There’s only one solution truly deserving of the silent gaming PC moniker: fanless. However, you need to be extremely wary of overstretching your passive cooling with high-end components, or risk running them ragged with excess heat. Well, that is, unless you buy yourself “The Heart”, a passive cooler capable of keeping up to 275W cool.
That’s enough to keep both an Intel Core i7 8700K and a Nvidia GTX 1080 frosty… or relatively cool and in working order at least. With two copper contact plates, each with independent heat pipes (twelve in total; six per component) distributed through the all-encompassing heat sink, The Heart (via HardwareLuxx) is able to fit to both your GPU and CPU, and keep them cool, all at once.
The only setback is how darn large the cooler is. Manufacturer MonsterLabo does not recommend this cooler for “standard cases” due to its sheer size, and it also weighs a spectacular 3KG, so best make sure your motherboard PCB is up to the task of distributing all that weight and keeping it firmly in place, too. Most of the best motherboards should be up to the task, however.
The Heart cooler was originally sold as a part of “The First” case, a small form-factor PC case fitted with whopping cooling for passive, silent PC operation. It’s innards are now up for grabs as discrete units via the MonsterLabo online store, with The Heart air cooler coming in at €180 – equivalent to high-end all-in-one liquid cooler.
Other well-known passive coolers include those from Nofan, such as the Copper Icepipe or CR-95C, or the bizarre and beautiful Frostbit NVMe cooler from Cryorig.