A while back we talked about the assymetric design of the Ryzen 3000 cpu’s. The cores of the Matisse cpu’s sit on the left side of the cpu, while the much cooler I/O chip sits on the right. One could argue that air cooler heatpipe location or flow patterns of waterblocks could be redesigned to improve cooling capabilities as Igor from Igor’s Lab demonstrated. Noctua does not agree and makes an official statement on their website:
There are claims that on Ryzen 3000 CPUs, the orientation of the heatpipes over the Dies leads to varying processor temperatures, is this true?
Noctua has conducted internal tests with various coolers and CPU samples to find out whether or not the orientation of the heatpipe layout has an effect on cooling performance when used with Ryzen 3000 CPUs. The results have shown no evidence that this is indeed the case. However, as there can be minute variances in surface shape both with the CPU heatspreader and with the base of the cooler, it is possible that one orientation has a better fit than the other and hence gives slightly different results. A different orientation of the cooler also changes the airflow within the chassis though, and this can cause different temperatures as well.
We think the effect of variances in surface flatness of cpu heatspreaders can indeed cause tiny air pockets to form between the cooling plate of the cooler and the cpu heatspreader. This is not only the case for AMD cpu’s but for any cpu including Intel cpu’s for that matter. If you experience these temperature problems you could easily validate this yourself. Try to spin your cpu upside down with the heatspreader facing downwards on a flat table. If it keeps spinning you know the surface of the IHS is not flat. You could then try sanding the IHS but than it’s bye bye warranty. Using more cooling paste is than the only solution, but don’t overdo it!