AMD Ryzen 9 3900X

Best answer: AMD automatically overclocks the Ryzen 9 3900X based on available cooling headroom and system stability. The CPU will boost to higher clock speeds using the stock Wraith Prism cooler, but you'll want to move to an aftermarket solution like the Noctua NH-D15 if you wish to push the processor further and/or enjoy quieter operation.

Boosting the Ryzen with Wraith Prism

Stock coolers have come a long way. While Intel is seemingly lagging behind AMD in this area, just how far is it possible to push the Ryzen 9 3900X before you need to swap it out for better air or liquid cooling? If you plan on using the AMD supplied Wraith Prism cooler, you'll have to bear in mind that this cooler isn't specifically designed for overclocking. It's meant to be paired with a standard, factory-set Ryzen 9 3900X. It's more than capable of handling that heat output.

Going above what the processor will boost to will require more sufficient aftermarket air or liquid cooling. At stock speeds, you should be able to keep the processor within safe operating temps and without thermal throttling — we managed to see a high of 75 degrees Celcius (or 167 degrees Fahrenheit) under sustained load with a boost of around 4.5GHz. Even without overclocking, the performance on offer here is incredible.

Another reason you may want to consider picking up an aftermarket cooler like the excellent Noctua NH-D15 is for a quieter PC. The AMD Wraith Prism can get rather loud and if you'd prefer to knock a few decibels off, an aftermarket solution is a way to go.

Ryzen Power

AMD Ryzen 9 3900X

Amazing desktop performance

The Ryzen 9 3900X is a powerful processor, packing inside 12 cores and 24 threads, which is more than enough for gaming and intense workloads.

Best Air Cooler

Noctua NH-D15

Keeping the Ryzen cool

It may have quite the price tag for an air cooler, but the NH-D15 from Noctua is worth every penny. It's one of the best CPU coolers available today, if not the best.

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