Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 


Journeyman III

The effects of rapid heat changes over time on CPU lifespan - air cooler vs AIO

Hi all,

I've been looking at a high end air coolers vs water coolers for my Ryzen 9 5950x. I do video editing so I'll be switching from editing to rendering so I'll see temperature changes a lot. I read online that with air coolers you see faster changes in temperature from cold to hot and with AIOs you see more gradual changes.

People talk a lot about max heat and lifespan but I can't find anything on the effects of rapid heat changes on CPU lifespan and performance. Common sense tells me that rapid thermal change rates will strain anything physical, and a friend from the mechanical engineering world confirms it in general (not specifically for CPUs). 

Is anyone an AMD engineer on here or has similar experience that can comment on this?

I got myself a Noctua U-12A which is a very high end air cooler, which is listed as compatible for this CPU on the AMD website. I haven't installed it yet as I'm wondering if I should have gotten a water cooler. The physical box recommends water cooling. 

1 Reply

Your 16 core Ryzen 9 5950x has a CPU Cooler ratings of 105 Watts TDP and a Maximum Operating Temperature of 90C.

From what I have read, the latest AIO and AIR CPU Coolers offers similar cooling for a processor.

But for overclocking AIO is better suited than AIR even though it will be more expensive and have higher maintenance.

This Intel Tech site give a very good technical explanation of the difference between AIO and AIR CPU Coolers:

Temperature Regulation

If you’re serious about overclocking, or plan on undertaking CPU-intensive tasks like rendering video or streaming, liquid cooling might be the best choice.

According to Mark Gallina, liquid cooling more “efficiently distributes heat over more convection surface area (radiator) than pure conduction, allowing for reduced fan speeds (better acoustics) or higher total power.”

In other words, it’s more efficient, and often quieter. If you want the lowest possible temperatures, or if you’re interested in a quieter solution and don’t mind a slightly more complex installation process, liquid cooling is probably the best option.

Air coolers are quite good at relocating heat away from the CPU, but keep in mind that heat is then dispersed into the case. This can raise the ambient temperature of the system overall. Liquid coolers do a better job of relocating that heat outside of the system via the fans on the radiator.