Intel’s latest architecture requires a new LGA 1151 socket and features an enhanced pin count. Additionally, the CPUs are built on a 14nm manufacturing process. Some of you might remember that Skylake retail samples do not ship with a stock heatsink which raised concerns about temperatures. Thankfully, Skylake is very efficient with improved thermal dissipation. Here we can see the difference in size between Intel’s official Skylake heatsink and the previous generation.
However, according to PCGamesHardware.de, CPU coolers exhibiting high pressure mounts could damage the 1151 socket and Skylake CPUs. One theory suggests this is due to Skylake’s reduced thickness which makes the CPU flex under pressure due to a lack of mechanical stability. Therefore, any cooler which adopts a hefty clamping force is capable of pushing the CPU into the socket and damaging both the motherboard and CPU pins.
This is clearly a very worrying turn of events, and PCGamesHardware contacted a number of cooler manufacturers to see clarification. Here’s is a complete rundown of the replies:
“The company Scythe EU GmbH announces that on several coolers from its portfolio, a change of the mounting system for Skylake / plinth is made 1151stAll coolers are in fact generally compatible with Skylake sockets, but it can in some cases result in damage to CPU and motherboard when the PC is exposed to stronger shocks (eg shipping or relocation). To prevent this, the pressure was reduced by an adjustment of the screw set. We will send the new set of screws you also like to charge. Please send your request via email email@example.com or use the contact form on our website(http://www.scythe-eu.com/support/technische-anfragen.html).”
“Our SecuFirm2 mounting systems are subjected to prior to the release of new platforms an extensive compatibility testing. It could be determined with reference to the Intel LGA1151 platform (“Skylake”) no problems. Also on the part of our customers and our specialist resellers and system integration partners we have no reports of any problems. Our SecuFirm2 mounting systems access (with the exception of some more compact models of the L-series) for generating the necessary contact pressure on coil springs back, which allow a certain degree of flexibility both in terms of tolerances in the height as well as the case of vibrations or other forces. Compared with conventional spring-less installation systems where pressure is produced exclusively by the deformation of the mounting brackets, so can reduce the mechanical load on the CPU, and motherboard socket and any damage can be prevented by excessive force.”
“All EK Water Blocks EK-Supremacy Series CPU Water Blocks – Including the latest -MX and -EVO variants – are fully Complying with Intel Socket imposed H3 (LGA-1151) Mechanical force limitation. The clamping force, created by our PreciseMount spring loaded mounting mechanism, is well within the allowed mechanical limitations. The design of PreciseMount itself Prevents over-tightening and damage to mechnical Possible Either socket or the CPU packaging.
Older generation of (physically) compatible LGA-1151 Water Blocks with classic, undefined clamping ForceType mouting mechanism such as Supreme LTX – requires special attention When attaching the water block. As a result the use of search Waterblocks is not recommended with the LGA-1151 socket CPUs.”
Today, we received a statement from ARCTIC about their CPU cooler range and the effect it has on Skylake CPUs and 1151 motherboards:
“With this official statement we would like to assure that ARCTIC coolers are not affected by these problems – and thus fully Skylake compatible. All ARCTIC CPU Coolers complies concerning the released sockets with the mechanical specification from Intel. With our coolers there are no problems on Intel CPUs of the 6th generation (Skylake) for LGA 1151. Depending on the parcel service drop heights of over 2 m can not be excluded. Therefore we recommend regardless of the CPU used to carefully evaluate the dispatch and the packaging used and to possibly mount larger and heavier CPU coolers by the end user.”
While this is far from ideal and illustrates a major flaw in Intel’s production, cooler manufacturers should be able to complete thorough testing and judge the probability of damage occurring. Thankfully, many have released statements pretty quickly, and it remains to be seen how much force is actually needed to cause damage. Currently, it seems like the issue is only effecting coolers with a very heavy mount point. As a result, there’s no need to panic but this is something which needs clarification from Intel and further research.
Do you use a hefty air cooler or water cooling setup?