A German start-up says that it has invented the world's smallest high-end desktop PC, which uses a block of exposed copper foam at the top of the unit in place of regular PC cooling fans and an air vent.

According to Silent Power, the intricate copper mesh is able to dissipate heat channelled from the computer's central processing unit (CPU) and graphics processing unit (GPU) up to 500 times more effectively than a traditional fan-cooled heat sink.

Copper is able to conduct heat better than any other industrial metal. By spreading the heat over a large surface area, the air in the mesh heats up, expands and automatically moves out of the mesh, creating a natural circulation cycle that does not require a fan to sustain it.

The company also claims that unlike standard desktop PCs, dust cannot reach the inner part of the mesh because there is no fan, so dust is not being sucked into the computer.

Along with a Windows 8.1operating system, the Silent Power PC will come with an Intel quad-core i7-4785T 2.2 GHz processor, a choice of either 8GB or 16 GB of RAM, as well as USB, Wi-Fi, Ethernet, HDMI, DVI and audio ports.

The specs make it sound like any ordinary desktop computer, except that it's quite small, measuring just 160mm wide, 100mm deep and 70mm tall, and weighing just 1.5kg.

The firm is trying to raise €45,000 (£35,858) in crowd-funding in order to be able to start producing the Silent Power PC and so it is offering pre-orders on its website, and has so far raised €33,242 of the amount it needs.

Users who donate at least €699 will receive a Silent Power PC with 8GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive. Those who donate €769 will get a PC with 16GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive, while people who donate €1,159 will be rewarded with a PC with 26GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive.