Battle of The CPU Stock Coolers! 7x Intel vs 5x AMD, plus an EVO 212by E. Fylladitakis on July 22, 2016 9:00 AM EST
Advanced PC users that like to care for their system commonly believe stock cooling solutions that are supplied with processors to be either barely adequate or too noisy even for a standard, unmodified system operating at stock frequencies. With bulk PC orders it is, of course, a difference scenario when every penny counts. But as a result of the perception of poor cooling from these 'default' coolers, most enthusiast users seek aftermarket cooling solutions. This has created a vast and multivariate demand, and there are so many companies offering such a wide variety of cooling products, from $20 all the way up to custom water cooling solutions. But is that really necessary for a mid-range build? We gathered together around a dozen stock coolers from across the years, from AMD and Intel, and pitted them against the highly rated EVO 212 from Cooler Master.
Modern CPUs have become more efficient over time, and have begun to have lower cooling requirements. As a result, the CPU manufacturers have designed some rather advanced stock coolers and are either supplying them alongside their top-tier CPUs or selling them as aftermarket solutions. Despite the fact that these are the 'certified' coolers for the processors, the CPU manufacturer has to make millions, to every hundredth of a cent in manufacturing can be important to the bottom line. It is not easy for the average user to assess just how good the stock cooler really is and how much of an improvement, if any at all, there will be from the purchase of an aftermarket cooler. End users need to be aware of the performance of their current cooling solutions in order to reasonably assess the upgrade that will fit their needs.
In this review we will showcase the thermal performance of some popular stock CPU coolers of the last few years, including the controversial aftermarket Intel BXTS15A and the highly touted AMD Wraith. We also included one of the most popular mainstream coolers available, the Cooler Master EVO 212, as a baseline comparison against aftermarket solutions.
The coolers that we will be testing are in the following table, along with core/fin material listed, the size of the fan, and the overall mass of the cooler as measured on our units. Where heatpipes are in play, these are added into the Core section.
|Intel||D75716-002||Socket 775 Celerons||Alu||Alu||80||118|
|C25704-002||Socket 775 P4 6x0||Cu||Alu||80||132|
|E97378-001||Socket 1155 Intel i5||Cu||Alu||80||146|
|E97379-001||Socket 1155 Intel i3||Alu||Alu||80||92|
|D60188-001||Socket 775, C2D E8x00||Cu||Alu||80||419|
|E31964-001||Socket 1366 i7-X||Cu||Cu/Alu||100||435|
|AMD||1A213LQ00||AMD “Kabini” AM1||Alu||Alu||50||75|
|FHSA7015B||Several AMD Lines||Alu||Alu||70||164|
|AV-Z7UB408003||Black Edition Phenom||Alu
+2 Cu HP
|Wraith (125W)||AMD FX-8370
+4 Cu HP
|Cooler Master||HK8-00005||AMD FM2+ “Godavari” CPUs||Alu||Alu||70||125|
|EVO 212||Aftermarket, ≈$30||Cu
+4 Cu HP