Zalman TNN-300 Fanless PC Enclosure System

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February 27, 2006 by Mike Chin with Devon Cooke

Zalman TNN-300
Compact Fanless Computer Enclosure System
Street Price

Zalman introduced the first Totally No Noise system, the TNN-500, in 2003 to a great deal of excitement in the silent computing community. There were other fanless, passively cooled systems such as the Hush, Niveus Media, Mappit, Tranquil PC and others, but these were complete computers with little or no user-adjustable hardware, often difficult to upgrade seriously. The TNN-500 was the first DIY-oriented offering of its kind, meant for use with any standard desktop components. The completely fanless case, power supply and heatpipe-based cooling system was massive, heavy, and very expensive, well over US$1,000 initially.

Regardless of the original TNN-500's commercial success, its introduction had a galvanizing effect for Zalman. Their innovative and quirky heatsinks had already made some inroads in the industry; the TNN-500 catapulted the Zalman name to center stage. It's difficult to estimate the volume of sales Zalman has achieved with the TNN series; as a show piece, it seems to have been a success.

The TNN cases are used by a few commercial system integrators in extremely quiet complete systems. We recently reviewed the EndPCNoise Fanless Ultra Powerhouse System based on the TNN-500AF. Our assessment of the case, its integrated power supply and its cooling system was that it keeps the components amazingly cool despite being completely fanless. Voodoo PC offers the Eden series which are TNN-500A based systems, and a smaller Epic system based on the TNN-300. We reviewed a TNN-500A case used in the VoodooPC Rage F-50 system a couple years ago. Our main issue was the noisy hard drives chosen for the system, and the absence of any hard drive noise or vibration damping system.

The smaller TNN-300 only takes a micro-ATX motherboard, and is much smaller and lighter than the TNN-500. It was first shown in March 2005 at the CeBIT expo. The basic concept is simple: Reduce the size of the case to gain broader consumer acceptance, and accept the compromise of compatibility with only micro-ATX or smaller motherboards. The case integrates cooling heatpipe systems for the CPU and the graphics card, an iMon remote control system, and a fanless high efficiency 350W power supply. There is even an optional dual-channel 25W/ch digital audio amplifier to enhance its home theater functionality. All in all, it's a pretty complete package. Combined with the substantial drop in price from around $1,200 for the TNN-500AF to ~$700 or less, the TNN-300 should find much wider consumer acceptance. It has been available for a few months through Zalman resellers.

TNN-300: The entire case is essentially a heatsink; consider it an exoskeleton.
Note IR receptor port in the middle of the front panel, and USB / memory card ports on the right side near the top. The raised portion of the front panel is the outermost heatsink for the graphics card cooling system.


Zalman TNN-300 Features & Specifications
(extracted from the Zalman web site)
Case with fanless CPU / GPU cooling system and fanless power supply for micro-ATX motherboard. Bays for one optical drive and two internal 3.5" hard drive.


330(L) x 230(W) x 470(H) mm
14.74 kg
CPU Cooling
Utilizes massive copper blocks and six 6mm diameter copper heatpipes to transfer up to 150W of heat. Sockets K8, 775 and 478 are supported. Recommended for use with P4-478 up to 2.8C (Northwood), all Pentium M (479) models, A64-939 up to 3500+ (Winchester/Venice), and Sempron 754 up to 3300+ (Palermo).
GPU Cooling
Utilizes copper blocks and three 6mm diameter heatpipes to transfer up to 75W of heat. ATI models up to Radeon X700Pro and nVidia models up GF6600 are recommended.
Large aluminum heatsink plates silently cool heat generating components, such as the CPU, VGA Chipset, and PSU through natural convection. Free of the need for mechanical maintenance, and 100% recyclable.
VRM Cooling
Thermal Blocks rear-mounted behind the motherboard, can lower the Voltage Regulators' temperature by 10 to 30°C and the Northbridge chipset by 5 to 10°C (41 to 50°F).
Rotating Base

Circular rotating base prevents case slipping due to vibration

Multifunction multimedia remote control system
Power on/off feature on the remote control makes using your computer even more convenient. The multimedia center lets you enjoy the music / movies / photos on your hard disk, DVD / audio CD / MP3 / video CD in your optical drive, internet radio, analog TV card, digital camera, and digital camcorder all in one place.
Fanless, high efficiency 350W power supply
Heat from the power supply is transferred directly to the high-capacity heatsink plates, where it is dissipated by natural convection, making the power supply free of noise and vibration. High-efficiency FET components and Heat Source Contact (HSC) technology eliminate the need for a fan, achieves 80% power conversion efficiency.
Card reader
USB2.0 port and flash memory reader supporting 21 types of cards.
Antitheft Lock
Side-door design with latch.
Digital AMP (Optional)
1. Pop-noise removal circuit
2. Zero white / power noise
3. Auto power conservation mode (activates after 3 minutes of idle input)
4. Output level adjustable with jumpers (0db / 3dB level)
5. High quality connectors (ALPS) & high-brightness LEDs (REDx1, Bluex2)

Zalman TNN350APF-V1 Power Supply Specifications

AC Input

100~240 VAC °10% / 50~60 Hz

AC Input Current

8A @ 115VAC / 4A @ 230VAC
75% Min. @ 230VAC (Full Load)
Protection Features
Over Temperature, Over Voltage, Over Current, Under Voltage, Short Circuit
FCC Part 15 Class 'B', CISPR22

DC Output







Voltage Regulation

DC Output Ripple & Noise







Minimum Output Current







Maximum Output Current







Maximum Combined




1. Complete features and specifications on all the components are available at Zalman's TNN-300 web pages.
2. Listings of compatible and incompatible motherboards and VGA cards are provided on this page.

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