Some ASUS Z690 & B660 Motherboards Will Not Be Compatible With Noctua’s LGA 1700 Alder Lake CPU Coolers
Noctua was one of the first big cooling manufacturers to announce their LGA 1700 'Alder Lake' CPU mounting kits for their cooling lineup. The manufacturer recently released the compatibility list for its cooling lineup and it looks like all major motherboard manufacturers are ready except ASUS.
Certain ASUS Z690 & B660 Motherboards Will Have Compatibility Issues WIth Noctua's LGA 1700 Alder Lake CPU Coolers
ASUS and Noctua have been collaborating together for a long time, starting with their ROG AIO coolers and the more recent GeForce RTX 30 series graphics cards. However, it looks like ASUS didn't work with Noctua this time around in making sure that their coolers were compatible with the brand new Z690 motherboards.
As you can see from the compatibility list that Noctua has published on its webpage, certain ASUS Z690 & the soon-to-be-released B660 motherboards are not compatible with Noctua coolers such as the NH-D15, NH-U12S, and NH-U12A. The main reason cited is that the height of the heatsink that covers the VRMs & that makes the cooler & motherboard combo mechanically incompatible.
ASUS's Z690 motherboards affected by this issue are the entire ROG STRIX Z690 lineup while there are also certain B660 motherboards that are mentioned in the list. ASUS's ProART Z690 Creator is also another motherboard that is under evaluation while the Z690-G Gaming WIFI motherboard is incompatible because the cooler overhangs the top PCIe x16 slot which means that users that want to utilize the Gen 5 slot on the motherboard will be restricted to the 2nd or 3rd slots which are x8 or x4 electrically and also only support Gen 4 lanes. Compatibility list for motherboards from other manufacturers can be seen below:
So far, all other manufacturers including Gigabyte, MSI, ASRock, and even BIOSTAR have boards that are fully compatible with the Noctua LGA 1700 cooling lineup. We also recently highlighted how older CPU coolers will have mounting and pressure issues with the new Alder Lake CPUs. It looks like certain ASUS motherboards have LGA 1200 mounting holes for users who don't want to wait for proper LGA 1700 mounting hardware and that might cause unwanted heat issues with the new chips. More on that here.
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