Heatsinks and Legacy AIOs with Mounting Issues on Intel

There are two days left for the official presentation of the new Intel CPUs, the samples are in the hands of more and more users and even some have already been able to acquire it under the hood along with a motherboard model. But although this is the luck of many, misfortune is also playing its role, since as expected the current and already “old” heatsinks, AIOs and blocks have mounting and pressure problems with the Alder Lake CPU.

The new Intel CPUs have a lot of changes to the point that they are undoubtedly the biggest advance since they launched their Core architecture, and that was years ago. Intel is very clear about it, but many users not so much, since although the vast majority of manufacturers gave advance notice, the current anchoring systems are not the correct ones for the LGA 1700 socket.

New dimensions that change everything

The new Intel processors have changed in shape, socket and also in height. We were used to 75 x 75 mm of the LGA 115x and the current LGA 1200, where Intel has maintained backward compatibility for many years, something inappropriate for the company. But with the new Alder Lake CPUs this goes down in history and a disruptive event occurs, since the LGA 1700 of the new Z690 motherboards (and the successive chipsets that will arrive) change the total measurements.

We are talking about a diameter of 78 x 78 mm, that although this would be easily solved with a new retention bracket, this will not be the only and nor the worst of the problems. It will be instead the difference in height between the previous sockets and this new LGA 1700, since we go from average measurements from the 7,312 / 8,249 mm (low tolerance) to the new socket metric with 6,529 / 7,532 mm (greater tolerance)

Heatsink and AIO issues with Alder Lake


What does this mean? Well, there is on average 1 mm less in terms of the distance between the IHS and the heatsink / cold plate, which leads us to the pressure problem. And it is that a large number of refrigeration systems are being reported where the contact is minimal and insufficient between the two surfaces and logically this affects temperatures much higher than they should be.

Manufacturers have released their new LGA 1700 anchor systems for the products they have in stores and many motherboard manufacturers now support both anchor systems as they have left holes in their models to install them. Although this is possible, the problem of height is still decisive and we urge those who are going to purchase this platform to check if the manufacturer of their refrigeration systems has a new anchor, because a lower height is needed for proper operation.

This is important, mainly because these new CPUs have quite high consumptions and it will not be easy to cool them, even if they play correctly between IHS and cold plate. When in doubt, it’s better to do pressure tests with tiny layers of thermal paste and spend the time making sure everything is correct than then get scared.

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