Thursday, June 6th 2013

Noctua Unveils Prototype CPU Cooler with Active Noise-cancellation

A star attraction at Noctua's Computex booth was a prototype CPU air cooler featuring an active noise-cancellation technology co-developed by RotoSub. Pictured below, this aluminum monstrosity looks like a huge fanless cubical fin-stack, but in reality, is a D-type (twin-tower) heatsink with a large fan between its two stacks, equipped with active noise cancellation device. It works much in the same way as noise-cancellation in premium headphones and smartphones. A mic inputs noise from the cooler, speakers give out the same noise with a phase difference, this causes destructive interference between noise coming from the speakers and the cooler, and noise is reduced. The speakers are positioned along each of the two fin-stacks. The mics are just as discrete. Noctua stuck a mic into the test chamber with the cooler running, and visitors couldn't hear a thing, at least nothing that's louder than the morning crowds at Nangang, after the event has been opened up to the general public. The technology 'sounds' promising.
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22 Comments on Noctua Unveils Prototype CPU Cooler with Active Noise-cancellation

#1
HTC
btarunr said:
A star attraction at Noctua's Computex booth was a prototype CPU air cooler featuring an active noise-cancellation technology co-developed by RotoSub. Pictured below, this aluminum monstrosity looks like a huge fanless cubical fin-stack, but in reality, is a D-type (twin-tower) heatsink with a large fan between its two stacks, equipped with active noise cancellation device. It works much in the same way as noise-cancellation in premium headphones and smartphones. A mic inputs noise from the cooler, speakers give out the same noise with a phase difference, this causes destructive interference between noise coming from the speakers and the cooler, and noise is reduced. The speakers are positioned along each of the two fin-stacks. The mics are just as discrete. Noctua stuck a mic into the test chamber with the cooler running, and visitors couldn't hear a thing, at least nothing that's louder than the morning crowds at Nangang, after the event has been opened up to the general public. The technology 'sounds' promising.

http://www.techpowerup.com/img/13-06-06/94a_thm.jpg http://www.techpowerup.com/img/13-06-06/94b_thm.jpg
"Sounds"? Wasn't the whole deal for it to NOT sound?

I'm joking but i find this very interesting. If they manage to shrink this to a more manageable size, and it doesn't cost an arm and a leg, i would definitely get one of these.

Question: are these supposed to be only for CPU coolers or do you happen to know if the technology is being introduced here but is to be used anywhere fans are used, such as case fans?
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#2
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
HTC said:
"Sounds"? Wasn't the whole deal for it to NOT sound?
Hence the quotes. I should write to ISO about a sarcasm font.
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#3
HTC
btarunr said:
Hence the quotes. I should write to ISO about a sarcasm font.
I know: i included them in my reply as well :D
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#4
BigMack70
Cool, but I can already basically not hear my NH-D14, so I am unsure how necessary this is
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#5
jmcslob
I have to admit I've wondered why this han't been done before....It doesn't cost a whole lot for the tech to do it.
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#6
timta2
That case sure is stuffed with sound absorbing foam! That would probably quiet even the loudest PCs.
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#7
buggalugs
btarunr said:
Hence the quotes. I should write to ISO about a sarcasm font.
Haha, that's actually a good idea!!.


Anyway on topic... Its easy to make a silent CPU cooler with the right hardware and fans at the right speeds, noctuas own coolers can do that but if it allows you to crank up the fan speed for better cooling I guess it could be good for overclockers,.
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#8
Jorge
This is more gimmick than actual results. I guess they've never heard of quiet fans?
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#9
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
Jorge said:
This is more gimmick than actual results. I guess they've never heard of quiet fans?
I think Noctua dabbled with fans a little.
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#10
xvi
They've already made a sarcastic font. It's called..

COMIC SANS! :p
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#11
m1dg3t
THIS. Is. A. Gimmick. :o

btarunr said:
Hence the quotes. I should write to ISO about a sarcasm font.
Your PUN was not received :p

btarunr said:
I think Noctua dabbled with fans a little.


xvi said:
They've already made a sarcastic font. It's called..

COMIC SANS! :p
:roll::roll:
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#12
RejZoR
Water cooling is just better even though more expensive. My Antec 920 which isn't even the latest version keeps my 4GHz Core i7 920 cooled even with custom super low RPM fans. Only reason why i need case fans at slightly higher RPM is to cool the GFX card which gets quite hot otherwise. But still, with all the custom config that i did, it's not possible to hear the system while gaming, even without any music when you need silence in CS:GO. And for night mode, i can turn down case fans even further, PSU specifically. After doing some tests, it works perfectly fine for overnight music and P2P, is silent and still keeps temps very low because there isn't much load on CPU. It's win, win and win. There is no way i'd go back to air cooling, except maybe passive solution...
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#13
LAN_deRf_HA
Wish they had gone all the way with that top plate and capped off the heatpipes.
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#14
H82LUZ73
LAN_deRf_HA said:
Wish they had gone all the way with that top plate and capped off the heatpipes.
I like it looks like pop rivets and a Industrial look.I just hope this thing does n`t cost over $100 for it.... would be cheaper to buy a all in one water cooler like the Corsair ones.
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#15
theJesus
What I'm curious about is whether or not the noise-cancellation will help with other sounds inside the case, such as loud GPU fans.
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#16
D4S4
Jorge said:
This is more gimmick than actual results. I guess they've never heard of quiet fans?
how about taking a loud (moar performance) fan and cancelling its noise?
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#17
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
This is an interesting application of noise cancellation, however I think it's better to concentrate on fans that generate less noise in the first place.

Noctua have a pretty good record on this one too, as this happy NH-D14 owner will attest. :)
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#18
AsRock
TPU addict
Bah, the only real way that is noticeably more silent is due to not having any fans on it.


Oops i guess there is a fan although the sound of that is pretty much like my own with noise cancellation on ( going by the below vids ).
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#20
AsRock
TPU addict
ChaoticG8R said:
[yt]-atLQYr14zI[/yt]

Here it is in action so people can stop bickering over semantics.

Youtube: AikMzJc9gcY
WOW their cooler's are that bad before ( sound wise ) ?.. And can you change the sound of some thing by changing the power frequency ?.
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#21
Shahcronz
LAN_deRf_HA said:
Wish they had gone all the way with that top plate and capped off the heatpipes.
It's only an early prototype. If they will ever release a cooler like that in a year or two, it will most likely look completely different.

RejZoR said:
Water cooling is just better even though more expensive.
I'd agree if you were talking about real watercooling. ;)
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#22
ChaoticG8R
AsRock said:
WOW their cooler's are that bad before ( sound wise ) ?.. And can you change the sound of some thing by changing the power frequency ?.
The microphone is probably an inch from the fan. Not many people test at that distance. With ACN, the only thing you are able to hear is the air being pushed into the mic, which is why its still noticeable.
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