Various AIO CPU Coolers Tested With Intel’s Alder Lake LGA 1700 CPUs, Older Models Show Insufficient Thermal Contact

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A few weeks ago, we reported how older AIO Liquid CPU coolers will have mounting and pressure distribution issues with Intel's Alder Lake LGA 1700 CPUs. We have managed to get our hands on more data that shows how older CPU coolers fare in the same tests when using a proper LGA 1700 mounting kit that companies are shipping them with.

Several AIO Liquid Coolers Tested With Intel's Alder Lake LGA 1700 CPUs, Older Models Don't Make Full Contact With The IHS

To make their existing coolers compatible with Intel's Alder Lake lineup, many cooling brands have released LGA 1700 upgrade kits which feature mounting hardware for the new socket. But the Intel Alder Lake platform isn't just featuring a brand new mounting design but the CPU dimensions itself have changed too.

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As published in detail by Igor's Lab, the LGA 1700 (V0) socket not only has an asymmetrical design but also comes with a lower Z-stack height. This means that proper mounting pressure is needed to make full contact with the Intel Alder Lake IHS. Certain cooler manufacturers have already been using larger cold plates for Ryzen and Threadripper CPUs to make proper contact with the IHS but these are mostly higher-end and new cooling designs. Those who are still running older AIOs with round cold plates could have trouble maintaining the required pressure distribution which could lead to inadequate cooling performance.

Intel's Alder Lake Desktop CPUs for the LGA 1700 socket is going to feature a lower Z-height versus LGA 1200 CPUs. (Image Credits: Igor's Lab)

With that out of the way, our sources have provided us pictures of several AIO Liquid coolers and how well they make contact with the Alder Lake Desktop CPUs. Starting with Corsair's H150i PRO, the cooler comes with an adjustable LGA 115x/1200 kit that can fit into the LGA 1700 socket but it looks like the mounting pressure of this mechanism isn't enough to make full contact with the new CPUs. Do note that Corsair's H150i PRO does make good contact in the middle where the CPU die rests but it still leaves room for perfection like the two MSI coolers (360R V2 & P360/C360 series).

Moving on to AORUS Waterforce X360 which comes with the LGA 1700 mounting bracket, we can see slightly worse contact than H150i PRO where the middle of the IHS receives little contact with the CPU IHS. The worst contender is the ASUS ROG RYUJIN 360 which was tested with a standard ASETEK LGA 1700 kit. The cooler shows a large contact gap in the middle where the die rests and would lead to poor thermal performance and possibly trap heat between the IHS and the cooler baseplate, leading to higher temperatures.

  • Corsair H150i PRO’s: Corsair’s adjustable LGA115x/1200 kit can fit the LGA1700 socket, however, it’s not well contacted.
  • ROG RYUGIN 360: Tested with standard Asetek LGA1700 kit. The contact is not good.
  • The height and dimensions of the 12th Gen CPU are different from the 11th Gen.
  • A dedicated LGA1700 kit is recommended.

Cooling plays a major role in determining the performance of Intel's Alder Lake CPUs, especially the unlocked lineup, which as per our own review, runs really hot. Users will have to utilize the best of the best cooling hardware to maintain an adequate temperature & more so if they are planning on overclocking the chips. This is certainly a topic that needs to be investigated further & we hope Intel along with cooling manufacturers are more clear regarding this to consumers.

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