This absurd passive PC cooler slaps 12 heatsinks and a huge copper slab onto an RTX 3080

A homemade passive GPU cooler, comprising a large copper slab and several heatsinks.
(Image credit: Everynametaken9 on Reddit)

No one likes being deafened by their PC’s fans, and that annoyance can drive some people to passively cool their computer’s hottest components – that is, keep the temperature down without the aid of fans. Well, one Reddit user has taken that idea and gone off the deep end, attempting to cool a beefy RTX 3080 FE GPU with an enormous array of heatsinks and copper piping.

The Frankenstein’s monster of a cooler is a hobby project, its creator, Redditor Everynametaken9, explained. Right now, they’ve attached a gargantuan slab of copper directly above the GPU, with at least 12 large heatsinks connected to the copper at all angles.

This steampunk-esque contraption is currently just a prototype, so we don’t know how well it works in practice. But Everynametaken9 said their goal is to outperform PCs made by Monster Labo, which are typically fanless creations for people who really hate the sound of whirring computer fans.

The Beast, a PC made by Monster Labo, can house a GPU with a TDP (or thermal design power) of up to 250W without requiring any fans to be installed. The RTX 3080 FE used by Everynametaken9 has a TDP of 320W, so they’ve set themselves a lofty goal of regulating its temperature entirely passively.

A help or a hindrance?

A homemade passive GPU cooler, comprising a large copper slab and several heatsinks.

(Image credit: Everynametaken9 on Reddit)

On Reddit, the responses to Everynametaken9’s post were somewhat skeptical. One user commented that “I don’t have too much faith in the heat being dissipated by the coolers after traveling through the thickness of the bar,” pointing out that the copper slab has to weigh “a few kilos.”

“Imagine the GPU sag on this gigantic beast,” was one of the rather droll responses.

Similarly, Reddit user Puzzleheaded-Gas9685 argued that the copper bar was more of a hindrance than a help, stating, “You will completely need to overhaul your idea and making your own heat pipes and build something that looks like a Christmas tree to dissipate the heat. Using a massive block will be a heat radiator and not a cooler in that case.”

It’s unlikely that most people would go to such lengths just to avoid a little fan noise, and there are much more practical ways to cut down PC case noise, such as adjusting your computer’s fan curves or buying high-quality fans. Still, to paraphrase a certain dinosaur movie, it’s clear that some people are so preoccupied with whether or not they can do something, they don’t stop to think if they should.

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Alex Blake
Freelance Contributor

Alex Blake has been fooling around with computers since the early 1990s, and since that time he's learned a thing or two about tech. No more than two things, though. That's all his brain can hold. As well as TechRadar, Alex writes for iMore, Digital Trends and Creative Bloq, among others. He was previously commissioning editor at MacFormat magazine. That means he mostly covers the world of Apple and its latest products, but also Windows, computer peripherals, mobile apps, and much more beyond. When not writing, you can find him hiking the English countryside and gaming on his PC.