Alert after Intel Skylake chips, mobo sockets 'warp under coolers'

Watch out for third-party heavy heat sinks

In brief Beware if you're fitting third-party coolers to your Intel Skylake processors: it's reported that the chips and their sockets can be damaged by the weight of the heat sinks.

Apparently, the Skylake parts have a thinner substrate than their Broadwell predecessors, and are more likely to bend and break when heavy-duty coolers are fitted on top, it is claimed. This warping, we're told, also messes up the motherboard sockets. Skylake is supposed to be able to take the same weight as previous Intel CPUs.

Skylake requires a new socket – the LGA 1151 – and therefore a new motherboard if you're upgrading your PC. According to an investigation by German-language blog PC Games Hardware, the processors are being damaged even though third-party cooler makers reckon their hardware meets the design specifications of the Core-family chips and 1151 socket.

Japanese heat sink biz Scythe has said it will adjust the screws on its gear to avoid any warping issues, but still thinks its mounting hardware is sufficiently compatible with the Skylake specifications. The outfit suggests the CPUs are damaged when "exposed to strong shocks (e.g. during shipping or relocation)."

Intel has more or less blamed the cooler makers, saying the specs are available for them to follow. ®

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