Are you bending your alder-lake?

chameleoneel

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There's a thread on Reddit. Not a lot of people have responded, yet. But of the people whom did respond and tried this-----it didn't seem like anyone there found benefit. And a few of them lost function of some RAM slots, until they removed the washers.

My own setup is a Z690I AORUS ULTRA DDR4 ITX board. The backplate for my Corsair 280mm AIO isn't the worst I have seen. But also not close to the most sturdy. However, I happened to recently get EK's LGA 1700 kit for their AIO and it comes with a VERY substantial backplate. A few weeks ago, I happened across the second link you posted, and followed their advice with backplates. I am using EK backplate with my Corsair AIO. And I installed the backplate onto the motherboard----before socketing the CPU (As Igor's recommends). I don't know if my board or socket would have bent without this method. But Igor's lab says it can help prevent it.

After mounting the corsair AIO pump block onto the CPU----I decided it wasn't squared up enough. So removed the block, re-pasted, and re-installed it. When I removed it, I could see that contact was VERY good down the middle of the CPU IHS and into the top and bottom edges. The left and right sides is where the contact wasn't good and the paste was collected in there.

Attached is a rough representation of what it looked like. Red is area of good contact.
 

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therealjustin

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This is not good. I've been following this since Igor's Lab posted the original article weeks ago. So far none of the popular YouTube channels have picked up on it, but we need to change that. Once it gets traction, hopefully then we can start to get some answers.

I'd rather not bend a $300+ CPU, and I'd rather not MacGyver my $300+ motherboard.
 

therealjustin

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Meh, it's just adding an extra mm at the base with four washers, not like you're soldering a pot to the RAM controller for more juice.
I just worry about hitting traces. A metal washer with even the slightest surface imperfections could cause issues down the road.

And what about the warranty?
 

Koldur

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Though it is doable to easily fix this yourself, I do not agree that this is the way to deal with it. It seems to be a fundamental problem with design/manufacturing. That should be solved and the damage it caused should be resolved by the responsible entity.

If this is confirmed, it should be properly dealt with. I will check mine this weekend, but I know when I checked it a week after I built my system, there were no issues. Though when closing the ILM lid, I did find it very hard to close compared to my previous ones, all pre socket 1700. And I have built more than a few hundred, so it does say something.
 

ChosenUno

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Big oof, I hope this doesn't bleed over into the laptop CPUs. You're SOL there.
 
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If anyone is worried about the traces you can always put a thin layer of clear nail polish on them for protection. I've seen tons of damaged traces from people over-tightening CPU coolers on just about every intel board gen.
 

Kmecham

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My socket on n MSI Pro Z690A DDR4 was very hard to close too. In fact the Mobo and backplate bowed significantly from closing the socket with no CPU installed. I removed the 4 screws intending to add washers as suggested on Igor's, but I think I found the root cause. The 'hooks' on the south end of the socket were quite tight. As the retainer closes, the frame was binding up on two metal prongs that stick up out of the bracket right against the plastic part of the socket. This held the socket open around 10 degrees. I relaxed the fit by removing the retainer frame from it's base, and slightly bending the two hooks toward the motherboard. (I also bent the finger in the middle a bit toward the motherboard so it could still keep the frame in place on the base when the socket was opened.) The socket still applies the same force to the CPU as it should, but it no longer bends the Mobo when the socket closes since the socket frame does not hit on those two metal prongs until almost totally closed.
 
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Koldur

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My socket on n MSI Pro Z690A DDR4 was very hard to close too. In fact the Mobo and backplate bowed significantly from closing the socket with no CPU installed. I removed the 4 screws intending to add washers as suggested on Igor's, but I think I found the root cause. The 'hooks' on the south end of the socket were quite tight. As the retainer closes, the frame was binding up on two metal prongs that stick up out of the bracket right against the plastic part of the socket. This held the socket open around 10 degrees. I relaxed the fit by removing the retainer frame from it's base, and slightly bending the two hooks toward the motherboard. (I also bent the finger in the middle a bit toward the motherboard so it could still keep the frame in place on the base when the socket was opened.) The socket still applies the same force to the CPU as it should, but it no longer bends the Mobo when the socket closes since the socket frame does not hit on those two metal prongs until almost totally closed.

Are you talking about the finger as in the circle and the hooks as in the squares here?
 

Kmecham

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Are you talking about the finger as in the circle and the hooks as in the squares here?

The squares in your photo mark the fingers that protrude and are holding up the frame . When seated and locked, the frame was pretty level with the socket and PCB, so I think the fingers (in the square) are the right height. What I bent were the two 'hooks' to the left of those squares (on the same piece with the circled finger). I bent them downward (toward the motherboard) about half a mm. Next I had to tighten the finger in the circle to tighten the frame back to the base so it did not fall off when open.
 

Kmecham

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The squares in your photo mark the fingers that protrude and are holding up the frame . When seated and locked, the frame was pretty level with the socket and PCB, so I think the fingers (in the square) are the right height. What I bent were the two 'hooks' to the left of those squares (on the same piece with the circled finger). I bent them downward (toward the motherboard) about half a mm. Next I had to tighten the finger in the circle to tighten the frame back to the base so it did not fall off when open.
Now the frame can lie almost flat against the socket (unlatched and with no CPU loaded) before it hits those fingers shown in the squares. Seemed to help a bunch as I don't get the bow on the backplate anymore.
 

mothman

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I've noticed on the couple Z690 boards I've used that there seems to be two different manufacturers of the ILM used. Lotes and some other maker (not Foxconn) C/L ?...Lotes has always produced the better ILM's even back to the Sandy Bridge days. It appears to be the case with the new LGA 1700 also. The Lotes is machined better and doesn't have the flex that the C/L latch does. From what I can compare the Lotes also has a slightly higher 'Z Height' than the C/L and contributes less to any bending of the CPU. Also I'm using Noctua coolers with the new LGA 1700 mounting Kit with new spacers that provide the right amount of pressure on the CPU.
 
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therealjustin

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IgorsLab will have an updated article soon where they tested different boards and the different socket makes. The Lotes does appear to apply less pressure from what I've read, but that could vary wildly between boards since the tolerances that Intel specify are not that precise.

What a mess! I'm glad I waited to buy a Z690 board until more is known, but it kind of makes me just want to go AM4 in the end. A real shame AM5 isn't here yet.
 

Niner21

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With my Aorus Elite Ax I don't recall having to apply any more pressure than usual. I'm not too concerned about it as things are working fine, but if I decide to switch coolers or something like that I'll check then.
 

ikjadoon

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IIRC, all Intel CPUs go a bit concave after installing them (due to the mount only pressing on 2 of the 4 IHS sides), except the HEDT ones, no? Which then pushed some cooler companies to make their cold plates convex, to better match an "installed-Intel-CPU" profile.

Buildzoid, who originally discovered this issue before Igor, only noticed the issue on an open loop cold plate that he'd sanded down to flat (instead of the engineered convex shape that most coolers seem to have).

That is, I wonder if the washer mod is a very specific corner case. I used an AC LF II 280mm w/ the LGA1700 upgrade kit (has a hefty backplate) + the ASUS ROG STRIX Z690-I: temps seem great, with 72C core / 80C package after 10min of R23 (@ 25C idle).

Luumi found essentially no change, all within 1C margin of error.



Though, to be frank, I'm also hoping it's not an issue: that'd be a pain. Did Intel really bugger the socket this much? I'm leaning towards "no" at the moment.
 
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The_Heretic

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I've noticed on the couple Z690 boards I've used that there seems to be two different manufacturers of the ILM used. Lotes and some other maker (not Foxconn) C/L ?...Lotes has always produced the better ILM's even back to the Sandy Bridge days. It appears to be the case with the new LGA 1700 also. The Lotes is machined better and doesn't have the flex that the C/L latch does. From what I can compare the Lotes also has a slightly higher 'Z Height' than the C/L and contributes less to any bending of the CPU. Also I'm using Noctua coolers with the new LGA 1700 mounting Kit with new spacers that provide the right amount of pressure on the CPU.
I got the MSI Z690 Pro Wifi and it has the Lotes.


1647003850551.png
 
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pavel

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Hello, sorry to interrupt - I am shopping for a build - not ready yet to buy but soon - in a week to a few months...

This 'mod' concerns me - I read the links here, watched a few videos on youtube - maybe I have a dumb question but where do you buy these washers? There's so many of slightly different sizes and dimensions. I assume you need it very specific in dimensions and can't deviate too much? Can you pick these up in a home depot type of store?

I understand M4, 1mm nylon/plastic is usually chosen - but there is slight deviations in diameter etc.

Does it matter if you choose a board with Lotes vs Foxconn? I was eyeing the MSI Z690 Pro Wifi - but, in Linux - there is also some controversy surrounding vrm and chipset temp sensors support - it seems to come quicker to Asus and Asrock motherboards? So, I'm looking at Asus Z690 and B660 boards, too. Does one brand tend to go with Lotes or Foxconn throughout the same brand - or maybe that doesn't matter which one it is?

Sorry, to divert. I figure - there's a design flaw so you probably should use the washers anyway? It can't hurt as long as it's the right dimensions i.e. 1mm/M4?
 

lopoetve

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I've noticed on the couple Z690 boards I've used that there seems to be two different manufacturers of the ILM used. Lotes and some other maker (not Foxconn) C/L ?...Lotes has always produced the better ILM's even back to the Sandy Bridge days. It appears to be the case with the new LGA 1700 also. The Lotes is machined better and doesn't have the flex that the C/L latch does. From what I can compare the Lotes also has a slightly higher 'Z Height' than the C/L and contributes less to any bending of the CPU. Also I'm using Noctua coolers with the new LGA 1700 mounting Kit with new spacers that provide the right amount of pressure on the CPU.
This was true of x399 too. Lotes boards were great but Foxconn ones sucked for closing the lid.
 

pavel

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You only need the washer spacer mod if you're using AIOs, right? And only, if there is a temp variance between not having them/using them?

Or it can't hurt to use them - so you don't risk a bend?
 

Niner21

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I've been using my Noctua air cooler with no issues. Both motherboards I used it with have been equipped with the Lotes mechanism as well.
 

ikjadoon

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You only need the washer spacer mod if you're using AIOs, right? And only, if there is a temp variance between not having them/using them?

Or it can't hurt to use them - so you don't risk a bend?
Apologies, should've also added my results. I'm using an i7-12700K with an Arctic Cooling Liquid Freezer II 280mm AIO with Arctic's MX-5 paste:

Test: Cinebench R23 multi-core 10-minute stress test
Ambient: 25C
PL1 = PL2 = 4096W (actual: ~175W to ~180W)
Multi-core Enhancement On
72C core average (HWinfo)
80C package average (HWinfo)

And this CPU has a low SP rating: 69! I can't remember if that's the P-core or the whole CPU, but below average. IIRC, people have noted the LF II has a concave cold plate, which should be the worst for any Intel CPU but especially Alder Lake (two concave surfaces meeting). But, either Arctic Cooling has updated their cold plates or it's not that concave to begin with.
 
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ss88

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Seems clear the easiest way to know whether the washer mod is worthwhile in any particular case is to install the cooler. Then remove the cooler and observe the pattern left by the thermal paste. If the paste is thicker in the middle across the axis where the CPU is being pressed down, then the washer mod is worth trying because it will raise the height of the CPU in this area, resulting in better contact with cooler.
 

jmilcher

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Seems clear the easiest way to know whether the washer mod is worthwhile in any particular case is to install the cooler. Then remove the cooler and observe the pattern left by the thermal paste. If the paste is thicker in the middle across the axis where the CPU is being pressed down, then the washer mod is worth trying because it will raise the height of the CPU in this area, resulting in better contact with cooler.

The problem with this is the paste gets moved and smeared when they remove the cooler. This is not reliable imo.
 
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Apologies, should've also added my results. I'm using an i7-12700K with an Arctic Cooling Liquid Freezer II 280mm AIO with Arctic's MX-5 paste:

Test: Cinebench R23 multi-core 10-minute stress test
Ambient: 25C
PL1 = PL2 = 4096W (actual: ~175W to ~180W)
Multi-core Enhancement On
72C core average (HWinfo)
80C package average (HWinfo)

And this CPU has a low SP rating: 69! I can't remember if that's the P-core or the whole CPU, but below average. IIRC, people have noted the LF II has a concave cold plate, which should be the worst for any Intel CPU but especially Alder Lake (two concave surfaces meeting). But, either Arctic Cooling has updated their cold plates or it's not that concave to begin with.

The one I tested a few years ago was definitely convex. I've seen plenty of reports like yours of the LF II being really good with ADL.
 

pavel

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The Arctic LF 2 is among the most quiet coolers - quiet pump AND fans - also, it's usually cheaper than the comparable Corsair and EK - the Lian Li Galahad is probably closest in performance/noise and would be my 2nd choice if I can't get the ALF (because it's sold out/out of stock).
But, I have an air cooler to start with - should I do the washer mod? I got the 1700 kit - there's a back plate and another part in it. I guess I am supposed to use the rest of the Intel parts in the box?
I don't know if there's still benefit of using the washer mod. Anyway' confused about it. I also wasn't sure of what washers to get/use, too - but newegg has a $10 washer kit - and they even mention it's for motherboards.

I would be one of those - who would switch coolers - and I don't see how that's bad? I think someone here or on another site claimed it's not good to remove the heat sink - but, that's silly? If there is a cooling issue, you ultimately remove it to inspect everything and probably re-apply the thermal paste - to see if it helps?
 
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The Arctic LF 2 is among the most quiet coolers - quiet pump AND fans - also, it's usually cheaper than the comparable Corsair and EK - the Lian Li Galahad is probably closest in performance/noise and would be my 2nd choice if I can't get the ALF (because it's sold out/out of stock).
But, I have an air cooler to start with - should I do the washer mod? I got the 1700 kit - there's a back plate and another part in it. I guess I am supposed to use the rest of the Intel parts in the box?
I don't know if there's still benefit of using the washer mod. Anyway' confused about it. I also wasn't sure of what washers to get/use, too - but newegg has a $10 washer kit - and they even mention it's for motherboards.

I would be one of those - who would switch coolers - and I don't see how that's bad? I think someone here or on another site claimed it's not good to remove the heat sink - but, that's silly? If there is a cooling issue, you ultimately remove it to inspect everything and probably re-apply the thermal paste - to see if it helps?

I would try it with and without washer mod and see what happens. Results seem to vary. If there's no improvement or a regression with the mod, revert it back to stock, and you're only out $10 (or less if you can find 1mm nylon M4 washers locally).

As for the second question, it depends on how tightly the cooler is mounted. Air coolers and AIOs generally don't mount with that much clamping force. All-metal water blocks with beefy retention hardware can usually be cranked down a lot harder, so yeah, it's possible to break things eventually. I wouldn't worry about it in your case.
 
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pavel

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Seems clear the easiest way to know whether the washer mod is worthwhile in any particular case is to install the cooler. Then remove the cooler and observe the pattern left by the thermal paste. If the paste is thicker in the middle across the axis where the CPU is being pressed down, then the washer mod is worth trying because it will raise the height of the CPU in this area, resulting in better contact with cooler.
I'm reading that the bend in the IHS - can occur anywhere from 1 - 30 days. So, in your test - it can get bent relatively quickly and early. I guess ppl are using this hardware without the washer mod or any insight/knowledge of it - so, maybe their IHS is bent already?

I don't see the harm in it trying it - providing you don't affect the memory.

I would try it with and without washer mod and see what happens. Results seem to vary. If there's no improvement or a regression with the mod, revert it back to stock, and you're only out $10 (or less if you can find 1mm nylon M4 washers locally).

As for the second question, it depends on how tightly the cooler is mounted. Air coolers and AIOs generally don't mount with that much clamping force. All-metal water blocks with beefy retention hardware can usually be cranked down a lot harder, so yeah, it's possible to break things eventually. I wouldn't worry about it in your case.
Maybe. But, lots of ppl (and on youtube) have claimed their IHS got bent already - and they were using air coolers?

The other annoyance is that I can't find , LOCALLY, the right dimensions of nylon washer - like nothing is in metric - when you find these for sale. If buying individually, the nylon washer is under $1 but they are listed in # or fraction. It doesn't help me. I want to be certain so.... "M4, 4cm ID, 8 or 9mm OD, 1mm thick." But, nothing like this is listed. But, go on Amazon and find a $15 50 pc kit of washers including this dimension or something really close - and yes, it's available. Except, now I'm spending $15 for 50 pcs when I just need 4 washers. Really frustrating for just trying an experiment you're not 100% sure, you'll use permanently.
 
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