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For a long time, AMD’s CPUs have been considered as the cheap alternatives to the more powerful and more expensive Intel Core CPUs.
But this trend started to change in 2018, when Ryzen 2000 CPUs were released. And now, with the release of Ryzen 3000 series, it’s the Ryzen CPUs with an upper hand.
Among those CPUs are Ryzen 5 3600 and 3600X. Although AMD has released the new ultra-powerful Ryzen 9 3900X/3950X CPUs, it’s the midrange market where the main battle is expected: $200-$350.
It’s because this is the price most PC users allocate for their CPUs when building their new PC, and being a part of this range 3600/3600X CPUs are expected to play a crucial part of Ryzen sales this year.
Best CPU Coolers For Ryzen 5 3600 And 3600X
One big advantage 3600/3600X have over their Intel counter-parts is that despite having the same number of cores/threads as their last-gen versions, they have features like 7nm process and Zen 2 micro-architecture.
These are the things which can give a performance boost across all types of softwares/apps. Not to forget about the PCIe 4.0 standard which gives you twice fast throughput than the PCIe 3.0.
So, let’s see how this battle concludes, but as of now, it’s looking like AMD will take the lead.
In order to get the most power out of those CPUs, however, you’ll need a good CPU cooler.
Ryzen 5 3600 and 3600X don’t any require any special CPU cooler. Any good cooler will look/perform good with them. Heck, even the bundled wraith prism cooler is enough as long as you don’t mind slight air noise and you don’t want to hit extreme overclocking levels.
Best Cooler For Ryzen 3600 / 3600X Buying Guide
That being said, here’s the list of coolers we think to be good for these processors.
1. Be quiet! BK009 Pure Rock: Check Price On Amazon
Best Budget Air Cooler For Ryzen 5 3600 & 3600X
Be quiet! is a well-reputed brand when it comes to PC components. When it comes to PC cooling products (fans and air/water coolers), they truly match the likes of Noctua.
Here we have the BK009, a 120-mm entry-level air cooler, with 48 aluminium fins and four 6mm heat pipes. Its black and silver color scheme blends well no matter what color of your system is.
Having dimensions of 120 mm x 120 mm x 25 mm, it’s more close to the compact CPU coolers, and won’t have any big clearance issue related to connectors and headers. That being said, it blocks one DIMM slot in come scenarios, especially if you’re using four memory sticks and those sticks are tall.
The top side of this cooler has a tough aluminum plate and has the Be quiet! logo.
Like in most single-tower air coolers, the heat pipes are arranged in U-shape, are evenly spaced, and have aluminum caps on them. These caps, and the top aluminum plate really adds to the toughness of this cooler. It won’t necessarily make it perform better, but certainly makes it more durable/premium.
Rather the making direct contact with the CPU, they’re connected to a copper base, which in turn is in contact with the CPU. This way, the heat is transferred form the base to the heatpipes, and then to the fins. In case you want to play around some more, you can mount an extra fan too, but the fan clips for that aren’t included.
But those clips come really cheap so it shouldn’t be a deal breaker.
Thanks to be quiet! which provides all the necessary equipment out of the box, this cooler has one of the easiest installation procedure.
The model number of this cooler is BQ PUW2-12025-MS-PWM which implies that it supports PWM. There’s no RGB and any other fancy stuff, but this sub-$30 cooler puts more stress on substance than what it does on style.
Overall, it’s a good cooler geared towards budget users, makes surprisingly low noise and comes with a solid 3-year warranty. Having a TDP of 130W, I believe it’s a good budget air cooler for your Ryzen 5 3600/3600X.
2. Noctua NH-U12A: Check Price On Amazon
Best High-End Air Cooler For Ryzen 5 3600 And 3600X
In case you like air coolers but have some extra cash to spend, there’s Noctua’s NH-U12A for you to check out.
It’s a premium option that competes with the likes of Noctua’s own NH-D15 as well as other High-end HSF coolers.
As far as the aesthetics go, it looks good but not jaw-dropping by any means.
Like other Noctua coolers, it comes with tan and brown color scheme that admittedly isn’t everyone cup of tea. And this is I believe the only real downside here because you can’t use such coolers in any dark-themed PC build. Noctua seriously need to rethink about their coloring scheme.
Overall build quality is really good though, and everything from fans to heatsinks to contact plate is solid.
Unlike NH-D15 where the second fan is sandwiched between the two aluminum fin stacks, here you you get one fan at each end of that big fin stack.
And it doesn’t end there, as Noctua has changed the fans as well. NH-U12A comes with two latest NF-A12x25 120mm fans in push-pull configuration that run at 450-2000 RPM, instead of 140mm ones that come with D15.
One obvious advantage of these smaller fans is that they will give you less issues as far the compatibility and clearance goes.
On the flip side, smaller fans mean they will have to run faster (and produce more noise subsequently) to produce same cooling level of larger 14mm fans. Noctua has countered this problem by adding more heatpipes as well as increasing the surface area of fin stack.
NH-U12A has dimensions of 158mm x 125mm x 112mm (when both fans attached) and weighs 1220 grams, which is slightly less than what D15 offers at 1320 grams.
If durability and reliability is your main concern, then there’s no need to worry as Nh-U12A is tested to last at least 150,000 hours and comes with a big 6-year warranty.
In terms of performance, while it predictably couldn’t succeed in toppling D15, the overall results were pretty impressive as there was only 1-2 degree Celsius difference between these two coolers.
The reason we preferred U12A over D15 is because many people prefer smaller mini-ITX/mATX chassis for Ryzen 3600 and 3600X, and having a smaller cooler will give you far less headches when assembling your build in those little chassis.
But if that’s not the issue and you’ve got a bigger ATX PC Case to fit your cooler in, NH-D15 is an attractive option as well. It costs slightly less than U12A and offers marginally better performance.
3. EVGA CLC 280: Check Price On Amazon
Best AIO Cooler For Ryzen 5 3600 & 3600X
Like Be quite!, EVGA is a well-known name among PC builders, and they make everything from GPUs and PSUs to Cases and Mice/keyboards.
As compared to those parts, they got into the CLC (closed loop cooler) area relatively late, and now have three of those coolers to offer: CL12, CL24 ,and CL28.
For those who don’t know, closed loop coolers are the ones that come with a pre-built water loop from the manufacturers.
You don’t need to assemble anything, and can install them into your system by just attaching their radiator/fan to the case and their water block to your CPU via a bracket. These coolers are also called AIO (All-In-One) coolers.
In terms of technology, all of EVGA’s CLC models, (not just CL28) are based on Asetek’s Gen5 pump, which also powers some of their competitors in the form of NZXT X62 and Corsair H115i.
That being said, there are some subtle changes in areas like Fan design (curved housing), CPU blocks, and pump plate.
To increase the overall durability, this cooler comes with Teflon Nano Bearing fans. The top plate is transparent and has the EVGA logo. In order to control the RGB here, you’ll need to connect your CPU block to a USB header on your motherboard through a USB cable.
The copper base-plate on the CPU block comes with pre-applied thermal paste but if you intend to re-install it some time later, you’ll need to get one of your own.
One good thing I found about this cooler is that the PWM fans can be controlled by both the motherboard and the onboard controller. This onboard controller is the reason why it’s a tad expensive than its rival, but it’s a good thing to have.
Overall, CLC 280 strikes a good balance between style and substance, as compared to its competitors, and it’s certainly remarkable for a company making its first attempt in a new industry.
The one thing I didn’t like here is the fact that its fans get slightly noisy when run at full speed. To be frank though, most of us won’t run the fans at max speed, so it isn’t really a flaw.
All in all, I think it to be the best AIO cooler for Ryzen 5 3600 and 3600X processors.
4. Noctua NH-L12S: Check Price On Amazon
Best Low Profile Cooler For Ryzen 5 3600 & 3600X
Compact builds are the new talk of the town, for quite some time.
These days, PC builders want their rigs to be as small as possible. The main obstacle most people face in this regard are the clearance issues by their PC components. Most PC cases come with a specs sheet that has listed the maximum size of motherboards, RAMs, graphics card, and CPU coolers you can put into those cases.
Having a big PC component than what your chassis can accommodate, especially if it’s an SFF build where space is naturally less, often results in issues like overheating, poor airflow, and other clearance issues.
Due to all this, companies are now trying to release more compact versions of their CPU coolers (and graphics cards too) and one of them is NH-L12S by Noctua.
It’s based one the NH-L12 cooler released way back in 2012. It was 93 mm tall and had two fans, but the new NH-L12S has only one NF-A12x15 PWM fan and therefore comes with only 70 mm height.
As far as the durability is concerned, it’s based on the SSO2 bearings, and good quality material for pipes, base as well as fins results in a premium feel. It’s expected to last 150,000 hours, and has a jaw-dropping warranty of 6 years.
There isn’t anything fancy like RGB but it stills looks pretty good. Besides, Noctua’s products are always known for their performance rather than the aesthetics.
The overall performance of this cooler is decent, and the noise level is really low. Even at 100% fan speed, there is nothing you can hear. Moreover, there isn’t any real flaw I could find here.
Yes, it’s slightly expensive for an air cooler but you really get what you pay for. So if you want to put your Ryzen 5 3600 into a mini-ITX build and do a little CPU overclocking (only little), Noctua NH-L12S is perfect for you.
Here’s what TheStreamingBlog said about this cooler:
“Noctua made all the perfect changes and enhancements to the NH-L12S and we really have no reason to not recommend this CPU cooler to you”
Alright. These were some of the best CPU coolers for the new Ryzen 3600 & 3600X.
As I said at the start of this post, you don’t need a new CPU cooler just for these CPUs. If you have an existing one, and it’s functioning properly, you’re good to go. Or you can use the bundled CPU if a little noise isn’t a deal-breaker for you.
That being said, I personally feel that when you’re spending so much on a build, it should look nothing less than gorgeous. That’s why I would recommend you to go with a liquid cooler, like EVGA CL28.