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It’s nice to see AMD taking the initiative in releasing some upgraded “stock” coolers with their CPUs. Those in the enthusiast community likely have a shelf full of “stock” coolers from both AMD and Intel that due to their lackluster performance have never been used. Starting in February, AMD announced the Wraith cooler, which came bundled with the AMD FX 8370 and the AMD A10-7890K. They have now expanded the Wraith CPU cooler availability to the AMD FX 8350 and the AMD FX 6350.
AMD’s new “Near Silent Cooling Solutions” are now included with 12 popular processors. Here’s a quick run-down:
AMD’s Near Silent Cooling Solutions
AMD FX 8370
AMD FX 8350
AMD FX 6350
AMD AthlonX4 880K
AMD Athlon X4 870K
AMD Athlon X4 860K
AMD Athlon X4 845
The box is quite a bit larger that their previous packaging. I was sent the FX 8350 for review and the box is labeled accordingly. There’s also a “tamper proof” sticker that seals the box making it nearly impossible to open without disturbing it. Overall the packaging is quite secure and protects the parts well. Once open, you’ll see the CPU and Wraith cooler are in their own separate boxes. The CPU package is the usual standalone retail style as used with the FX 9XXX series CPUs. It has a see through side showing the CPU and a nice FX sticker for your case. The package is nestled into a cut-out in the cardboard insert to keep it from shifting. The Wraith cooler is in a cardboard box that fits tightly into the same insert I just mentioned. Inside you’ll find two plastic inserts that keep the cooler secure.
A Closer Look
The first thing you notice pulling the Wraith from it’s box is the size. It’s much bigger than the previously boxed cooler and also much better looking. What caught my eye was the tidy looking shroud around the new 92mm Delta fan which gives 36% more airflow at a maximum 3000 RPM compared to their original 5000 RPM screamer. There’s also a sleeved PWM fan connector to finish it off. Moving down to the base we see a nice thick copper plate. Eyeing it up, it’s easily twice the mass of the original and the top is shaped to give more contact with the heat-pies. The four shiny copper heat-pipes wind their way though a tightly packed fin array that offers 24% more surface area than before.
Next up a few shots for direct comparison of the Wraith cooler to the original AMD FX cooler.
Moving in a bit closer, I removed the shroud and fan to see what’s under the hood. AMD has done some nice work in here. What I noticed first were four rubber washers added to the fan mounting to isolate vibrations coming from the 92mm Delta Electronics QRF0912H fan. Which according to the linked PDF offers 60 CFM @ 3200 RPM with a nice 37 dB. You’ll also notice in the photo below some extra wires attached to the four pin PWM input. These power a small LED backlight which will illuminate the AMD logo on the side of the shroud when the Wraith is in use. This logo is invisible to the naked eye unless the cooler is powered up. I have to admit I was scratching my head about their purpose until I had the system powered on.
From past experience with AMD stock coolers, I have found them a bit difficult to get installed. The mounting mechanism always seemed to be a bit too tight and I would find myself wrestling with it for what seemed like an eternity. Now with the Wraith cooler, that is no longer an issue. Either their is more travel in the spring lever or the tab is just the right length but installation was very easy and straightforward. A couple of things to note here. The cooler is quite a bit larger so you’ll want to check ram clearance. I was using the ASUS 970 Pro Gaming/Aura and there was just enough room to have the first ram slot populated with my G.Skill RipjawsX, but I did try a set of G.Skill Flare 1800 MHz and they were too tight. I would suggest checking to see if the ram has heatsinks wider than the ram slots. If they do then you won’t be using the first slot with this cooler. The second point is orientation. The four pin PWM fan cable was just short enough that I could only mount it with the cable on the same side as the fan header. I did try it the other way, it was close but not close enough. This may differ from one motherboard to another.
Setup and Testing
|ASUS 970 PRO Gaming AURA
|G.Skill Ripjaws X 2x4Gb 1866 Cl9-10-9-28 1.5v
|ASUS GTX980 STRIX
|Superflower Leadex Platinum 1000W
|Gelid GC Supreme
|AMD Overdrive Stability Test
Original AMD FX stock cooler
Cooler Master Hyper212 EVO
For testing I ran all coolers at stock settings and overclocked. The ambient temperature was ~20 °C . When running stock the only change is BIOS was setting the Ram speed. When overclocked, I disabled all power savings in BIOS, disabled turbo boost and enabled the HPC setting which helps prevent throttling. All tests were done with Windows 10 x64 Professional set to high performance and using CPUID HWMonitor to show temperatures and voltages. I do think it’s worth noting that while running at stock settings all three coolers had some throttling which is shown by the minimum CPU speed of 3411 MHz in the CPUID HWMonitor screen captures. This is a result of not enabling HPC in BIOS. You may also notice the absence of idle temperatures. Anyone familiar with the AMD FX processor will know that the idle temperatures on these CPUs are not accurate at all, often reporting below ambient.
Original AMD FX Cooler
First up we have the original AMD FX stock cooler. As such, it does an adequate job of keeping the CPU cool under load. Overclocking was a completely different story. I did manage to get to 4.2 GHz on all eight cores with 1.404v, but according to AMD OverDrive I was at the thermal threshold of 70 °C, CPUID HWMonitor reported maximum temperatures 70°C for the package(core) and 67 °C for the CPU socket. This is pushing the limits a bit, but the stock cooler was still able to push the CPU on all eight cores to 4.2 GHz which is the boost speed. Mind you the small fan on the cooler was tuning at nearly 4500 RPM and was by no means quiet.
New AMD Wraith Cooler
Next up is the new and improved AMD Wraith CPU Cooler and I have to say I was impressed with the performance for a “stock” cooler. The Wraith held tough up to 4.5 GHz with 1.452v and coming in with a cool 63 °C for the package and 61 °C on the CPU socket. I have no doubt 4.6GHz would have been attainable but I prefer to be a bit more modest with a 24/7 machine. What was even more noticeably different was the noise. The AMD Wraith cooler not only could overclock, but it was also nice and quiet while doing so, unlike it’s predecessor.
Cooler Master Hyper212 EVO
Up last are the results from the Cooler Master Hyper212 EVO. This is most likely one of the most popular after-market coolers. Not only is it affordable it also does a good job for a mild overclock. It did manage to out do the Wraith cooler but only by ~ 10 °C. I applied the same 4.5GHz overclock to it and the same 1.452v. The CM 212 did mange to keep the temperatures down to 51 °C for the package and 53 °C on the socket reading. No doubt there’s a bit more headroom here but you actually have to buy this cooler separately for $35.00 compared to the included Wraith cooler from AMD. On top of that it was easy to install unlike the CM 212 EVO. According to its specifications, the AMD Wraith and the CM 212 have the same dB rating. Now it could have been the open bench or just the orientation but I could definitely hear the CM 212 over anything else in the system unlike the AMD Wraith cooler.
Overall, I was definitely impressed with the performance of the AMD Wraith CPU cooler. It was nice for a change to be able to do some mild overclocking right out of the box and not have to worry about a meltdown. The whole experience was pleasant, the mounting has been improved, using the on board mounting brackets it was on in less than 30 seconds. I’m also really impressed with the noise or lack of it I should say. AMD did a fantastic job with their implementation of “near silent cooling” without sacrificing the “cooling” end of things. I’m also impressed with the attention to detail on the new Wraith CPU cooler, a sleek black shroud, sleeved PWM fan connector, rubber washers for noise dampening and the added LED backlit AMD logo. AMD has given “stock” cooling a whole new meaning. From it’s performance down to it’s looks! For a job well done here’s the Overclockers Stamp of Approval!
– Shawn Jennings (Johan45)