The Intel Core i3-12300 Review: Quad-Core Alder Lake Shinesby Gavin Bonshor on March 3, 2022 8:30 AM EST
LGA1700: Reports of Bending Sockets
Since the launch of Intel's Alder Lake-based 12th generation Core processors, there have been several reports of high and abnormal temperatures, even at stock frequencies. The art in balancing out the integrated heat spreader (IHS) of a processor is one thing extreme overclockers have been working on for many years now. Typically called lapping, extreme overclockers finely sand down the IHS to make it a more flat and even surface. The aim is to reduce gaps by sanding out imperfections or curvatures. This is so that the cooling plate of the CPU cooler makes better contact with the IHS, and it has been known to reduce CPU thermals by a decent amount.
Our Core i9-12900K IHS is 'relatively' flat and even.
Fellow enthusiast Igor Wallossek published an article on his website, Igorlabs.de, which investigates potential issues with the ILM (independent loading mechanism), which keeps the processor firmly in place within the socket. Doing some investigations myself, our testbed Core i9-12900K which we've used the most doesn't seem to show any noticeable gaps or abnormal curvatures when used with a metal ruler. This, however, changes when we install the CPU into an LGA1700 socket or into one of the readily available Z690 motherboards.
The rear of the Intel LGA1700 socket with Core i9-12900K installed
There have been many reports that installing an Alder Lake processor into one of the cheaper Z690 or B660 models causes the CPU socket to bend and the IHS itself. We saw no bending before installing our Alder Lake processor into the socket of the GIGABYTE Z690 Aorus Master, which is a premium board priced around $470. Installing the Core i9-12900K into the socket and locking the ILM into place, we saw noticeable bending on the rear of the board, as our picture above illustrates.
The implications of this are two-fold. Firstly, from a cooling standpoint, it will and can lead to increased thermals due to the gaps this creates between the cold plate of the cooler and the IHS on the CPU. While thermal paste will generally fill some of the gaps, the problem is the nature of the gap and its size that the increased pressure the ILM creates. The second and perhaps the most fundamental part of this, it should NOT be happening.
Buildzoid 'rambles' about the LGA1700 washer mod, a potential fix?
While PCBs can be flexible, the nature of heat creating further expansion could lead to damaged sockets damaged processors and ultimately leave users with an expensive headache. There's also the potential to create permanent bends in the PCB area around the socket. This is not a good thing. It should be noted that LGA1700 motherboards either use ILM's manufacturers by Lotes or Foxconn, but it's reported that both ILMs are affected by this issue.
Fundamentally, there are a couple of potential workarounds to the issue, including a large, robust backplate. Still, on some of the AIO coolers, we have seen recently, these usually come with flimsy plastic backplates. Another potential fix is installing four washers to alleviate the issue. Both Igorlabs.de and Buildzoid have posted content detailing this, with Igor Wallossek doing some testing using washers of a different thickness to show variation.
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Makaveli - Thursday, March 3, 2022 - linkDDR4-3200 CL22
Don't know anyone using DDR4 with that high cas latency.
Going to CL14 memory will most likely remove the gap in gaming.
Oxford Guy - Thursday, March 3, 2022 - linkCL16 3200 RAM was cheap many many years ago and I have not heard of a single stability problem with any platform other than Zen 1, which was quite special.
It’s preposterous to run 3200-speed RAM at anything slower than CL16.
mode_13h - Thursday, March 3, 2022 - linkRegarding the review:
* Glad to see the DDR4 vs. DDR5 comparison.
* Sad to see DDR5 used for remainder of benchmarks, given current price & availability. People buying a sub-$150 CPU won't be using DDR5, making these benchmarks unrealistic.
* Sad to see minimal analysis of power consumption. I believe much of their advantage over the Ryzen R3 5300G comes from burning more power and DDR5, but without power measurements on individual benchmarks, we can't compute perf/W or make other conclusions about this.
* Glad to see the 5300G showing up, where it did.
* Glad to see the i7-6700K (and i7-2600K) sometimes making an appearance. So very interesting that a couple benchmarks showed the i7-6700K with roughly equal performance!
* On the last page, Turbo power is mistakenly stated as 69 W, although the first page chart correctly lists it as 89 W.
* Please ask Ian to open source his 3D Particle Movement benchmark, or stop using it. As the rest of your benchmarks are publicly available & independently verifiable, this is only fair.
Regarding the CPU:
* Definitely a performance bargain, if you can get it near list price!
* Sad to see ark.intel.com doesn't specify ECC support (which IMO means probably not... but check the docs of any LGA 1700 ECC-capable motherboard to be sure).
lmcd - Thursday, March 3, 2022 - linkIronically DDR5 benchmarks can be used to get a sense of what using higher-speed DDR4 can unlock.
Calin - Friday, March 4, 2022 - link"Sad to see DDR5 used for remainder of benchmarks,"
As a lower performance processor, DDR5 wouldn't bring too much to the table. They specify a 5-10% increase in performance with DDR5, with an average of some 6%.
So, basically nothing would change in the benchmarks - a 10% performance difference could easily be ignored for many other factors (price, availability, necessary power/cooling, ...)
mode_13h - Saturday, March 5, 2022 - link> So, basically nothing would change in the benchmarks -
> a 10% performance difference could easily be ignored
That's ridiculous. 10% is certainly significant. I would consider <= 1% to be down in the noise.
Calin - Monday, March 7, 2022 - link3% used to be Anand's Anandtech "noise".
I wouldn't care for a 10% - 25 seconds compile time down to 22... or editing images, 50 images to take 54 seconds instead of one minute.
That's the reason Intel used to compare new processors to 3 generations old ones (3-5 years old). The improvement over multiple generations grew to a nice 25% or more (at least in some benchmarks). But, if all you do takes seconds or minutes, that 10% reduction in time (or 10% increase in throughput) is almost never truly useful.
mode_13h - Tuesday, March 8, 2022 - link> But, if all you do takes seconds or minutes, that 10% reduction in time
> (or 10% increase in throughput) is almost never truly useful.
I'm not talking about upgrading for an absolute increase of 10%. However, 10% is a lot of error to stack with whatever else you're comparing against.
Either the accuracy of the benchmarks matters or it doesn't. If not, then obviously we don't need to bother about 10%. If it does, then 10% is too much to ignore.
Ryan Smith - Friday, March 4, 2022 - link"Sad to see DDR5 used for remainder of benchmarks, given current price & availability. People buying a sub-$150 CPU won't be using DDR5, making these benchmarks unrealistic."
Including the DDR4 vs. DDR5 numbers was our compromise, here. We're going to be using this dataset for a long time going forward; it didn't make much sense to base everything around DDR4, and thus unnecessarily kneecapping the CPU in current and future comparisons.
Alistair - Thursday, March 3, 2022 - linkI would like to point out that it has been five months already, still can not buy a single quad core CPU. Intel is teasing us with a good cheap product, but it doesn't actually exist. If and when it finally shows up, it will probably be overpriced (over $200 CAD?) so this product might as well not exist.