Intel Alder Lake will require new refrigerators, or at least additional brackets, when it launches later this year. It is not surprising that Alder Lake arrives with a new LGA 1700 base suitable for its unorthodox shape, but recent plans published by Igor Laboratories suggest full respect for the socket surrounding Intel's hybrid chips.
According to plans, the new V0 socket design will replace the H5 socket currently in use with compatible LGA 1200 and Rocket Lake processors, which is almost identical to the H4 and H3 designs suitable for previous generations.
The V0 socket will not only come with a different hole pattern: the location of the screw holes for both air and liquid cooler mounts / mounting systems will actually have a much lower Z height, i.e. the its construction and the CPU, once installed, will be located much closer to the motherboard than previous socket designs.
Intel Alder Lake is expected to feature a slightly elongated heat sink (IHS) and interposer design compared to the current Core desktop footprint, which has remained the same since from the early days of the Core i3, i5 and i7 formations.
With Alder Lake, everything changes. And maybe with good reason, though we have yet to see if Intel's dramatic rethink will pay dividends to the gaming department. Essentially, Alder Lake will incorporate a cluster of "small" cores, borrowed from Intel's Atom line and upgraded from there, along with a collection of "large" cores. The big cores will come from the 10 nm architecture fork that we haven’t experienced on the desktop yet, but that has turned it into moving and server parts. Specifically, Alder Lake will use the latest variant of this fork available today, known as Golden Cove.
There are also changes to I / O, including DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 support, while Intel Xe integrated graphics are configured to make an appearance with some capability.
So there are a lot of changes under the hood, and that would be a requirement to rethink the entire motherboard socket and package bracket.
Curiously, Intel should also have been chatting about socket changes today, as we just heard about a socket rethink at AMD. The assumption The AM5 socket may also require a big shake-up for motherboard manufacturers, and this will likely reach PC builders as well.
So, if you plan to pick up next-generation Intel or AMD processors, you may want to wait before buying a refrigerator. Best of all, existing refrigerators can be made compatible with a few extra supports, but worst of all is a complete redesign to fit the Alder Lake footprint.
And if I recently had trouble getting a Noctua kit to transform my Intel-compatible refrigerator into an AMD-compatible one, I really don’t want to wait for months just to get a couple of metal parts with the right screw holes.