OC3D 2020 CPU Cooler Roundup

Thermal Testing - Stock i9-9900K

OC3D 2020 CPU Cooler Roundup

Thermal Testing - Stock i9-9900K  

Our CPU thermal testing is conducted on an Intel i9-9900K under heavy loads using Prime95 version 26.6's "Small FFT's" test. This is a high CPU workload, and represents the maximum load that anyone can ever expect a processor to be under with consumer-grade scenarios. Basically, if our CPU stays under 95 degrees during this test, it will always sit under that temperature.

Any cooler that allows our processor gets over 95 degrees is an automatic fail, causing our test to automatically end. These failed coolers sit at the bottom of our charts with no charted data beside them. As you can see below, some coolers can pass our test when running at their top fan speeds and fail when using lower fans speeds. This is why we test all of our coolers with multiple fan RPM settings.     

As you can see below, there is a huge variation in thermals across the products we tested. Typically, air coolers offer higher temperatures than their liquid cooler counterparts, though heatsinks like Noctua's NH-D15 are able to sit in a relatively strong position on our charts given its retail price. 

It will be interesting to see how the order of our charts change as we increase the power consumption of our i9-9900K processor.  

  

OC3D 2020 CPU Cooler Roundup  

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Most Recent Comments

08-04-2020, 14:10:30

AlienALX
Great test. Surprised to see the Noctua so low down tbh.Quote

08-04-2020, 14:14:34

WYP
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlienALX View Post
Great test. Surprised to see the Noctua so low down tbh.
Remember that we have a lot of AIOs in there, and loads of 360mm models.

It's doing very well, especially at low fan RPMs. Very impressed TBH.Quote

08-04-2020, 14:25:45

Jaxel
I use a Cooler Master ML240 in one of my PCs... I would not recommend this cooler to anyone. It cools fine. But every few minutes or so, it gurgles.

I also do not recommend most other AIO coolers either. I 3D print a lot of cases, and what I noticed is that for a lot of these coolers, the tolerances on the actual radiator are complete garbage. The holes are not always exact. If you have a case which has variable hole spaces, they should work fine. But if you have cases which expect holes to be exactly 105mm apart, and they are 103mm or 107mm apart instead, you will have problems.

The best tolerances on radiators I have seen are from Deepcool GamerStorm. I highly recommend the GamerStorm Castle 360EX.Quote

08-04-2020, 15:32:37

AngryGoldfish
I'm impressed at how comparable the 280mm Celsius+ is to the 360mm. Given the £30 price difference, if my case could fit the 280mm rad, I'd just go with that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaxel View Post
I use a Cooler Master ML240 in one of my PCs... I would not recommend this cooler to anyone. It cools fine. But every few minutes or so, it gurgles.

I also do not recommend most other AIO coolers either. I 3D print a lot of cases, and what I noticed is that for a lot of these coolers, the tolerances on the actual radiator are complete garbage. The holes are not always exact. If you have a case which has variable hole spaces, they should work fine. But if you have cases which expect holes to be exactly 105mm apart, and they are 103mm or 107mm apart instead, you will have problems.

The best tolerances on radiators I have seen are from Deepcool GamerStorm. I highly recommend the GamerStorm Castle 360EX.
In fairness, the ML240 is over two years old now. In that time pumps have improved substantially in terms of quietness. I jumped aboard AIO's a few years ago and found them to be obnoxiously noisy. I moved back to air cooling and have been very happy. But since then Asetek have released a few iterations that across the board have improved noise levels. If I were building a new system, I'd consider an AIO again.Quote

08-04-2020, 15:36:43

AlienALX
Oddly AMD recommend a 280 for Ryzen 3900x and 3950x. Maybe they have just had more R&D recently? IDK.Quote
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