CPU Cooling for Ryzen 9 3900X

So I am planning on building an R9 system through the black friday sales and am trying to decide on cooling. I have intention of overclocking the processor rather now or down the line. I have been told that AIO coolers are not worth getting unless I am going to spend $200+ and that I would be better off with a good high end air cooler for ~$125. Like a noctura D14 or CoolerMaster MA620P with an extra fan.

Does anyone have some good insights for me? Should I go with air cooling or are cheaper $150 AIOs totally fine?


  • AIO's look cooler and make the inside of your case look tidier… that's about the only advantage it has over Big Air cooling. But not necessarily in raw cooling performance or even noise.

    A high end Noctua air cooler can actually outperform an expensive AIO., so if raw cooling is what you want, air cooler will do it but an AIO setup is to most people, much nicer to look at if you have a tempered glass case.

  • +2 votes

    To be honest the box cooler with AMD is pretty adequate if you aren't OCing, and for most of us at home there's no real point to OCing the 3rd gen ryzen gear anyway. You can OC them for more all core performance, but at the cost of single core turbo frequency which could be more important.

    With a decent case it won't be hard to change the cooler later. I'd suggest just use the box cooler and see how it goes. If you think its too noisy or don't like the peak temps when you're doing real work loads (not stressing it in Prime95), then change it. The box cooler looks nice, performs well, isn't too loud and has some nice but not over the top RGB.

    I'm also really tempted to grab a 3900x if a good sale pops up. If you do find one please put a deal up.

    • Will do. Was going to get a 3700x but with b.friday tomorrow, I might just wait and see if the prices are good.

      • There was an ebay one the other day for about $715 I think. Had that in my shopping cart but decided against. If anything goes lower than that I don't think I could resist.

        I'm running an OCed R7 1700. My motherboard is compatible with 3rd gen ryzen so it would make a rather nice and easy upgrade. Really don't need it but there's something about having all those cores.

        • Couldn't agree with you more. I am upgrading from an OC'd i5-4570k. So anything 8 cores and above will feel like light speed. Still don't know how I went from looking at a new graphics card in the $600 range to putting together a build for tomorrow that is closer to $3k and included getting new replacement parts from corsair for my case and new monitors and chair and whatnot. lol

          • @curtturtle: I hope its got RBG Ram in the RGB motherboard with an RGB graphics card and an RGB cooler with RGB fans in an RGB case powered by an RGB PSU. Rainbows make it go faster. True fact.

  • bought an aigo 120mm aio cooler off aliexpress for about $50.

    then mounted this bracket with some other fans and have it pointed at the motherboard. Handles cooling very well (less than 30 degrees idle, max 60 load, i7 4790k).

  • NH-D15

  • You're asking if you should buy something noisy with lights all over it for children or buying something quiet which works better for half the price.

    • Sounds about right.

      Noctua NH-D15 for me. Been running it for many years over multiple CPUs, can't ever hear the thing.

    • I do prefer quiet

      • In that case get a Noctua NH-D15, you will never hear it and it will outperform pretty much any AIO out there, and cheaper.

        You case says maximum CPU cooler height is 170mm and the D15 sits at 165mm.

  • sounds like you got a small case ,
    not sure about case airflow but if oc, air cooler might be better at cooling surrounding VRMs as well

  • Thanks for the advice. I ended up getting a corsair AIO 280mm through a buddy who bought one and decided not to use it.