Alder Lake: Intel reacts to CPU twist

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Since the launch of Alder Lake CPUs, the cooling capacity of this processor has been questioned. First, because the format of the new socket has pushed manufacturers of cooling systems to provide adapters for their existing hardware, without worrying about the efficiency that these changes would generate. But especially because it was found that the elongated shape of the CPUs caused constraints on the IHS. The latter managed to bend and deform once fixed in the socket of the motherboard. This twist of Alder Lake CPUs is cause for concern because it has impacts.

Obviously, this result is mostly not visible to the naked eye but it would have a definite impact on the cooling capacity of your processor. The deformation of the IHS reduces the contact surface between the cooler and the chip, thus degrading the heat exchange between the chip and the cooling system. This can lead to higher chip temperatures (variations around 5C can be seen). Unfortunately, this phenomenon is random and it is difficult for the moment to recommend a miracle solution.

Intel recognizes the twist of Alder Lake CPUs but minimizes its effects:

We haven’t received any reports of 12th Gen Intel Core processors operating out of specification due to changes to the integrated heat sink (IHS). Our internal data shows that the IHS on 12th Gen desktop processors may exhibit slight deviation after installing into the socket. Such minor deviation is expected and does not cause the processor to operate out of specification. We strongly advise against any modification of the sleeve or independent loading mechanism. Such modifications will cause the processor to operate outside of specification and may void all product warranties. (Off. Intel for Tom’s Hardware. )

However, this statement seems to deny that there is unfortunately an ability to get or exceed the high frequencies of your CPU (like the i9-12900K) depending on the “quality” of your copy. And obviously this parameter is fully taken into account. Additionally, it has been noticed that the stress exerted can also have effects on the socket itself (see below). A problem that could cause damage to the motherboard itself.

Alder Lake twist CPU
Image source: Anandtech

For the moment Intel indicates that it will continue to monitor the situation without taking any particular action. We therefore recommend that you, at the very least, take extreme care when installing your CPU and then its cooling system. The fixing of the latter and the use of correctly positioned thermal paste will therefore be a prerequisite for those who want to keep / enjoy their investment for a long time… But we will come back to this soon.







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