Intel downplays Alder Lake socket warping reports, warns 3D-printed brackets may void CPU warranty
Earlier in the year, some modders noticed that Intel's Independent Loading Mechanism (ILM) for the new LGA1700 socket, i.e. the bracket that snaps its 12th generation Alder Lake CPU into place, may be pressing a bit too much, causing the integrated heat spreader (IHS) to warp in the middle.
While this doesn't seem to degrade an Alder Lake processor's performance, the non-uniform contact has been demonstrably raising the CPU's operating temperatures by a couple of degrees and flexing the socket's rear. These may present issues to the processor and system board's longevity down the road, so a number of modders sprung to action with DIY solutions.
The folks from Igor's Lab raised the socket's height by installing M4 washers to relieve the pressure on the CPU, while Australian modder Karta used a custom 3D-printed bracket to remedy the stock ILM's shortcomings. The solutions seemed to work like a charm, effectively lowering the operating temperatures to where they would be without the warping and weaker IHS contact at the edges. Now an Intel spokesperson has finally commented on the issue, advising against such mods:
We have not received reports of 12th Gen Intel Core processors running outside of specifications due to changes to the integrated heat spreader (IHS). Our internal data show that the IHS on 12th Gen desktop processors may have slight deflection after installation in the socket. Such minor deflection is expected and does not cause the processor to run outside of specifications. We strongly recommend against any modifications to the socket or independent loading mechanism. Such modifications would result in the processor being run outside of specifications and may void any product warranties.
Thus, overclockers who want to squeeze every last performance drop from their new Alder Lake processors are in a bit of a pickle. With the stock bracket and integrated heat spreader they may not be able to reach the full performance potential of the CPU, while if they try to come up with third-party solutions they could void its warranty.