SILENCE OF THE FANS
Maximum PC|November 2021
Fans are so last year, right?

COMPUTERS CAN BE NOISY so and so’s, can’t they? Whether it’s the high-pitched whine of an AIO pump, the whirr of an HDD, or the roar of a gaming laptop’s fans, we’ve all heard the effects of systems trying their best to mitigate heat. Thermal design has come a long way in the past few years, with each new generation of components producing less waste heat for the level of performance on offer.

Heat management is still an important business. If you’re into overclocking, or use your system for resource-intensive tasks that put components under duress, you’ll need a serious cooling solution. That means fans; usually lots of them. Case fans, radiator fans, CPU fans, GPU fans… even motherboards can now pack tiny fans for keeping your SSD cool.

Of course, those fans make noise, and the more fans you’ve got, the noisier it gets. So what happens when you don’t have any fans at all? That’s right, we’re going back to the dark ages and building a fully passively-cooled PC. Not only will this machine have no fans, but we’re also aiming to make it completely silent, so no HDDs allowed either. From pressing the power button to running stress tests, we don’t want to hear a peep out of this PC.

How will we do this? A case with the potential for good airflow is the place to start, allowing for better passive convection of warm air out of the case. We’ll also need a chunky passive cooler for our CPU, so thanks to Noctua for hooking us up with one. What else will we be using? Read on to find out.

HARDWARE

MOTHERBOARD

Asus TUF Gaming B560M-Plus

RRP: $150 / street price: $150

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