Most likely the best mid-range option available, the Ryzen 7 3700X lies in the sweet spot between being fully capable of running current and (most likely) next-generation games at easy, while also being powerful enough for amateur photo, and video, editing, as well as other workstation related applications. If you pair this with the fact that this AM4 Zen2 processor has PCIe 4.0 compatibility, and Ryzen’s third-generation 7nm lithography, it is almost a no-brainer for these types of PC builds.
More specifically, the Ryzen 7 3700X has a count of 8 cores and 16 threads, an increased 32 MB L3 Cache, and an operating speed of 3.6 GHz with the ability to overclock to 4.4 GHz speeds. For gaming, it has the same core and thread count with the two announced next-gen consoles, the Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X, though the cache and operating speeds will most likely be larger on the 3700X. In other words, the Ryzen 7 3700X, if purchased for gaming, will be more than enough to ride you into the dawn of the next generation of gaming. Though it may currently lack in terms of gaming performance to its Intel equivalent, its superior thread-count may come into play with the next generation of games. Also, due to these hyperthreading capabilities, and high multi-core speeds, it also works great for streaming said games without the need of a separate streaming station (depending of course on the GPU as well), and will have no problem rendering 1080p, 60 FPS, videos if you are looking to edit and promote your streaming content.
Another, quite impressive, aspect of this CPU is its thermal design power, coming in at only 65W. This means that the amount of cooling it will need will be significantly less than competing CPUs of 95W and upwards, while also having less energy expenditure. The Ryzen 7 3700X also includes a respectable RGB cooler: The Wraith Prism. In terms of cooling this cooler can arguably be sufficient for most CPU usage, perhaps the only exclusion being regular use of overclocking as displayed by Techspot’s benchmarks. Therefore, the slightly increased temperatures at overclocking speeds, paired with the rather high noise levels accompanying the Wraith Prism cooler, will drive many to purchase a dedicated CPU cooler. Also, the Wraith Prism is quite large in size, so if you’re looking to place the Ryzen 7 3700X in an SFF case, you will need a low-profile cooler. If you’re looking for an RGB cooler the Wraith Prism is actually worth keeping, as the options for RGB air coolers is still quite limited and the upgrade isn’t well worth it.
Worry not, to help you choose the best cooler for your needs for the Ryzen 7 3700X, we’ve compiled a list with the best coolers you can buy in 2020. Whether you’re on a budget, require low noise levels, want an optimal airflow cooler, or whether you need a low-profile CPU cooler to fit your SFF case, you’ll find the most ideal options your money can buy in the list below.
Best CPU Coolers for Ryzen 7 3700X – My Recommendations
Best Air CPU Cooler for Ryzen 7 3700X
Smaller, and a bit less potent than Noctua’s NH-D15 cooling beast, the Noctua NH-U12S was made for CPUs that are less demanding in terms of thermal power, so it’s perfect for the 65W TDP of the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X. In fact, the fine folks at TechPowerUp benchmarked the NH-U12S using a 3700X processor, and found that the 3700X operated at a temperature of 66 degrees Celsius while under heavy (Blender) loads. Couple that with TweakTown’s noise level tests which showed that the NH-U12S operates at 26 dB (with 7.5V supplied), so it’s easy to see why this cooler is as popular as it is for mid-range CPUs.
How does it accomplish these low temperatures without emitting high levels of annoying, buzzing, sounds? Firstly, this cooler uses Noctua’s NF-F12 PWM controlled fans, which have a 55 CFM of airflow, but more importantly output an amazingly high static pressure of 2.61 mmH2O, which is a measure of how powerfully the fan pushes air through the heatsink, cooling it throughout. The aluminum heatsink then connects with its five, nickel-plated, heatpipes directly to the CPU, distributing the heat to the enlarged surface area and dissipating it with the use of the cooling supplied by the fan. With the low-noise adaptor and anti-vibration mounts, the fan’s cooling performance (300-1500 RPM) is not inhibited by an excess of noise.
Considering that the NH-U12S will only cost you a modest $64.99, as compared to the $89.95 of the NH-D15, it makes sense to spare yourself this $25 for a cooler that will cool your Ryzen 7 3700X sufficiently enough for even high loads and overclocking. If you later find that you need more cooling, you can always install a second fan to the NH-U12S, so worry not.
Best Budget Quiet CPU Cooler for Ryzen 7 3700X
For under $30, the Thermaltake Contac Silent 12 will perform just as well as the stock, Wraith Prism, but with a far less buzzing output.
The Contac Silent 12 features a 120mm PWM controlled fan with hydraulic bearings and operating speeds of 500-1500 RPM, attached onto an all-aluminum heatsink with four solid copper, direct contact, heatpipes. Additionally, this CPU cooler includes a “low-noise” cable in its package, throttling the speed of the fan to 400-1100 RPM in order to regulate the noise output accordingly.
Tests ran by Techreport show that these specs are not just good on paper, since the Contac Silent 12 lives up to its name by outputting only 27.7 dB (idle) to 31.5 dB (load) during normal operation, and 28.4 (idle) to 39.5 dB (load) during overclocking; noise levels which will barely be noticeable from a foot away, depending on the case it’s in (bit more noise from tempered glass cases). Temperature wise, the Contac Silent 12 held its composure even under high loads, having the CPU run at temperatures ranging from 22 degrees idling on the Windows 10 desktop, and 68 degrees while running the Prime95 stress tests for 20 minutes.
If you don’t plan on overclocking often, and for long periods of time, but would rather enjoy some precious silence when you can find it, then this is a great budget option to replace the Ryzen 7 3700X’s Wraith Prism, at only $30.
Best Low Profile CPU Cooler for Ryzen 7 3700X SFF Builds
Speaking of low noise levels, the Noctua NH-L12S reigns supreme in the low-profile category, both in regards to its silent operation, and its cooling performance. Similarly, to the aforementioned Noctua NH-U12S, this cooler takes advantage of its low-noise adaptor, Noctua’s NT-H1 thermal compound, and the high performance of its pre-existing fans; namely that of the NF-A12x15 slim, 120mm, fan. This cooler also allows flexibility in terms of how you situate it in your case. The fan can go above or below the heatsink, giving it both a low-profile and high-clearance modes of installment.
OptimumTech ran benchmarks for several low-profile coolers, showing how the NH-L12S ran at the lowest temperatures (even when overclocking an 95W CPU) and with the lowest noise levels of all low-profile CPU coolers tested.
Given that you can currently find the NH-L12S for only $49 – including a 6-year warranty – it is an investment that you will keep you pleased for years to come, as it adequately futureproofs your overall build while also sufficiently cooling the Ryzen 7 3700X.