Stock AMD & Intel Coolers

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AMD & Intel 65W Stock Coolers

April 7, 2016 by Lawrence Lee

AMD A10-7860K
Stock CPU Cooler
Intel Core i7-6700
Stock CPU Cooler
AMD Intel

Stock heatsinks are generally designed to adequately cool the chips with which they ship under a variety of conditions. They need to be capable of handling high ambient temperatures one would find inside a server room or just in a warm climate with no air conditioning, and they usually are small enough to fit in compact enclosures that might be employed by businesses trying to save space. There's little incentive to offer better than this bare minimum standard as it's assumed if the user wants better performance or acoustics, they'll purchase an aftermarket cooler.

This way of thinking may be on the way out, at least at AMD. They recently released the Wraith, a formidable stock cooler that is offered on some of their newer 95W+ parts, ostensibly to provide more value to budget overclockers. They also updated the heatsinks included with their lower power chips as well, bringing a heatpipe based design to 65W APUs like the A10-7860K. Today we're going to take a look the performance of AMD's updated 65W cooler and compare it (the best we can) to what Intel is shipping with their current 65W chips.

Core i7-6700 cooler on the left, A10-7860K cooler on the right.

Over the past few years, the Intel stock cooler design has changed very little. The Core i7-6700 heatsink might be identical to those of the last few generations, though the specific fan model may have changed. It employs a low profile, round radial design with an exposed fan impeller that blows air out on every side, and a pushpin mounting system. The A10-7860K cooler has a boxy body with thinner more densely packed fins, a single copper heatpipe, a smaller fan with a square frame, and a tension clip retention mechanism.

A10-7860K cooler on the left, Athlon X4 880K cooler on the right.

The A10-7860K cooler weighs almost half that of the Wraith and occupies a much smaller space. It has a thin aluminum base compared to the Wraith's thick copper plate, is short one heatpipe, and its fan is tiny by comparison. Its footprint is smaller by about 1 cm on each side and it's shorter by almost 3 cm.

Core i7-6700 cooler on the left, Core i5-4690K cooler on the right.

Starting with Skylake, Intel has opted not to include a stock cooling solution for their overclockable "K" chips. The same cooler seems to be provided for the entire retail Skylake lineup regardless of TDP to make things simpler. In the past, higher TDP chips like the 88W Core i5-4690K, shipped with a version with a copper core.

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