When it comes to the task of keeping an AMD Threadripper system cool, there isn’t a ton of selection out there. And a quick browse through a few retailers lists your options as one of dozens of compatible all-in-one liquid coolers, or just a selection of FOUR traditional air coolers. With so many companies going with only water cooling, is it even possible to tame a Threadripper with air? Well, Cooler Master has a possible solution in the MasterAir MA621P TR4
If it looks familiar, you’re right for more than one reason. The 621P includes slight modifications from the existing MA620p to make it compatible with AMD’s TR4 socket. And both coolers are essentially rev’d up versions of the venerable Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo, bringing much higher cooling capacity and a splash of RGB thanks to the two included MasterFan 120Rs.
Supplied in the box are all the necessary mounting hardware, thermal paste, and instructions on installing the cooler. Two fans come pre-installed, and you have an option of mounting a third, although you’ll need to purchase a MasterFan 120R to make that happen. Overall, I do like the looks of this heatsink and fans. The top shroud has an attractive black finish that conceals the top aluminum fins and heat pipes. This gives the cooler a much more polished look over the 212 Evo, which just crimps off the heatpipes and leaves them hanging out the top.
The mounting of the MA621P was a little more tricky than I would like to see. First, there are major RAM clearance issues, allowing a max height of just 35.6mm. You can say goodbye to using Corsair Dominator Platinum memory, or even G.Skill Ripjaws Vs… Anything taller than standard height memory is not going to work here.
Because of the ram clearance issues, you’ll need to install all of your memory before mounting the cooler. Then once you line up the heatsink screws to the socket mount, there’s no way to fit a screwdriver in there to tighten the thing down. Cooler Master provides this wonderful 2.5” long wrench to tighten down all four corners, and this method will always lose a point or two in my reviews. There are just too many variables in systems out there to make this a problem free method.
But, down to brass tacks. Does the Cooler Master MA621P manage to keep this 1900x cool? At stock speeds, it has no problems at all with an idle of 39C, and full load managing just 59C. Overclocked, the temps were even more impressive. While the idle temp did increase to 45C, full load topped out at 68C. It managed all this at stock fan curves, and never spun higher than 950rpm. For cooling 190W worth of Threadripper, dare I say it was quieter than a few of the AIOs I’ve had in this rig previously.
So what do I think of the Cooler Master MasterAir 621P? In my mind, when you consider Threadripper as an extreme high-end platform, considering the cost of entry being around $750 for a CPU and motherboard, I start with very high expectations for products built specifically for it. The MA621P is a tweaked design of the MA620P and is only compatible with TR4 socket motherboards. The looks are hit or miss for me. They have a great ‘imposing’ look, and the RGB is well executed… but it breaks up a lot of the symmetry that x399 boards typically have. RAM clearance is a major concern. The mount, while secure, is difficult to install with some VRM heatsinks blocking access.
All of that aside… its job is to be an air cooler, and it’s a damn good one. With a 4.1GHz 1.4v overclock, it outperformed a 240mm Asetek AIO and gave the TR4 specific built Enermax 280mm AIO a run for its money. Between the performance and a price of just $70, I’d say pretty much all of its potential issues can be very easily overcome.