100% passively cooled Intel i9-10900K and Nvidia RTX 3080 now possible with MonsterLabo's Beast case
Top-of-the-line desktop CPUs and GPUs these days come with such high power requirements, so completely silent ATX builds with passive cooling are not really a thing. You usually need to compromise for components that have limited TDPs, or opt for mini PCs with modest specs, but now, we have an impressive alternative from MonsterLabo that allows for 400 W of completely passive cooling. The Beast case is not particularly compact, as it comes in a mid-tower ATX form-factor, and it is not cheap either, but it can passively cool an overclocked Intel i9-10900K plus an Nvidia RTX 3080 (with a bit of undervolting and core clock tweaking) without a problem.
Half of MonsterLabo’s Beast case volume is occupied by heatsink fins and heatpipes. Optimum Tech tested the aforementioned CPU and GPU along with a Silverstone NJ700 fanless power supply and an Asus Maximus XII Hero motherboard with over-specced VRM to compensate for the lack of active airflow inside the case. Due to the size of the heatsinks, the installation of the motherboard is quite tricky, and the factory GPU cooling needs to be removed, as well, in order to mount the included heat spreader from EK. The side panels are made of tempered glass to allow for a clean and understated look.
As far as cooling performance is concerned, Optimum Tech notes that the 150 W rated CPU heatsink can handle the i9-10900K running at 4.5 GHz and 1.13 V on all 10 cores with a maximum temperature of around 89 °C, which is a decent overclock over the default 4.1-4.2 GHz at 125 W. On the other hand, the GPU heatsink is rated for 250 W, so not really close to the default 320 W required with the RTX 3080. In this case, Optimum Tech had to tweak voltages and core clocks. After tinkering a bit in MSI Afterburner, Optimum Tech came up with a profile that limits the power to 70%, downclocking the core frequency to 1710 MHz and setting the voltage to 743 mV. This reduces the default clocks by 150-200 MHz, but helps the GPU to hover at around 79 °C in full load, preventing power leakages beyond 80 °C.
The Beast case can also accommodate a couple of 140 mm fans spinning at 700 rpm on top to help exhaust the heat more efficiently. We are trading complete silence for sub-20 db noise in this scenario, but the temps and performance can be improved by quite a bit, especially for the GPU. With the low-RPM fans, the GPU core can be upped to 1875 MHz at 868 mV with 90% power limit and still maintain the sub 80 °C temps. The CPU temps are lowered by 10 °C so there is some extra room for overclocking. Optimum Tech points out that the GPU did not produce any audible coil whine noises, but the power supply did emit some high pitched signals that can be sensed by certain persons.
Pricing is quite spicy at €790, but MonsterLabo is at least offering all the accessories, and compared to those water coolers that can barely achieve these noise levels, the cost seems fair enough.