2020 CPU AIO Cooler Format Refresh

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One of the areas that we’ve been working on behind the scenes to refresh and get moving has been for CPU cooler testing. We’ve had a few AIOs (All-In-One) coolers in the backlog for a bit and as I stared at the boxes I saw one that claimed that it could dissipate “500+ W” of heat. Thinking about this a bit it dawned on me that an overclocked Ryzen 1700 has exactly zero chance of testing that claim.

I didn’t know exactly what that change would end up being, but the puzzle pieces started to come together when I saw the powerful (pun intended) potential that lay in the Intel 10980XE chip, especially when overclocked. This was put into the back of my mind until a few months ago when I was looking for cases available on Fry’s Electronic’s website and it said that my local store had a single Thermaltake Core P5 in stock.

Now, these days, it’s a miracle that Fry’s has anything in stock, but this one resonated with me as it would provide a platform that supports up to a 480mm radiator. A half-hour of internet research later told me that I needed to go see it in person.

The Adventure Begins

Upon arriving at Fry’s, the case was nowhere to be found until I started looking over the employee only shelves with signs that were designed to shoo customers away. I eventually found what I thought was the Core P5 wrapped loosely with bubble wrap. As it turns out, it was previously a display unit at the recently shuttered Fry’s store in my area and was missing virtually everything, but it was still exactly what I needed. I negotiated the price down a bit more and hauled it back to the underground bunker.

Another trend in CPU cooling today is that stock coolers are not always supplied with retail box CPUs. The AMD Ryzen 9 3950X, for example, does not include a HSF and suggests using an AIO liquid cooler.

Over the next few weeks that followed, I gathered the additional parts needed to get the rig up and running and started testing. Read on to see what we’ve put in this to revamp our testing procedure for upcoming AIO cooler testing reviews!

David Schroth
David is a computer hardware enthusiast that has been tinkering with computer hardware for the past 25 years and writing reviews for more than ten years. He's the Founder and Editor in Chief of The FPS Review.

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