Best CPU Coolers for AMD Ryzen Threadripper CPUs Review
Our experiences with cooling, overclocking, playing with frequencies with AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors and Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML360 with pros and cons…
We use multi-core AMD Threadripper processors on two of the video editing workstations, as well as many systems in the Technopat office. One of them is the 2970WX with 24 cores, 48 threads, and the other 2990WX with 32 cores, 64 threads. Processors that support 4 channels of memory, both using Ryzen cores with Zen+ architecture. The processors we have been using for a long time now come with 3000 series models, but we are still very satisfied with the performance of these systems. In this article, we share some of our long-term experiences.
Perhaps a negative side of these processors is that the basic and turbo operating frequencies are somewhat lower than the processors produced for gaming and general use. This is because the number of cores is many times higher than that of “normal” processors, and the footprint of Threadripper processors is also quite large. The frequencies are 3.0Ghz and 4.2Ghz respectively for the two processors.
Of course, the 4.2Ghz frequency is only valid for instantaneous and single-core workloads. When we put the processor under long and heavy workloads such as video processing, we even witnessed the operating frequency decrease to 2.6Ghz.
On the other hand, since the number of cores is high, Threadrippers can work much more efficiently than 8-core processors (i9 11900K) with speeds over 5Ghz in parallel workloads such as video encoding.
The high power it draws and the high heat it produces due to the processor braking itself. To keep this under control, we have often seen it drop below the baseline operating frequency under load. This is not unusual, it applies to all processors. But of course, it is easier to see when the number of cores increases and the workload increases.
Well, while we were wondering if we could overcome this with a good CPU cooler, we came across Cooler Master’s MasterLiquid ML360 Mirror TR4 cooler. It is quite difficult to find suitable processors for Threadripper in Turkey and this sample came to us months before it was released by Cooler Master. In this way, we have had a very long and extensive usage experience.
This is a very nice CPU cooler with RGB lighting on the pump unit and in the middle of which we can see the Cooler Master logo with an infinite mirror effect.
Thanks to the easy installation of the TR4 socket, we were able to install a cooler without spending much time. All you have to do is tighten the 4 screws on the cooler by aligning them with the 4 screw holes in the socket.
Our MSI MEG X399 Creation motherboard is a motherboard that supports overclocking and has more than enough CPU power circuit components. The number of inputs and outputs, the additional features of the motherboard and the box contents are especially useful for business computers.
In addition, we gave importance to the in-case cooling. In the front of the case, the 3 fans of the ML360 cooler pass the cold air outside through the radiator and blow it into the case, and some heated air inside the case is quickly thrown out by the 2 14 cm fans on the case and the 12 cm exhaust fan at the back. This keeps the power circuit components around the processor cool.
This has always been one of the negative aspects of liquid cooling compared to air cooling. The pump unit keeps the CPU pretty cool, but doesn’t do much for the passive heatsinks on the power circuit components around the CPU. You should do this yourself by keeping your in-case cooling intact.
Back on topic, we plugged the heatsink into our Threadripper 2990WX using liquid metal.
We set the pump speed to run at 2300 RPM, or full speed, because it really didn’t make any noise. For the radiator fans, we have set a special fan curve to operate at 60% when the processor is running cool, and at 100% after 75 degrees.
First we took the voltage and processor multiplier completely manually and started with a multiplier of 35 and a core voltage of 1.35 volts. As the temperatures approached 90 degrees we realized that 1.35 was a bit too high and we went down to 1.34, 1.33 and finally 1.32 and we were able to get the temperatures under control around 75 degrees without any stability issues.
Next up was to see if we could raise the frequency a little more. We increased the multiplier one by one, up to 38, 3.8Ghz, and we didn’t experience any stability issues in Adobe Premiere, Handbrake and CPU-Z Stress test tests.
Running 32 cores and 64 threads at 3.8Ghz really generates tremendous heat, and the pump in the cooler needs to work well to take this heat from the processor and transfer it to the radiator effectively.
If you have viewed the screenshots above, you must have noticed that in the test that measures the single and multi-core performance of the processor in the CPU-Z application, our processor, which we overclocked to 3.8 Ghz, received lower single-core performance at this point. But the multi-core performance is 2000 points higher. This is because by default, the processor can increase its frequency up to 4.2Ghz in single core workloads. However, when overclocked, all cores are constantly running at 3.8Ghz, the Turbo frequency applied in a single core is eliminated. In other words, in some cases, it will be more useful to just cool it without overclocking or adjust it according to the work situation.
We also did a video conversion test with Handbrake. We converted a 4k 30p H.264 encoded video with a length of 8 minutes 37 seconds by choosing the Fast 1080p 30 profile. At default settings, this conversion process took 6 minutes and 10 seconds, after overclocking it decreased to 5 minutes and 36 seconds. We have a 34 second win. For longer files the difference will be up to 1-2 minutes. If you work all day, there are more important gains.
At default values, the processor sees a maximum of 64 degrees, while the maximum temperature after overclocking has increased to 75 degrees.
4Ghz and beyond
The performance difference we have achieved may not be enough for some users or there may be some who think that it is not worth the effort. Let’s remind you that we are a little modest about overclocking, and those who want to squeeze the last hertz out of their processor in the long run can push the 4Ghz barrier, which is even more challenging. Zen+ is an architecture that can work at these frequencies, as long as the cooling is good.
Let us remind you that one of your alternatives is to run servers, workstations and remote access in air-conditioned environments with good air conditioning, such as a system room.
Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML360 Mirror is a more than enough cooler even for overclocking AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors with 250W TDP. Even if you don’t care about overclocking, it’s a product we can recommend for your workstation to run quietly, cool and have a long life. Even if you don’t exaggerate like us, you can bring out the performance of your Threadripper with a normal thermal paste and classic usage.