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?

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Wraith Prism

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Package & Specs

The Wraith Prism comes quite plainly packaged, as one should probably expect from a cooler bundled with a CPU. The outside of the box is matte black with no features other than a barcode sticker with the part number, and a small cutout to get a glimpse of the center of the fan. Opening the box reveals a thin plastic cover over the top of the heatsink/fan, and the baseplate is nestled into a second fitted plastic tray.

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Dimensions: (W)136mm x(H)159.4mm(D)96.3mm(with fan)

Material: Aluminum, copper baseplate and copper heatpipes

Recommended TDP: Unspecified

Compatibility:

AMD

  • AM4
  • AM3(+)
  • FM2(+)
  • Fan:

  • Size: 135mm x 22mm
  • Speed:1400 RPM (Max)
  • Air Flow: Not Listed CFM
  • Static Pressure: Not Listed [LI]Noise: 39 dBA (claimed)
  • Contents

    Short but sweet section here, you get the cooler. The only extras that are included with the Wraith Prism is an internal USB 2 cable for controlling the LEDs using the software provided by Cooler Master, as well as a 4-pin RGB cable if you wish to integrate the Wraith Prism into your motherboard's built-in lighting control. No extra hardware is included as the Wraith Prism is designed to mount on stock AM4, AM3+, and FM2+ mounts. You also get no instructions in the cooler box itself. (Editor's Note: This is the same cooler I used for our previous AMD Precision Boost 2 testing, and I am fairly sure that removed the instructions from the box and neglected to put this back in the box before shipping it out for further testing.)

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    Fit and Finish

    The finish on the cold plate is a little rough, but it is also tough to judge with complete accuracy, as this cooler was included with, and used in our AMD Precision Boost 2 and Wraith Prism Deep Dive article. The grooves between the direct contact heatpipes are fairly deep, so a slightly thicker than normal thermal material application is recommended, and will be used during testing. (Editor's Note: The Prism comes with pre-applied TIM, which again was used before it was shipped for further testing. The pre-applied TIM is actually of very good quality and has a sufficient amount applied to work very well with this cooler.)

    The baseplate itself is completely flat on both axis, which is unsurprising again, as this cooler is made for the perfectly flat Ryzen integrated heat spreader.

    The aluminum fins themselves are little thicker than some others, but nothing alarming. The fan housing itself is plastic, but has a nice look and feel, to it. My only obvious complaint comes from the quality of the molding on the plastic for the retaining latch leaves a bit to be desired. AMD also thought to include rubber covers for the USB and RGB headers, if you choose not to use either, a very nice touch. Another nice touch is the RGB and especially the USB connectors on the cooler itself are not standard micro-USB like other manufacturers do, but instead are very small connections, making these much easier to hide. The fan has clear blades and a clear hub to show off all it's RGB-ness, and has quite an aggressive pitch to the blades.

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    Installation & Contact

    Installation on our AM4 system was as expected, about as easy as it can be. The Wraith Prism uses the stock backplate, as well as the stock hold down clips, so on a brand new motherboard, no modification or tools will be required.

    Before installation you will want to chose your fan speed using the switch on the side, marked L and H, the switch is recessed, and will be tricky to get to once the cooler has been mounted, especially with a GPU installed. More on this switch later.

    Simply apply an even coat of thermal interface material across the base. Due to the voids between the heatpipes, other methods are not likely to yield good results. After TIM application, carefully position the fixed hook on the cooler over the lower clip on the motherboard. The only tricky part is sliding the cooler slightly downward before lowering, as the footprint of the baseplate takes up nearly all the space between the AM4 stock clips, then with the latch in the unlocked position (right), slip it over the upper hold down bracket on the motherboard and flip the retaining latch.

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    Mate Comments

    A good mate is easily achievable with the Wraith Prism, and the latching mechanism feels like it gives ample mounting pressure. Be careful upon removal however, as the perfectly flat surface, plus limited room in between the mounting clips makes this cooler prone to taking the CPU out of the socket with it.

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