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Can an AM2 cooler handle the Ryzen 9 7950X?

AM2 cooler on top of Ryzen 9 box, "Old Cooler vs 7950X"Image: Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

If you buy an expensive, powerful CPU, you need to pair it with a quality cooling system. A modern system, designed specifically for that processor. Otherwise you risk melting your pricey new build. Or do you? What if all you have is a CPU cooler that’s old enough to drive a car, and you absolutely refuse to spend another cent? What if, in short, you’re Gordon Ung?

In the latest PCWorld video, Gordon tries to cool the Ryzen 9 7950X, the latest 16-core monster from AMD, with a cooler designed for the company’s AM2 socket 939. The cooler is a relatively tiny single fan connected to a small heatsink, the sort of thing you only see in small, low-powered desktops today. The cooler is approximately 16 years old, but because of AMD’s amazingly consistent design, it should technically still work with a brand new AM5 socket. All you need is the right mount and a 3-pin fan connection.

To see something we absolutely do not recommend you try at home, and also get a history lesson in 2000s-era PC design, check out the full video. We won’t spoil the ending here. And for more nerdy videos, only some of which could result in electrical fires, be sure to subscribe to PCWorld on YouTube.

Michael is a former graphic designer who’s been building and tweaking desktop computers for longer than he cares to admit. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

Recent stories by Michael Crider:

Intel blames aggressive motherboards for high-end CPU crashesOops! Gigabyte spills the beans on AMD’s unannounced Ryzen 9000 CPUsAsus battles Intel CPU crashes with ‘baseline’ motherboard BIOS

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