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.

The Intel Core i3-12300 Review: Quad-Core Alder Lake Intel Core i3-12300 Performance: DDR5 vs DDR4
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  • whatthe123 - Thursday, March 3, 2022 - link

    probably because you're not actually making use of the bandwidth. i didn't run into the problem either until adding in a pcie 4 drive and a USB HDD.
  • Makaveli - Thursday, March 3, 2022 - link

    I have a 6800XT in PCIe 4.0 mode
    A Corsair MP600 1TB in 4.0 mode

    multiple usb devices including a Brio 4k Webcam, external usb microphone, a Western digital passport drive that I use occasionally for temp backs up.

    No USB issues!
  • whatthe123 - Thursday, March 3, 2022 - link

    then maybe pure luck. 5900x/980pro/external drives through USB 3.0 + C. I can arbitrarily hit the USB drop problem with this setup even on stock settings. I bought the system for the throughput so I just deal with it but it is absolutely never been fixed even with the latest agesa.
  • SunMaster - Thursday, March 3, 2022 - link

    No USB issues on, nor WHEA. Fabric on 1900.
  • Mike Bruzzone - Thursday, March 3, 2022 - link

    Alder 6P, 4P are from area optimized mask sets and contain no E cores I believe you articulated that on no thread direction firmware perf and power hit @Silver5urfer "who wants a PC for decades going forth" I do and always buy top bin at prior gen run end clearance priced on the objective of 10 year system life.5800X here I come April/May. My 4M point databases will do fine and my extra budget will go to fast NIC and memory and 1080 and I'll be in performance Heavan. Mike Bruzzone, Camp Marketing
  • Leeea - Thursday, March 3, 2022 - link

    no USB issues here
    or other issues

    bandwidth wise, think I am using it all
    x570 board
    rx6900 @ PCIe 4
    980 pro 2 TB @ PCIe 4
    3x SATA in storage spaces raid 0
    2x SATA in normal
    USB audio recorders (roland), USB audio playback (also roland)

    it all works fine
  • CiccioB - Friday, March 4, 2022 - link

    I think you just made up all this just to find some weak point in Intel architecture while just compensating with a subtle (and probably what you consider secondary) I/O problem for AMD.

    I would like to quote this post for the future, when AMD will be limited to DDR5 only with Zen4 and re-post this statement again: "Prime reason to skip this entire 12th gen, esp with the new rumors saying RPL LGA1700 Z700 chipset might be DDR5 only, so you get this haphazardly designed ILM which requires end user to perform a Socket mod [...] for DDR4 or buy the uber expensive DDR5 kits which have 2 flaws on their own - Price to performance,"

    A part that RPL won't be DDR5 only, but most probably more DDR5 oriented (which means you'll find less DDR4 offers for it, the same you find less DDR5 offers for ADL), you can buy a 500 chipset with all the features you want supporting DDR4.
    When Zen4 will be out you will have to buy "uber expensive DDR5 kits which have 2 flaws on their own - Price to performance". Let's see what you'll say about the corner AMD has put itself with that choice. I just would think that AMD will delay Zen4 as much as possible till DDR5 becomes available at an affordable price.

    At the end, with more time and knowledge, you'll see that the E-cores are not that a hindrance to P-cores, but the real clever way to support extensively multi-threaded jobs, much better than beefed up cores supporting low efficient SMT.
    AMD will arrive at that as well. With Zen5 they have already announced they will propose they usual mock-up copy (stand-alone efficiente core) of the then 2 years older competition solution. With Zen6 they will probably integrate it as Intel has done today.
    In 4 years (possibly) you'll have AMD with the same architectural big.LITTLE solution than Intel has now. And I bet my cat that when this will happen we will all ear you and AMD fanboys how revolutionary and game changing will be that choice.
    It was already done in the past, it will be done again.

    And BTW, I still have to see an AMD motherboard supporting all the technology that is present on Intel MB with not a single issue as are on Intel ones. For me it makes a big difference in having even a slightly slower performance but rock steady than something that sometimes is faster but even more often doesn't work as expected.
  • Silver5urfer - Saturday, March 5, 2022 - link

    Intel 12th gen is garbage Page 2 ILM seals the fate of this trash LGA1700, it's over. As for AMD their Zen 3 is flawed. That's why I suggest either Intel 10th gen or AMD Ryzen 5000 (*only with PBO and 3600MHz nothing more).

    As for smearing fanboy crap on me, you think you have any ounce of credibility left ? I literally gave links and where the AVX512 and P core design is much superior and yet you are that clown who comes in and says BigLittle is good, you do not have technological knowledge at all. Just basing on what makes your stupid AMD point about Zen 5 will copy Intel ? AMD never copied Intel. Intel is the one which copies AMD's chiplet design and MCM in EMIB format for Xeon SPR. And Intel is the one which copied ARM's design, AMD is not going to make this junk for desktop, they want leadership they will get. And Intel is going this way because their P cores cannot handle more than 8P as their thermal ceiling is low. 12900K is the proof of that.

    What a damn clown.
  • nandnandnand - Sunday, March 6, 2022 - link

    Leaks point to AMD putting 8x Zen 5 cores and 16x Zen 4C cores on desktop (Granite Ridge), as well as 8x Zen 5 and 4x Zen 4C in mobile/desktop APUs (Strix Point).
  • Targon - Friday, March 4, 2022 - link

    AGESA or AGESA v2 for the problems you are fighting with? If you have USB ports that are not controlled by the CPU, AGESA isn't necessarily the source of those problems.

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