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Best CPU cooler for AMD Ryzen 9 5950X 


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Best Ryzen 9 5950X air cooler

Noctua NH-D15

Noctua NH-D15


How do CPU coolers work? 

CPU coolers are pretty complicated in terms of physics, but they aim to fulfill one single purpose and that’s to dump as much heat out of the CPU as possible. CPU coolers achieve this in a few ways. 

There are some basic physics to understand here if you want to know how CPU coolers work. Heat dissipation is performed via three main methods, conduction, convection, and radiation. Most CPU coolers use at least one of the three methods at some stage throughout the cooling cycle. 

Heat moves from the CPU to the cold plate, then through the heat pipe, the heat is transferred to the heatsink. This is where, with the aid of a fan, the heat is dissipated into the air around the heatsink. 

This is a very simple explanation of how CPU coolers work and we have one far more in-depth in our “Best CPU cooler for Ryzen 9 5900X” article. 


Things to consider 

There are a few things to consider when opting for a brand new CPU cooler such as air vs liquid, socket, TDP, and more. We will run through everything you need to know before picking the cooler that’s right for you and your 5950X. 

TDP 

TDP is the enemy and the very reason we’re installing a CPU cooler in the first place, TDP stands for thermal dynamic power and is the maximum amount of heat a component can output at its maximum load. 

A more powerful CPU may contain more cores or threads, clocked at a higher speed, for example, the addition of these features increases power consumption, creating more waste. 

When any electrical component operates, it wastes some of its energy as heat energy. This is a natural occurrence, all we can do is integrate IHS’ onto the CPU die to allow a more efficient transfer of heat between CPU and cooler. 

Make sure the TDP dissipation statistic on the CPU cooler you’re planning on getting exceeded the TDP of your CPU, especially if you plan on overclocking. 

AIR vs liquid cooling 

Both air and liquid cooling are viable options when it comes to PC cooling, but one is superior to another in terms of performance. 

Air cooling 

OverClockers UK PBlade 3 PC Build 45

Air cooling has been around since the dawn of computers, and even the most advanced forms of water cooling still use forms of air cooling to dissipate heat away from its radiators. 

There’s not a whole lot to say about air coolers, other than the fact they are some of the cheaper options on the market. Cheap doesn’t necessarily mean bad though, as you will see some air coolers can compete with lower-end liquid coolers on the market. 

Air coolers are easy to install and maintain, and their simplicity is one of their strengths. 

Liquid cooling

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Liquid cooling comes in a couple of different forms, AIOs and custom loops. AIO coolers are all the goodness of custom loops rolled into one neat little package, whereas custom loops can be as complex or as simple as you want them to be. 

AIOs

bestaio 8

AIOs consist of a water block, a built-in pump, transport tubes, a radiator, and a few fans. These components put together comprise a mid-level water cooling system. 

AIOs are closed, meaning you cant open them up to access the pump or any of the water block internals. Some, however, do include a fill port to allow you to top up your AIO cooler with a cooling solution. This enclosed design means that AIOs are less susceptible to dust build-up and damage around the pump area but still suffer the same dust build-up on radiators and fans – depending on your airflow configuration. 

AIOs are generally less expensive than custom loops, but they can be much more expensive than a good air cooler. There are a lot of AIO’s out there and they all come in different shapes and sizes, some even feature LCD screens mounted onto the water block. 

Despite the price increase, AIOs do generally perform significantly better than air coolers. 

Custom loops 

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Custom loops are the most expensive way to regulate temperatures in your PC, costing anywhere from $150 to around $1000 for a decent setup. 

The goal of custom loops is the same as AIO coolers, to use water to draw heat from the CPU to a radiator. The trick is that custom loops do it a lot more efficiently.  

Custom loops can use any size reservoir with a pump capable of moving large volumes of water rapidly. They can also incorporate whatever size radiator is required multiple times into the system. This combination of advantages means custom loops can cool a lot more efficiently than AIOs as they aren’t restricted to a specific size. 

Maintenance is a lot harder on a custom loop, however. Custom loop maintenance involves draining the entire system of all water and then attempting whatever repairs or cleaning is necessary. Not to mention the twice-yearly water replacement you should perform as standard.  

Besides the points we mentioned, a custom loop isn’t too much different than an AIO in an operational sense. 

Socket 

am4 socket

When selecting any CPU cooler it’s important you make sure that the cooler fits the CPU socket on your motherboard. This isn’t usually a problem in this day and age as most coolers ship with native compatibility for most sockets. However, if you’re opting for an older cooler whilst owning a newer socket, it would be wise to check the compatibility sheet online. 

Spacial requirements 

Ensure your PC case supports the CPU cooler you’re planning on purchasing, this may be a height requirement for air coolers or radiator dimensions for liquid coolers. Having a CPU cooler that does not fit into your case is less than ideal, as improper mounting can significantly diminish the efficiency of the cooler. 


Best Ryzen 9 5950X cooler 

Here we will list the three CPU coolers we feel are the best choice for the Ryzen 9 5950X CPU. 

Asus ROG RYUJIN II 360 CPU Cooler

Asus ROG RYUJIN II 360 CPU Cooler

Asus RYUJIN II

Intel: LGA 1150, 1151, 1152, 1155, 1156, 1200, 1366, 2011, 2011-3, 2066 AMD: AM4, TR4*

3x Noctua NF-F12 InductrialPPC 2000 PWM Fans

3.5″ Full Color LCD Screen

The ASUS ROG Ryujin II is one of the most visually pleasing AIO coolers on the market, mostly thanks to its huge pump and vivid, industrial-looking LCD screen.

This model is available in both 240 and 360mm variants, giving builders with different form factor cases some flexibility regarding the size. 

The main talking point of the Ryujin II is the addition of the LCD screen, which allows any image or GIF to be displayed. The LCD screen has full AIDA64 support, meaning you can display current system state information on the 3.5″ full-color screen if you so wish, but if you want to display your favorite cat gif, that’s fine too. 

The Ryuijin ii also features 380mm sleeved tubing comprised of thick rubber, to add durability and improve the visuals over the duller tube designs. 

All in all, we have a beefy, efficient radiator that will provide your 5950X with all the cooling it needs, and the inclusion of a hefty, high-flow water pump means your CPU will never be in short supply of cold water to cool it. 

You can check out our full Ryujin ii review here. 

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