AMD Wraith Prism CPU Air Cooler Review

AMD has very much upped its game with the latest generation of Ryzen processors. The Ryzen 2700X comes complete with a snazzy looking cooler that has served us well on our test bench, but what happens when you put it inside a hot case with a hot video card and put the screws to it in terms of GHz and wattage on our 4GHz Ryzen testing rig?

Introduction

Testing and reviewing a stock cooler is a bit unusual. However the AMD Wraith Prism is very unusual for a stock cooler. With four direct mount copper heatpipes, software controllable RGB lighting, and a two position fan, it is the ultimate in a stock CPU coolers that we have come across in memory. The Prism served us very well in our AMD Precision Boost 2 and Wraith Prism Deep Dive article, which took place on an open test bench, which of course showed it in the best light possible. Let's now take that same cooler and put it on our HSF/AIO test system, which of course is more a "worst" case possible scenario, and see how it does. We are likely putting more heat to it than it will likely ever see in a real 2700X configuration, but we do separate the wheat from the chaff.

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System Setup

Today's review takes place on our purpose built cooler testing system, featuring an AMD Ryzen R7 1700 overclocked to 3.9GHz, a GIGABYTE Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 motherboard, 16GB of Corsair DDR4 memory, and an ASUS GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU II TOP GPU. Full details of the test system and testing methodology can be found here.

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Test Methods

CPU

Our AMD Ryzen 1700 CPU will be running at 3.9GHz across all cores and will be being stressed by Prime95 using Small FFTs in both our CPU only test, as well as our combined testing. Our CPU Package power measures ~170 watts under full load.

GPU

In combined testing our GTX 670 will be running Furmark in addition to Prime95. This puts an additional 250 watts of heat into the system that the cooler will have to contend with.

Case

Testing is being performed in our Obsidian Series 750D Airflow Edition Full Tower ATX Case. Chassis fans include two Corsair 120mm fans pulling intake duty in the front, and a Corsair 140mm fan exhausting in the rear.

Fans are set to a locked 60% speed during all testing, as we found that is the best balance between performance and noise.

Thermal Paste

Thermal compound being used is Promilatech PK-3 Nano Aluminum. This is a very viscous compound rated at 11.2 W/m and requires no burn in or setup time.

Temperatures

Ambient temperature will be kept at as consistent temperature as possible for the duration of the tests. Temperatures are being measured in 4 places during both tests using our Sperry DT-506 Quad Input Thermometer, case intake, cooler/radiator intake, cooler/radiator exhaust, and case exhaust.

Idle

Average idle temperatures will be recorded after a thirty minute period of system inactivity.

Load

Load temperatures are measured every 5 minutes from all four points with the Sperry DT-506 thermometer, as well as the CPU Temperature (Tdie) and Package Wattage as reported in HwiNFO 64. Both the CPU only as well as the combined tests are 1 hour long, at which point the average temperatures will be used as our data point.

Sound

Sound levels will be measured with a BAFX Products BAFX3370 Digital Sound Level Meter from a distance of four feet away from the side of the case. With everything turned off and the room completely "silent," the meter registered a sound level of 39dB(A).