Question Looking for the right cooler for my Ryzen 3900X

Feb 15, 2021
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Hi, I've been using my CPU for about 10 months now using the Wraith Prism stock cooler. The performance is fine, but the cooler started to make weird noises sometimes for the past month or so. Also my temperatures under low load range between 50-55C, while under stress test 80-85C. Considering those two factors I've decided to replace my cooler and would like some help to find my way in the dense forest of CPU coolers.
By the way I haven't overclocked the CPU thus far and usually reach between 4000-4100Mhz under 100% CPU load using Blender rendering.

I was looking to spend between 70-80 dollars. 120 dollars would be my pain threshold and I would expect a big difference in temperature.
RGB is irrelevant to me.

The coolers I've looked at so far are the Arctic Liquid Freezer II series which seems to be king in terms of value. However the versions with 140mm fans are all sold out in my country and I'd have to wait a month to get them, while the 120mm versions are all available. As far as I understand I can reach roughly the same performance with an Arctic Liquid Freezer II 360 as with the 420 version (at the same price) but the 360's going to be louder?
The Be Quiet! Rock Pro 4 also fell under consideration. There my worry is that the difference isn't going to be big compared to the Wraith Prism, leaving not much headroom for overclocking and mainly just improving the noise level to performance ratio.

I'm of course open to other model recommendations.

If I would go for an out of stock cooler (the worst years to buy PC hardware, isn't it boys...) I've thought about thoroughly cleaning my Wraith Prism to keep those insulting temperatures at least somewhat at bay for the time being. Do you have any experience with how many degrees of a difference that would make?
 
Well the bigger the AIO the less it has to work to keep your cpu cool, so unless you are running all 3 fans on 100%, there is no way it can produce more noise than other size's of it.
Dont get the 120mm AIO for 3900X, 3900X is to strong for that.
I have nothing against a big air cooler, but you might run into some clearance issues, since it is a really big cooler.
What case do you have?
 

Phaaze88

Polypheme
Ambassador
There my worry is that the difference isn't going to be big compared to the Wraith Prism, leaving not much headroom for overclocking and mainly just improving the noise level to performance ratio.
Ryzen 3000 and up, GTX/RTX 10 series and up, RX 5000 and up, Intel 10th gen i9s(only up to 70C):
All of these have a feature which is influenced by thermals; they automatically pursue higher frequencies(thus more performance) on their own if the user provides better cooling.
Overclocking is losing face against these temperature sensitive boost algorithms.
Because they pursue higher performance on their own, you may not see a significant drop in thermals, because you gave it more headroom to work with. But that's fine, yeah?


Since you prefer to spend ~75USD, stick with air coolers. For a hybrid cooler to really beat down an air cooler(~75), it'd have to be a 280mm or larger, but then we're easily hitting your pain threshold or higher.
The high end air coolers trade blows with 240mm.
Here's a short list of some of the better air coolers out there. Whether they're available to you or not, what with the shortages and all....[Make sure a particular model fits your chassis!]
Noctua NH-D15/D15S
be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4
Scythe FUMA 2
Thermalright ARO-M14G
Deepcool Assassin 3
Cryorig R1 Universal
 
Feb 15, 2021
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Well the bigger the AIO the less it has to work to keep your cpu cool, so unless you are running all 3 fans on 100%, there is no way it can produce more noise than other size's of it.
Dont get the 120mm AIO for 3900X, 3900X is to strong for that.
I have nothing against a big air cooler, but you might run into some clearance issues, since it is a really big cooler.
What case do you have?
I have the Corsair Carbide 400C. It has fan mount spots for 140mm fans on front and top. A 3x cooler config would only fit as intake. However, just had another look at it, since I'm getting a 3080 TUF it's probably going to be impossible to fit an AIO as an intake. Which only leaves the top for exhaust with a 2 fan config..


Ryzen 3000 and up, GTX/RTX 10 series and up, RX 5000 and up, Intel 10th gen i9s(only up to 70C):
All of these have a feature which is influenced by thermals; they automatically pursue higher frequencies(thus more performance) on their own if the user provides better cooling.
Overclocking is losing face against these temperature sensitive boost algorithms.
Because they pursue higher performance on their own, you may not see a significant drop in thermals, because you gave it more headroom to work with. But that's fine, yeah?


Since you prefer to spend ~75USD, stick with air coolers. For a hybrid cooler to really beat down an air cooler(~75), it'd have to be a 280mm or larger, but then we're easily hitting your pain threshold or higher.
The high end air coolers trade blows with 240mm.
Here's a short list of some of the better air coolers out there. Whether they're available to you or not, what with the shortages and all....[Make sure a particular model fits your chassis!]
Noctua NH-D15/D15S
be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4
Scythe FUMA 2
Thermalright ARO-M14G
Deepcool Assassin 3
Cryorig R1 Universal
Thank you for your suggestions. So are you saying there would be little to no performance increase by spending 30-40 bucks more on something like an Arctic Liquid Freezer II 280? At the end of the day I'm looking for the most bang for my buck and won't change the cooler for the next 2-4 years (hoping they're compatible with future Ryzen generations). Meaning it's more important to me that I have a proper performance increase compared to the Wraith Prism, rather than saving 40 bucks. Unless of course (if that's what you're saying) the difference between air cooled and AIO at this price range isn't worth talking about.
 
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Phaaze88

Polypheme
Ambassador
So are you saying there would be little to no performance increase by spending 30-40 bucks more on something like an Arctic Liquid Freezer II 280?
It'll boost a little higher because of the extra cooling headroom...
You know what? Here's a Gamers' Nexus video covering the LF II 280 - though they are using a 3950X instead of a 3900X[The former is a higher binned cpu, and actually runs cooler per core.]
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPaSEGe6ML0


On the downside, hybrid coolers aren't known for their longevity. It's one of the things people are willing to pay for with hybrid coolers. I'm not saying they can't last longer than 5 years - it's less common - but some performance loss is inevitable with them:
-pump dies.
-fluid loss, by way of permeation through the tubing, over time.
-even if the pump doesn't die early, biocides and corrosion inhibitors in the glycol mixture do expire eventually, leading to corrosion and clogs.
 

BogdanH

Prominent
Sep 21, 2020
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My experience with CPU coolers...
I used stock cooler on Ryzen 3700X (I know much cooler CPU than 3900X). I'm just mentioning that to say: stock cooler isn't really "that bad". Is a cheap solution to run CPU at default settings and loud at that.

Almost every cooler above $40 is better than stock. I tried beQuiet Dark Rock Slim and Scythe Mugen 5 rev.B cooler and both performed similar (very good, that is).

Then I switched to 5900X and used Scythe rev.B a while. It was ok with CPU at stock settings. But in summer my room temperature can increase for about 3-4°C and to be able to OC a little, I decided for Scythe Fuma 2. And I'm happy with my decision.. hard to get better cooler at that price, in my opinion.
Ok, bigger cooler usually give more headroom for overclocking, but price differences get steep. I mean, I'm not ready to pay double to lower temp by (maybe) 3-5°C -because it also depends on PC case airflow.
To summarize, I can really recommend Scythe Fuma 2. But if overclocking is quite important for you, you should look at bigger cooler.

Just sharing my experience
 
Feb 15, 2021
12
0
10
0
My experience with CPU coolers...
I used stock cooler on Ryzen 3700X (I know much cooler CPU than 3900X). I'm just mentioning that to say: stock cooler isn't really "that bad". Is a cheap solution to run CPU at default settings and loud at that.

Almost every cooler above $40 is better than stock. I tried beQuiet Dark Rock Slim and Scythe Mugen 5 rev.B cooler and both performed similar (very good, that is).

Then I switched to 5900X and used Scythe rev.B a while. It was ok with CPU at stock settings. But in summer my room temperature can increase for about 3-4°C and to be able to OC a little, I decided for Scythe Fuma 2. And I'm happy with my decision.. hard to get better cooler at that price, in my opinion.
Ok, bigger cooler usually give more headroom for overclocking, but price differences get steep. I mean, I'm not ready to pay double to lower temp by (maybe) 3-5°C -because it also depends on PC case airflow.
To summarize, I can really recommend Scythe Fuma 2. But if overclocking is quite important for you, you should look at bigger cooler.

Just sharing my experience
Thank you, I ended up buying your recommendation. As you say the temps don't get way better by spending 40 bucks more and I'm not looking to overclock my CPU to the max, as this usually shortens the life span.
Right now I'm getting up to 90C while rendering in Blender and the CPU stays at 3900Mhz, so I'm sure there's quite a lot of thermal throttling going on even without overclock. Looking at Gamers Nexus benchmark he reaches max temperatures of 55C with the Fuma 2, which would be a huge improvement. I don't quite understand if the CPU will still heat up beyond that while simultaneously improve performance/speed. Or if that will only happen through overclocking. I'll test it tomorrow with the new cooler.
 

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