LGA1700: Reports of Bending Sockets

Since the launch of Intel's Alder Lake-based 12th generation Core processors, there have been several reports of high and abnormal temperatures, even at stock frequencies. The art in balancing out the integrated heat spreader (IHS) of a processor is one thing extreme overclockers have been working on for many years now. Typically called lapping, extreme overclockers finely sand down the IHS to make it a more flat and even surface. The aim is to reduce gaps by sanding out imperfections or curvatures. This is so that the cooling plate of the CPU cooler makes better contact with the IHS, and it has been known to reduce CPU thermals by a decent amount.

Our Core i9-12900K IHS is 'relatively' flat and even.

Fellow enthusiast Igor Wallossek published an article on his website, Igorlabs.de, which investigates potential issues with the ILM (independent loading mechanism), which keeps the processor firmly in place within the socket. Doing some investigations myself, our testbed Core i9-12900K which we've used the most doesn't seem to show any noticeable gaps or abnormal curvatures when used with a metal ruler. This, however, changes when we install the CPU into an LGA1700 socket or into one of the readily available Z690 motherboards.

The rear of the Intel LGA1700 socket with Core i9-12900K installed

There have been many reports that installing an Alder Lake processor into one of the cheaper Z690 or B660 models causes the CPU socket to bend and the IHS itself. We saw no bending before installing our Alder Lake processor into the socket of the GIGABYTE Z690 Aorus Master, which is a premium board priced around $470. Installing the Core i9-12900K into the socket and locking the ILM into place, we saw noticeable bending on the rear of the board, as our picture above illustrates.

The implications of this are two-fold. Firstly, from a cooling standpoint, it will and can lead to increased thermals due to the gaps this creates between the cold plate of the cooler and the IHS on the CPU. While thermal paste will generally fill some of the gaps, the problem is the nature of the gap and its size that the increased pressure the ILM creates. The second and perhaps the most fundamental part of this, it should NOT be happening.

Buildzoid 'rambles' about the LGA1700 washer mod, a potential fix?

While PCBs can be flexible, the nature of heat creating further expansion could lead to damaged sockets damaged processors and ultimately leave users with an expensive headache. There's also the potential to create permanent bends in the PCB area around the socket. This is not a good thing. It should be noted that LGA1700 motherboards either use ILM's manufacturers by Lotes or Foxconn, but it's reported that both ILMs are affected by this issue.

Fundamentally, there are a couple of potential workarounds to the issue, including a large, robust backplate. Still, on some of the AIO coolers, we have seen recently, these usually come with flimsy plastic backplates. Another potential fix is installing four washers to alleviate the issue. Both Igorlabs.de and Buildzoid have posted content detailing this, with Igor Wallossek doing some testing using washers of a different thickness to show variation.

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  • Alistair - Friday, March 4, 2022 - link

    actually a quad core is great for 360hz gaming also, the problem is the locked clock speed

    if Intel would release an unlocked quad core that can run at 5ghz+ it would be a dream chip

    that's why they don't release it, they want gamers to buy useless 16 core CPUs for gaming, as the game FPS is higher from cache and clock speed, not core count
  • mode_13h - Saturday, March 5, 2022 - link

    I definitely agree that you shouldn't have to buy more cores just to get higher peak clock speeds.

    With Intel's Xeon CPUs, it would typically be the case that models with fewer cores would have higher base & peak clock speeds. I think that started to change when AMD setup their product stack so that each step enabled more cores and/or higher clock speeds. As Intel moved to 6- and 8-core mainstream CPUs, they did the same thing.

    Where AMD sort of bucked the trend was with the 3300X. That little screamer was an absolute performance bargain. I almost bought one, a couple times - first, when it launched, and then I passed on it because it was selling above list price when it came back in stock in late 2020 or early 2021.

    Anyway, I wish AMD would do something like that with a Zen3 or Zen3+, though it's looking unlikely.
  • Mike Bruzzone - Friday, March 4, 2022 - link

    Hi Werewebb,

    Agreed, modern quads work great for Office essentials and home essentials including facility management and security.

    I'm speaking English, are we communicating I think so, on what dialect on practice area can however lead to interpretative earning to confer in another practice area for comprehension cross practice cross functions achieving dialogue and I think so.

    "An Alder Lake quad-core is equal or better than a Ryzen 5 2600. All benchmarks also show substantial improvements in 1% lows. What matters most is overall performance, not simply the number of cores."

    Encoding, transcoding and compiling for octa centric advantages,

    AMD with 3300x went after Ivy Bridge EE quad and won and there are plenty of priced right E5 1600 v2 quad and a bunch v2 hexa plus Haswell EE all cores just entered used market plenty of good choices especially if you have a board that can be upgraded.

    Channel this last week;

    Core Haswell desktop returns to secondary market + 46.6%, and mobile + 7.5% in prior eight weeks and the replacement trend is from Haswell forward in time.

    Ivy Bridge EE + 161.11% octa/hexa return to used market prior eight weeks presents a telling indicator.

    Haswell Extremes all SKUs + 180% in the prior eight weeks is a strong desktop upgrade indicator.

    i7 Refresh + 14%, 4790 comes back to secondary + 17.8% and 4790K + 14% that is 10% of 90_

    i5 Refresh 4590 comes back to secondary + 403% and 4690 sells down < 69% at 19% of 4590
    i3 Refresh + 81% and 4150 comes back + 161%

    Pentium Refresh + 5.5%
    Celeron Refresh + 14.5%

    i7 Original 4770 + 131% and K + 217% that is 24.1% of 70_

    i5 Original + 169% and 4570 + 98%, 4570S + 952%, 4570T + 49.7% and 4570T is 26.3% of 4570_ all varients

    i3 Original + 4% and 4130T + 13.7%

    Pentium Original + 18.8% and G3220 comes back to secondary + 21.8% followed by 3420 + 19.2%

    More in in comment line, several comments actually keep scrolling down until you find last week's Intel channel data and sales trend;



    The vast majority of people are just fine running a modern quad-core.
  • nandnandnand - Thursday, March 3, 2022 - link

    The explanation from here should be mentioned for AppTimer: GIMP since the results are so weird:


    Maybe the test should be dropped entirely.
  • Slash3 - Thursday, March 3, 2022 - link

    It is, in fact, a deeply stupid test with no value.
  • mode_13h - Thursday, March 3, 2022 - link

    "As it turns out, GIMP does optimizations for every CPU thread in the system, which requires that higher thread-count processors take a lot longer to run."

    Holy cow. I don't believe that. There's something else going on there, like maybe code using a stupid spinlock or something... which could actually be the case if some plugins or the core app used libgomp.

    At the time that article was written, the only Big.Little CPUs were in phones (okay, let's forget Lakemont - nobody was running GIMP on a Lakemont). There was absolutely no reason for it to do per-thread optimizations!
  • lmcd - Friday, March 4, 2022 - link

    No one ran anything on a Lakemont, as no one ran a Lakemont.
  • mode_13h - Saturday, March 5, 2022 - link

    Right. I was just noting that for completeness.
  • nandnandnand - Sunday, March 6, 2022 - link

    Lakefield, you mean! Although Intel does appear to have had a Lakemont, Google "Intel Lakemont" to find another deceased product.

    I have used GIMP on RPi4 (which can be rough but usable) so I can imagine Lakefield would be better. Lakefield was too expensive for relatively bad performance (couldn't run all 5 cores at once apparently). Intel gets another swing at it with the Pentium 8500 and other Alder Lake chips.
  • mode_13h - Tuesday, March 8, 2022 - link

    Thanks for the correction.

    Yeah, I get the feeling Lakefield was testing out a few too many new technologies to be executed well. At least it served as a test vehicle for Big+Little and their die-stacking tech.

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