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Alder Lake: Intel reacts to CPU twist


Since the launch of CPU Elzenmeer, the cooling capacity of this processor is questioned. First, because the size of the new socket has prompted cooling system manufacturers to provide adapters for their existing hardware, without worrying about the efficiencies these changes would bring. But mainly because it has been found that the elongated shape of CPUs causes restrictions on the IHS† The latter managed to bend and warp once fitted into the motherboard socket. This turn of Alder Lake CPUs is cause for concern because it has consequences.

Alder Lake twist CPU

Of course, this result is usually not visible to the naked eye, but it would clearly affect the cooling capacity of your processor. The deformation of the IHS reduces the contact area between the cooler and the chip, deteriorating 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 currently difficult to recommend a miracle solution.

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

We have not 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 show a slight deviation after socket installation. Such a small deviation is to be expected and will not cause the processor to operate outside of specification. We strongly advise against making any changes to the sleeve or independent loading mechanism. Such changes will cause the processor to operate outside of specifications and may void all product warranties. † Out. Intel for Tom’s Hardware. †

However, this statement seems to deny that unfortunately there is a possibility of getting or exceeding your CPU’s high frequencies ( like the i9-12900K ) depending on the “quality” of your copy. And of course, this parameter is fully taken into account. In addition, it has been noted that the applied stress can also have effects on the socket itself (see below). An issue that can cause damage to the motherboard itself.

Alder Lake twist CPU
Image source: Anandtech

For now, Intel says it will continue to monitor the situation without taking any action. We therefore recommend that you at the very least be extremely careful when installing your CPU and then the cooling system. The confirmation of the latter and the use of correctly placed thermal paste will therefore be a prerequisite for those who want to enjoy/maintain their investment for a long time… But we will come back to that shortly.

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