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Cooling your new Intel CPU will depend on your motherboard, says leak

Thanks to a new reduced load independent loading mechanism (RL-ILM), Intel's new gaming CPUs should sit flatter, making them easier to cool.

It’s being reported that Intel’s upcoming Arrow Lake desktop gaming CPUs could be easier to keep cool, and thus to overclock, thanks to a new mounting system. The new Intel Arrow Lake RL-ILM reportedly system puts less strain on the chip than the current LGA1700 mount, meaning it stays flatter and makes better contact with typical CPU coolers.

Although Intel‘s current best gaming CPU options are able to be cooled well enough, it can take special measures to get the best from the chips. For instance, we’ve seen how Noctua has had to engineer a specific variant of its new NH-D15 G2 cooler with a more convex base plate in order to cool Intel’s 12th, 13th, and 14th gen chips properly.

The existing problem is that the current LGA1700 socket mounting system – the part that holds the CPU against the motherboard (as pictured below) – can exert too strong a force on the chip, which can cause it to slightly bend the CPU package. This in turn means that the top of the chip’s metal integrated heat spreader (IHS) is no longer completely flat and can make poor contact with typical CPU coolers.

intel arrow lake lga1851 rl-ilm 02

To get around this problem, CPU cooler manufacturers have resorted to grinding the bases of their coolers to be more convex to better push against the CPU. Or they’ve provided shims to help reduce the strain exerted by the mounting system, making the CPU flatter. We’ve even written a guide on how to stop your Intel CPU bending, the problem is so prevalent.

However, hardware leaker @Jaykihn on X/Twitter claims that the new Intel LGA1851 socket used by the upcoming Intel Arrow Lake-S CPUs will come with two different mounting options, one of which should reduce this problem. In turn, this should make it easier to keep high-end Intel CPUs cool and potentially to overclock them too.

Jaykihn describes the standard LGA18512 ILM as being “angled at 2 degrees,” and being “similar” to the LGA1700 mounting system, although it’s not entirely clear what angle is being referred to here. However, Jaykihn says there will also be an option for a reduced load independent loading mechanism (RL-ILM), which is “flat and has an improved thermal performance.”

intel arrow lake lga1851 rl-ilm 03 tweets

Jaykihn notes that the heatsink “needs to apply a minimum of 35lb of loading force” onto the CPU to “maintain proper operation.” This would appear to mean that it’s not suitable for use with the sorts of cheaper CPU coolers that use plastic clips to hold the cooler against the CPU, such as Intel’s own included coolers or the likes of the Arctic Freezer 7X. Instead, it looks as though it would only be suitable for premium coolers that include an extra backplate for clamping the motherboard firmly to the cooler.

The implication here is that cheaper motherboards intended for system integrators, or for PC builders buying on a budget and only looking to use an included cooler or a cheap option, will use the original ILM. Meanwhile, enthusiast motherboards will use the RL-ILM that Jaykihn claims costs an extra $1 for motherboard manufacturers to buy, but will be a better fit for premium coolers.

The exact specifications of the new design aren’t yet known, and it’s unclear if this will ultimately make for a slightly confusing marketplace for buyers. However, for the time being, it seems like a step in the right direction.

Alternatively, you could always ignore all this hassle and opt for an AMD AM5 CPU, such as the AMD Ryzen 7600X, as this socket has no such mounting issues.