Question Wraith Prism Cooler works intermittently

Apr 12, 2022
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Hi everyone. I was asked to perform maintenance on a radio station PC used for streaming video. The PC is a Ryzen 3700x (warith prism cooler) on a Gigabyte Aorus A520 Elite motherboard.
They called me because their software (they mainly use Vmix) started to run a bit slow one day.

I told the radio operator to check the temps using hwmonitor and CPU temps were around mid 80s celsius. Since I considered it was a bit high, I recommended some maintenance (dust cleanup + new thermal paste) to rule out thermal throttling.

I went to their place, opened the case lid, blew some canned air, removed the cooler, replaced thermal paste (arctic mx-4) and assembled everything back on.

The next day the operator told me the temps were reaching high 80s and even mid 90s at times, which means the issue was even worse. We then realized that the CPU cooler fan was working intermittently (on 1 sec, off 1 sec, on 1 sec, off 1 sec and so on) under high loads (aka using the streaming software). Seemed weird to me, so I entered the BIOS, disabled the default fan curve and created a custom one, prioritizing cooling over noise and RPMs.

After that, I ran a stress test on 100% load with AIDA64 for 20+ minutes and it worked perfectly. Fans never stopped working and it never went above 69° celsius.

I thought the problem was solved, then headed back home and when they used it for a couple hours with their usual software it started to do the same again, this time reaching up to a 100+ degrees. Everything is fine, then it starts reaching high temps and the next thing you see is that the fan is working intermittently again, which drives the temperature up. I told them to open the case lid to let it cool and if possible stop using the PC inmediately.

It's driving me crazy, don't know how to fix it and they already payed me. I tried not to charge them until it was fixed but they insisted :(
 
If the wraith prism air cooler is faulty and the fan is coming on intermittently then I recommend you replace it with an AIO water cooler.

The wraith prism cooler is inadequate for all but basic tasks with a 3700X when under load for extended periods and especially if Overclocked to any degree.

ofc Case throughput also makes a difference so list the Case? to determine best water cooling solution.

I recommend a H115i or equivalent as a min if it fits the Case. (Top Mounted)
If your familiar with Overclocking, there a a few things you can do to reduce temps when under load. Should reduce temps to around 75C depending on ambient temp.

1: Go into Bios and disable core boost then apply an all core overclock to 4.5-4.7GHz and 1.4V core voltage.
2: Adjust Bios fan curve to come in sooner when using a demanding application.
3: Tress test again with AIDA64 (excellent product btw)
4: Re apply MX4 or thermal grizzly kryonaut sparingly. Just enough to fill the tiniest of voids.
 
Apr 12, 2022
2
0
10
0
If the wraith prism air cooler is faulty and the fan is coming on intermittently then I recommend you replace it with an AIO water cooler.

The wraith prism cooler is inadequate for all but basic tasks with a 3700X when under load for extended periods and especially if Overclocked to any degree.

ofc Case throughput also makes a difference so list the Case? to determine best water cooling solution.

I recommend a H115i or equivalent as a min if it fits the Case. (Top Mounted)
If your familiar with Overclocking, there a a few things you can do to reduce temps when under load. Should reduce temps to around 75C depending on ambient temp.

1: Go into Bios and disable core boost then apply an all core overclock to 4.5-4.7GHz and 1.4V core voltage.
2: Adjust Bios fan curve to come in sooner when using a demanding application.
3: Tress test again with AIDA64 (excellent product btw)
4: Re apply MX4 or thermal grizzly kryonaut.
Yeah the thing is that before I recommend a water cooling solution I should be 100% sure that it would solve the problem, since it's for a client and not me. The weirdest thing regarding your 2nd advice is that the BIOS fan curve is being sometimes ignored and doesn't behave the way it should for some reason I don't understand.
 
Yeah the thing is that before I recommend a water cooling solution I should be 100% sure that it would solve the problem, since it's for a client and not me. The weirdest thing regarding your 2nd advice is that the BIOS fan curve is being sometimes ignored and doesn't behave the way it should for some reason I don't understand.
I understand the client issue and the only thing is the Case they use? to be 100% sure.

The solution is still to get rid of that wraith prism and go AIO.

Bios fan curve should not be an issue if Bios is working correctly. You may have to update Bios and chipset as a possible fix.
 
Last edited:

Tigerhawk30

Honorable
Dec 16, 2015
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I've run a Prism as a stopgap solution for a 3950X for a few months a couple of years ago on a B450 Tomahawk board, and that was also while running Folding @ Home nearly continuously. I have the screenshots for temps to prove it. A Prism, therefore, should have little problem handling a 3700X.

IMO, an AIO is overkill for a 3700X. My two solutions after the Prism (with continual upgrades) were an Arctic eSportsDuo then a Noctua NH-D15. Both also handled the 3950X pretty well. Never saw the need to use an AIO on the 3950X. Of course, case flow is a legitimate factor in all of this (which I'm sure you know quite well)

Is there a BIOS fan force that you can use to make the Prism spin continuously? I built my wife an upgrade with an ASRock B550 board that had that option, and I used it in the interim until I found that I hadn't properly secured the Prism in that machine...once I bolted it down properly, it worked just fine and the maximum force was no longer needed. If not, and if airflow isn't a concern, I could also suggest either one of the above fan solutions, but the Arctic may work for cheaper. Otherwise, Prisms are still going for ~$45 or so.

Hope this helps!
 

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