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Thermal Grizzly's LGA1700 loading mechanism contact frame found to lower Alder Lake CPU temperatures by 10C

Intel 12th Gen Core I9 Hero
(Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Thermal Grizzly launched a contact frame to replace the Intel loading mechanism for the LGA1700 socket to help cool down Alder Lake.
  • Igor’s Lab tested and found it to make a difference in lowering the operating temperature of an overclocked Intel Core i9-12900K by 10C.
  • The contact frame is available from Thermal Grizzly for just shy of $40.

Intel's Alder Lake processors were received well by both the press and the general public. We positively reviewed the Intel Core i5-12600K and Intel Core i9-12900K, but the 12th generation of Intel Core chips aren't without their problems. First is the amount of heat generated when pushing them through overclocked settings and another is bending, both of which contribute to higher temperatures. 

Thermal Grizzly has worked with renowned overclocked Roman "der8auer" Hartung on a small contact frame mod to replace the Intel LGA1700 loading mechanism. The goal of this mod, as covered by our friends at Tom's Hardware, is to lower temperatures by ensuring better contact between the processor's integrated heat spreader (IHS) and cooler.

The OEM supplied loading mechanism appears to be offset slightly preventing contact throughout the IHS and installed cooler. While Intel has stated the deflection of heat from this issue does not impact temperatures, one will certainly notice a small difference in temperatures at the higher end under overclocked conditions. That's precisely what Igor’s Lab found with the Thermal Grizzly mod.

Igor's Lab found that using the Thermal Grizzly Contact Frame can reduce the temperature of performance cores on the Intel Core i9-12900K at 5.0GHz. The impact of this mod brought the temperature of these cores down from 70C to 60C, a full 10C reduction in Prime95 stress testing. For reference, the Alphacool's XPX Aurora AIO cooler was used.

The Thermal Grizzly Contact Frame is available for $36, making it more of a purchase for those who want cooler temperatures when overclocking by a fair amount.

Rich Edmonds
Rich Edmonds

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.