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Passive Cooling Heatsinks and the Heatlane Zen
By: Mike Mackenzie
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    Table of Contents:
  • Passive Cooling Heatsinks and the Heatlane Zen
  • Passive Cooling Design
  • Passive Cooling Performance
  • Installing a Passive Cooler
  • Testing and Results
  • Conclusion

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    Passive Cooling Heatsinks and the Heatlane Zen

    (Page 1 of 6 )

    Passive cooling is coming back into style, thanks to advanced heatpipes. Passive cooling can remove excess noise from your system, which is very important to most users. However, going entirely passive really should only be used in few applications. Today we have a Heatlane Zen NCU-1000 fanless CPU cooler. Let’s get to it.

    The first few generations of processors were normally cooled with large aluminum heatsinks and no fans. The fourth generation of processors was generally too hot for passive cooling; it became nearly impossible to cool them without the aid of a fan directly on top of the heatsink. When manufacturers developed the heatpipe, they were able to quickly move the processor heat further away with more efficiency than a normal aluminum or copper heatsink. This is reviving passive cooling.

    Without the aid of heatpipes, passively cooling modern processors would simply not be possible. The heat generated from the processor simply cannot transfer away from the heatsink base thru to the fins fast enough to be dissipated. This heats processors to scorching temperatures within a few seconds. Before the heatsink fin can warm up, the CPU will have already reached maximum operating temperature, potentially causing system failure. The new heatpipes relocate heat further away from the heatsink base faster than the old methods.

    First we will take a deeper look into the design and technology involved in passive cooling systems, then we’ll see how the Heatlane Zen NCU-1000 fanless CPU cooler performs in an overclocked system. Here is a quick look at my first impression of the cooler.

    The NCU-1000 is packaged in a large box, considerably larger than any heatsink box I have seen in the past.

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