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 scorching below 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 in fact results in every kind of questions on which half is at fault right here, as there are quite a lot of elements that contribute to the quantity of strain utilized to a CPU’s warmth spreader, and extra importantly, the place it’s utilized.

The principle situation with Intel’s new socket is that in an effort 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 had been principally sq., with a lot of the warmth coming from one core within the heart 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 of cowl the areas that wanted cooling in LGA 1700, and we reported on it additionally once we first received a glimpse of the redesigned socket, noting that reusing an previous cooler would probably not be efficient.

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

Nonetheless, the problem that’s rearing its ugly head now’s warped warmth spreaders, that are constructed from a  skinny piece of nickel-plated copper and sit on prime of the CPU die itself to interface with the cooling mechanism. In accordance 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 strain in an uneven method, and the result’s curved warmth spreaders.

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This can be a large drawback as a result of Igor’s measurements present small however vital gaps can happen between the warmth spreader and the cooler that’s sitting on prime of it. Though thermal paste might help “shut the hole” so to talk, it’s not designed to cowl gaps that large, so it’s not very efficient. The principle reason behind that is the ILM is placing strain on the middle-sides of the socket, as an alternative of the corners as in earlier sockets, which is inflicting the warmth spreader to be pushed downward within the heart. One other issue which can or might 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 tons of of hours of operation exhibits 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” idea that the problem may very well be resolved by elevating the socket top 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 greater and thus exerts much less strain on the CPU within the socket.” To do that mod you’ll simply must 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 finest, Igor’s Lab examined a spread of sizes together with 0.5 mm, 0.8 mm, 1.0 mm and 1.3 mm. Of their testing they discovered the best size was 1mm, and something taller than that offered diminishing returns, and and it additionally discovered that something thicker than 1.8mm was unworkable as a result of size of the ILM’s screws.

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As soon as all of the washers had been examined, the 1mm washer got here out on prime. In benchmarks it was in a position to decrease the common temperature below load by a powerful 5.76C. This was on a Core i9-12900K with E-cores disabled, and P-cores operating 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 major acquire in cooling with such a easy modification. The one caveat right here is Igor’s Lab says they don’t seem to be positive if this “state of affairs” applies to all LGA 1700 boards, however it 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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