AMD’s Wraith CPU cooler reviewed

If the results of our last hardware survey are any indication, most TR readers toss the CPU coolers Intel and AMD include with their processors in favor of aftermarket replacements. I’m no different. My parts shelf is rife with stock coolers whose only saving grace is their usefulness as a frame of reference for our aftermarket heatsink reviews.

As anybody with ears can tell you, stock heatsinks often don’t sound that great under load, and they usually turn in thermal performance that’s best described as “good enough.” Even affordable third-party coolers offer a big step up in cooling and acoustic performance.

AMD is acutely aware of this problem. Going by this comparison video, the company’s last-gen stock cooler for many of its CPUs is sorely lacking in the acoustics department. The Wraith cooler, introduced at CES, is meant to change that.

At first glance, the Wraith easily takes the title of the nicest stock cooler I’ve seen. This heatsink has four copper heat pipes that wind through a fairly dense fin array. A hefty copper base plate serves as the go-between for these heat pipes and the processor’s heat spreader.

The Wraith’s shroud is gussied up with an LED-backlit AMD logo that’s invisible when the cooler is off. This looks neat, and it’s pretty fancy for a boxed heatsink. Problem is, unless you have a case with a big window and you’re looking at the cooler at just the right angle, this logo will be quite difficult to see in use. It does look nice on our test bench, though.

Taking the Wraith apart reveals a Delta Electronics QFR0912H 92-mm fan. AMD uses four foam isolators on the fan frame that might provide a bit of extra vibration reduction while the fan is spinning. The power connector for the LED logo is integrated into the four-pin fan plug.

AMD billed the Wraith as a constant-fan-speed cooler at CES, but the included fan doesn’t seem to come with any special sauce to enforce that restriction. The Gigabyte GA-990FX-Gaming motherboard that AMD sent me to test the Wraith with didn’t have any trouble treating the fan as a regular PWM spinner with a range of controllable speeds.

Since it’s a boxed CPU cooler, the Wraith can’t be purchased on the open market. Instead, AMD will include this cooler exclusively with its FX-8370 CPU right now. This $200 chip offers eight Piledriver cores (or four modules, if you prefer) running at 4GHz base and 4.3GHz turbo speeds, all wrapped up in a 125W TDP. The FX-8370 seems like it’ll be a worthy challenge for this heatsink.

Installing the Wraith on a Socket AM3+ board is about as simple as it gets, so we’re not going to devote an entire section to the mounting process for this review. Snap the Wraith’s two metal clips over the motherboard’s plastic mounting points, push a lever to the left, and that’s it. We don’t even have to apply thermal compound, since AMD includes a pat of it on the base of the Wraith. Now that the cooler is mounted on our CPU, let’s see how the Wraith performs.

Our testing methods

Here’s the full configuration of our test system:

Processor AMD FX-8370
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-990FX-Gaming
Memory 8GB AMD Memory DDR3-1600 (2x4GB)
Graphics card Asus Strix Radeon R9 Fury
Storage Kingston HyperX 120GB SSD
Power supply Cooler Master V550
OS Windows 10 Pro

Our CPU cooler testing regimen is as follows:

  • 10 minutes idling at the Windows 10 desktop
  • 20 minutes of the Prime95 Small FFTs CPU torture test
  • 10 minutes idling at the Windows 10 desktop

Our thanks to AMD for providing us with the FX-8370 CPU, the Gigabyte GA-990FX-Gaming motherboard, the Wraith cooler, and the memory for our test system today. Thanks to Kingston, Asus, and Cooler Master for their contributions to our test rig, as well.

Our test data is logged using AIDA64 Engineer. To rule out a given case’s cooling performance as a factor, we ran our tests on an open bench. The ambient temperature in our testing environment was about 70° F. Noise measurements were performed 6″ directly above each cooler using an iPhone 6S Plus running the Faber Acoustical SoundMeter application. The CPU cooler and power supply fan were the only noise sources present in the testing environment.

As a point of comparison for the Wraith, I brought out Cooler Master’s Hyper D92. This $45 cooler is a TR Recommended winner that we suggest as a step up from stock coolers in our System Guide, so it seems like the perfect foil for the Wraith. Since the Hyper D92 doesn’t have thermal paste pre-applied, I used a generic thermal compound that’s representative of what one might get with the average aftermarket heatsink.

For reasons we’ll discuss in our noise testing section, I had to set up a custom fan curve for the Wraith in Gigabyte’s Windows utility for the GA-990FX-Gaming. To do so, I played with a series of load speeds to balance thermal performance against noise and temperatures. Eventually, I settled on a curve that let the Wraith idle at its 700-ish RPM minimum speed and ramp up to about 1400 RPM under load. Any faster, and the fan began to sound coarse to my ear.

Both coolers were tested with a single Corsair 120-mm fan directed at our motherboard’s VRM heatsinks, because, well, this happened without it under load:

The system was perfectly stable without active cooling on the power-delivery components of the motherboard, but I didn’t want to risk toasting anything. That fan was controlled by one of the 990FX-Gaming’s onboard fan headers.

If you have questions or comments about our testing methods, be sure to leave a comment on this review or post a question in our forums.

 

Cooling performance

Here are the results of our cooling performance tests, plotted over time:

And here are the minimum and maximum numbers from each of our testing phases:

Something about our test rig causes it to report CPU idle temperatures below the ambient conditions of our testing environment. Since the Wraith isn’t a Peltier cooler, that seems unlikely. I don’t have a spare Socket AM3+ motherboard to cross-check against our Gigabyte mobo, so feel free to ignore our idle temperature numbers and just concentrate on the load figures.

Even with the rather restrictive custom fan curve I created, the Wraith delivers impressive cooling results atop a stock-clocked FX-8370. The processor’s load temps topped out at 69° C under our grueling Prime95 Small FFTs load. To get there, the Wraith only had to spin its fan at a reported 1321 RPM, less than half of its roughly 3000-RPM rated maximum. Using a similar fan curve, the Hyper D92 shaved only three degrees C off the Wraith’s load number. Not bad for a stock heatsink cooling a 125W CPU.

For those willing to tolerate more noise, the Wraith’s fan still has plenty of room to stretch its legs if those temperatures are worrisome. It might even be possible to eke a mild overclock out of the FX-8370 with the Wraith if noise levels aren’t a concern. The Hyper D92 has even more headroom still, considering it’s a larger tower-style cooler with dual fans. It’s worth remembering that the Cooler Master heatsink is a $45 extra, though, while builders will get the Wraith in the box with the FX-8370.

Noise levels

Here are the minimum and maximum noise levels I measured during each phase of our testing:

For a stock cooler, the Wraith sounds pretty darn good. At its minimum fan speed, the cooler produces just 30 dBA, while its load noise level rises to 35 dBA on our test bench. The Hyper D92’s 32-dBA idle figure is slightly worse than the Wraith’s, but it doesn’t have to spin its fans up when the CPU is stressed. I didn’t hear a noticeable difference in the Hyper D92’s fan noise at idle and under load, and that’s borne out by our noise measurements.

If we throw concerns about noise to the wind, the Wraith produces about 52 dBA when set to 100% speed, while the Hyper D92 tops out at about 58 dBA. Neither of these coolers sound great if they’re running all-out, but that should never happen when either of these heatsinks are cooling a stock-clocked CPU.

Decibels alone don’t tell the whole story here. The Wraith’s fan has a ticking character that gets worse as its speed increases. That character is only mildly evident at the speeds I chose for our testing, and I expect it’d be less audible inside a case. The ticking fades at idle, and in my test setup, the Wraith can’t even be heard over the fan on my Cooler Master V550 power supply. Under optimal conditions, the Wraith lives up to its billing as one of the quieter components in a system.

 I say “optimal conditions” because the Gigabyte GA-990FX-Gaming motherboard I tested the Wraith with doesn’t have great fan controls. Compared to the other AMD motherboard I have in my lab, Asus’ Crossblade Ranger, the 990FX-Gaming’s firmware fan controls are downright archaic. By default, this board is happy to run the Wraith faster than necessary, making for a noisy system out of the box. What’s worse, the board oscillates the CPU fan’s speed at idle for no apparent reason, leading to a “mooing” noise from the heatsink that’s both noticeable and unpleasant. Messing with the few fan settings in the board’s firmware didn’t change that performance much.

 The 990FX-Gaming’s Windows software isn’t much better. The utility forgets to apply any custom fan curves set up in the software after every reboot and even after every sleep-wake cycle. Re-applying those curves isn’t easy, either. Every single time I wanted to re-activate that custom curve in Gigabyte’s software, I had to make a tiny adjustment to it before the “Apply” button became clickable again. That experience is worse than should be expected for a $140 motherboard paired with a $200 CPU.

 None of these issues are the fault of the Wraith, but they do go to show that the CPU cooler is only one of a series of moving parts that have to come together to deliver an ideal experience. The 990FX-Gaming is one of AMD’s poster children for a group of updated Socket AM3+ boards that come with modern features like M.2 slots and USB 3.1 Type-C ports, but I wish some of that initiative had gone into improving the board’s fan controls and software. Similarly updated mobos from other manufacturers may perform better in the firmware fan control department, but it’s hard to say without getting our hands on a few. In any case, builders should expect to spend some time in their motherboards’ fan controls to get the Wraith running just right.

 

Conclusions

AMD’s Wraith cooler is a surprisingly solid new take on the stock heatsink formula. If you’re building with an FX-8370 CPU and don’t intend to overclock, the Wraith is adept at keeping the processor cool while staying whisper-quiet. In fact, it can deliver performance that’s not far off Cooler Master’s $45 Hyper D92. Not bad for something that comes free in the box. The Wraith is super-easy to install, too.

The Wraith was let down at first by the Gigabyte 990FX-Gaming motherboard I used in my testing. Compared to modern motherboards from other manufacturers, the 990FX-Gaming’s firmware fan controls are primitive, and its default fan control settings make the Wraith sound pretty bad. Even after I set up a custom fan speed curve in Gigabyte’s Windows software, that utility needed far too much attention to keep that curve active. While other motherboards might be better off in the fan control department, builders may still have to do some fan-curve setup with them to bring out the Wraith’s best side. To be fair, that’s true of any heatsink. 

When everything is running smoothly, though, the Wraith is probably the best boxed cooler around, and I would have no qualms about using it in a stock-clocked FX-8370 build. I just hope the company sees fit to include this cooler with more of its CPUs in the future. Given how well the Wraith performs, it’d be a shame if it were included with only one chip.

Comments closed
    • EndlessWaves
    • 4 years ago

    A small request, but would it be possible to measure the height of the cooler?

    That side on shot behind the memory sticks makes it look very tall. Generally stock coolers will fit anywhere, but this one looks like it could be 90mm or more which would exclude it from some of the popular small form factor cases on the market.

      • tipoo
      • 4 years ago

      8cm tall, 10.4cm deep and has a width of 17.8cm measured from the end of one heat pipe to the end of the opposite heat pipe.

    • christos_thski
    • 4 years ago

    They seem to have got stock cooling down at AMD. Now all they need is a decent CPU to go with it. Zen can’t come soon enough (I’m having fears of a 3dfx Rampage repeat with amd-zen).

    • cssorkinman
    • 4 years ago

    Interesting article.
    I do have a question about the thermal imagery. What specific unit was used to capture the image? The reason I ask is because the crosshair appears to be pointed directly on the shiny top of a capacitor, on some of these “cameras” reflective surfaces cause them to mis-read the temp as being much hotter than actual.
    Thanks – Cssorkinman

    • modulusshift
    • 4 years ago

    Okay, I’m actually really annoyed that you came to the conclusion that the motherboard was screwing over your temperature readings (unless that’s the CPU’s fault), requiring additional cooling, and messed with your subjective tests and you still published this article with a shrug. “Sorry, but with this arbitrary motherboard I had laying around, it’s not the bottleneck! Also I didn’t try overclocking at all, either. I don’t know what the full capabilities of this cooler are!”

      • Jeff Kampman
      • 4 years ago

      Hey, hopefully I can clarify a couple things about my methods for you. For one, the Gigabyte motherboard I used wasn’t “this arbitrary motherboard I had laying around,” it was a hand-picked sample direct from AMD. I’ve observed similar temperature-reporting behavior with Gigabyte AMD motherboards in the past, and I felt it was important to demonstrate it here so that potential buyers know what they’re getting into.

      Adding active cooling to a test bench isn’t unusual. You can get away with passive operation on most Intel boards these days, but the 990FX is made on an older 65-nm process and includes both a northbridge and a southbridge. That means more heat to dissipate, and the board was clearly designed with active cooling from a case in mind. Replicating that environment on a test bench shouldn’t raise any eyebrows.

      I didn’t perform overclocking tests because of a lack of time. AMD’s claims of quiet operation on stock-clocked CPUs were what I wanted to verify, and whether those claims are valid is probably of more interest to the vast majority of buyers than whether this cooler can handle an overclocked FX-8370. I did measure the cooler’s noise levels at 100% fan speeds so those who want to try overclocking with the Wraith know what to expect from a noise, vibration, and harshness perspective. Any overclocking headroom it has should be considered a bonus.

      Thanks for reading!

    • just brew it!
    • 4 years ago

    My takeaway from this is that it helps keep the FX-8370 in the game as a viable option for a budget workstation, provided your use case isn’t dominated by single-thread performance. Without the need to factor in the cost of a reasonable aftermarket cooler, the FX-8370 represents very good bang for the buck if you can leverage the extra cores.

    Too bad the AM3+ platform is getting so long in the tooth…

    • Captain Ned
    • 4 years ago

    Had to suppress an involuntary shiver after seeing that retention clip. Bad memories of the AXP days.

      • tipoo
      • 4 years ago

      Oh wow, I didn’t know they kept that around. Actually I think my last AMD CPU was the Athlon XP, sadly.

      • LoneWolf15
      • 4 years ago

      In the modern days of heatspreaders, it’s a non-issue. AMD’s been using clips throughout the Athlon 64 and later era without issue.

        • Captain Ned
        • 4 years ago

        Oh, I know that. It’s just that anyone who mounted an AXP will see that clip and shudder in fear.

          • biffzinker
          • 4 years ago

          Good thing a majority of the OEM builds using a AMD CPU I’ve seen use a screw down heatsink. Turns out the cooler can be replaced with a third party Intel Socket 775 cooler. I tried a Intel stock cooler it matched the hole spacing around the AMD socket for the OEM motherboard.

          • just brew it!
          • 4 years ago

          Not only is the die protected, the lever means you don’t need to pry at the mechanism with a screwdriver to latch it; and if (through sheer incompetence or bad luck) you do manage to somehow break the tab off the retention bracket, it’s easily replaceable (unlike the socket on an AXP motherboard).

    • Chz
    • 4 years ago

    I’m actually quite surprised that it’s taken AMD until now to do this.

    I remember quite distinctly that my old Opteron 180 (yes, yes, it’s “server kit” but it was priced the same as the consumer equivalent and sold through consumer channels) came with a HSF beefier than what’s been reviewed here today. What did they do with that design, and why did they drop it? It was far better than Intel’s offering in the day.

    Does anyone know what the current crop of Opteron coolers look like? Not a fair comparison, as they’re not *quite* priced the same, but it would be interesting.

    • spugm1r3
    • 4 years ago

    [quote<]The Gigabyte GA-990FX-Gaming motherboard that AMD sent me to test the Wraith[/quote<] I can't be the only one disheartened by the fact that AMD sent a board with a chipset I owned 5 years ago as their proof of concept.

      • LoneWolf15
      • 4 years ago

      You’re not. I consider their chipsets more of a failure than their CPUs.

    • anotherengineer
    • 4 years ago

    Well one nice thing is if it’s a common 92mm fan, I guess one could always replace it with an even quieter fan or a voltage instead of PWM fan.

    • ozzuneoj
    • 4 years ago

    That is definitely an awesome stock cooler… but… its been ages since I’ve had a CPU that ran that hot at stock… probably since the Athlon XP 1800+ Palamino. In my main system I’ve been using mid range to high end Thermalright air coolers for about 13 years and I’ve almost always overclocked (aside from the Socket 939 Athlon 64\X2 era).

    With my 2500K at 4.2Ghz, cooled by a Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme and an Antec TriCool 120MM set to low, I never even see 50C unless I’m running a stress test or its a very hot day and I’m playing a game. Been running Prime95 now (in a fairly cool room… mid to high 60s), for about 10 minutes and Coretemp has read 63C for over 5 minutes, just now starting to roll over to 64… not likely to skyrocket suddenly. In the summer I tend to switch the TriCool up to medium to keep it a bit cooler, since there’s usually a fan running somewhere so it isn’t noticeable. I’ve been using this heatsink in various builds (with a 3 different fans) for almost 10 years now.

    I know this has nothing to do with the CPU\cooler in question, it just reminded me of how I don’t miss having to worry about my CPU temperature like I did back in the early days.

    To anyone contemplating building your own PC:
    Get a large tower cooler from a reputable brand with flexible mounting options and a standard (replaceable!) fan. It could be the best investment you make in PC hardware.

    EDIT: After half an hour of testing with Prime95 SmallFFTs it had actually dropped back down to 63C. When I stopped the test it immediately dropped to 35C within one second, and is now back down to 29C after a minute or so.

    • kuttan
    • 4 years ago

    If the idle temperature is wrong, how can be the load temperature accurate then ?? Both the Wraith and Hyper D92s load temperatures are higher than AMDs older Stock cooler performance.

      • Shobai
      • 4 years ago

      I had a bit of a look at this. According to various sources around the ‘net, this is due to AMD’s algorithm [relating sensor output to temperature in order to control throttling, etc] becoming more accurate the closer it gets to a value in the order of 45 deg. C. It’s quite inaccurate at idle temps, hence the “below ambient” temps at idle. The common suggestion is to rely on the socket temp sensor at idle, but ignore it at load and rely on the core sensor.

      Personally, this annoys me greatly. Why can’t you give me a credible idle temp, AMD?

      As for the load temps compared to the previous cooler, I think you’ll find that that’s because the max fan speeds where set for a level of noise, rather than all out cooling performance. You’ll have to go back and check, but I think Jeff said he set the Wraith for ~1400rpm max even though the fan can go up to 3000rpm. In my experience, it’s not possible to set the previous cooler’s fan for a reasonable level of noise, full stop.

        • Anonymous Coward
        • 4 years ago

        Sub-ambient idle temperature readings are something they’ll fix when they have free time, I’m sure. Probably no customer has ever suffered particular inconvenience due to it.

    • ronch
    • 4 years ago

    The stock cooler on the 8-core FX chips has a reputation of being loud and inadequate, so most folks just replace it. But if you read the fine print on the CPU documentation it says using a cooler other than the one provided will void the warranty. I also remember seeing a nice AMD slide that includes a tiny disclaimer that says overclocking the CPU will void the warranty. So much for overclocking the Unlocked FX Processor™.

    So technically, AMD is pushing you to void your product’s warranty, aren’t they?

      • Jigar
      • 4 years ago

      Hey Ronch, if someone RMA’s a CPU, does Intel/AMD personal comes home to personally inspect the system before clearing the customer if the warranty is void or not ?? *shakes head*

      And btw, I am really interested to know what you smoke, that’s some good stuff mate.

        • ronch
        • 4 years ago

        Of course not. They don’t. But then why bother putting in that disclaimer, eh? So they can use that technicality any time they wish? Most don’t see the disclaimer, and a simple question like, “Are you using a third-party cooler?” is enough for them to void your warranty and deny your RMA.

          • Jigar
          • 4 years ago

          May be because they don’t want to get sued if you do something stupid and burn your house down ?

            • ronch
            • 4 years ago

            Er, what?

            • Jigar
            • 4 years ago

            That’s the exact same reaction I had to your first comment. Stop being literal and be practical. AMD has that disclaimer because they don’t want to get sued if something goes wrong overclocking the unlocked FX CPU (hardware damage). BTW, we all know how sue friendly US is. No ?

            • ronch
            • 4 years ago

            They were only saying your warranty is void if you overclock, and nobody burnt their house down by overclocking. This isn’t a practical thing, it’s just hypothetical. Again, why did they put that itty bitty disclaimer in there? It means, technically and strictly speaking, I’ve voided my CPUs warranty, have I not? And if worse comes to worse, they’re not obliged to RMA my CPU.

            • Jigar
            • 4 years ago

            [b<]Again, why did they put that itty bitty disclaimer in there? It means, technically and strictly speaking, I've voided my CPUs warranty, have I not? [/b<] So even after putting a disclaimer they are honering the warranty is a bad thing ? You are obviously missing the point that the disclaimer is merely there as legal defence if someone sues them if they deny warranty under certain circumstances. I might be wrong but somewhere under the warranty clause even Intel might have similar disclaimer to protect themselves.

            • ronch
            • 4 years ago

            They are obviously still honoring warranties and they don’t really enforce that tiny disclaimer. What I’m saying, you already admitted. It’s a legal defense they can use if they wish to do so, under whatever circumstance.

            Companies would just love to escape their obligation to honor warranties, didn’t you know that? They don’t usually do in fear of tarnishing their reputation but if they could, they would. Let’s not kid ourselves. Replacing a faulty product costs money.

            • Jigar
            • 4 years ago

            Er. What ? Where did you say that this was a legal defence ? All I saw was you cribbing about that disclaimer which actually all companies keep for legal defence.

            Ronch I am not sure what your agenda is and I am not even sure if you are aware, but you do take cheap shots on AMD’s every move. You might want to tone down your fanboy cool aid.

            • ronch
            • 4 years ago

            Fanboi KoolAid? And which company am I a fanboi of? People around here know I have an affinity of AMD but I’m gonna dish out criticism if anyone makes a bonehead move. And lately AMD makes a lot of them.

      • just brew it!
      • 4 years ago

      Technically yes; in practice it doesn’t matter. And your VRMs will probably melt before you damage the CPU anyway.

        • ronch
        • 4 years ago

        In practice it isn’t enforced. As I’ve pointed out, it is a technicality in reserve

      • mikato
      • 4 years ago

      “But if you read the fine print on the CPU documentation it says using a cooler other than the one provided will void the warranty.”
      That is against the law in the US. The modification has to be the reason for the failure for it to remove warranty support. I wonder what the exact wording is.

    • ronch
    • 4 years ago

    AMD should’ve thought about bundling a cooler with their 8-cores since the beginning, not wait more than 3 years since Vishera came out. Am I the only one who thinks this? I mean, come on, just when the platform is practically phased out? Yes it’s a cheap way to attract media attention again and look cool on the shelves but it’s just kinda like equipping a car model that’s been on the market for 8 years that nobody wants to buy anymore and the manufacturer is just pricing it so low as a way to beg you to buy it, and then they equip it with cool new wheels that just seems to try too hard to sell the car.

    • MOSFET
    • 4 years ago

    Just going by looks, the heatsink (including copper base plate, heatpipes, and aluminum fins) looks fairly identical to what came a Phenom II X6 CPU I bought at Thanksgiving 2010. The fan is definitely larger.

    • Rza79
    • 4 years ago

    [quote<] Similarly updated mobos from other manufacturers may perform better in the firmware fan control department, but it's hard to say without getting our hands on a few.[/quote<] $70 MSI and ASRock motherboards have much better fan control than this Gigabyte. But this isn't anything new. Basically, any sub-$150 MB from Gigabyte has fan-control like it's 1999 while even the cheapest MSI motherboards give you a graphical interface in the BIOS to set it up.

      • matic
      • 4 years ago

      Agreed. I just inherited an i5-760 on a Gigabyte H55 motherboard and spent a good deal of time browsing in the BIOS for the fan control. Not sure how I feel having realized that is less capable than the cheapest MSI AMD 690V I found at the time nearly five years before (ten years ago). The fact that the supplied Windows software is unable to retain the fan profile is even more depressing. And I have Linux as my sole OS…

    • Shobai
    • 4 years ago

    A small nitpick: the first page has Fahrenheit units for temps, the second Celsius. Would it be possible to include both in each instance? Or perhaps standardise on using Celsius throughout?

    I’m glad you picked up on the ‘below ambient’ bug. I don’t think it’s anything new – from memory I first noticed it in an Athlon 64 3000+ build, and it appears to have been present in an Athlon X2 6000+, Phenom II X3 720, Phenom II X6 1090T and most recently 3 FX-8320 builds. These builds were across a range of Abit, Asus, MSI and Gigabyte motherboards. Would you mind asking the question of AMD and seeing what they have to say on the matter?

      • ronch
      • 4 years ago

      Have no fear!

      F = C x 1.8 + 32

    • Meadows
    • 4 years ago

    Really, Jeff? On the first page it’s all Fahrenheit, then on the second page it’s all Celsius?

    Are you insane.

    I recommend sticking to units used throughout the developed world and just have Celsius next time.

      • Shobai
      • 4 years ago

      I didn’t see your post while typing out mine, but I’d have to agree with the thought behind your comment. I think you could stand to tone down your outrage a little, though.

    • DragonDaddyBear
    • 4 years ago

    I wonder how this compares to Intel’s offerings. Though, I think they all max out 95W these days I think it would be an interesting comparison.

      • Klimax
      • 4 years ago

      And 130W ( -E series) are without stock since Sandy Bridge.

      Anyway, would be still interesting given size of those Intel stock coolers.

      • chuckula
      • 4 years ago

      This is clearly superior to Intel’s dinky stock fans although Intel does re-brand a tower-style heatpipe HSF and a 120mm closed-loop radiator. However, none of the higher-end cooling solutions come bundled with Intel chips.

      • EndlessWaves
      • 4 years ago

      A lot less than that. Excluding the outgoing haswell/broadwell CPUs the hottest CPU that comes with a cooler is the i7-6700 at a 65W TDP.

    • Tristan
    • 4 years ago

    Finally something cool from AMD

    • continuum
    • 4 years ago

    Advertised as constant speed but it’s actually PWM… sounded like the motherboard subjected it to the usual default PWM-capable fan curve too? How’d it sound with the default fan curve?

    I’m curious as the default behaviour and sound are often what a lot of people do out of the box because they don’t know any better…

      • Jeff Kampman
      • 4 years ago

      It sounds bad on this particular motherboard if you do nothing but plug it in. Runs too fast and the fan speed oscillates, so it “moos.”

        • continuum
        • 4 years ago

        Ouch. If I want mooing I’ll go to the petting zoo!

        • cegras
        • 4 years ago

        Only four pin fans can actually be PWM controlled. From the photo of the fan it has three wires, the third for RPM sensing. Those don’t respond well to PWM and end up ticking. Many fan motors also have a threshold voltage below which they will do funny things.

          • continuum
          • 4 years ago

          Makes me more curious then, what exactly did the motherboard do to control– has to be voltage control?

          • Jeff Kampman
          • 4 years ago

          It’s absolutely a four-wire fan.

            • cegras
            • 4 years ago

            I missed the black wire on my 1366×768. Woops!

    • deruberhanyok
    • 4 years ago

    [i<]Both coolers were tested with a single Corsair 120-mm fan directed at our motherboard's VRM heatsinks, because, well, this happened without it under load:[/i<] HOLY BOILING WATER, KAMPMAN! Is that a typical temperature for VRMs on AM3+ motherboards?

      • Chrispy_
      • 4 years ago

      I actually think the answer is yes.

      • Coran Fixx
      • 4 years ago

      Homeland Security needs to be aware of this MB so it can be put on the nofly list. Wow thats toasty.

    • tipoo
    • 4 years ago

    Within three degrees and going from 32 to 35db of a decent third party cooler ain’t too shabby.

    • Lazier_Said
    • 4 years ago

    Remember when mainstream processors ran hot enough for this kind of thing to matter?

    With AMD you can have those days back.

    • willmore
    • 4 years ago

    [quote<]I brought out Cooler Master's Hyper D92.[/quote<] That seems like it's missing an article or something. "brought out a..." maybe? This sentence is after the testing regimen and before the thermal image.

      • chuckula
      • 4 years ago

      No, it’s correct since he used the possessive form [Cooler Master[i<][b<]'s[/b<][/i<]]

        • willmore
        • 4 years ago

        Ahh, the link formatting made my brain stop parsing after ‘out’.

    • ronch
    • 4 years ago

    Perhaps AMD should just sell CPU coolers instead of CPUs?

      • lycium
      • 4 years ago

      .

    • ronch
    • 4 years ago

    As someone who owns an FX-8350, I have to say the stock cooler that came with it is so, so bad. In fact, when I first fired it up I thought there was something wrong with the CPU itself, or the board, because it was honestly the first time I’ve heard of a stock cooler that was so outrageously loud. Really, it’s so loud unless I have the A/C on. Not everyone lives in Alaska where ambient temps can get pretty low, and I live in a temperate corner of the world. Some folks say their coolers are pretty good and they have no qualms about it, so either they live in the Arctic or the QC on their coolers is so bad.

      • chuckula
      • 4 years ago

      You got one point: That model of the FX-8350 certainly matched Intel’s craptastic stock HSF in lack of performance.

        • ImSpartacus
        • 4 years ago

        At least amd is keeping up in some metrics…

      • Concupiscence
      • 4 years ago

      I live near Dallas, Texas, and own an FX-8320. When I tested the stock heatsink/fan by loading the CPU with an HD video transcode via x264, the CPU got so loud that I could hear it from my bedroom across the house. But worse, it threw off so much heat that I could feel a [i<]bubble[/i<] of heat through either of the case's sides. I went that afternoon, bought a copper Zalman abomination, spent too much time disassembling the system to attach the heatsink, and it's purred along fine ever since. I undervolted for good measure, but it's nice to know Wraith is worth a damn. That stock HSF is a low-load Facebook machine special.

    • zalbard
    • 4 years ago

    Small mistake on page 1: FX-8370 is built using Piledriver, not Excavator cores.

      • Jeff Kampman
      • 4 years ago

      Whoops! Fixed.

    • Techgoudy
    • 4 years ago

    Maybe I’m the only one, but I would have loved to see the original stock heatsink added to this review. Just so that we could see how far off the original is in performance from the new stock and aftermarket parts.

      • gamoniac
      • 4 years ago

      you read my mind.

      • chuckula
      • 4 years ago

      Time to go dumpster diving!

      • ronch
      • 4 years ago

      I’ll gladly donate my FX-8350’s stock cooler just to get rid of the darn thing.

      • Jeff Kampman
      • 4 years ago

      I think AMD said all that really needs to be said on the topic with its demo video: [url<]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soc5x_4IACQ[/url<] This review does do a one-on-one comparo, though: [url<]http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-wraith-cpu-cooler,4450.html[/url<]

        • Techgoudy
        • 4 years ago

        Awesome. I saw the first video, but I hadn’t seen 1 on 1 comparison from a third-party.

        Thanks.

      • ImSpartacus
      • 4 years ago

      Yeah, that’s a pretty massive omission.

    • Waco
    • 4 years ago

    I’m disappointed that the motherboard couldn’t handle the CPU at stock speeds without additional cooling (or were you just being paranoid?).

      • Jeff Kampman
      • 4 years ago

      The system was perfectly stable without active cooling on the VRM heatsink, but the temperature numbers concerned me a bit, so chalk it up to paranoia. In a case, the VRM heatsink would ideally have more active airflow.

        • Waco
        • 4 years ago

        Gotcha. When I saw the picture I immediately remembered exploding a set of VRMs when stress-testing a Phenom II X6 in a board that was *supposed* to support it.

    • chuckula
    • 4 years ago

    Good news: AMD’s Wraith seems like a decent stock cooler.

    Bad news: We are talking about stock coolers and we won’t be talking about actually new CPU silicon for another 8-9 months (optimistically).

      • ptsant
      • 4 years ago

      Well, the really good news is that AMD obviously intends to include decent stock coolers with its new processors too.

      It appears that they do read reviews and tech sites, after all.

        • Voldenuit
        • 4 years ago

        Remember when the AMD K8 Opterons came with a top down heatpipe cooler?

        [s<]Pepperidge Farms,[/s<] I mean, I remember.

      • anotherengineer
      • 4 years ago

      True, but if the stock cooler saves me buying an aftermarket cooler with the weak CND$ I’m all for it.
      [url<]http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835608040&cm_re=noctua-_-35-608-040-_-Product[/url<]

      • ronch
      • 4 years ago

      Hush! Don’t say anything negative about AMD! Fanbois be scouring this comments section, ready as always to deal you a deadly downvote if you do!

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