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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  • mode_13h - Thursday, March 3, 2022 - link

    > The -E/TE are BGA variants

    According to Intel, they're the same FCLGA1700 package as the CPU reviewed in this article.


    However, whether you can get them in Qty. 1 and whether any retail motherboards have validated ECC support for them is another matter.
  • mode_13h - Thursday, March 3, 2022 - link

    > Are there different levels of ECC for DDR5?

    No. All DDR5 has on-die ECC, but that's just a band-aid to cover other shortcuts made by DDR5 (increased density, long-refresh) and probably won't deliver a net reliability improvement.

    The two variations of ECC currently supported by Intel are traditional out-of-band ECC, which requires special DIMMs and motherboards, or in-band ECC that should work with any DIMMs but at a slight performance penalty. From what I've seen, only certain Elkhart Lake CPUs so far support in-band ECC.
  • fmyhr - Thursday, March 3, 2022 - link

    Thank you! Very much appreciate the info. First I'd heard of in-band ECC.
  • SunMaster - Thursday, March 3, 2022 - link

    When it comes to excelling in single thread applications, which applications are we really talking about in 2022 ? MS-DOS emulators and CPU-tests limited to 1 thread?
  • badger2k - Thursday, March 3, 2022 - link

    Comments like these are a really easy way to show that you have no knowledge of how computer programs work.
  • SunMaster - Thursday, March 3, 2022 - link

    Really. So how with an example where it matters?
  • SunMaster - Thursday, March 3, 2022 - link

    I'm not talking about where single threaded software exists, because that's just about everywhere. I'm wondering which singlethreaded applications is it possible to excel in, because they actually exist and their performance actually matter.
  • TheinsanegamerN - Thursday, March 3, 2022 - link

    Games. Multithreaded games still have a single primary rendering thread, or other tasks such as ai, that cannot be made parallel easily or at all, hence why alder lake wins at gaming benchmarks, even multithreaded ones
  • magreen - Thursday, March 3, 2022 - link

    OCR of a long document in Adobe Acrobat. It’s infuriating that it’s still single threaded in 2022 even in the pro version, when it’s such an obviously parallelizable task. But it is what it is.
  • CiccioB - Friday, March 4, 2022 - link

    I wonder if you are serous or just trolling...
    If you know "single threaded software exists, because that's just about everywhere. I'm wondering which singlethreaded applications is it possible to excel in, because they actually exist and their performance actually matter."
    you may just think that you excel in all those mono tasking application that require times to be completed.
    I do not think it is that difficult to understand, so I just think you are just acting as a troll.

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