Fans in our high-powered PCs keep getting bigger and louder, since our high-powered CPUs and high-powered video cards keep pumping out more and more heat. And no matter how “silent” they’re advertised as being, four of five of them in one case will always make some noise. So what can you do? Liquid cooling is a possibility, but installation can be complicated and failure can be catastrophic. So why not go for a passive solution? Sure, it’s not quite as “effective,” but it’s incapable of making noise — kind of like my friend’s cat.
These big-ass heatsinks just sit on top of your CPU and just let the heat seep out at its own rate. They’re so big, though, that the heat always has somewhere to go and eventually what airflow you do have (I guess you can have a couple fans) will whoosh it right out the vents.
The problem is that these heatsinks, being enormous, are also super heavy. If you’ve got a side-mounted motherboard, and 99% of you do, it’s totally inadvisable to clamp one of these suckers on there, cause it’ll probably rip the CPU right out of its seat. However, if you’ve got a HTPC that sits on its side (yet has the depth to hold one of these monsters), it won’t be a problem. Just don’t reach in there and touch it, it’s hot and sharp.
[image credit and via: Tom's Hardware]