Noctua is preparing to launch a passive CPU cooler in the new year. We don't know much about it yet, but @FanlessTech on Twitter released the following image and said that mass production is about to start. Noctua has not confirmed this, but the company's roadmap lines up with the claim.
The fact that Noctua is making a passive cooler isn't exactly news. The company previously showed off a prototype of its passive CPU cooler at Computex 2019. On the Computex show floor, Noctua demonstrated that its passive cooler could keep a Core i9-9900k cool under full load from Prime95.
Noctua expected to have its passive cooler on the market in the first half of 2020, but it missed that launch window, with Covid19 likely contributing to the delays. Never-the-less, it looks like Noctua is on track for an early 2021 launch. The company's roadmap shows a passive cooler on the schedule for a Q1 release.
At the time, Noctua had this to say about the product:
"Another highlight of this year's line-up was Noctua's new fanless cooler project. Designed for passive cooling from the ground up, the 1.5kg prototype was demoed in a completely fanless, silent system from QuietPC.com that relies on natural convection only. Despite the less than ideal conditions on the show floor, the cooler managed to keep an Intel Core i9 9900K CPU in check while the processor was fully stressed running Prime95 and producing a heat load of almost 120W. By adding an additional low-noise case fan, such as the NF-A12x25 ULN, the prototype was able to dissipate up to 180W, making it ideal for semi-passive setups. It is currently scheduled to hit the market in the first half of 2020."
We can't be sure that the production version would be able to manage the same performance, but we can't imagine Noctua would spend a year and a half making it worse than it was.
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