passive radiator design from an active cooler for an optimal solution.
"The key challenge is that for a passive cooler to be truly effective, design parameters such as fin pitch and fin thickness need to be quite different," Dellinger told Relaxed Tech. "You need a certain pitch to get low enough flow resistance for sufficient natural convection and a certain fin thickness in order to get the mass that is required for absorbing enough thermal energy. This means that different manufacturing machinery is required, e.g. much stronger stamping presses, etc."
Later in the interview Dellinger revealed that new cost-effective machinery, necessary to the task described above was a challenge to acquire. However, it seems like Noctua has dangled this passive cooler for long enough to be aware of all the enthusiasts that are interested in the "beauty and simplicity to going completely fanless.. [and] the bliss of complete silence".