Are AMD Stock Coolers Good Enough?
If you are buying any AMD processor, you may get a stock cooler inside its box.
Yes, you may get cooler, or you may not. It depends on the kind of processors.
But, if you get one, there are three kinds of AMD stock coolers. Wraith STEALTH, Wraith SPIRE, and Wraith PRISM. You can know more about these coolers and CPUs that come with these coolers on this page.
So, the question is whether an AMD stock cooler is enough to keep my CPU cool or not. This question can be applied to any stock cooler and not only for the AMD CPUs. Whatever kind of cooler you are using, it will do its job of cooling the CPU. But, the amount of heat dissipated by the cooler can vary. So, here is a short and sweet answer to your question.
Yes, an AMD Stock Cooler is enough for your AMD CPU as long as you are using it for general tasks such as internet browsing, text-editing, online studying, light gaming, media consumption, or light video editing. But, if you are looking to play games or edit 4K videos, or do heavy tasks such as 3D rendering, a stock CPU cooler isn’t enough. Under heavy loads, your CPU can reach very high-temperature limits and then throttle just because the stock cooler isn’t capable of dissipating the heat out in the air.
Generally, a rule of thumb is to check the TDP of your CPU. Generally, a CPU with TDP below 90 doesn’t need any after-market or high-end cooling solution. For low-TDP i.e. 30-90, a stock cooler is more than enough.
So, you will have to understand the kind of usage and loads you are putting on your computer and specifically on the CPU. If you are a normal user, a stock cooler is more than enough to keep your CPU under good temperature limits.
How cool a stock cooler can keep my CPU?
Well, if you aren’t putting a lot of load on your AMD processor for longer runs, these stock coolers can easily keep the temperature below 80 degrees celsius. We are talking about the basic Wraith STEALTH cooler here. The PRISM cooler that comes with the high-end AMD CPUs can handle the heat in a much better manner.
But, the cooling can be hardly affected by the outside temperature. If the room temperature is too high, the CPU will reach its highest temperatures very soon and it may result in a throttle.
The STEALTH cooler can generally be found with the 2nd and 3rd generation Ryzen processors. This cooler is basically made for lower temperature levels. This is because the heatsink in this cooler is smaller in size. The overall cooling results will be good with the SPIRE and PRISM coolers.
But, again, the higher the capabilities of your AMD CPU, the higher will be the temperatures. So, the company would give the most suitable stock cooler depending on the kind of your CPU i.e. STEALTH, SPIRE, or PRISM.
But, with some AMD CPUs, you will see no stock cooler coming along inside the box at all. In that case, you will have to buy an external cooler. It could be again a stock cooler, tower air cooler, or any kind of liquid cooler. So, the stock coolers are there to give you a cooling solution just for the basic tasks. If your plans are huge, the cooling solution must also have good potential.
If a stock cooler is enough, why do some people use AIO or tower coolers?
As we discussed just above, the stock coolers are there to give you a basic cooling solution if you do not want to spend some extra money on a dedicated cooling solution for your CPU.
Suppose you are a gamer and going to build a PC with AMD Ryzen 7 3700X or Ryzen 9 3900X, you will definitely have to go with an AIO or a big tower cooler otherwise, your CPU will throttle just after you launch your game.
The main point here is that if your task includes a good amount of CPU power, the CPU will generate heat in return for the performance. Now, that heat should go somewhere in order for your CPU to work properly on the upcoming tasks. If the heat goes too high, the CPU will stop doing its job and you will never want to see that happen.
So, most people go for the AIO Water coolers, custom hardlines, or tower air-coolers just because they want to squeeze all the power from their CPUs. With a stock cooler, you can’t just do that because it will never let your CPU work to its full potential.
Do stock coolers throttle high-end CPUs?
Definitely, if you are going to use your CPU to run heavy software and games and especially when it is a powerful one, it will heat up a lot. Now, if you don’t have something effective to manage that heat, the CPU will reach its throttling temperature pretty easily. A stock cooler can handle the initial levels of heat but when you try to push your CPU harder, the stock cooler will just lose its potential.
If we talk about the 3rd, 4th, or 5th generation AMD processors, they definitely need a special cooler in order to stay at cooler temperatures. It will always be better to opt for liquid coolers or at least large-sized air coolers in order to keep your CPU from throttling.
However, if you have a CPU that has got the Wraith PRISM or at least the Wraith SPIRE cooler, their results will be much better as compared to the basic STEALTH cooler. These advanced coolers have better heatsinks and hence they can actually protect your CPU from throttling. So, you can think about gaming and light overclocking while using them.
AMD Wraith PRISM vs Wraith SPIRE vs Wraith STEALTH cooler
The AMD Wraith PRISM is the best AMD stock cooler that you can ever get with any AMD processor. First of all, it has got some amazing RGB LED effects. Also, it has direct-contact heat pipes that you don’t get with the SPIR and STEALTH coolers.
The size of the Wraith PRISM cooler is much biggest as compared to the SPIRE and STEALTH. In the PRISM cooler, the heat is kept from the CPU through those copper heat pipes and then dissipated through the aluminum fins with the help of the cooling fan.
If you look at this article on Techspot, the Wraith PRISM can keep your CPU at just 47 degrees celsius even while you are gaming. The highest number with SPIRE will be around 53 degrees celsius while the STEALTH can keep your CPU at around 60 degrees celsius.
Now, if you want to overclock, again the PRISM cooler is going to give you the best results. The remaining two will surely leave your company along the way.
My AMD processor has a stock cooler. Do I need to upgrade for a better performance?
As we discussed earlier, if you are about to use your AMD processor just for normal tasks and not for heavy works, the stock cooler is more than enough to keep your CPU under good temperature limits. However, if you are into gaming or overclocking, the stock coolers are not for you. Again, the PRISM cooler is capable of giving you some good results even when you are overclocking.
But, these coolers can never reach the level of cooling you get with the AIO liquid coolers or the tower-air coolers. So, if you want the most out of your processor and you want to reach its maximum clock speeds, you will definitely have to upgrade the cooler.
Thanks for reading!
Also Read: Are Intel Stock Coolers worth it?