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Have a Ryzen CPU and want to equip it with an aftermarket air cooler? Given just how many different Ryzen CPUs are out there, finding a perfect cooler for every Ryzen CPU could be an issue. Different CPUs need different amounts of power, which leads to different cooling requirements.
Well, we picked the nine best air coolers for Ryzen CPUs you can get at the moment. 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.
The DeepCool Gammaxx 400 is an extremely affordable air cooler that features a relatively small heatsink and one 120mm fan. Overall, this is the best budget air cooler for Ryzen CPUs on the market. It is capable of providing surprisingly low temperatures for its humble price. Yes, it can be loud, but the performance and low price are worth it.
Its heat sink 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 3600/5600X if you plan to overclock the processor.
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO: Best DeepCool Gammaxx 400 alternative
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/5600X, 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 buy, you will get a quality cooler that works noticeably better than both the Wraith Stealth and Spire while being extremely affordable. You don’t need anything more powerful and expensive for Ryzen 3 and Ryzen 5 CPUs.
Scythe Shuriken 2: Best budget low profile cooler for Ryzen CPUs
With a height of only 58 millimeters and solid performance for such a small cooler, the Scythe Shuriken 2 is the best budget low-profile cooler for Ryzen CPUs. This cooler can fit into almost every Mini-ITX case. Just remember that CPU overclocking is not an option when it comes to low-profile coolers.
DeepCool AS500: Best mid-range air cooler for Ryzen 7 CPUs
Now, while this category targets Ryzen 7 CPUs, we can recommend this cooler not only for the 5800X but also for the 5600X and 5900X. If you plan on overclocking the 5800X, maybe go with a more potent heatsink or an AIO solution since that one’s the hottest member of the Zen 3 family. We have a list of the best 240mm AIO liquid coolers in case you opt for a liquid-based cooling solution in the end.
Anyway, the DeepCool AS500 presents the best bang for the buck you can find at the moment. The cooler itself features a single tower, single fan design, but it’s almost as powerful as the high-end dual tower air coolers.
On top of its incredible performance, the AS500 is also extremely silent, mostly thanks to its 140mm fan. Another potential positive is a tasteful and subtle RGB implementation that could end up even in some non-RGB builds.
Overall, the DeepCool AS500 is an exceptional mid-range air cooler and is our prime choice for everyone looking for an air CPU cooler. The only potential drawbacks are tied to the clearance.
First of all, the cooler is 164mm tall, which could create issues with lots of mid-tower cases. Next, the cooler brackets may touch certain board elements when installed (capacitors next to the VRM section, for instance), so be careful about that.
Scythe Fuma 2: Best mid-range quiet air cooler for Ryzen 7 CPUs
The Scythe Fuma 2 is another exceptional air cooler from Scythe and the best mid-range cooler for Ryzen CPUs if you demand low noise. 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/5900X CPUs.
Noctua NH-L12S: Best mid-range low-profile cooler for Ryzen CPUs
If you’re building an ITX rig and need a low-profile cooler but not an ultra-low profile like the Noctua NH-L9a, get the Noctua NH-L12S. Its height is just 70mm.
With a height this low, the thing to watch is RAM clearance since the NH-L12S can cause issues with sticks featuring tall heatsinks. Here’s our list of the best low-profile RAM kits if you end up getting the NH-12S.
The Noctua NH-L12S offers excellent performance for a low-profile unit. As long as your CPU doesn’t need more than 125-140 watts, you’ll be fine. Noise levels are just as good as thermal performance unless you manually set fans to max RPM.
Noctua NH-D15: Best overall cooler for Ryzen 9 CPUs
The Noctua NH-D15 is among the best air coolers on the market and the best air cooler for Ryzen 9 CPUs, including the R9 5950X. It provides excellent performance and does that by staying very quiet. Exceptional thermal performance comes with a price in the form of huge size.
This cooler is very large and quite heavy at 1320 grams (2.91 pounds). 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.
be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4: 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 high-end quiet cooler you can get for your Ryzen CPU. It provides superb thermal performance while keeping noise levels at around 30 decibels even under max load. And it also looks rather attractive, with an all-black design and nice-looking fans.
DeepCool Assassin III: Best high-end cooler for Ryzen 9 CPUs
The DeepCool Assassin III is a monster of an air cooler. Its thermal performance is noticeably better than 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 one of the best choices for high-end Ryzen CPUs.
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 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.
Do you really need an aftermarket cooler?
Most Ryzen CPUs come 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 thermals of Ryzen CPUs under check, even when the CPU is under max load. The 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.
The middle range can work great with Ryzen 7 processors but also with the Ryzen 9 3900X/5900X. 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 CPUs (5900X, 5950X). They provide top performance and are a great choice if you like to overclock your CPU. On the flip-side, the best air coolers also sport flagship prices.
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