Air Versus Water Cooling on AMD Ryzen Threadripper With Noctua Coolers

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Threadripper 1950X 16-Core Test System

Before we look at the numbers, let’s take a brief look at the test system that was used. All testing was done on a fresh install of Windows 10 Pro Version 1703 64-bit and benchmarks were completed on the desktop with no other software programs running. The Intel X399 platform that we used for testing consisted of the ASUS X399 Zenith Extreme motherboard, G.Skill 32GB 3200MHz DDR4 dual channel memory kit was manually set to 3333MHz with 14-14-14-34 1T memory timings. We used an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 8GB Founders Edition video card. We also used the Corsair AX860i digital power supply, Thermaltake Floe Riing RGB 360 TT Premium water cooler and Samsung SSD 960 M.2 PCIe SSD.

Each CPU Cooler was plugged into the CPU Fan 4-pin power header on the motherboard and the fan profile was left to default settings in the UEFI. Prolimatech PK-3 Nano Aluminum Thermal Compound ($14.97 shipped) was used for all the coolers and applied the same way for each cooler.

Here is a closer look at the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X in the AMD TR4 socket (also known as Socket SPR3r2).  There are 4,094 contact pads on the bottom of the processor and this is the largest desktop processor that we have tested in the 15 years that we have been around.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X Installed

You can also check out a CPU-Z screen shot of the 1950X below.

Threadripper 1950X CPU-Z

AMD X399 Test System Part List

AMD X399 Threadripper Test Platform



Live Pricing


Ryzen Threadripper 1950X


ASUS ROG Zenith Extreme Click Here


32GB TridentZ RGB 3200MHz DDR4 Click Here

Video Card

GeForce GTX 1080 FE Click Here

Hard Drive

Samsung SSD 960 Pro 512GB Click Here


Various Click Here


Corsair K70 RGB Click Here


Corsair M65 Pro Click Here

Power Supply

Corsair AX860i Click Here


ASUS VE278Q 27″ Click Here

Operating System

Windows 10 64-Bit Click Here

Let’s move onto the benchmarks!

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  • CERO

    I was wondering, is there a difference in temps if you add the second optional fan to the high end noctuas?

  • Tsirk

    In my opinion as a 5 year Noctua user, they never disappoints people who buy their products as long as you are not looking for RGB option.

    • Nathan Kirsch

      What products have you used from them? Any fans that are 5-years old?

      • anon

        I have several even older. Some 80mm some 120mm used for watercooling. I can mail you serials and pictures if you want.
        The 80mm has worked 24/7 cooling a raid controller since 2011.

      • Tsirk

        I used Noctua NH-C14 since September 2012 and up to this date, I didn’t change to any other cooler because the 2 Fans included are still good condition and I only cleaned up my rig every 6 months.

        Also most of the Noctua Reviews available are all accurate in my opinion. Their only CONS are always their color scheme.

    • rvborgh

      i use 4 of the NH U12DO A3 coolers on my overclocked MagnyCours Opterons and i must agree. Noctua makes amazing cooling solutions. Cool and very quiet.

  • Coach

    Great tests. Thanks.

  • Coach

    Great tests. Thanks.

    • CyanBlues

      nope its a pointless comparison test. They are testing Noctua’s full tr4 socket coverage heatsink vs a regular AIO that probably covers at most 3/4 if even, of a threadripper cpu. The test would have been better if they gotten their hand on an Enermax Liqtech TR4 240 or 360 that also has full tr4 socket coverage.