AMD Threadripper 2990WX Cooling Performance - Testing Five Heatsinks & Two Water Coolers

Written by Michael Larabel in Peripherals on 13 August 2018 at 09:00 AM EDT. Page 1 of 5. 7 Comments.

The 32-core / 64-thread AMD Threadripper 2990WX carries a 250 Watt TDP rating, thus the cooling performance is quite important especially if you don't want to hit any thermal throttling with this $1799 USD processor. Fortunately, the 2990WX doesn't require water cooling but actually can work quite well with high-end air heatsinks too. For adding some perspective on the cooling requirements of the Threadripper 2990WX, here are benchmarks of five heatsinks and two all-in-one water cooling systems.

For this launch-day benchmarking of the Threadripper 2990WX, this article is devoted to the cooling performance. For all of the 2990WX Linux benchmarks in full, see our Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX Linux review of this high-end desktop/workstation processor.

These cooling tests were done while the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX was running at its stock speeds with the ASUS ROG ZENITH EXTREME motherboard, 4 x 8GB DDR4-3200 memory, AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 graphics, and using Ubuntu 18.04 LTS with the Linux 4.18 kernel. This kernel was patched with the Threadripper 2 temperature monitoring support in the k10temp driver. The cooling solutions tested with this Socket TR4 processor included:

The Cooler Master Threadripper heatsink being launched alongside the Ryzen Threadripper 2900 series. This heatsink will retail for about $100 USD and offers quite a bit of cooling potential on air, has plenty of RGB lighting, etc. Overall, it's a very strong offering for cooling the Threadripper 2950X and 2990WX easily on air.

The Noctua NH-U9 TR4-SP3 with dual 92mm fans is the only heatsink for Threadripper at this time that easily fits within 4U height requirements should you be interested in running Threadripper within a rackmount chassis. The Noctua NH-U9 TR4-SP3 retails for around $70 USD. I have used this heatsink with Threadripper 1950X and various AMD EPYC CPUs and generally works out great in a 4U enclosure.

The larger Noctua NH-U12S TR4-SP3 with dual 120mm fans. This heatsink also retails for about $70 USD but with the larger size does not meet 4U height requirements.

The Noctua NH-U14S TR4-SP3 is the largest of Noctua's Threadripper/EPYC heatsinks. This heatsink with a single 140mm fan retails for about $80 USD and is a very capable cooler even with the 250 Watt Threadripper 2990WX.

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