Have a Ryzen CPU and want to equip it with an aftermarket air cooler? Well, we’ve picked the nine best air coolers for Ryzen CPUs. Our picks include both budget models that cost the same as the AMD’s Wraith Prism cooler and high-end choices sporting three digits price points.
We have both regular and low-profile coolers used in Mini-ITX builds. We’ve also included a couple of quiet choices that can go great with quiet PC cases. These are for users who want both low temperatures and absolute silence coming from their PC.
But before we dive into our list of best air coolers for Ryzen CPUs, let’s talk about the elephant in the room. Why buy an aftermarket cooler since almost every Ryzen CPU comes with a pretty solid box cooler?
Best Air Coolers for Ryzen CPUs – Our Picks
|Best Budget Air Cooler for Ryzen 5 3600/3600X||Deepcool Gammaxx 400|
|Best Budget Air Cooler Alternative for Ryzen 5 3600/3600X||Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO|
|Best Budget Low Profile Cooler for Ryzen CPUs||Scythe Shuriken 2|
|Best Mid-Range Air Cooler for Ryzen 7 CPUs||Scythe Mugen 5 Rev.B|
|Best Mid-Range Quiet Air Cooler for Ryzen 7 CPUs||Scythe Fuma 2|
|Best Mid-Range Low-Profile Coolers for Ryzen CPUs||Noctua NH-L12S|
|Scythe Big Shuriken 3|
|Best High-End Cooler for Ryzen 9 3900X||Noctua NH-D15|
|Best High-End Quiet Cooler for Ryzen CPUs||Dark Rock Pro 4|
|Best High-End Cooler for Ryzen 9 3950X||DEEP COOL Assassin III|
Do you really need an aftermarket cooler for your Ryzen CPU?
Almost every Ryzen 3rd gen CPU comes with a box cooler and those coolers are doing a fine job. Why would you buy an aftermarket cooler when you get more than a decent one with the CPU?
The Wraith Spire (bundled with the Ryzen 5 3600X) and Wraith Prism (bundled with the Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 9 3900X CPUs) are pretty good coolers. They can keep the Ryzen 5 2600 temps used for testing at bay even during heavy loads. Wraith stealth is fine when running stock frequencies but it becomes pretty bad when stress testing OCed CPU.
Wraith Prism is fine for running the 3900X on stock clocks. Temperatures are kept at around 70 degrees Celsius, which is a great result for a box cooler. When overclocking, temperatures don’t go over 80 degrees under medium loads. But if you plan on using the CPU for heavy work while overclocked, it’s better to get an aftermarket cooler. The same goes for the 3700X and 3800X.
The Ryzen 5 3600 and the pair of latest Ryzen 3 CPUs with their meek Wraith Stealth cooler will work fine on regular clocks. But if you plan on overclocking them, it’s better to get a budget aftermarket cooler. The Ryzen 3600X with its Wraith Spire cooler will reach acceptable temperatures at stock clocks. Overclocking the CPU again means getting a better cooler.
To summarize. Box coolers shipping with most AMD CPUs are enough to run these CPUs at stock clocks, even under extreme loads. But, if you want to overclock, you should get a better cooler no matter which CPU you own.
Price ranges and what they get you
Budget air coolers are perfect for the newly released 3rd gen Ryzen 3 and Ryzen 5 CPUs. They sport affordable prices and offer noticeable improvement compared to Wraith Stealth and Spire coolers. We’ve also included one ultra-low-profile cooler, perfect for low profile ITX builds.
Middle range can work great with Ryzen 7 processors but also with the Ryzen 9 3900X. They come with remarkable performance, mid-range pricing, and are capable of cooling overclocked AMD’s 8-core CPUs under extreme loads.
High-end coolers are the big boy field. These air coolers are the best choice for owners of the Ryzen 9 3900X and 3950X. They provide top performance but also sport flagship prices. If you plan on overclocking your 3900X or 3950X get one of these.
Best Budget Air Cooler for Ryzen 5 3600/3600X
The Deepcool Gammaxx 400 is an extremely affordable air cooler that features relatively small heatsink and one 120mm fan. It is capable of providing surprisingly low temperatures for its humble price, making it a superb budget choice. Yes, it can be loud but the performance and low price are definitely worth it.
Its heatsink is quite small so you don’t have to worry about RAM clearance and motherboard access. Its main strengths are the low price and excellent price to performance ratio. Overall, this cooler would be an excellent improvement over the Wraith Stealth cooler bundled with the Ryzen 5 3600 if you plan to overclock the processor.
Best Budget Air Cooler Alternative for Ryzen 5 3600/3600X
The Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO sells for about a dozen bucks more than the Deepcool Gammaxx 400 and provides about the same performance. It works great with the Ryzen 5 3600X and picking between this one and the Deepcool Gammaxx 400 comes down to whether you want a popular brand and are you ready to pay more for it.
Whichever you pick you will get a quality cooler that works noticeably better than both the Wraith Stealth and Spire and that won’t break the bank. You don’t need anything more powerful and expensive for Ryzen 3 and 5 CPUs.
Best Budget Low Profile Cooler for Ryzen CPUs
With the height of only 58 millimeters and solid performance for such a small cooler, the Scythe Shuriken 2 is the choice for low profile Ryzen builds. This cooler can fit into almost every Mini-ITX case. Just remember that with low profile coolers overclocking is not an option.
If you need a cooler with even lower height, one that can fit into ultra-low-profile cases such as the Fractal Design Node 202, we recommend the Noctua NH-L9a. This is the same model as the Noctua NH-L9i but with socket AM4 mounting. Its height is only 37mm and its performance is pretty good.
Best Mid-Range Air Cooler for Ryzen 7 CPUs
The Scythe Mugen 5 Rev.B is a phenomenal cooler. It sports an affordable price that’s just about a dozen bucks above our budget picks while offering exceptional performance. As you can see it beats the Noctua NH-U12S, one of the best mid-range air coolers out there both in temperatures and noise levels.
Get this one for your Ryzen 7 CPU and you’ll see excellent temperatures under extreme loads even if you decide to explore your CPU’s OC limits. Despite its size, the cooler is easy to mount and it will work fine with RAM since it’s not that massive. The only issue with RAM clearance might arise in case you decide to mount the second fan.
Best Mid-Range Quiet Air Cooler for Ryzen 7 CPUs
The Scythe Fuma 2 is another exceptional air cooler from Scythe that falls into the mid-range category but punches above its weight when it comes to the ratio between performance and noise levels. First of all, its performance is quite good for the price. It cannot beat the Mugen 5 Rev.B’s thermal performance but when it comes to noise levels, this is the one to buy.
Noise levels are exceptional no matter the use case. Even if you overclock your CPU this cooler will provide solid thermal performance while being impossible to hear. The only scenario when it loses its silent throne is when you manually set its fans to max load, which won’t happen in real-life use. This is the best mid-range quiet cooler you can get for your Ryzen CPU.
We would recommend this one even for the 3900X. If you need an alternative, get the Scythe Ninja 5. It’s almost as quiet while providing very similar thermal performance and selling for almost the same price as the Fuma 2.
Best Mid-Range Low-Profile Coolers for Ryzen CPUs
If you’re building an ITX rig and need low profile coolers but not ultra-low profile like the Noctua NH-L9a, get either the Noctua NH-L12S or Scythe Big Shuriken 3. Their height is just 70mm and 69mm, respectively. The thing to watch is RAM clearance since both can cause issues with sticks featuring tall heatsinks.
They offer very similar thermal performance with the Noctua NH-L12S offering just a bit lower noise levels. Finally, the two coolers sport virtually the same price. You won’t make a mistake by picking any of the two.
Best High-End Cooler for Ryzen 9 3900X
The Noctua NH-D15 is among the best air coolers on the market and a natural choice for everyone ready to overclock their 3900X. It provides excellent performance and does that by staying very quiet. Exceptional thermal performance comes with a price in the form of a huge size.
This cooler is very large and quite heavy at 1320 grams. It can block access to the motherboard and can cause problems with RAM sticks that come with tall heatsinks. But if you want performance that can match AIO systems this is the one to get.
Best High-End Quiet Cooler for Ryzen CPUs
The champion of quiet operation under heavy loads is the Dark Rock Pro 4 from be quiet!. This is the best quiet cooler you can get for your high-end Ryzen CPUs. It provides superb thermal performance while keeping noise levels at around 30 decibels even under max load. And it also looks rather attractive, with all-black design and nice looking fans.
Best High-End Cooler for Ryzen 9 3950X
The Deepcool Assassin III is a monster of an air cooler. Its thermal performance is noticeably better than of its main rival, the NH-D15. Especially when you overclock the CPU and put it under heavy load. Noise levels aren’t great. This cooler can be pretty loud but the thermal performance is worth it. This is the best air cooler around and the best choice for the Ryzen 3950X.
When it comes to downsides, the first one is, obviously, the size. This cooler is as massive as they get weighing in at almost one and a half kilos. Next, Ram clearance and motherboard accessibility can be a problem. You can adjust fans in order to make room for tall RAM sticks. By doing this you can raise the height of the cooler to almost 200mm, with many cases unable to host such a tall cooler. But if you have the money and are ready to have a 1.5kg cooler inside your case, go for it.