Alder Lake: Intel reacts to CPU spin

Since the release of CPU alder lake, the cooling capacity of this processor is questioned. First, because the new socket format has pushed cooler manufacturers to provide adapters for their existing hardware, without worrying about the efficiency these changes would generate. But above all because it has been proven that the elongated shape of the CPUs causes IHS restrictions. The latter managed to bend and deform once fixed in the socket of the motherboard. This Alder Lake CPU spin 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. IHS deformation 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 at the moment to recommend a miracle solution.

Intel acknowledges the Alder Lake CPU spin but downplays its effects:

We have not received any reports of 12th Gen Intel Core processors operating out of spec due to integrated heat sink (IHS) changes. Our internal data shows that the IHS on 12th Gen desktop processors may show a slight deviation after being installed in the socket. Such minor deviation is expected and does not cause the processor to operate out of specification. We strongly recommend that the sleeve or independent loading mechanism not be modified. Such modifications will cause the processor to function outside of specifications and may void all product warranties. ( Off. Intel for Tom’s hardware. )

However, this statement seems to deny that there is unfortunately the ability to get or exceed 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. Furthermore, it has been observed that the tension exerted can also have effects on the socket itself (see below). A problem that could lead to damage to the motherboard itself.

Alder Lake Torsion CPU
Image Source: Anandtech

At the moment Intel indicates to continue monitoring the situation without taking any particular action. Therefore, we recommend that you, at the very least, be very careful when installing your CPU and then your cooling system. The fixing of the latter and the use of correctly placed 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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