Best AIO Cooler for Threadripper

So, I am soliciting advice from current Threadripper users, within the community, for experience-based opinions on high-quality AIO Coolers for the TR4 Socket. I currently have a Enermax TR4 Liqtech (Gen 1), never taken out of the shrink-wrap, that I plan to return due to stated/reported (blogged) issues with failures / clogs after 3-6 mos.

It should be noted that I targeted this AIO ONLY because I saw it in a lot of reviewer rigs…but now I realize that those reviews were from 2017 and options for such Coolers were limited then (versus now). Having passed the 1 yr mark with Threadripper, my own planned 2950X is going to be delivered in a few days, I’m soliciting advice (or stories related) for a replacement AIO.

Look forward to the insight.

@wendell

I have an enermax. Still going after almost a year.

Hmmm…ok. Thanks for that. Perhaps I’ve put too much stock (and FUD) into Blogs & Amazon / Newegg reviews? I’m just super paranoid about it leaking or clogging after some reviews I’ve read.

Nothing like a single cheaper part destroying something far more valuable (such as a mobo) due to leaks.

There seems to be a lot of negative reviews, I’ll keep an eye out. No harm in looking elsewhere.

Its possible the latest versions could be lower quality than those seen in reviews but im not aware of anything with a cold plate as large as the TR IHS is. The enermax also seems to be pretty serviceable. If the concern is clogs you could just replace the liquid with something more robust.

Well…the last time I attempted to build a PC from parts…liquid cooling was something you’d read in a Science Fiction novel…I think Clinton was President…so any solution that requires me to take apart & refill a brand new AIO Cooler in under 12 mos is a non-starter for me.

For my experience level & time…finding one that will “just work” for a few years is the goal.

Its not like you would have to break it down in to individual components to do the change and the fact that it has ports to service it in the first place is definitely a nice to have. I have an original corsair h100i that could use a topping off after the 3 years I have had it now but no such fill port exists.

IMO if you want something that will just work for years to come, noctua coolers are among the best in performance. The NH-U14 would be my choice.

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My original idea was to replace the fans on an Enermax TR4 280 with two PWM 140’s from Noctua anyways…cuz, as you suggested, their fans are simply some of the best money can buy. I have 2 NF-A14 Industrial’s for the occasion. I just don’t want any leaks or clogs in the liquid parts.

I’m watching your vid links. Thanks for your help & insights, @Adubs.

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My suggestion then is you should get the enermax and also buy some decent liquid at the same time. Swap out the liquid before even installing it. Its not clear if the pump failures in the reviews are from clogs or if there is an underlying issue with the pumps.

My hunch is the liquid itself is just not that great despite the nice cooler to save on costs. Its extremely likely there is a mix metal situation with that cooler and thats causing premature failure because of poor liquid.

This video is fairly close to how I would probably be trying to “refill” an AIO Cooler:

…maybe even worse. But that being stated, there is a wealth of knowledge in the comments on how to do this better…thank you Internet…so maybe I may just gun for the Enermax TR4 II RGB AIO (once they become back in stock) and keep a backup air-cooler (Probably from Noctua as well) just in case it goes the way of RMA.

I also found this review on AIO vs Air Coolers in the course of my research:

…and now I’m kinda on the fence whether to go AIO or Air…seems more so that I should simply keep a quality air cooler as a Plan B should my future Enermax go the way of Warranty RMA.

AFAIK nothin else will compare in the AIO department for TR, and as the second video shows, nothing works as good when it doesnt cover the whole IHS. The NH-U14 beats out other gread liquid coolers just because they dont cover the whole thing. The upshot to the noctua is its dead simple and still performs somewhat comparably. If you arent overclocking I wouldnt hesitate to go with that.

The noctua tower coolers, esp. the 150, are fine for 180w and below. Overclocking is another story. I really like the enermax tr4 ii cooler I got in. They will replace the old ones that have a manufacturing defect.

On your recommendation @wendell I’m gonna send back the Gen 1 Enermax 280 I bought & stalk Newegg until the Gen 2’s come back in stock.

On a side note, I’m aware that the 2950X comes with its own Cooler Master Wraithripper Air Cooler. In testing the 2950X it would be interesting to test the included Cooler with the Gen 2 Enermax.

I get that the Enermax will come out on top…but by how much is the question…

Thanks everyone for your insights & replies.

@wendell - Can’t wait to see that RAM review for 2933 DDR4 when it’s available.

does not come with, unless you get a bundle?

The wraith ripper, I forgot about, but is likely also awesome. I saw it at computex. I bet it does well too.

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AIO if water, Noctoua if Air (TR specific ones)

Price on Wraith Ripper isnt worth it i believe its more expensive then noctoua (Cooler Master’s Wraith Ripper cooler will be available in September from Amazon and Newegg for an MSRP of $119.99. noctoua stuff is like $80)

Oh…the Wraithripper isn’t bundled with Threadripper 2…hmmm…that must’ve been a reviewer exclusive then. Very good to know. Noctua it is as my backup.

Sometimes I take unboxing vids way too literally.

Follow up Question: “Is it possible to get a Noctua U14S TR4-SP3 Air Cooler on a Designaire Mobo without Sacrificing the first PCIe slot?”

I remember someone saying that it may not fit some mobo’s and that I may need to slide the heat sink towards the VRM if that’s the case. Just a passing query…

So after a ton of blogged woe from previous Enermax owners (including comments from Amazon & NewEgg) on how this AIO died about 6 - 8 mos in for most running a 1950X…I’ve opted for Air Cooling. I just sent back my Enermax TR 280 (still in the shrink wrap) and I’m going all in on a Noctua NH-U14S TR4-SP3 w/ 2 replacement NF-A15 HS-PWM chromax Black fans. I’m going to setup a push/pull configuration. It’ll be on a Gigabyte Designaire mobo in a Fractal Design R6 Gunmetal TG Case…I also have 5 more black Noctua NF-A14 iPPC-2000 Industrial Fans (140’s) to add to the 3 existing 140’s that comes with the case. My plan is to suck air from the bottom 2 fans and blow it across from the bottom (pull) and then vent it out from the top with 3 more 140’s (push). I’ll also have 2 front 140’s blowing across and 1 fan blowing out the back…all 140’s. So 8 140mm fans plus 2 more on this cooler…God hoping this will be enough for the beast that is the 2950X.

Plus…I don’t have to worry about leaks or annual Liquid Cooler maintenance.