Whether you’re building a brand-new PC or replacing your old CPU, working with computers is an exciting process. However, some difficulties can arise when picking out what CPU you’ll put in your PC. Any mistakes during the buying process can leave you scrambling to find a cooler.
- Why Do CPUs Need Coolers and Thermal Paste?
- Do Ryzen CPUs Come With Coolers and Thermal Paste?
- How To Find a Ryzen CPU That Includes Coolers and Thermal Paste
- Do You Need To Apply Thermal Paste if the CPU Includes Pre-Applied Thermal Paste?
- How To Install a Ryzen CPU and Cooler
- Final Thoughts
Some Ryzen CPUs come with a cooler and thermal paste, but it varies by processor. If it doesn’t include a cooler, the side of the box will state “thermal solution sold separately,” while the ones with a cooler will note what type of cooler is included in the box.
In this article, I’ll explain everything you need to know about which Ryzen CPUs come with coolers and thermal paste, including why they need these parts, which ones come with coolers and thermal paste, and how to tell which one to purchase.
I’ll also explain how you can safely install your brand-new Ryzen CPU.
Why Do CPUs Need Coolers and Thermal Paste?
CPUs need coolers and thermal paste to dissipate the heat they generate as they run. If they aren’t adequately cooled, it may cause the computer to stutter, lag, freeze, or crash. In severe cases, overheating can cause the CPU itself to fail.
Coolers are intended to act as a direct counterpart to CPUs, ensuring that they stay cool and continue to function optimally.
Generally, coolers accomplish this with a fan that dissipates the CPU’s heat or a liquid coolant that pulls the heat to a cooling radiator.
The cooler’s cold plate is attached to the CPU’s integrated heat spreader (IHS) using a conductive adhesive known as thermal paste.
This adhesive makes the connection between the cold plate and IHS perfect, maximizing heat transfer to the cooler.
If the cooler and CPU aren’t connected with thermal paste, the heat transfer won’t be adequate to maintain the proper operating temperature.
And if it doesn’t have a cooler, it won’t be able to cool effectively at all. For this reason, you must install a cooler and thermal paste with it.
Do Ryzen CPUs Come With Coolers and Thermal Paste?
Some Ryzen CPUs come with coolers and thermal paste, depending on the model. One that includes a cooling solution will state which cooler it includes on the side of the box, while one that doesn’t include a cooler will have a note on the box stating “thermal solution sold separately.”
Whether or not the CPU comes with a cooler and thermal paste varies by model.
Most AMD’s high-end processors don’t include stock coolers since they know that professional users generally look for aftermarket solutions.
Many of their processors geared for casual users and gamers do include stock cooling solutions.
How To Find a Ryzen CPU That Includes Coolers and Thermal Paste
There are a few ways to check whether it includes a cooling solution. The box often includes information on whether or not the CPU includes a cooling solution.
Likewise, retailers often specify whether or not a CPU is included.
- Look at the side of the box. If it includes a cooling solution, it will state which cooler is included. If it doesn’t, it will state, “Thermal solution sold separately”, or something similar.
- Check the end of the SKU code. Multipack CPUs, designated with MPK at the end of the SKU, include a cooling solution. CPUs designated with BOX at the end of the SKU also include a cooler. If the end of the SKU is WOF, it doesn’t include a cooling solution.
- Determine whether your CPU is in a box or tray. If you’re purchasing a single CPU, you’re purchasing a box. If you’re purchasing a large number of CPUs, you may be purchasing a tray of them. If you purchase a tray, there won’t be coolers included.
- Check the product description. If you cannot see the side of the box in the product images and the retailer doesn’t offer an SKU, you may still be able to find the information you need in the product description. At worst, you can search for the model name and determine whether it includes a cooling solution on AMD’s website.
Do You Need To Apply Thermal Paste if the CPU Includes Pre-Applied Thermal Paste?
If your CPU cooler comes with pre-applied thermal paste, you don’t need to worry about applying any more thermal paste. The stock cooling solution will function perfectly when installed, just as it was packaged. You can opt to remove and reapply the thermal paste if you have a higher-quality product.
In most cases, pre-applied thermal paste works exactly as intended to facilitate heat transfer from the integrated heat spreader to the cold plate.
If you’re planning on using your computer casually or for most games, you shouldn’t worry about replacing the thermal paste.
If you plan on using CPU-intensive applications, however, it is worth considering using a premium thermal paste.
How To Install a Ryzen CPU and Cooler
Once you’ve purchased your Ryzen CPU and cooler, the most important thing you can do is ensure that the component is installed properly.
Unfortunately, the pins on the CPU’s surface are incredibly susceptible to damage, so you’ll need to make sure that you complete the process properly on your first attempt.
Here are the essential steps you should take to install your new Ryzen CPU.
1. Eliminate Static Charges on Your Body
As you do routine things like walking across the carpet or sitting in a chair, static charges build up on your body.
While these charges are harmless, they can cause catastrophic damage if they’re discharged into the components of your computer.
For this reason, you’ll want to make sure to de-static yourself before you start working.
There are a few ways you can de-static yourself. The simplest way to de-static yourself is to touch a metal surface, but it doesn’t always work.
To guarantee that your components will be safe from static charges, the best thing you can do is use an antistatic wristband.
After putting the band around your wrist, all you need to do is clip the other end to a metal portion of the computer’s case.
2. Disconnect and Disassemble Your PC
Once you’ve prepared yourself to start working on your PC, you’ll need to begin disassembling it. Luckily, disconnection and disassembly is a simple process. Here are the steps you should take to disassemble your PC.
- Disconnect the PC’s power cable. You will also need to turn the power supply switch off and disconnect all peripherals from your computer.
- Open the case itself, unscrewing fixtures as needed. You should place your case’s cover panel to the side.
- Once you’re inside the case, you should unplug all of the PSU cables from the motherboard. This will give you full access to the CPU cooler.
- When the cables are out of the way, you should remove all the cooler screws before gently twisting the cooler to the side and removing it. Twist it a few times if necessary, pulling to the side until the cooler releases with little to no resistance.
- Once the CPU cooler has been removed, you can prepare for the process of removing your old one. If you prefer, you can also remove the motherboard itself for easier access. You can remove the motherboard by unscrewing the nuts holding it in place before gently lifting it by the sides.
3. Remove Your Old CPU
After you’ve removed the cooler, you’re ready to remove your old CPU from your motherboard. Luckily, except for their highest-end series, they all use a similar socket design.
As a result, the removal process is almost the same for every AMD CPU. Here are the steps you’ll need to take to remove your old one.
- If your CPU has a locking handle, lift it to unlock it. This will allow you to remove it.
- Gently reach down to grab the CPU by its sides. You should have it securely held between two fingers.
- Gently lift the CPU out of the socket without wiggling it. It’s crucial to be careful during this step to ensure you don’t damage the socket or the processor.
- Determine whether you’ll keep the old CPU. If you intend to keep it, it should be returned to its original packaging or placed in an antistatic plastic bag inside a safe place like a cardboard box.
4. Install Your New Ryzen CPU
Once you’ve removed your old CPU from your PC, you can install the new one.
Luckily, installing it is an extremely simple process since most modern AMD processor sockets use an easy-installation design.
However, it’s important to note that you should remain careful throughout the entire process.
Most modern CPU sockets use a new Zero Insertion Force (ZIF) design to make the installation process easier and safer.
As you place it in the socket, you shouldn’t place any force on the component. The lock on the ZIF design allows you to safely exert the force necessary to put the pins in place.
- Grab your new CPU and hold it by the sides. Look at the side with the pins and find the triangle sign on one of the corners.
- Look at the socket and find the corner with the triangle. You must align the triangle corner of the CPU and socket as you insert it.
- After aligning the CPU and socket, gently place the processor onto the socket without wiggling it in any direction. Don’t drop it or place any pressure on the processor.
- If placed correctly, it should gently drop into the socket without any needed pressure. If it seems to be sitting above the socket, you should ensure it is aligned properly and try again.
- Once the CPU is in the socket, press the locking handle downwards to pin it in place. Don’t be alarmed by any creaking or noises produced by the locking handle or mechanism. As long as you verified that it was placed correctly, any creaking is just an expected noise of the pins being pushed into place.
5. Install and Configure the CPU Cooler
Once you’ve finished installing your new CPU, you’ll need to put everything else back into place before you can boot your PC up.
You should start by installing your new CPU cooler. Here are the steps you generally need to take for installation.
- Determine whether your CPU needs new thermal paste. If it’s a used one with thermal paste residue, it should be gently wiped with a soft cloth dampened with thermal paste remover until all the old paste is removed and allowed to dry before the thermal paste is reapplied. If it has new pre-applied thermal paste, you can replace it with better quality paste to ensure optimal cooling, or you can take the risk that the supplied paste is adequate. Keep an eye on the actual use temperatures, though!
- Gently place your new CPU cooler over it. Try not to wiggle the cooler around during placement. The cooler’s cold plate should be aligned with the CPU’s integrated heat spreader. The screws on the cooler should be aligned with the holes on the motherboard.
- Tighten the cooler screws against the motherboard to fix the cooler into place. The fan should be completely stabilized once you’re done tightening the screws.
- Connect the fan’s power cable to the power supply unit (PSU). Make sure that the cable isn’t loose.
6. Reassemble and Reconnect Your PC
Finally, you’ll need to assemble the rest of your PC before it’s ready for use.
This takes a few steps, including reconnecting all of your computer’s internal cables and putting the case cover back in place.
Here are the steps you’ll need to take.
- Connect any components that you disconnected during the disassembly. You should make sure to put all of the PSU cables back into place. If you disconnected hardware like RAM, reinstall it.
- Put your PC’s case cover back into place. Reconnect the peripherals and power cable, and turn the power supply unit’s switch back on.
- Power on your PC. If your computer runs into an issue while booting, you should make sure that your BIOS is compatible with your CPU. If not, you’ll need to update your BIOS.
- If updating your BIOS doesn’t work, you should verify that the CPU was properly installed. All cables should be tight and properly in place. Its pins should all be intact.
- After an initial successful installation process or using the troubleshooting steps above, you should be ready to try out your brand-new Ryzen CPU. Log into your PC and give your favorite game a try.
While working with computers might seem intimidating, it’s surprisingly simple when you go into the process with the right knowledge.
As long as you follow these steps thoroughly, it won’t be long before your computer runs at an extraordinary new level of performance with your brand-new Ryzen CPU and cooler.