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MSI ECOlution Chipset Cooler  (Source: TweakTown)
MSI ECOlution chipset cooler operates on the Stirling Engine Theory

MSI has designed a new chipset cooling fan that is able to operate without electricity. MSI’s new chipset cooler, which is accordingly dubbed the “Air Power Cooler,” offers all of the benefits of a cooler with a fan without drawing any power.   

Energy efficiency of fans can make a large difference, especially in enterprise environments where hundreds of PCs are running at once.  Although passive cooling is always an option, it doesn’t offer the cooling capability of a fan.

The new MSI cooler isn’t a passive cooler but actually uses a fan to cool the chipset without using any electricity. Ironically, the fan gets its power from the very thing it’s trying to remove — thermal energy.

The system is based on a beta Stirling engine. As hot air expands in the system, it applies pressure to the central piston in the heatsink pushing it up. The piston's movement upwards rotates gears which in turn spin the fan. Thermal energy generated by the chipset is converted into kinetic energy.

The fan blows through a common looking finned radiator to disperse the Northbridge’s heat production.

MSI tells DailyTech that the system is able to convert 70% of heat power to kinetic energy. It is important to note that enough heat must be supplied to spin the fan blades. If the chipset isn’t hot enough, the entire system will not run.

MSI is working on the cooler with Taiwanese company Polo-Tech. The powerless fan is expected to make its debut on MSI’s ECOlution during CeBIT 2008.

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By geddarkstorm on 2/29/2008 8:34:25 PM , Rating: 1
This is awesome, I can't believe no one thought of this before. The speed of the fan will be dictated by the heat of the chip--a perfect relationship. Because it takes 70% of thermal energy and converts it to kinetic, that's a 70% reduction in heat on the chip, in all theory. Have to see how well it does in practice of course, but a very nifty idea.

RE: Ingenius
By DASQ on 2/29/2008 8:44:06 PM , Rating: 3
No, it's not a 70% reduction in the heat of the chip. It can only convert up to 70% of what it GETS into mechanical energy, there is energy used in the conversion, and the rest is used to reduce the heat.

RE: Ingenius
By masher2 on 2/29/2008 11:46:46 PM , Rating: 1
And of course the mechanical energy is converted right back into heat in the operation of the fan -- the second law of thermodynamics.

I confess I don't see the benefit of this device. You trade the utter simplicity and reliability of a fan for a device with many more moving parts and thus a higher failure rate. All to save what? The 3/4 watt or so a fan draws? Possibly for an ultra-low power system...but if you're drawing that little power, you probably don't even need active cooling anyway.

Am I missing something here?

RE: Ingenius
By elpresidente2075 on 3/1/2008 1:28:56 AM , Rating: 5
Whatever happened to doing something just because it is awesome? A fully automated, active cooling system that requires no power, logic, or anything external to function is great.

Of course, you always have the right to not buy it...

RE: Ingenius
By StevoLincolnite on 3/1/2008 10:26:43 AM , Rating: 2
Extra Power saved in Laptops anyone? :)

RE: Ingenius
By cyyc009 on 3/1/2008 1:56:56 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly what I was thinking:) Man, I love MSI, everything they make it great. This product is destined to revolutionize the computer industry, if it can just be tweaked a little more (looks more like a prototype now).

RE: Ingenius
By Alexvrb on 3/1/2008 4:05:22 PM , Rating: 2
For a laptop? No. Too big, ambient temp (in the case) too hot, doesn't spin soon enough/fast enough.

Even for a desktop, this prototype is a cross between a cool pipedream and an oversized chipset cooler. Slap on high price, undetermined long-term reliability, and no fan-speed monitoring for good measure. (unless you want to use more electricity to externally monitor the fan :/)

Still, its a very cool concept. It just doesn't have any tangible benefits. It does make me wonder if it wouldn't be worth externally mounting a miniature girling engine and generator outside a case and routing heat via water. Pump-> waterblocks (cpu, gpu, etc)-> girling -> radiator-> reservior-> pump. Unfortunetely, once again logic kicks in and I don't think the temperature difference in the water would be significant enough (unless you're BAKING your components), and even if it was I don't think you could generate crap for electricity.

RE: Ingenius
By RjBass on 3/1/2008 8:27:41 PM , Rating: 1
Actually, your comment made me think of something one of my friends did. He was in the Heating and Cooling business and was a self proclaimed geek. He modded his case with an actual mini AC unit that pumped cold air into the case via the side panel fan hole. The only problems with the device that made it not very practical was the water it produced that had to be drained in some fashion and the fact that he needed a very high powered PSU to run it.

Aside from it's obvious drawbacks, it kept his system running very very cool. He had an overclocked Core 2 running with passive cooling. In fact the only fans he had running were the fan for the mini AC unit, the one on his graphics card and the two in his PSU.

The unit was also pretty ugly too.

RE: Ingenius
By xsilver on 3/2/2008 6:18:09 AM , Rating: 1
um if you're running an AC unit into your computer I think condensation is going to be another part of your troubles.

Also I dont think that running a core 2 passive is that much of an achievement. Im running a fanless core 2 (2.7ghz) now with a 8800gt passive as well. Only 1 92mm psu fan in my system.

RE: Ingenius
By RjBass on 3/2/2008 11:18:28 AM , Rating: 2
It was an overclocked Core 2. To get a Core 2 or any processor up on a good overclock you need good cooling. Typically passive cooling won't do the trick.

As for the condensation, he set up the AC so that the natural condensation that occurs with an AC unit drained outside of the PC. In fact the whole unit was attached to the outside of the PC case so that the inside of the case only received the cool air from the AC unit. It was a pretty remarkable mod except for the obvious problems I pointed out in the original post.

RE: Ingenius
By DragonMaster0 on 3/3/2008 7:33:55 PM , Rating: 2
um if you're running an AC unit into your computer I think condensation is going to be another part of your troubles.

Condensation happens on the coolest side (ie. not the parts)

RE: Ingenius
By AlphaVirus on 3/3/2008 12:26:04 PM , Rating: 2
I am in no heating and cooling but I tried something similar to him. I outfitted my computer with one of those "window fans". So depending on the temp in the house I could set it to 'Exhaust'(hot days) or 'Normal'(cold days) and it kept the computer cool at all times.

Like you said though, it is not very attractive. I was using 2, 8 inch fans, so you can imagine how tacky that looked.

RE: Ingenius
By masher2 on 3/1/2008 11:03:07 AM , Rating: 1
> "Whatever happened to doing something just because it is awesome?"

Sure, I agree totally. That's a great reason for an enthusiasist's PC.

But some people here are arguing this has applications for large datacenters. I don't see any corporation risking the integrity of their servers for an 'awesome' idea with no practical benefit.

RE: Ingenius
By Spartan Niner on 3/1/2008 2:10:24 PM , Rating: 5
>"Sure, I agree totally. That's a great reason for an enthusiasist's PC."

That's one hell of a enthusiastic enthusiast you have there. He even added another Si for the silicon used in his chips.

RE: Ingenius
By PlasmaBomb on 3/2/2008 8:30:06 AM , Rating: 2

RE: Ingenius
By sporr on 3/2/2008 7:45:32 AM , Rating: 2
Im just hoping this solution is a starting point, a base of which to further their idea's.

At the very least, I credit MSI for at least trying.

RE: Ingenius
By elpresidente2075 on 3/3/2008 2:20:51 PM , Rating: 1
Certainly that makes sense. But you must remember that there must be a first generation that goes before the sleek, new, better 2nd generation, and so on. Honestly, I don't expect to see practical applications of this tech within the PC arena for many years.

Fun little niche product though. I'd probably put it in my personal server to replace the tiny POS that is attached to my northbridge. Funny though, the fan probably wouldn't ever turn on.

RE: Ingenius
By SoCalBoomer on 3/7/2008 1:02:40 PM , Rating: 2
Strangely, heat pipes were just for enthusiasts a while ago - the same people who are pooh-poohing advances like this pooh-poohed heat pipes in Shuttle's designs (and others) as impractical.

Yet here we are with heat-pipes everywhere (nearly).

I can see a smaller version of this (and there aren't many moving parts - diaphragm, arm, shaft, fan. . .hmmm) going many places.

Less power demands, temperature sensitive cooling.

We all know things get smaller as development continues. . . this could easily advance and become really practical.

RE: Ingenius
By ziggo on 3/1/2008 1:37:19 AM , Rating: 3
That absolutely all powerful "because we can" reason.

I like it, its not like Stirling engines are incredibly complex, I don't know the specifics of how they are doing it here, but similar engines are used in applications where very high reliability is paramount.

RE: Ingenius
By Hare on 3/1/2008 1:09:22 PM , Rating: 2
Am I missing something here?

I don't think so. Let's be honest. First of all an axial fan (as small as that one) can't really create any pressure at all. In the picture there's a big gap between the heatsink and the fan. There's no way that fan can really move air through that heatsink without ridiculous rpm (and noise).

I also wonder, why not just skip the fan entirely and make a big passive heatsink? I doubt cost would be an issue because a passive heatsink definately should cost less than a design such as this.

I have an Intel P965 chipset and it stays quite cool with a really small passive heatsink (fsb much higher than stock). Triple the surface area and there's no problem even with power hungry chipsets.

I personally think this is a nice technology demo but the practical use for something like this...

RE: Ingenius
By Hare on 3/1/2008 1:24:01 PM , Rating: 2
Btw. I wonder how difficult/expensive it would be to use a stirling engine in a modern car. I know that Stirling engines don't scale well to high output but why not make a diesel hybrid car which would also use a stirling engine to provide additional power and increase efficiency? Diesel engines waste plenty of energy (though not as much as gasoline engines) through the exhaust which could be harnessed with a stirling engine.

Someone kindly tell me why this is not feasible?

RE: Ingenius
By masher2 on 3/1/2008 1:38:58 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, NASA did a lot of research in putting Stirling engines in cars. The basic problem is such engines have difficulty varying their power level while still remaining efficient. Quite obviously, driving a car in city traffic has an enormous range in power demand, which makes the engine very inefficient (or horribly complex, to compensate).

A Stirling engine might be a good fit in a serial hybrid, as the engine can be tuned to run at one specific power output only.

RE: Ingenius
By Hare on 3/1/2008 2:00:33 PM , Rating: 2
The basic problem is such engines have difficulty varying their power level while still remaining efficient.

Ok (I also checked Wikipedia and read about NASA). The reason why I said diesel hybrid was that maybe a Stirling engine could be used to charge batteries?

It would be quite difficult to use a stirling engine as the main power source (like you said) but maybe a Stirling engine could be used as a secondary engine as I said above? I believe NASA mainly researched Stirling engines as main power source? Philips researched Stirling engines between 1930-1970 but the battery technology back than was pretty poor. Nowadays the same old ideas might work better.

RE: Ingenius
By Alexvrb on 3/2/2008 10:56:39 AM , Rating: 2
It wouldn't be *that* bad an idea for a secondary engine, maybe. But it actually might work better in a non-serial hybrid where the gas engine is still coupled to the wheels through the trans+axle, as it would still be running most of the time. In a serial hybrid like the Volt, it wouldn't run the engine nearly as often in typical usage (especially since it has decent plug-in range).

Even when the Volt engine IS running, its not propelling the vehicle, and it is basically an efficient turbocharged generator. So a Stirling engine would add unneccessary weight and cost and add little benefit.

RE: Ingenius
By Nockeln on 3/3/2008 9:25:57 AM , Rating: 2
Just as a comparison, Swedish submarines are powered by Stirling engines when running in submerged conditions (Gotland Class).
So to say that Stirling engines are unreliable I take with a grain of salt since reliability is of the utmost importance in submarines.

RE: Ingenius
By HVAC on 3/3/2008 10:12:00 AM , Rating: 2
The reliability of the Stirling engine is predicate on the particular design approach and materials used.

However, it is much improved from the internal combustion engine in that the piston(s) do not have to contact burning fuel, preventing formation of "sludge" from the engine oil.

RE: Ingenius
By walk2k on 3/2/2008 12:27:11 PM , Rating: 2
Not to mention, it blows all the heat right onto the RAM chips!! Doh! All they had to do was turn it ther way way too. Epic fail.

RE: Ingenius
By phorensic on 3/3/2008 10:35:22 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think so. Let's be honest. First of all an axial fan (as small as that one) can't really create any pressure at all. In the picture there's a big gap between the heatsink and the fan. There's no way that fan can really move air through that heatsink without ridiculous rpm (and noise).

My thoughts exactly. That gap is horrible, there should be some sort of shroud. What happened to making it efficient in regards to a shroud??

RE: Ingenius
By DASQ on 3/2/2008 3:39:33 AM , Rating: 2
In theory, it's the most efficient type of fan and heatsink based cooling; entirely self-regulated, calibrated to match a specific heat output, and requires no external power source other than the work it's doing (the work it's getting, more properly).

Efficient, but not best. The fan will fail. Heatsink contact and heat transfer will suffer and reduce over time, reducing the efficiency of the fan itself.

I see it as neat-o, but I'd rather just have more of the gigantic heatsinks we've been seeing as a trend of motherboards. I love to cool things as best and efficiently as I can, even if the component is running perfectly fine.

RE: Ingenius
By mattclary on 3/2/2008 12:16:04 PM , Rating: 2
And of course the mechanical energy is converted right back into heat in the operation of the fan -- the second law of thermodynamics.

I know little of physics, I will admit, but you are converting heat to mechanical energy. It is NOT a given that friction from the bearings in the fan will produce as much heat as is used to move the fan.

RE: Ingenius
By DASQ on 3/2/2008 1:10:27 PM , Rating: 2
He never said it would produce as much heat. The fact that heat is produce in itself means efficiency of the fan is reduced.

RE: Ingenius
By masher2 on 3/2/2008 4:42:57 PM , Rating: 2
> "but you are converting heat to mechanical energy. It is NOT a given that friction from the bearings in the fan will produce as much heat as is used to move the fan. "

The heat from the fan bearings plus the heat generated from the motion of the air itself will exactly equal the energy used to power the fan. Inescapable.

Now, if you arrange the fan where the airflow winds up outside the case (sans the pressure created by other fans), then some of that eventual reconversion will happen outside. But most unducted cpu fans don't do this...they just create a little in-the-case turbulence, which the actual case fans move outside.

RE: Ingenius
By mattclary on 3/2/2008 9:23:34 PM , Rating: 2
the heat generated from the motion of the air itself will exactly equal the energy used to power the fan. Inescapable.

I don't think that is right, but like I said, not so big on the physics. You have converted heat to mechanical energy. That mechanical energy may have the same net ENERGY as the heat (minus inefficiency) but it will not have the same HEAT as was removed. Kinetic energy <> heat

RE: Ingenius
By MozeeToby on 3/4/2008 4:27:18 PM , Rating: 2
If there were no friction on the fan, it would speed up indefinatly.

When running at maximum speed, the energy input is exactly equal to the friction/drag acting on the fan. The friction generates heat, the drag generate wind turbulence, which will eventually settle because of friction between the air molecules, which also generates heat. The Heat out when the fan comes to a stop will equal the energy in, just spread out throughout the case because of the turbulence.

Heat == Energy, energy cannot be created or destroyed. When the fan stops accellerating, there is no increase in the mechanical energy. Therefore, the energy in much be released as heat.

RE: Ingenius
By mattclary on 3/2/2008 9:46:22 PM , Rating: 2
To elaborate on that a bit... The air moved by the fan can do work, it can blow dust around, or possibly cause movement in another fan. If all that heat energy was just converted back to heat, there would be no energy to move that second fan's blades or blow the dust around.

RE: Ingenius
By JustTom on 3/3/2008 1:35:43 PM , Rating: 2
In a properly designed cooling system the heat will be moved from the heat source for the external fans to dump. This unit will move the heat from the chipset, cooling the chipset. It is the job of the case fans to dump the heat out of the case.

Does anyone know the power draw of a chipset cooler? Is using something like this even reasonable or is it just another lower power fad product?

RE: Ingenius
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 3/3/2008 12:34:14 PM , Rating: 2
Let's see, over 1B PC's in use in the world as of June 2007, times .75 watts, is, um, lessee, hmmmm, nope, no savings there, Bomar.

Also, there is nominal heat generated from friction, which is part of the 70% the engine converts. The 30% that is not converted is the heat the system must cool passively.

RE: Ingenius
By Oregonian2 on 3/3/2008 4:00:05 PM , Rating: 1
Which means the fan's engine itself is probably REALLY hot with it "consuming" 70% of a processor's heat output. Wonder how reliable that makes it (not)?

RE: Ingenius
By random git on 3/4/2008 9:50:22 AM , Rating: 2
What I think they mean is that it produces 70% of the maximum work allowed by Carnot's principle. The thermodynamical efficiency is much much lower. In room temperature with a 80C processor it can't be any higher than 20%.

RE: Ingenius
By JoKeRr on 3/1/2008 2:55:56 PM , Rating: 2
I have some concerns about the actual usefulness of this device, especially in a small chassis. First of all, this engine only works in a vertical orientation, and the effect really depends on the temperature differential between the heatsink and surrounding air. I would imagine the inside of a chassis to be pretty warm too. But hey, if they make it work, kudos to MSI.

RE: Ingenius
By 91TTZ on 3/3/2008 10:48:53 AM , Rating: 1
This is awesome, I can't believe no one thought of this before. The speed of the fan will be dictated by the heat of the chip--a perfect relationship. Because it takes 70% of thermal energy and converts it to kinetic, that's a 70% reduction in heat on the chip, in all theory. Have to see how well it does in practice of course, but a very nifty idea.

People probably have thought of it before, but realized that it's an impractical idea. You're introducing more moving parts into the mix just to save the tiny bit of power it takes to run a fan motor.

RE: Ingenius
By SecTech767 on 3/4/2008 8:01:42 AM , Rating: 2
This is quite a accomplishment. The idea is quite clever. It has a smaller design then most heat sinks. And in response to another post, the device would not have more moving parts. Fans use small engines to rotate, while this one uses a piston. I belive that this device will have a longer life than your average heat sink. The only thing that concerns me is the time it takes to startup. Your chip has to be hot in order for it to cool, as opposed to average fans which cool during POST.

The energy redution is nice. Although its not making that much of a difference, its one step in the right direction. I can see all kinds of innovative devices branching off of this simple technology.

I can see it now... Hybrid-like computers. They'll probably call them the "Green Machines"

Efficient and automatic?
By ninjit on 2/29/2008 8:22:51 PM , Rating: 4
70% efficiency is pretty good.

And seeing how this thing will depend on the heat generated by the chip, it seems like it could be fully automated in it's operation as well, without the need for a thermistor and control logic.

The hotter the chip is, the faster the fan spins, n'est-ce pas?
Just how we would want it.

RE: Efficient and automatic?
By ImSpartacus on 2/29/2008 8:25:37 PM , Rating: 2
I'm a little skeptical of the 70% efficiency, but I can't complain if its true, that would be sweet.

RE: Efficient and automatic?
By lukasbradley on 2/29/2008 9:01:10 PM , Rating: 2
I agree completely. 70% of what? The ambient air temperature?

RE: Efficient and automatic?
By Comdrpopnfresh on 2/29/2008 9:17:39 PM , Rating: 5
70% of the thermal energy absorbed by the unit. This isn't anything new. Stirling-engine fans are used when set on top of oil-heating units on rural areas. There is even room to increase the efficiency of this process, by making the heat-absorbing parts a better "blackbody"

RE: Efficient and automatic?
By AnnihilatorX on 2/29/2008 9:25:14 PM , Rating: 2
Doesn't law of thermal dynamics give a maximum theoretical efficiency of a heat engine?

Efficiency = 1- Tcold/Thot something like that. The absolute maximum efficiency you can extract from a temperature gradient is related by that formula.

A chipset may generate a temperature difference of say 50 Kelvins. Assuming chassis temperature is 300 Kelvins. 1- 300/350 = 14% efficiency maximum.

RE: Efficient and automatic?
By Duwelon on 2/29/2008 10:35:01 PM , Rating: 2
In laymens terms, your saying that the efficeny is an equation between the ambient temperature and the temperature of the heat source, ie the chipset?

RE: Efficient and automatic?
By masher2 on 2/29/2008 11:41:19 PM , Rating: 2
Basic Carnot efficiency, yes. That's why ultra-high temperature power plants, for instance, are so much more efficient than a car's engine.

RE: Efficient and automatic?
By drinkmorejava on 2/29/2008 11:16:12 PM , Rating: 2
I believe you are correct in using the carnot cycle efficiency, however, you used the efficiency given by a heat producing engine (1-Qdotl/Qdoth)˜1-Tl/Th. In this case though Tl and Th are not readily apparent. If you use the ratio of (Wdot/Qdot)=(Power)/(Heat Transferred) it becomes apparent that it is possible to achieve high efficiencies. For your reference, power is equal to the work done by the fan per unit of time.

RE: Efficient and automatic?
By dare2savefreedom on 3/1/08, Rating: -1
By marsbound2024 on 3/1/2008 4:22:12 PM , Rating: 5
You know how you spend hours a day watching American football or baseball or any other sport? Not you, you say? How about spending hours working on your car? Not you, you say? How about spending hours playing paintball? What about reading books? Listening to music? Photography? Stargazing? Gaming?

The simple fact of the matter is that we all have our hobbies and love our hobbies when they only get better and better? Also, I am sure plenty of us have girlfriends and many of them actually have the same hobbies as we do. And no, they are not all ugly.

Maybe sir, you need to think more and respect the fact that everyone likes different things and that is what makes being a part of civilization worth it.

By drinkmorejava on 3/2/2008 3:28:15 AM , Rating: 3
haha, thank you. For your information, I do have a girlfriend. Furthermore, I would like to know how being an aerospace engineer precludes me from having a life.

RE: Efficient and automatic?
By ViperV990 on 2/29/2008 8:30:02 PM , Rating: 2
I think the fan speed depends on the temperature difference between the hot end and cold end of the engine, i.e. the temperature of the chip vs. the ambient temperature.

RE: Efficient and automatic?
By leexgx on 2/29/2008 10:46:19 PM , Rating: 2
the chipset needs to be at 60c before it starts working but the hotter it gets the faster it spins

RE: Efficient and automatic?
By ImSpartacus on 3/1/2008 3:01:58 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure everyone would even want their CPU's hitting 60c to begin with. If that's the only time the fan starts up then there will be some problems. I'm sure it still runs when it's below 60c.

RE: Efficient and automatic?
By ImSpartacus on 3/1/2008 3:02:41 PM , Rating: 2
Nvm, chipset cooling not CPU. For chipset I guess it would be ok.

RE: Efficient and automatic?
By Anonymous Freak on 3/1/2008 11:24:44 PM , Rating: 2
Not only is it chipset, but 60 °C isn't that big a deal. My CPU runs at 66 °C (Overclocked 4.0 GHz Pentium Extreme Edition at 100% usage all the time due to distributed computing,) pretty much constantly. And I have a reasonably high-end cooler.

With a stock Intel cooler, a Core 2 Duo at stock speeds can hit 50 °C under load. And that's with good case cooling. In a bad case, I've seen stock CPUs hit 70+, easy. Older Pentium 4 notebooks under load can hit nearly 100 °C.

RE: Efficient and automatic?
By ImSpartacus on 3/2/2008 9:14:48 AM , Rating: 2
I disagree. There is no set temperature that good for a CPU (or chipset), but I have met people on both sdes of the spectrum. Some don't want their entire PC getting above 50c, others run 65c 24/7.

I personally would not run my CPU at stock. My chipset may or may not be slightly oc'ed. I would not be running on stock cooling. I would not like my CPU to run 24/7 over 50c, maybe 60c at unusually high load. My other components may get warmer, but I would try to preserve one of the most expensive parts on my build.

It comes down to opinion, people differ. Nothing works for everyone.

Capt. Obvious
By Fnoob on 2/29/2008 8:37:40 PM , Rating: 2
It is important to note that enough heat must be supplied to spin the fan blades. If the chipset isn’t hot enough, the entire system will not run.

If it isn't hot enough to run the fan, does it need a fan?

RE: Capt. Obvious
By Fnoob on 2/29/2008 8:43:42 PM , Rating: 3
Seriously, this is a very innovative (and cool) tech. I hope to see this type of thinking spread and evolve. Regenerative power / reclamation of otherwise lost power = good.

RE: Capt. Obvious
By spluurfg on 2/29/2008 8:46:38 PM , Rating: 2
Gosh, I could have run all my case fans off of my old Athlon T-bird...

RE: Capt. Obvious
By GaryJohnson on 2/29/2008 9:24:50 PM , Rating: 5
I use a Prescott to power the A/C fans for a 12,000 sq.ft. office building.

RE: Capt. Obvious
By OxBow on 3/1/2008 9:50:39 AM , Rating: 1
That's what I was thinking. This isn't new tech, just applying it to a different problem. I've seen Prescott Fans mounted on wood burning stoves for years. Same principle, somewhat different application.

RE: Capt. Obvious
By eye smite on 2/29/2008 8:59:19 PM , Rating: 4
Yeah this is very cool and the savings in electrical costs for a company with hundreds of workstations and servers would be significant.

By inighthawki on 3/1/2008 12:07:38 PM , Rating: 2
"As hot hair expands in the system"

should this be hot 'air'?

RE: typo?
By AmishElvis on 3/1/2008 12:44:07 PM , Rating: 3
doh! I don't have hair installed in my system. Will this cooler work for me? Can I get some hair at NewEgg? What color hair is compatible with a core 2 duo?

RE: typo?
By Hare on 3/1/2008 1:35:45 PM , Rating: 4
All colors work well but blond hair may give you problems with floating point operations ;)

RE: typo?
By Fnoob on 3/7/2008 11:16:33 AM , Rating: 2
as well as logic coprocessing and ANY sort of true multitasking. LMAO

This has been around for awhile
By vhx on 2/29/2008 9:04:02 PM , Rating: 3
My parents has a small fireplace and they have a fan on it that spins faster the hotter it gets. Mostly to disperse the heat around the room. They are actually kind of expensive.

Interesting they developed this for a computer application. Should be nice for those machines that need to be very power efficient.

By Captain Orgazmo on 3/1/2008 12:39:21 AM , Rating: 2
Those fireplace fans use the thermoelectric effect to power their electric motors. This is a different principle, involving a piston driving some gears to move the fan.

By phxfreddy on 2/29/2008 11:12:11 PM , Rating: 2
All well and good its easy to see where thermal energy might come from but where does it go? do they have a sink outside the box? You only get energy when there is a temperature DIFFERENTIAL

By xsilver on 2/29/2008 11:43:35 PM , Rating: 3
um -on die temp: 70c
ambient case temp: 30c

differential: ??? I'll tell you after I figure it out on my abacus.

The fan is trying to equalize the die temp with the ambient temp; but you have to remember that there is air being expelled from the rear of the case to keep reducing the ambient case temp.

By xsilver on 2/29/2008 8:15:42 PM , Rating: 2
This is good - I can see it now:
The damn RPM of the fan is too low

RE: overclock
By ImSpartacus on 2/29/2008 8:24:22 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think it would matter. If a decent portion of the thermal energy was actually used then it wouldn't need to cool at all. So I think it just maintains enough efficiency to operate the fan and adding more heat wouldn't really affect an engine of poor efficiency.

I have no idea, I'm just guessing. Someone correct me if you know more about this.

By freeagle on 3/3/2008 5:09:51 AM , Rating: 2
looks like a toilet to me

RE: ummm
By Fnoob on 3/7/2008 10:55:29 AM , Rating: 2
You would visualize sitting on a piston?

Problem with this is...
By dflynchimp on 3/1/2008 3:27:39 AM , Rating: 3 temperature within the case equalizes, which it is always trying to do, the fan will loose efficiency because the ambient temperature within the case rises as heat is dissipated. Unless the case itself is well ventilated the temperature required for the heatsink to run will only rise.

By ViperV990 on 2/29/2008 8:24:10 PM , Rating: 2
I like the idea a lot, although I wonder how well this thing will survive in the typical dusty environment that is the inside of a PC. Keeping the moving bits clean would be a pain...

Also, what about the cost?

By copiedright on 3/1/2008 5:45:47 AM , Rating: 2
Is this then passive cooling?

Think About It!

By deeznuts on 3/1/2008 6:40:29 PM , Rating: 2
I have no idea if this will work or not, but it is an interesting idea and it is possible it will be very useful one day.

Rewind 7-8 years for all you old-timers in here. Coolermaster introduces the first widely available HSF with heat pipes. Couldn't beat out top performing HSF's of the day. Some reviewers cut the pipes and the HSF still performs the same. Some naysayers declares Heatpipes an interesting concept but never practical will never work. Now heatpipes are ubiquitous in HSF designs once the correct design was implemented.

By lemonadesoda on 3/1/2008 11:59:12 PM , Rating: 2
I think that MSI has just pulled a publicity stunt.

Notice how the MSI stickers are directly over the fan, blocking any possible airflow from the radiator? There was never any intension of the fan to actually blow air through the radiator.

The "spinning fan" is just the *new* neon lights of 2-3 yrs ago. Doesnt actually do anything but look "cool" to some, and downright stupid to others. Pimp. Green pimp.

By 91TTZ on 3/3/2008 10:33:34 AM , Rating: 2
A stirling engine needs to be set in motion before it can start pumping cool air into the chamber. Once it begins pumping it's able to take advantage of the temperature differential between the hot chamber and the cooler intake air and it can run unassisted.

I don't see any wires. Of course you could set it in motion with your hand but I doubt you'd want to open your case every time you want this to work.

MSI vs Devil Partnership?
By dashrendar on 3/1/2008 10:09:03 AM , Rating: 1
Is the devil involved in coming up with this technology? If not, I'd be more interested in looking into it.

By mindless1 on 2/29/08, Rating: -1
RE: Nonsense
By JohnnyCNote on 2/29/2008 10:02:17 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, I sure am glad I read this! Here I was, admiring the idea of the device, and then the "midless1" sets me straight. Prior to that, I'd never have associated this CPU cooler with anything so disgusting as a manifestation of green ideology. The very thought is nauseating. Maybe we should alert Homeland Security.

Although I do have to question the inspiration behind the screen name "mindless1", because that very idea came to me while reading his blistering rebuke . . .

RE: Nonsense
By Alexstarfire on 2/29/2008 10:59:38 PM , Rating: 2
He could be right though, depending on how much it costs. I mean, even a cheapo fan is like a $1-2, I doubt this Stirling engine fan is going to be that cheap. Then it depends on how long you plan on keeping it.

RE: Nonsense
By JohnnyCNote on 3/1/2008 12:49:59 AM , Rating: 2
I mean, even a cheapo fan is like a $1-2, I doubt this Stirling engine fan is going to be that cheap

It may be more expensive now, but perhaps more economical means of producing it could be developed that would increase its value in these enironments. It's one of those "nothing ventured, nothing gained" things . . .

RE: Nonsense
By rudolphna on 3/1/08, Rating: 0
RE: Nonsense
By kmmatney on 3/1/2008 10:02:26 PM , Rating: 2
What kind of corporate environment is going to overclock their systems? If anything, you should have a passive heatsink on computers in a corporate environment.

RE: Nonsense
By mindless1 on 3/2/2008 1:10:17 AM , Rating: 1
Moron, the power difference was in an actively cooled fan versus this one, not the chipset.

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson

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