AMD Wraith: Upgraded Stock Cooler

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Noise Measurements

Specifications: AMD Wraith Stock Fan
Manufacturer Delta Electronics Power Rating 3.84 W
Model Number QFR0912H Airflow Rating 60.47 CFM
Bearing Type ? Speed Rating 3200 RPM
Frame Size 92 x 92 x 25 mm Noise Rating 37 dBA
Hub Size 40 mm Header Type 4-pin PWM
Blade Diameter 84 mm Starting Voltage < 4.0 V
Cable Length 24 cm Weight 100 g
Corner Type Open Retail Availability Yes
Data in blue cells provided by the manufacturer or observed; data in the green cells were measured.

Though the stock fan conforms to the same form factor as a standard 92 mm case fan, it's design is clearly not intended for open air operation. It has a surprisingly large hub and short stubby blades arranged at overlapping angles. An identical fan is available at large electronic OEM suppliers though the specified power rating is a much lower 2.52W. This particular fan is probably rated higher as it has to power the LEDs on the shroud as well.

Stock Fan Measurements
PWM Setting
[email protected] (minus shroud)
2930 RPM
42~43 dBA
39 dBA
2270 RPM
33~34 dBA
31 dBA
1800 RPM
27~28 dBA
24~25 dBA
1590 RPM
23~24 dBA
21 dBA
1370 RPM
19~20 dBA
17 dBA
1170 RPM
17 dBA
15 dBA
980 RPM
15 dBA
13 dBA
690 RPM
12~13 dBA
11~12 dBA
Measuring mic positioned 1m at diagonal angle from the center of the heatsink.
Ambient noise level: 10~11 dBA.

Originally it was reported that the Wraith would not have an adjustable fan speed but our sample can be controlled like any other fan, producing an almost inaudible 12~13 [email protected] at minimum PWM speed and a ear-shattering 42~43 [email protected] at maximum speed in our anechoic chamber. Noise ratings should generally be taken with a grain of salt as there are no strict industry standards for measuring noise. That being said, the Wraith precisely hits its 39 dBA claim in our anechoic chamber, though only when the fan shroud is removed. Taking the shroud off makes the cooler noticeably quieter at all speeds.

With the shroud on, not only does the cooler produce more noise, it sounds worse overall as well. Its acoustics are rather complex depending on the speed with moderate tonality at various frequencies. It's incredibly whiny at 100% speed, drones at 70%, develops an uneven hum at 50%, buzzes at 40%, and below that, there is an audible rattle/clicking noise.

Many of these undesirable characteristics are lessened by removing the shroud or squeezing the shroud during operation. It still doesn't sound very pleasant with the shroud off but it's a clear improvement and the shroudless cooler's frequency distribution is clearly smoother. The fan and shroud are not securely as tightly as they should be, and the heatsink/fan assembly has quite a few parts. It's likely that all these components interact at some level, rattling and shaking one another, generating extra noise.

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