Intel tweaks its stock cooler for the first time in years: still no match for AMD's Wraith coolers and nowhere near good enough for the Comet Lake S i9-10900K
After over a a decade of packing in almost the same stock cooler as the one it shipped with Sandy Bridge parts in 2011, Intel has decided to make a minor cosmetic tweak to its stock cooler design for some Comet Lake S 10th generation parts. What's the difference? The "new" cooler comes in an all-black color scheme, which, to some, might appear to look nicer than its predecessors. The CPU cooler shroud has slightly increased in thickness and Intel also decided to sleeve the fan cable. And, well, that's about the extent of the changes.
The "new" stock cooler is expected to perform identically to older parts. This actually limits the number of SKUs Intel can ship it with since Comet Lake S parts are more power-hungry, and therefore harder to cool, across the board. Only a handful of SKUs-non-K series 65W parts and 35W T-Series parts will ship with the "new" cooler. Everything else in Intel's Comet Lake S lineup-including parts like the 250W Core i9-10900K-are simply too hard to cool with this solution.
While the cosmetic changes are certainly welcome, they really only underscore just how far behind Intel's stock cooler is compared to the Wraith coolers AMD offers as standard with many of its Ryzen 3000 parts. The Wraith Spire and Wraith Max offer overclocking headroom and the Wraith Prism even supports RGB lighting. If you're in the market for a Comet Lake S Core i9-10900K or a Core i7-10700K, you'll want to invest in a high-end air cooler or an AIO liquid cooling solution.