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Stock CPU coolers

QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,622
Anandtech has an interesting article comparing a bunch of stock coolers:


AMD claimed that their new Wraith cooler is a lot better than traditional stock CPU coolers.  AnandTech's testing bears that out, finding it a little worse than the popular Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO.  That's not going to replace $80 coolers, but it's massively better than the other stock coolers they tested.  The Intel cooler that fared well was a $30 aftermarket cooler, not a stock one.  Intel did ship a good stock cooler with their CPUs once (Gulftown, maybe?), but that wasn't tested.

The AMD cooler that fares much worse than all of the other stock coolers was only shipped with Kabini, which topped out at something like 18 W or 25 W.  It was never intended to handle even a 65 W load, let alone 150 W.

That means that AMD's Wraith cooler does provide a good value-add, if it spares you from having to buy your own $30 aftermarket cooler.  For example, if you were looking at an FX-6350, the Wraith version on New Egg right now costs only $5 more than the other stock cooler.  Even the FX-6350 with a Wraith cooler is $30 more than an FX-6300 with a much weaker cooler.  If that's the market segment you're looking at, getting the Wraith cooler looks good.

The problem with that is that you're stuck with an FX-6350 (or FX-8370 or A10-7890K or whatever), which isn't at all competitive with Intel on the CPU side of things--which is, after all, the point of buying a CPU.  Still, Zen is coming, and should at minimum make AMD more competitive than they are now.


  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,140
    I saw this article over on Anand as well. With regard to being competitive with the CPU side of things, in all fairness, either...

    Your budget is such that you were looking at AMD anyway,
    Your budget is so tight that $30 swings it one way or the other,

    ... then AMD and Wraith are a good match and it makes a whole lot of sense.

    I do agree, it's nice having a decent cooler come with your CPU, especially when it's that cheap. The EVO 212 is my go-to aftermarket heat sink, it cools well enough to allow moderate overclocks in most installations, and Wraith is essentially the same performance.
  • centkincentkin Member RarePosts: 1,527
    No CPU should be sold with a cooler that is insufficient to cool the CPU under load.
  • H0urg1assH0urg1ass Member EpicPosts: 2,380
    As you point out in your last paragraph, it still means you have to buy an AMD processor to get a decent stock cooler.  Not exactly a selling point in my book.  I really really wish that AMD was even close to competitive with intel, but they're off by miles.

    I went with the H100i cooler this last pagan winter festival and I got it at something like half price.  It's a beast that's got my 4670k sitting at a comfortable 32C unloaded / 70C prime95 with a 4.6 OC.  It's not massive, but it works great for my purposes.
  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,140
    centkin said:
    No CPU should be sold with a cooler that is insufficient to cool the CPU under load.
    Well the crappy Intel ones do... barely... at ideal conditions.
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,622
    centkin said:
    No CPU should be sold with a cooler that is insufficient to cool the CPU under load.
    Stock coolers are generally sufficient to keep the CPU from overheating at stock speeds, provided that they're in a case with appropriate airflow and don't get too dusty.  "Not overheat" is quite a distance away from "good temperatures", and they can get noisy, too.  But they do the minimum job of letting the CPU perform the way it is supposed to at stock speeds.

    If you want to overclock at all, most stock coolers are out of the question.  If you were hoping for your CPU to run at 50 C at heavy loads rather than 80 C at stock speeds, most stock coolers aren't going to get that done for you.  And if you were hoping for adequate cooling that didn't make a bunch of noise, stock coolers will be hit and miss.

    A $30 aftermarket cooler will let you have a modest overclock with decent temperatures and without making a ton of noise.  Or you can leave it at stock speeds and get pretty good temperatures without much noise.  It looks like AMD's Wraith cooler will let you do that, too, and without having to pay the extra $30.  It looks like they might charge an extra $5 or so for it, but that sure beats $30 if that was the level of cooling you were going for.

    Like $30 aftermarket coolers, AMD's wraith cooler isn't appropriate to more extreme overclocking.  It's not going to make your Corsair H100i obsolete.  But that's not the segment that AMD was going for.  Wraith is supposed to be a decent cooler for cheap, not a terrible cooler for cheap or a great cooler that is expensive.
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