Price of Silence

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They say silence is golden. Well let’s see how golden it’s worth to you. 🙂

Someone just sent me an interesting email talking about some fanless Macs. Of course, comparing the power requirements of a Motorola CPU to an Athlon is like a comparative weighing between a ten-year old kid to Jabba the Hutt, but it raises a couple interesting points.

There seems to be some people out there for whom noise is a handicap as real to them as a physical disability. I don’t mean the noise from Delta 7Ks; I’m talking about any substantial level of whirring.

I’ve gotten emails from people so bothered by noise that they were desperate enough to do suicidal things like put Pentium-class fans on TBirds.

Can This Be Done?

Put aside any thoughts of practicality or cost for a moment. Is it even theoretically possible to cool a processor radiating 100-watt from a half-square inch area with passive air cooling?

If you know the physics and can judge this, send me a note. Feel free to call it an idiotic and stupid idea if it is, just attach some math to show why it’s idiotic and stupid.

Just for argument’s sake (and I am just making the rest of this up off the top of my head), assume it could be done. Assume you’d have this huge monstrosity that would be a major pain for you or at least somebody to install, and the heat vents would take up the top half of your case. But it would be quiet.

And it would cost $250. Would you be interested? Interested at $200? Interested at $150? Assume there’s no way it could ever cost less than $150. (Again, just making up numbers.)

Send me a note if you would pay that kind of money. I’m not suggesting you ought to, I can think of plenty of reasonable reasons why most people wouldn’t.

These are the first words I’m uttering to anybody on the subject, just curious to see how many would want to pay serious money for quiet, and how much.

Email Ed

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