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[nextpage title=”Introduction”]As we mentioned on the FX-6350 CPU Review, AMD is selling some of their CPUs with a new cooler, called Wraith. Let’s see how it performs. Check it out!
The Wraith comes with the promise to be more powerful and quieter than the stock cooler AMD has been selling with their box high-TDP CPUs. Is it important to remember that, since the Athlon 64, launched in 2003, the physical standards for the AMD coolers is the same. However, there are several different stock coolers. On the low-end CPUs, like the A4 or A6, the stock cooler is a small all-aluminum model. On the FX and A10 models, however, the included stock cooler is bigger, with copper base and heatpipes.
The Wraith was initially announced as a companion for the FX-8370, but now it can also come with the FX-8350 and the FX-6350. Some models are sold in two options, with the stock cooler or with the Wraith, and there is a small price difference (USD 10 or USD 25) between models with different coolers.
Figure 1 shows the Wraith, which has a big frame around the fan.
Figure 1: the Wraith cooler
Figure 2 shows the Wraith side by side with the 125W AMD stock cooler.
Figure 2: the Wraith (left) and the AMD stock cooler (right)
This cooler is discussed in detail in the following pages.
[nextpage title=”The product”]
Figure 3 shows the side the of the Wraith. The fins are strong and the overall quality is great.
Figure 3: side view
Figure 4 shows the front of the Wraith. As you can see, the mounting clip is similar to other AMD stock coolers.
Figure 4: front view
Figure 5 unveils the top view of the cooler, where you see the fan and its frame.
Figure 5: top view
In Figure 6, you see the base of the cooler, made of pure copper. The Wraith comes with a preapplied thermal compound, but we did not take a picture before installing it for the first time.
Figure 6: the base of the Wraith
Figure 6 shows the detail of the interface between the heatpipes and the base.
Figure 7: base detail
Removing four small screws, it is possible to remove the fan frame. Notice that, inside the frame, there is a small PCB containing some LEDs that lit the AMD logo, which is only visible when the cooler is turned on.
Figure 8: frame removed
Figure 9 shows the fan, made by Delta, model QFR0912H. It is a 92 mm fan, 25.4 mm high, with 3.84 W, 60,47 cfm, and 37 dBA.
Figure 9: fan
Figure 10 shows the heatsink without the fan.
Figure 10: heatsink
Figure 11 shows the AMD logo lit. It should be a nice touch to the cooler, but it is so dim and it so badly placed (it stands facing the memory modules) that, even with a side window on your case, it will possibly be not visible from outside the case.
Figure 11: AMD logo
[nextpage title=”How We Tested”]
We tested the cooler with an FX-8350 CPU (eight-core, 4.0 GHz), which is a socket AM3+ processor with a 125 W TDP (Thermal Design Power). We configured it to run at its stock 4.0 GHz (200 MHz base clock and x20 multiplier) with 1.35V Vcore.
We measured noise and temperature with the CPU under full load. In order to get 100% CPU usage in all cores, we ran Prime 95 25.11 with the “In-place Large FFTs” option. (In this version, the software uses all available threads.)
We compared the tested cooler to the AMD stock cooler, with a high-end air cooler (Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO) and an average air cooler (PCYES Zero K Z3). We tested each cooler with the fans connected to the motherboard and set to automatic speed control. The Wraith was also tested at full speed.
Room temperature measurements were taken with a digital thermometer. The core temperature was read with the SpeedFan program (available from the CPU thermal sensors), using an arithmetic average of the core temperature readings.
During the tests, the side panels of the computer case were closed.
The sound pressure level (SPL) was measured with a digital noise meter, with its sensor placed near the top of the case. This measurement is only for comparison purposes, because a precise SPL measurement needs to be made inside an acoustically insulated room with no other noise sources, which is not the case here.
- Processor: FX-8350 @ 4.0 GHz
- Motherboard: ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Killer
- Memory: 16 GiB DDR3-2133 G.Skill Ripjaws Z, four F3-17000CL9Q-16GBZH 4 GiB modules configured at 1600 MHz
- Boot drive: Kingston HyperX Savage 480 GiB
- Power Supply: Cooler Master CX500M
- Case: Sharkoon VG4-W
Operating System Configuration
- Windows 10 Home 64 bit
We adopted a 2°C error margin, meaning temperature differences below 2°C are considered irrelevant.
[nextpage title=”Our Tests”]
The table below presents the results of our measurements. We repeated the same test on each cooler listed below, with the CPU at full load. The fan speed was adjusted in the motherboard setup to automatic control.
As we are comparing the temperature difference between the CPU and the air outside the computer (and not the actual CPU temperatures), there is no bias in taking measures under different room temperatures. Both heat transfer physics and our practical tests proved this.
|Cooler||Room Temp.||Noise||Fan speed||Core Temp.||Temp. Diff.|
|AMD Wraith (full)
||14 °C||49 dBA||3.000 rpm||62 °C||48 °C|
|AMD Wraith (auto)||14 °C||44 dBA||2,200 rpm||68 °C||54 °C|
||13 °C||52 dBA||4,700 rpm||69 °C||56 °C|
|Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO||14 °C||45 dBA||1,500 rpm||50 °C||36 °C|
|PCYES Zero K Z3
||13 °C||42 dBA||1,400 rpm||67 °C||54 °C|
On the graph below, you can see who many degrees Celcius the CPU core was hotter than the air temperature. The smaller the difference, the better is the cooler.
On the following graph, you see how many decibels of noise each cooler makes. The lower, the quieter.
The Wraith has been announced by AMD as being a quiet cooler. It is only partially true: if you configure, on your motherboard setup (if the cooler fan is connected to it), the cooler fan speed on automatic mode with a quiet profile, the Wraith will be barely audible when the CPU is idle and have a reasonable noise level when at full load.
However, if you configure your motherboard to keep the CPU cooler fan always at full speed, the Wraith will be far from quiet. It is not as loud as a high-end cooler with a powerful fan, but will be enough to annoy you in a quiet room.
Concerning to the cooling performance, the Wraith was a little better than the stock cooler, maintaining a lower noise level or, at full speed, a way better performance and still quieter. Compared to a typical tower cooler with 92 mm fan, it also had a good performance, with similar performance. Of course, it was not even close to a high-end cooler.
Concerning to overall aspect and quality, the Wraith also did not disappoint: with a tough look and great constructive quality, its only flaw is the position of the lit logo, only visible if you keep your motherboard on an open, bench-style case.
So, if you are buying an AMD processor and you have the choice to take the version with the Wraith cooler, choose it. If you are not into overclocking, it will keep your CPU at a reasonable temperature with no much noise, and you will have no need to buy a third-party cooler.