Testing a prototype pump-less AIO cooling solution

Mike Powers

Quiet cooling: Hardware enthusiast der8auer recently tested a prototype liquid cooling solution from a German company called Wieland. What’s unique about this AIO-style cooler is the fact that it doesn’t utilize a mechanical pump to circulate liquid through the system, and instead appears to leverage thermosyphon technology.

Eliminating the mechanical pump from the AIO cooling equation does have some benefits. It removes a potential failure point from the system, will lower the amount of maintenance required long-term, and reduces overall power consumption. It also gets rid of a noise source, which could be highly attractive for those that value a quiet PC.

The benefits of a pump-less AIO would be overshadowed if it’s not effective at actually cooling your CPU, however, so der8auer put it to the test.

der8auer compared the Wieland prototype to the closest comparable AIO system he had on hand – a Corsair 360mm AIO. The Wieland system utilizes a 240mm radiator, however, so he removed one of the three 120mm fans from the Corsair kit and taped off a section of the rad to simulate a 240mm radiator. It’s not a perfect apples to apples comparison, but it’ll have to do for now.

An AMD Ryzen 9 7950X CPU was used for testing, and to try and level the playing field as much as possible, the same fans were used on both setups. In summary, the Wieland prototype cooler was about eight degrees Celsius worse than the modified Corsair cooler, putting it in line with an average air cooler.

der8auer identified multiple points where the Wieland cooler could be improved. The cold plate is made entirely of aluminum, but a hybrid design that also utilizes copper might boost performance. Conversely, a mix of copper and aluminum would no doubt complicate manufacturing and drive up cost. A larger radiator might also boost cooling performance, as would remedying a sizable gap between the current radiator and fan mounting bracket.

It’s just a prototype for now but we’d like to see what Wieland could do with a future revision to further improve cooling performance.

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