AMD upped the game with the stock CPU coolers it bundled with Ryzen processors and they kicked it up another notch with 2nd-gen Ryzen which come with one of three Wraith models that we are comparing today: the Stealth, Spire and Prism.
The more expensive Ryzen 7 2700X is the only model to come with the fancy looking Wraith Prism and it’s the only 105 watt TDP part, so it does call for a beefier cooler, this model weighs in at 580 grams.
Then Ryzen 7 2700 and Ryzen 5 2600X get the Wraith Spire, this model tips the scales at 372 grams making it 36% lighter, but it still sports a copper slug in the base. Then we have the non-X 2600 that gets the little Wraith Stealth weighing in at just 317 grams making it 15% lighter than the Spire and a whopping 45% lighter than the Prism.
Also read: The Best CPU Coolers 2018
Those who bought the Ryzen 5 2600 may want to know if it’s worth buying the Wraith Spire or Prism second hand, there are always some to be had on eBay. Likewise, those with a 2600X or 2700 may wish to know how much better the Prism is than the Spire.
So we’ll be comparing all three coolers on the Ryzen 5 2600 using the stock settings as well as a 4GHz all-core overclock. We’ll monitor CPU and VRM temperatures during an hour-long Blender workload as well as a 30 minute Overwatch gaming session.
The coolers will also be tested inside the DeepCool New Ark 90, a large full ATX case that comes with an all-in-one liquid cooler pre-installed.
Of course, when using the box coolers the AIO won’t be used, but I like how this case comes with four 140mm fans pre-installed, though they are all configured as exhaust fans so I’d recommend installing a few front mounted in-take fans. For this test though I went with the limited air-flow setup as the point of testing inside a case and not on the testbed is to more realistically simulate the conditions you would be using these air-coolers.
It’s winter here right now so we're testing in a cool 20 degree room as it is.
First up I measured peak temperatures after 30 minutes of gameplay during our Overwatch bot match stress test. Using the Wraith Prism saw the 2600 peak at just 47 degrees which is very cool and the VRM never exceeded 43 degrees, these are exceptional temperatures for a reasonably heavy gaming load, speaking of which CPU utilization hovers around 50% in this test. Because of these low temps the Prism fan never spun faster than 1600 RPM and at that speed it’s virtually silent.
Moving to the Wraith Spire increased the load temperature by 6 degrees and although the CPU is now running hotter the fan speed for the Spire only maxed out at 1700 RPM so the operating volume was much the same. VRM temps also remained much the same.
Then with the Wraith Stealth we see a further 7 degree increase for the load temp and now things are starting to get warm at 60 degrees. Remember we are only half pushing the CPU in this test, so let’s move on to a 100% load test with Blender.
Running Blender for an hour increases the Wraith Prism load temperature to 57 degrees. That’s a 10 degree increase over what we saw when gaming. The fan speed also increased to 2000 RPM but even here the Prism was still basically silent. This time the Wraith Spire was 8 degrees hotter than the Prism as temps hit 65 degrees, though that’s still very cool by all accounts and again the fan only spun at 2000 RPM.
Then with the cooler that comes with the 2600, the Wraith Stealth we see temps hit 72 degrees and now we’re getting up there. Ideally you don’t want temps going too far beyond 70 degrees for prolonged use. That said you could increase the fan speed for better results as even the Stealth was spinning at just 2000 RPM. I should note though that the Spire and Stealth do a good job of pushing air over the motherboard's VRM.
Overclocking the R5 2600 by pushing all cores to 4 GHz using 1.2 volts only increased the CPUs' operating temperature by a few degrees in Overwatch. Fan speeds also remained much the same. The VRM temp did increase by 4-5 degrees but at under 40 C that’s nothing to be concerned about. This is using a high-end X470 board, but still very cool temps on the VRM.
Now for the 100% load Blender test and here the Wraith Prism hit 63 degrees which is 6 degrees hotter than what we saw for the stock test and now it’s just possible to hear the fan as it spins up to 2200 RPM.
The Wraith Spire allows the overclocked R5 2600 to reach 70 degrees and with the fan now spinning at 2700 RPM it’s quite easy to hear. The Wraith Stealth also hit 2700 RPM making it reasonably loud and despite that temps still hit 87 degrees, that’s an almost 40% increase in operating temperature from the Prism.
Before we move on here is a quick look at how the Spire and Prism compare to the ultra affordable DeepCool Gammaxx 200T. Presently this 120mm tower cooler costs $15 on Amazon and looks to be a pretty good upgrade for Ryzen 3 2200G and R5 2400G owners as both those APUs are bundled with the Wraith Stealth.
For Ryzen 5 2600 owners it will net you Wraith Prism-like performance when gaming though it’s worth noting that the 120mm fan does a much better job of cooling the VRM on our X470 board. The Gammaxx 200T also appears to be a decent upgrade option for R5 2600X and R7 2700 owners.
With the Ryzen 5 2600 under 100% load in our Blender workload the Gammaxx 200T is more comparable to the Wraith Spire here making it a bit hotter than the Prism. Although less impressive under these conditions it’s still a solid upgrade option for Wraith Stealth owners.
We hope that those of you building a new Ryzen system that have been wanting to see how the Stealth, Spire and Prism compare are satisfied with this testing. If you have a Ryzen 5 2600 or any other AMD CPU that comes bundled with the Wraith Stealth you’ll ideally want to upgrade the cooler for better thermal performance, especially if you plan on overclocking.
It seems like a lot of you want to stick with an AMD branded cooler and while I agree they look nice, it’s not really a cost effective option. Looking at places such as eBay it seems like most Wraith Prism coolers are selling for around $40 + shipping, for that kind of money you can get a seriously good air cooler.
Remember the Deepcool Gammaxx 200T is a very affordable ($15) budget option and even it wasn’t much worse than the Prism under 100% load. In fact, I’m willing to bet the slightly bigger Gammaxx 300 is able to outperform the Prism.
If you can do without the AMD branding then I suggest you look elsewhere for your cooler upgrade, conversely if you wanted to know if that stock cooler is any good, well for the most part they're quite decent.