Who doesn’t like fanless PCs? But sometimes, aftermarket options may not meet your requirements. That was what happened to one Redditor (opens in new tab). Instead of using an aftermarket passive CPU cooler, the ingenious enthusiast modded some 1kg copper bars to cool his Ryzen 9 7950X, one of the best CPUs on the market.
The user’s system revolves around the Streacom DB4, a fanless case that caters to mini-ITX builds. In the interior, an MSI MPG B650I Edge WiFi houses AMD’s 16-core Ryzen 9 7950X and 64GB of DDR5 memory; meanwhile, an HDPLEX 250W GaN ATX power supply provides up to 250W of power.
The DB4 comes with a passive cooler that supports chips up to 65W. Streacome also offers an optional module that expands the cooling capacity to 105W. However, it still falls short of the Ryzen 9 7950X’s 170W TDP, which is why the avid DIYer took matters into his own hands. Plus, the user has an affinity for fanless systems.
The core of the user-modified cooling system is the two ESG Feinkupfer 1 kg (2.2 lbs) copper bars, which retail for approximately $100 apiece. The Redditor reused the small plate that comes with the Streacom DB4 but added a custom-tailored 233 mm (9.17 in) copper bar to keep the processor and the motherboard’s chipset cool. The unmodified copper bars transfer the heat toward the Streacom DB4’s four side panels. According to his estimates, the system now weighs around 13 kg (28.66 lbs), with the copper combining for 4.4 kg (9.7 lbs) and the case and other parts checking in at 7.5 kg (16.53 lbs) and 1 kg (2.2 lbs), respectively.
He didn’t use soldering to connect the different copper parts and the copper bar to the case’s panels. Instead, the Redditor utilized Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut, a liquid metal-based thermal compound, between the copper parts, and Arctic MX-6, a carbon filler-based thermal compound, where the copper bar makes contact with the case panel.
After pushing the Ryzen 9 7950X to the max for two hours, the owner observed 95 degrees Celsius on CCD1 and 90 degrees Celsius on CCD2. The motherboard temperature was about 77 degrees Celsius, while the Streacom DB4’s side panel temperatures oscillated between 50 and 60 degrees Celsius. The temperatures are not bad. Soldering the joints would help with improving the temperatures. Of course, the cooling performance from a copper bar doesn’t compare to that of a heat pipe or a vapor chamber. The enthusiast utilizes his system for programming so the processor doesn’t run at its maximum state for prolonged periods. Therefore, the DIY copper cooler should suit the owner’s needs.