Last Updated on July 1, 2020 by Scott Krager
After mainstream Ryzen processors, it’s their threadripper siblings that are ruling the market and beating Intel counterparts in almost every benchmark possible…. by a good margin.
But having these powerful CPUs in your workstation means that you need an equally cooling system in place for them to work properly.
2nd-Gen threadripper CPUs had a maximum TDP of 250W (in the case of 2970wx and 2990Wx. For 2920wx and 2950wx, it’s 180W), but it is increased to 280W in both 3960X and 3970X – probably due to the more cores and threads AMD has put in this time.
Best CPU Cooler For Ryzen 3960X And 3970X
- Corsair Hydro Series H150i Pro RGB (Best Silent Cooler For Ryzen 3960X / 3970X)
- Thermaltake Water 3.0 ARGB Sync (Best Performing Cooler For Ryzen 3960X / 3970X))
The good news is that all the coolers we have listed in this roundup easily cross that threshold. So, without any wait, let’s talk about the best CPU coolers for Ryzen 3960X and 3970X.
Corsair Hydro Series H150i Pro RGB: Check Price On Amazon
Corsair is a big name when it comes to AIO coolers. In fact, my own PC build has an H100i cooler for my Intel i5-8400, and my experience has been very good for two years ago.
For the most times, AIO coolers were limited to single or double 120mm radiators.
But as we know that multiple/larger coolers can achieve the same level of cooling as a single/smaller cooler even if they rotate at a slower speed, dual 140mm and triple 120mm are slowly getting more popular among the PC builders.
The cooler we have here, the Corsair H150i Pro, is a triple 120mm (360mm in total) cooler that was released at the start of 2018. But even after more than two years of its release, we think it to be good for threadripper CPUs.
Let’s find out why.
In terms of design, this resembles with other successful (but smaller) coolers corsair has released over the years, the only the larger radiator and RGB making real difference as far as appearance is concerned. Functionality-wise as well, it works just like any other common AIO cooler with a single radiator, two hoses, and a block.
To be fair, Corsair has put up thick-walled FEP (Fluorinated Ethylene Propylene) tubing with nylon sleeve braiding here, which makes it more flexible as well as good-looking. Its block is powered by a SATA-based connector, and has a 3-pin connector which acts as a tachometer for measure speed and other stats.
Inside its box you’ll only get the mounting hardware and an internal USB 2.0 header. While there is supporting hardware for most socket types from Intel as well as AMD, threadripper CPUs are not supported out of the box. You’ll have to separately buy a TR4 mounting bracket for threadripper CPUs which, although is not so expensive, increases the overall cost slightly.
H150i Pro has three high-quality 120mm PWM-based ML (Magnetic Levitation) fans, having their plastic reinforced, with maximum airflow of 47.3 CFM and a maximum rotational speed of 1600 RPM. These three side by side fans and a large radiator makes it very large indeed, at 400mm.
So large that its hoses are not long enough for the block to reach the other end. It’s not very thick though, and requires 55 mm for clearance.
H150i comes with RGB around the logo and its surrounding ring on the block, and you can customize their color using Corsair iCUE software. You can also use it to assign different colors for different temperature readings.
In performance, we got interesting results. While this cooler didn’t perform much better than its predecessors and did worse than other models of this roundup, it’s real strength lies in its noise-less operations.
The fans run quietly, and completely stop if not under load. And even when they’re running at full speed, you’ll hardly hear anything. All in all, if you don’t mind a slight rise in CPU temperature and put silence over any other performance aspect, this is the perfect cooler for your Ryzen 3960X and 3970X CPUs.
It gives you an easier installation, and simple setup and controlling.
Thermaltake Water 3.0 ARGB Sync: Check Price On Amazon
Best AIO Cooler For Ryzen 3960X And 3970X
Thermaltake is another well-known brand in PC hardware market and from chassis to accessories to power supplies, they make almost every component related to consumer PCs.
They introduced Water 3.0 ARGB last year, and we found it to be best performing liquid cooling solution for Ryzen threadripper CPUs as of now – unless you want to take the custom-loop route.
First thing I liked in this cooler is that the mounting hardware for threadripper CPUs comes out of box, and you don’t have to buy a separate mounting bracket as was the case with Corsair H150i. You get mounting hardware for other Intel and AMD sockets as well which can be really if you decide to use this cooler with nay other CPU/motherboard combo in the future.
Apart from this, you also get some additional cables and adapters. A SATA-powered cable for lighting comes out of the box, but there are two adapter as well, through which you can control it through your motherboard’s ARGB header.
Being a 360mm AIO cooler, Water 3.0 has three Thermaltake Pure 12 ARGB Sync fans with each of them having its own connector for lighting. All three of them have a 9-blade design and rotate between 500 – 1500 RPM depending on the load.
Like H150i, Water 3.0 is a long cooler with almost 400mm length. Its tubing is not braided but is long enough to reach possible mountable space of your PC chassis. Installation process is pretty easy and straightforward, and require no more than 5 minutes of you.
Another thing I liked in Water 3.0 is its ARGB lighting. It works with any motherboard with an ARGB header be it from Gigabyte, MSI, or ASRock. It Syncs seamlessly with ASUS Aura, Gigabyte RGB Fusion, MSI Mystic Light and ASRock Polychrome software.
Unlike most other Asetek-based coolers, Water 3.0 uses PWM fan headers to control temperature monitoring (instead of relying on its own software). And this is the reason why fans perform much more sensitively here in what they do in other AIO coolers.
All of this, results in much better performance even when the CPU is overclocked. In fact, in many thermal benchmarks, it beats H150i by almost 10%.
All in all, this is the best CPU cooler for your 3960x / 3970x for value right now. In another roundup, Water 3.0 was found out to the best performing 360mm CPU cooler in the market.
The only downside I can think of in the Water 3.0 is its rather short warranty of just 3 years, when many other companies are offering 5-year warranties for their AIO coolers.
Air Cooling For Ryzen 3960X And 3970X?
Due to their very high TDP of 280W, air cooling is more or less out of the equation for Ryzen 3960X and 3970X (Sorry, HSF lovers). As far as I’ve researched, there are only a few air coolers that can handle 280W, such as Silver’s Arrow TR4 and Noctua U14S TR4-SP3.
But even then, I would advise you to not go for these air coolers.
Because TDP listed by Intel/AMD on their processors is only the ‘default TDP’ and those processors can certainly consume a lot more power than their listed TDPs in scenarios such as overclocking. It means if you go for either of Silver Arrow TR4 and Noctua U14S, you won’t be able to do even the slightest overclocking without risking your PC hardware.
Now it would be shame, if you ask me, to spend $3000-$4000 on your PC hardware and not getting their maximum power somehow. This is the reason why you should spend some more and go for any one of the different AIO coolers we discussed above.
Sure, there was a time when AIO coolers were criticized for leakage issues and other problems, but that time is long gone.
Nowadays, many AIO coolers come up with a decent warranty and manufacturers are willing (in case of any leakage) to pay not only for the cooler itself but also for the damage done on other hardware components.