Do Ryzen CPUs Come With Coolers And Thermal Paste?

Whether building a new PC or replacing your old CPU, working with computers is exciting. 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.

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.

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.

An AMD Ryzen CPU installed onto a motherboard.

Coolers are intended to act as a direct counterpart to CPUs, ensuring they stay cool and 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. For this reason, you must install a cooler and thermal paste with it. 

Do Ryzen Processors 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 of 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 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 plan on using your computer casually or for most games, you shouldn’t worry about replacing the thermal paste.

However, if you plan on using CPU-intensive applications, it is worth considering a premium thermal paste.