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AMD Threadripper System Buyer's Guide

By: Steven Bassiri | Guides | Posted: Oct 4, 2017 3:55 pm

Choosing a Cooler

 

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There are three types of coolers for users who want to run their system 24/7; air cooling, all-in-one water cooling, or custom water cooling. There is also the fully submerged method (ambient phase change using oil) and also the phase change method where a gas is compressed, expands at the CPU, and is cooled down by a radiator (subzero phase change like an AC or chiller), but those these methods are costly and/or messy.

 

 

If you are going to overclock, I highly recommend a custom water cooling loop with at least a thick triple radiator just for the CPU. There are also triple radiator AIOs, as well as dual radiator AIOs, and AMD actually has included a mounting bracket for some AIOs.

 

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The list of AMD TR4/X399 coolers is growing longer and longer every day, at launch, there weren't many, but now there are many. AMD supplied reviewers with the Thermaltake Floe Riing RGB 360, but I found the Corsair H115i to be just as effective if not a bit more because of the stronger stock fans.

 

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If you already have an AIO cooler, you need to check if it's on the compatible list, and if it is, then all you will need to make it work is the bracket included in the Threadripper CPU box. However, there are also new AIOs such as the Enermax Liqtech TR4 360mm that I have pictured center right, and it works better than the Corsair H115i (center left), but it's still not as effective as a very nice (albeit expensive) custom loop.

 

 

Thermal Paste Application

 

I recommend buying a decent amount of thermal paste and experimenting with the best application methods. I used CoolerMaster MasterGel Maker, as it came in a decent enough size to play around with and has solid properties. If you go with IC7 Diamond or any other thick paste, it's recommended to heat it up inside its syringe in hot water for a few minutes and then apply it.

 

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These are the different methods I used and the resulting coverage pattern.

 

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The raw results are on the table, and I get a temperature from each die (there are two dies positioned diagonally), and then I can average them. I used Intel Burn Test with 30 loops and took a measurement three loops in and then at the end.

 

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Here we see the results of the Thermal Paste Application Test. The results are the delta between idle and load taken with the average of the temperature of the two dies. We see that AMD's recommended 5-point method works very well, as does the two vertical line method and small dabs method. However, you shouldn't take these results as an absolute answer on what method is best, as every mount will yield different results depending on how much or how little thermal paste is applied and where. You should use the diagonal screw tightening method where you screw a bit of each screw, moving diagonally across the block, so the block mounts evenly.

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