Friday, February 29th 2008

MSI Working on ‘Powerless’ CPU Cooler

MSI has taken a step to try and reduce computer power consumption slightly by building a processor fan that is powered using only heat given off by the CPU. As the processor heats up, it causes air inside a piston to expand. That forces out the piston rod, which in turn causes the fan to spin and blow air over the heatsink, as shown in the first image below. This then helps to cool the air inside the piston, causing it to contract again, pulling the piston rod back in and cooling the CPU without needing any extra electricity. The technology is by no means a modern idea – it uses a mechanism invented in 1816 by Scottish engineer Robert Stirling - but it's never before been used on a large scale for computing purposes. MSI’s fan is capable of converting 70% of the heat energy given off by the CPU into kinetic energy, and the company plans to demo the cooler at next week’s CeBIT show in Hanover. However, there is no news of when this fan will become available for purchase, or what prices will be like.

Source: Reg Hardware
Add your own comment

54 Comments on MSI Working on ‘Powerless’ CPU Cooler

#1
niko084
Thats kinda cool, now put some serious gearing in that thing to make that piston really spin that fan!
Posted on Reply
#2
a111087
1 fan will not save much energy...
Posted on Reply
#3
dsdsdk
isnt it cooling the NB?
Posted on Reply
#4
Thermopylae_480
The fan speed doesn't matter as much. The heat energy is converted into kinetic energy. This means even by moving the fan slowly the processor is keeping cool.
Posted on Reply
#5
cl4w
1 fan will not save much energy...
Thats right, but i think its a very good idea, now im dreaming from a rig only cooled by such fans. :P
Posted on Reply
#6
tigger
I'm the only one
I think its pretty cool,makes having a window in yer case worthwhile to see it in action.
Posted on Reply
#7
niko084
by: Thermopylae_480
The fan speed doesn't matter as much. The heat energy is converted into kinetic energy. This means even by moving the fan slowly the processor is keeping cool.
Well yes that aids, I just thought it would be cool to get the fan going pretty good on top of that.
Posted on Reply
#8
King Wookie
I really do hope this thing works.
It would be nice to see some of the heat put to a purpose, as up to now all we ever did was simply try to remove the heat.

Then again, I'm a sucker for anything oddball.:D
Posted on Reply
#9
happita
That thing is just constantly going to be starting up, then slowing down, starting up, slowing down, etc...
TBH, I don't think this thing will be all too helpful for CPU temps.
Posted on Reply
#10
ktr
by: tigger69
I think its pretty cool,makes having a window in yer case worthwhile to see it in action.
exactly, I would buy that board just for the mechanics, and the fancy cooling in action.

I wonder if its noisy...
Posted on Reply
#11
JoJoe
Sounds awesome. Would love to see all that heat energy put to use.
Posted on Reply
#12
regan1985
if its more effective to cool a cpu that way then its a good idea,if it just saves evergy its pointless
Posted on Reply
#13
Darknova
The problem comes when the temps get too high, the air inside the piston will stay hot, so will actually hinder the fans movement. It won't stop entirely, but the rpm will drop.
Posted on Reply
#15

And what's there to cool the surrounding of the piston?
Ok, more fan's perhaps.. But what happens if the "thing" that is holding the piston in place starts to get hot from friction, then what??
Posted on Edit | Reply
#16
a111087
by: TechnicalFreak
But what happens if the "thing" that is holding the piston in place starts to get hot from friction, then what??
the heat is transfered into energy :laugh:
I think we have to wait and see on this one
Posted on Reply
#17
jydie
Way to go MSI!! That is awesome. Kind of funny to think that I would actually be looking forward to trying out a new CPU heatsink... but if this makes it to mainstream, I will be ordering one for sure. :toast:
Posted on Reply
#18
Mistral
Guess that gives the phrase "temperature controlled fan" a whole new meaning...:rockout:
Posted on Reply
#19
warup89
I've seen this technology before, quiet old news actually, but new on PCs anyways. as far as sound, i think this would make a "tumping" noise, hopefully not as strong as the old model i've seen.
Posted on Reply
#20
twicksisted
thats ridiculous.... you know this whole "save the planet" get a wind turbine thing is just another way of getting you to buy into something else and create another market.

Wind turbines... need lead acid batteries... so you tell me whats got less of an environmental impact... using a bit of power from the socket on the wall or constantly buying lead acid batteries and dumping them in the skip when they finished.

also... im not sure that im sold on the idea of "low power equivalents" of CPU's and GFX cards... if something is to be powerfull and exude power, it needs power coming in...

I think that for everyday users who want to check emails and stuff then getting a clow power celeron is great... so is riding a bicycle to work if you dont already have enough stress in your working day to accomodate it.

Me personally.... I like powerfull things and im not bothered about how many watts my gfx card uses becuase I diddnt buy it to marvel about its efficiency... same goes for the rest of my rig.

I guess its like drag racers versus the totoya prius :P
Its what you bought it for and what you want it to do
Posted on Reply
#21
Dangle
I agree. This global warming scare tactic has people spending ridiculous amounts of money on garbage thinking they'll save the planet - while retailers are lining their pockets, and laughing all the way to the bank. WTG ALgore!

You'll need a really shitty CPU to be able to use this fan and not melt. I don't know if Crysis will run with on a celeron.
Posted on Reply
#22
whitwolftwm
well it looks like its currently being applied towards the North Bridge in this pic
Posted on Reply
#23
panchoman
Sold my stars!
what msi really needs to do is the thermal energy to generate power for the system.. one day i'd like to see self sufficent engines that can power themselves from the heat they produce and that all that is needed is a battery to kick start the system..
Posted on Reply
#24
twicksisted
youre right it is... personally i dont have any active cooling on mine and im good all the way to 3.8ghz on my Q6600 gaming .... so perhaps for future technologies it will be a good thing... components do generate heat and heat can be used to generate power of sorts

perhaps in future it will be neccessary to breathe into a gas mask becuase our atmosphere is completely buggered by the amount of pollution that weve exhausted into it... but right now its not neccessary and pointless
Posted on Reply
#25
twicksisted
by: panchoman
what msi really needs to do is the thermal energy to generate power for the system.. one day i'd like to see self sufficent engines that can power themselves from the heat they produce and that all that is needed is a battery to kick start the system..
impossible unfortunately... as the amount of power needed to generate heat is far greater than what is needed to power that object and regenerate the same heat again to carry on the cycle...

also the only way that we can generate power off heat so far (thermal energy generators) is by heating water and making steam to spin turbines.... and heating air to spin turbines...

both take enourmous amounts of power unfortunately to spin that turbine in the first place
Posted on Reply
Add your own comment