Best CPU Coolers for Threadripper 2 (2950X/2920X/2990WX)

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Best-CPU-Coolers-for-Threadripper-2-2920X-2950X-2990WX-Cover-Photo

AMD’s latest version of their Threadripper lineup, Threadripper 2 (TR2), is their lineup of enthusiast-grade processors that pack a serious punch. If you’re reading this article, you probably know exactly what they’re capable of and that their blisteringly fast performance, thanks to its 12 (2920X) to 32 cores (2990WX), also results in very highly rated TDP and some serious heat production.

Threadripper-2990WX

If you want to build a system with the Threadripper 2-series CPU, such as the 2920X or 2950X, it’s necessary you’re going to need a beefy CPU cooler that can drive those temperatures down and keep the multi-core system cool. AMD already offers their own ‘wraith’ CPU cooler for Threadripper 2, but if you want to squeeze the absolute most performance from your TR2 build, we recommend upgrading and going for the absolute best air or AIO cooler for the 2920X/2950X/2970WX/2990WX processors.

Note: it is important to have an X399 motherboard with solid VRM thermals and component quality to house the TR2 processor, and we have a guide which covers the best motherboards for TR2 (29900WX/2950X) here. Alternatively, for those that end up building with the Ryzen 2700X instead of TR2, then here are our recommended coolers for 2700X builds.

Below we will list and cover the top air and AIO CPU cooler recommendations that will be compatible for the AM4 socket and provide the best cooling performance for Threadripper 2 CPUs.


Our recommendations

AwardDesignModelRetailer
Best Air Cooler for Threadripper 2 (2920X/2950X)Noctua-NH-U14S-TR4-SP3-threadripper-2990WX-1Noctua NH-U14S TR4-SP3price check
Best AIO/Liquid Cooler for Threadripper 2 (2990WX)Enermax-Liqtech-TR4-240-Best-Cooler-Threadripper-2Enermax Liqtech TR4 240price check

Best Air Cooler for 2920X/2950X Threadripper 2

Noctua-NH-U14S-TR4-SP3-threadripper-2990WX-1

Unfortunately, even in 2019 there aren’t a wide range of good performing TR4 socket CPU coolers to choose from, and although hearing promises from multiple manufacturers we are not optimistic this will change soon. With that said, the best out of the TR4 bunch, from user experiences, reviews and real-world benchmark tests are Noctua’s NH-U14S TR4-SP3. This CPU cooler is the best performing and one of the quietest TR4 coolers for Threadripper 2 CPUs.

The NH-U14S TR4-SP3 supports up to 250W TDP of what the 2990WX demands, is 165mm in height so will fit most ATX and mid-tower builds, pushes an impressive 82.5 CFM of airflow whilst being super silent in operation at just 24.6 decibels!

In a recent performance test between Noctua TR4 socket air CPU coolers, it was shown that the NH-U14S TR4-SP3 performed the best with the lowest temperatures in comparison with the other air coolers, such as the NH-U12S or NH-U9 TR4-SP3. (Benchmark test below)

Note: We recommend for the Threadripper 2 CPUs such as the 2990WX with TDP of 250W instead of 180W to opt for the stock WraithRipper cooler or even better go for a water cooled setup, due to the high TDP. The reasoning for this is explained in more detail later in this article.

benchmark-test-nh-u14s-tr4-sp3-for-threaripper-2

Best Liquid CPU Cooler for 2990WX/Threadripper 2

Enermax-Liqtech-TR4-240-Best-Cooler-Threadripper-2

Whilst the Noctua NH-U14S TR4-SP3 is possibly the best performing air CPU cooler for the 2920X and 2950X, Noctua themselves have indicated that this CPU cooler is not recommended to be used in conjunction with the top of the line Threadripper 2 CPU, the 2990WX – due to the high TDP of 250W. If you do choose to opt for this cooler with a 2990WX, you should expect to see a certain degree of throttling. Therefore, we recommend if you want the best CPU cooler for 2990WX builds to go for an AIO or custom water cooled loop. Once Noctua offers the NH-D15 with a TR socket, then water cooling is the way to go for the 2990WX.

In general, the options you have for AIO cooling the TR2 processors isn’t great in general, many coolers support TR4 but don’t actually have big enough heatsinks to actually fully cover it (the Enermax discussed below does) and provide full coverage.

With what we have just discussed taken into consideration, the best performing TR4 compatible AIO cooler we have seen in recent benchmark tests is the Enermax Liqtech TR4 240. This AIO cooler when paired with the 2990WX in benchmark tests performed best with a lowest idle temperature of 23 degrees, 41 degree average and peak at 52 degrees – which performed at least 10 degrees on average better than all air coolers tested with the 2990WX Threadripper 2 processor. The only thing we are unsure about with the Enermax Liqtech paired with the 2990WX/2920X is its long term reliability.

Threadripper-2-CPU-Cooler-Comparison-Benchmarks

Why haven’t we recommended the NH-D15 or DRP4 for TR2?

Noctua-NH-D15 best cooler for i9 9900k

The gold standard in air CPU cooling right now in 2019 is with the Noctua NH-D15 and Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 – since they offer the best air cooling performance on the market, and their performance is even comparable with 240mm AIO liquid coolers. However, we cannot recommend these CPU coolers for Threadripper 2 (2920X/2950X/2990WX) since these coolers, at this time of writing, support TR4 sockets to attach the cooler to the motherboard. Sigh.


Summary

AwardDesignModelRetailer
Best Air Cooler for Threadripper 2 (2920X/2950X)Noctua-NH-U14S-TR4-SP3-threadripper-2990WX-1Noctua NH-U14S TR4-SP3price check
Best AIO/Liquid Cooler for Threadripper 2 (2990WX)Enermax-Liqtech-TR4-240-Best-Cooler-Threadripper-2Enermax Liqtech TR4 240price check

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