Overclocker Lowers Alder Lake Temps by 5C with Rubber Washers

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The overclocking wizards over at Igor’s Lab have been digging into user-reported cooling points surrounding Intel’s new LGA 1700 socket. Whereas Alder Lake CPUs do run sizzling beneath full load, the problem isn’t the warmth attributable to the CPU. Persons are discovering the built-in warmth spreader (IHS) on the highest of the chip is getting warped, leading to lower than optimum contact between the CPU and the cooling mechanism. This after all results in all types of questions on which half is at fault right here, as there are loads of components that contribute to the quantity of stress utilized to a CPU’s warmth spreader, and extra importantly, the place it’s utilized.

The primary difficulty with Intel’s new socket is that as a way to accommodate the corporate’s first hybrid CPU structure, which mixes each efficiency and effectivity cores in a single package deal, the corporate needed to make its CPUs extra rectangular than its earlier choices. LGA 1200 and all the patron CPUs that adopted it have been principally sq., with a lot of the warmth coming from one core within the middle of the CPU. With Alder Lake and its hybrid structure and rectangular form, it’s extra sophisticated. Earlier than the brand new CPUs even launched there have been a plethora of articles discussing whether or not or not coolers made for earlier CPUs would even be capable to cowl the areas that wanted cooling in LGA 1700, and we reported on it additionally after we first received a glimpse of the redesigned socket, noting that reusing an outdated cooler would possible not be efficient.

LGA1200’s sq. design in comparison with the elongated LGA1700. (Picture: Guru3D)

Nevertheless, the problem that’s rearing its ugly head now could be warped warmth spreaders, that are created from a  skinny piece of nickel-plated copper and sit on prime of the CPU die itself to interface with the cooling mechanism. In line with Igor’s Lab, the Built-in Loading Mechanism (ILM) on the socket, which is the equipment that secures the CPU into the socket itself,  is making use of stress in an uneven method, and the result’s curved warmth spreaders.

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It is a large downside as a result of Igor’s measurements present small however important gaps can happen between the warmth spreader and the cooler that’s sitting on prime of it. Though thermal paste can assist “shut the hole” so to talk, it’s not designed to cowl gaps that large, so it’s not very efficient. The primary explanation for that is the ILM is placing stress on the middle-sides of the socket, as a substitute of the corners as in earlier sockets, which is inflicting the warmth spreader to be pushed downward within the middle. One other issue which can or will not be contributing right here is Alder Lake has a noticeably decrease Z-height than LGA 1200, which supported z-heights of seven.312mm to eight.249mm. LGA1700 is thinner, with a z-height of 6.529 to 7.532mm.

A straight edge on prime of an Alder Lake CPU that has seen lots of of hours of operation reveals a noticeable concave form for the warmth spreader. (Picture: Igor’s Lab)

So, what’s the answer? Igor’s Labs writes that buildzoid at Precise Hardcore Overclockers had a “mod” concept that the problem could possibly be resolved by elevating the socket peak with washers, which Igor examined and validated. He writes, “washers are merely put in between the motherboard and the ILM, which successfully makes it sit increased and thus exerts much less stress on the CPU within the socket.” To do that mod you’ll simply have to take away the 4 M4 Torx T20 screws that maintain the ILM down, after which insert M4 washers over every of the holes.

The ILM eliminated and washers in place. (Picture: Igor’s Lab)

To see which washer thickness labored greatest, Igor’s Lab examined a variety of sizes together with 0.5 mm, 0.8 mm, 1.0 mm and 1.3 mm. Of their testing they discovered the perfect size was 1mm, and something taller than that offered diminishing returns, and and it additionally discovered that something thicker than 1.8mm was unworkable because of the size of the ILM’s screws.

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As soon as all of the washers have been examined, the 1mm washer got here out on prime. In benchmarks it was capable of decrease the typical temperature beneath load by a formidable 5.76C. This was on a Core i9-12900K with E-cores disabled, and P-cores working at 5.1GHz on liquid. With no washer in any respect, the CPU topped out at 76.64C, which then dropped to 70.88C with the addition of the washer. General, that’s a big achieve in cooling with such a easy modification. The one caveat right here is Igor’s Lab says they aren’t certain if this “state of affairs” applies to all LGA 1700 boards, but it surely notes that there are solely two corporations that make the ILM, that are Lotes and Foxconn, so they’ll attempt to take a look at extra of them sooner or later.

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