Can you overclock the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X with Wraith Prism stock cooler?

AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X (Image credit: Windows Central)

Can you overclock the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X with Wraith Prism stock cooler?

Best answer: AMD automatically overclocks the Ryzen 9 3900X based on available cooling headroom and system stability. The CPU will boost to higher clock speeds using the stock Wraith Prism cooler, but you'll want to move to an aftermarket solution like the Noctua NH-D15 if you wish to push the processor further and/or enjoy quieter operation.Buy your own Ryzen: AMD Ryzen 9 3900X ($500 at Amazon)Better air cooler: Noctua NH-D15 ($90 at Amazon)

Boosting the Ryzen with Wraith Prism

Stock coolers have come a long way. While Intel is seemingly lagging behind AMD in this area, just how far is it possible to push the Ryzen 9 3900X before you need to swap it out for better air or liquid cooling? If you plan on using the AMD supplied Wraith Prism cooler, you'll have to bear in mind that this cooler isn't specifically designed for overclocking. It's meant to be paired with a standard, factory-set Ryzen 9 3900X. It's more than capable of handling that heat output.

Going above what the processor will boost to will require more sufficient aftermarket air or liquid cooling. At stock speeds, you should be able to keep the processor within safe operating temps and without thermal throttling — we managed to see a high of 75 degrees Celcius (or 167 degrees Fahrenheit) under sustained load with a boost of around 4.5GHz. Even without overclocking, the performance on offer here is incredible.

Another reason you may want to consider picking up an aftermarket cooler like the excellent Noctua NH-D15 is for a quieter PC. The AMD Wraith Prism can get rather loud and if you'd prefer to knock a few decibels off, an aftermarket solution is a way to go.

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.