It took a little time but Noctua has now entered the workstation and server market with their new NH-U12DO (Dual Opteron) and NH-U12DX (Dual Xeon) coolers. Since most of the coolers found in this market are very loud and set the performance bar just above the required minimum, I think Noctua will do well with the new workstation coolers. When it comes to Opterons specifically, most enthusiast coolers coming out as of late do not include hardware to mount to 939 processors; the base that Socket F is designed after, so the possibility of using most other enthusiast coolers is shrinking quickly for Socket F. Noctua is capitalizing on the short comings of others and making a real play for workstation superiority with their new coolers. I have yet to find another high quality, low noise cooler made specifically for the Opteron or Xeon.
As for uses, the workstation market is comprised of heavy Photoshop users and CAD/CAM professionals. I am sure these guys would like to have a silent workstation and that is now possible. On the other side of the fence, audio/video professionals require truly silent workstations and these are the users that will really benefit from Noctua's latest workstation line of coolers. Mixing down a sixteen track recording can be difficult when a pair of fans is raising the acoustics of a room. I have seen several studios that spend large sums of money to have the workstations wired from a different room for this reason.
As for me, I am just getting old and enjoy the tranquility that comes from silent computing, even while using a full on workstation. Another, much younger editor from another site was over visiting for the weekend not too long ago and was amazed at how quiet my office was. After he turned on his system I tossed him a couple of low noise fans and a Noctua NH-U12P and said to put those in or shut that damn thing off. Ten minutes later we were both gaming and able to talk to each other without yelling across the room. I am sure there are others getting past the days of Tornado fans and the hum of phase change condensers 24/7.
Hopefully Noctua's expansion into the workstation market is just one of the firsts coming from the company. Many people have asked why Noctua hasn't made a move in VGA coolers and I really can't answer that question. This may just be the confidence builder the company needs to take a long look at other markets.
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