Intel Skylake CPUs are bending under the pressure of some coolers

Cyberghost

Federal Agent Area 51
Staff member
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Some Intel Skylake CPUs are literally bending under the weight of heavy aftermarket CPU coolers. Or, more specifically, the pressure exerted by some coolers seems to be causing damage to Skylake chips. The likely culprit: Intel used a thinner wafer on Skylake CPUs than past chips. According to Intel, the thinner substrate is still rated for the same 50 pound static load, but this issue is definitely real: we've experienced it ourselves.

Recently, while moving a Skylake i7-6700K between two systems, our colleagues at Maximum PC experienced this exact bending issue. The damage was caused by installing either an EK-XLC Predator 240, Deep Cool _ or Corsair H90 liquid cooler. We thought too much force had been applied to the chip by installing one of those coolers with an electric screwdriver. It's still possible that the screwdriver applied a damaging amount of force and the damage was user error, but we've never experienced a similar issue on older Intel CPUs with thicker wafers.

PC Games Hardware in Germany first reported on the problem on November 30, and several aftermarket cooler makers have commented on the issue. Arctic recommends removal of the CPU cooler for transport (if the system is dropped, a heavy cooler could apply a damaging amount of force to the chip). The pins, motherboard contacts and even the CPU itself can be bent, especially if your PC experiences any bumps.

EK and NZXT told Tom's Hardware that their coolers are fully compliant with Intel's force regulations, but both recommended against using older generation coolers that may apply too much pressure. Scythe has said on its support website that it is reducing the mounting pressure of its coolers for Skylake by adjusting the screw set. It will be sending a new set of screws to its customers free of charge.

Intel told Tom's Hardware it's investigating the issue. We've reached out to Corsair with a request for comment and will update when we hear back.

If you're installing a Skylake CPU anytime soon, be gentle.

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Sauce: PC Gamer
 

REDHOTIRON2004

Journeyman
That's alarming. The last comparison pics show how the wafer had compressed to half of its initial thickness. I think that if we would use lesser force even then it's not a chip that would last long specially if you change the cpu often.

It's actually a problem with everyone now. Trend is towards cost cutting and thinning the size of everything including mobile, LED tv etc.
It was obvious that it was bound to happen at one stage.

I would rather buy a haswell refresh rather than skylake at this stage until Intel does something about this issue. I still have my Intel processor from 2004 working perfectly fine. The same doesn't look like the case with skylake as far as quality is concerned.

Intel have now invented disposable processors...lol
 

bssunilreddy

Chosen of the Omnissiah
Intel Skylake CPUs reportedly bending under pressure from third-party coolers | PCWorld

The impact on you at home: Putting your own PC rig together is hard enough without having to worry about whether your motherboard and processor are properly rated for pressure. Intel and cooler makers have to clear this up and discover the cause of the problem and how to mitigate it. For now, anyone with a Skylake CPU should remove the cooler before they even think about moving their desktop—even if you’re just crossing the room.


The thinner substrate of Skylake (left), versus Haswell (right).

Intel Skylake CPUs bent and broken by some third-party coolers | Ars Technica

For now, until more testing has been conducted and Intel gets to the bottom of the bending issues, it might be wise to not travel with a Skylake-based PC without removing the cooler first, particularly if it's on the large side. Those building new PCs should exercise caution if re-using a cooler from a previous build and stick with coolers that have been confirmed as compatible with Skylake.
 
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topgear

Super Moderator
Staff member
Intel is evil here but why O why any review web site did not notice it before ? With that being said I glad that I did not go for Skylake .. if someone bends a cpu like this all the service center will call this as a user error.
 
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