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heatsink dimensions, sizes and requirements

So, if you wanted to upgrade to the new generation of Intel processors, in addition to purchasing a new processor and a new motherboard, you will also have to buy a new heatsink since the current one will not work for you, although it is true that some manufacturers such as Night They have already announced that they will have upgrade kits available for their heatsink retention system that will make them compatible with the LGA1700.

This is the new Intel LGA1700 socket: dimensions and size

Although the processors will go from being square to rectangular, Intel will maintain the anchor of the square socket, which means that we can continue installing the heatsinks pointing backwards or upwards as it suits us. What changes is the separation between the anchor points, something that makes the heatsinks designed for current sockets not suitable for the new generation LGA1700; To put this in context, these are Intel’s socket anchor point spacings to date:

Socket Dimensions (mm)
SocketLGA775 Dimensions (mm)72×72
SocketLGA115X / 1200 Dimensions (mm)75×75
SocketLGA2011 / 2066 Dimensions (mm)80×80
SocketLGA1700 Dimensions (mm)78×78

This information has come to light thanks to the well-known «leaker» momomo_us, who has published both the socket dimensions comparative data as well as other interesting data that we will comment on below.

As you can see, there is a difference of 3 mm in the separation of the socket anchor points, and this means that the current heatsink retention systems are not valid for the LGA1700 socket. As we have said before, manufacturers such as Noctua or Gigabyte have already confirmed that they will have upgrade kits ready for their heatsinks, and it is to be expected that the rest of the manufacturers will do the same. In addition, as is obvious, the new heatsinks that we buy once this new platform is on the street will already be prepared for it, although it is something we must look at when making the purchase.

There is another interesting factor, which in this case has to do with the height of the heatsink; depending on this, the heatsink anchoring system has to have one size or another so as not to tighten the processor too much or too little against the socket. In the instruction manual of a heatsink it can be seen that in this respect there is a difference of 0.8 mm, that is, the anchoring “columns” go from measuring 26.66 mm to 25.86 mm, so the Alder Lake processors seem to will be 0.8mm higher than the current ones.

So we have many physical differences between current Intel processors and the next generation, Alder Lake. As we have seen previously, the new processors will have a rectangular shape instead of a square one, and the new LGA1700 socket, although it will remain square, expands its size by 3 mm, so the current heatsinks will not work if they do not have an adapter; furthermore, this latest information indicates that Alder Lake processors will be 0.8mm taller than current ones.

Lots of physical differences affect motherboard and heatsink manufacturers, but we’ll see if all this mess is worth it in terms of performance in the end.