To sum up: When Intel introduced Alder Lake last year, some users quickly noticed a flaw: the new socket’s integrated loading mechanism (ILM) presses down on the processor from just two small tabs, causing it to bend a little. way that separates the processor from the cooler and increases its temperature.
In January, Buildzoid of Actual Hardcore Overclocking developed a simple solution: add thin washers to the screws between the motherboard and the ILM that reduce the pressure exerted by the ILM to a level that does not bend the integrated heat sink. (IHS).
Igor’s lab then tested it and found that it offered about a 5°C temperature drop with the 12900K. It’s become the de facto solution for overclockers who didn’t want to scrap their CPUs (a popular option with the 12900K), but since it also reduces socket stress, it can cause minor issues.
Thermal Grizzly is now producing a more refined solution in conjunction with legendary overclocker Der8auer. It is a contact frame that replaces the original ILM and provides even pressure on all four sides of the processor. It is also capable of deflecting IHS tension to the edges, improving center contact between die, IHS and cooler.
Der8auer made a video about the framework before its release, which further explains how it works. When tested, with a run-in EKWB Magnitude water block, it offered a 7°C improvement in temperature at best and 3-5°C improvement in most cases, depending on the CPU it was running. was using.
It turns out that the usefulness of the contact frame varies with CPU and cooler depending on their initial flat level. Some CPU coolers made for Alder Lake come from the factory with a slight curve to balance out the curvature of the IHS, and Igor’s Lab’s recent review found that they don’t benefit from the contact frame.
In their tests with three different models of CPU coolers, Igor’s Lab found that the frame offered a 10°C improvement with one, 6° with the other, and had no effect with the third. However, the two best temperatures they got, around 60°C, were with the frame.
Grizzly Thermal Contact Frame Via Der8auer
Igor’s Lab also tested another solution, the Alphacool Apex Backplate. It supports the socket from below and makes it more rigid but is not as effective as the Contact Frame: in testing, it only offered a 5°C improvement. It is also only compatible with Alphacool hardware.
However, the frame is not necessarily the best product. Der8auer and Igor’s Lab warn that it can put too much pressure on the CPU in the socket, causing it to make a bad connection to the motherboard, which can often lead to memory instability. The solution to this is to reseat the memory and relieve the pressure by loosening the screws, but that’s tedious.
The contact frame also costs around €40 ($43), which is a lot for a small aluminum mount. The Alphacool Apex costs around $15. If you find your 12700K or 12900K is baking, however, choosing one or the other – or even trying the $5 washer trick – might be worth it.