Wednesday, February 17th 2021

Passively Cooled RTX 3080 PC Comes With A Few Compromises

The NVIDIA RTX 3080 is a 320 W TDP card making it impractical for conventional contained passive cooling solutions. Commercial passively cooled cards such as the GTX 1050 Ti, and GTX 1650 Ti all come in with a TDP of less than 100 W and even then require large heatsinks. Mical Wong, the founder of Turemetal a company specializing in passively cooled computers has managed to create a passively cooled PC with an RTX 3080 and Ryzen 5 5600X. The PC features the companies flagship Turemetal UP10 case.

The system booted but was unusable at stock settings with the RTX 3080 quickly overwhelming the cooling system when running at 100%. The GPU reached 87 degrees Celsius within minutes when running Furmark with a total system power draw of 410 W. The Turemetal UP10 is only officially rated for 300 W system cooling so the fact that this worked at all is quite impressive. With some CPU, and GPU configuration and power limiting, it would appear feasible to create such a system assuming you could afford it.
Source: @turemetal
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19 Comments on Passively Cooled RTX 3080 PC Comes With A Few Compromises

#1
azdesign
still don't understand the need. it looks more expensive than a decent custom loop. custom loops done right are silent.
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#2
joemama
Looks like a waste of time and money, but damn that looks cool
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#3
delshay
azdesign
still don't understand the need. it looks more expensive than a decent custom loop. custom loops done right are silent.
Yeah, but if it had worked without issues, it will be maintenance free. So you never need to open it up.
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#5
PanicLake
chodaboy19
0 noise: the holy grail.
Or maybe the : coil (noise) grail
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#6
Vayra86
The problem with passive PCs is, there is still noise especially with high power components. This is a fool's errand, the aim should be 'almost silent' or 'barely audible' so the airflow noise can drown out whine.

Smaller, lower power passive PCs though, yeah, that's awesome. This right here is just... super heavy.
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#7
xtreemchaos
"would you like some computer with that heatsink Sir" . wow thats what ya call passive i like it. so what if it needs a bit of undervolting.
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#8
jigar2speed
chodaboy19
0 noise: the holy grail.
With Coil whine plus reaching 87C ? Hard pass
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#9
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
Crikey, that's really pushing the envelope and then some, isn't it? :eek:
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#10
Chrispy_
To me that looks like a fail.

I was impressed until I zoomed in on the Furmark temperature graph. It's at almost 90C and looking at the graph it probably still has 10-15C to go before the line straightens out.
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#11
laszlo
if submerged in water completely problem solved... even coil noise will disappear...
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#12
Chris34
BBQs in 2021 sure are overengineered.
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#13
TheUn4seen
Chrispy_
To me that looks like a fail.

I was impressed until I zoomed in on the Furmark temperature graph. It's at almost 90C and looking at the graph it probably still has 10-15C to go before the line straightens out.
Read the second paragraph. This cooling is rated for a much lower load, so it was just a showcase. With slower parts, say, a 3070, it should do the trick. Also, looking at the results some people get with undervolting the 3080 I can see this config being viable.
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You can't do much with coil whine, but I personally find pump noise in liquid cooling to be more distracting than fans, mostly due to being higher pitched. I gave up on liquid cooling mostly for that reason (also, it just doesn't make sense for my use case), I prefer to have a semi-passive air cooled system. Fully passive is probably a niche edge case, but passive cases have one advantage - strap a slow moving, completely silent fan to it and you'll never hear it.
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#14
Chrispy_
TheUn4seen
Read the second paragraph. This cooling is rated for a much lower load, so it was just a showcase. With slower parts, say, a 3070, it should do the trick. Also, looking at the results some people get with undervolting the 3080 I can see this config being viable.
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You can't do much with coil whine, but I personally find pump noise in liquid cooling to be more distracting than fans, mostly due to being higher pitched. I gave up on liquid cooling mostly for that reason (also, it just doesn't make sense for my use case), I prefer to have a semi-passive air cooled system. Fully passive is probably a niche edge case, but passive cases have one advantage - strap a slow moving, completely silent fan to it and you'll never hear it.
I also avoided watercooling for the last 15 years or so because my previous loop wasn't silent - I could always hear the pump.

My new D5 isn't running very hard and as a result the pump noise is practially inaudible. Certainly coil whine in those few menus that run at 1000fps is definitely a far bigger problem than the gentle hum of the pump.
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#15
mechtech
the pc case that's a heatsink................
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#16
SheetLorde
I have tried this, CPU can be easily passive cooled but GPU can't.
I put a D15 on a.8600K at 0.98v 4.0GHZ. FPU temp stable at 80C.
However for GPU it is impossible without a case like that. So I removed the fan of my 1080Ti, and attached a Noctua A15 at 600RPM. With a little bit curve adjustment lock at 0.943v 1950MHZ. It stables at 76C.
Noctua A15 at 600RPM is quieter than the GPU coil whine, so I am fine with it.
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#17
Athlonite
10KG's of aluminium + 2.5KG's of copper brick on the CPU and not exactly cheap either at around $1000USD just for the case

Watch the LTT video
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#18
Chrispy_
SheetLorde
I have tried this, CPU can be easily passive cooled but GPU can't.
I put a D15 on a.8600K at 0.98v 4.0GHZ. FPU temp stable at 80C.
However for GPU it is impossible without a case like that. So I removed the fan of my 1080Ti, and attached a Noctua A15 at 600RPM. With a little bit curve adjustment lock at 0.943v 1950MHZ. It stables at 76C.
Noctua A15 at 600RPM is quieter than the GPU coil whine, so I am fine with it.
Making an inaudible PC is far more practical than making a fanless PC :)

My quietest PC doesn't have to be silent, I have a large open-plan living room/kitchen and the gentle hum of the refridgerator's compressor at the opposite end of the room means that any fans in that room's PC running below 800rpm are completely inaudible. For gaming loads I tolerate the GPU fans at 1500rpm beacuse, hey, games make more noise than the fans too!
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#19
Absolution
13C ambient lol.

thats not comfortable
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