Reports That High Pressure Heatsinks Can Damage Skylake

Intel’s new Skylake processors are in the news again, and not for a good reason. According to, high pressure or mass coolers could damage the CPU package and/or socket. As you can see in the image above, the substrate of the processor package is significantly thinner, and being made of glass fibre (as are most PCBs), it can flex significantly more than the previous, thicker, packages. The pressure of a hefty cooler could push the CPU package into the socket and damage the pins!

The fact that Intel’s Skylake processors do not ship with a stock cooler may exacerbate the problem, with most users likely to choose a big, heavy cooler for high overclocks, or cheaper, stock-cooler equivalent coolers that may have a fixed mounting pressure, which could be too much for the CPU.

This is concerning, and PCGamesHardware contacted a number of cooler manufacturers to seek clarification. Here are some of the replies:


“The company Scythe EU GmbH announces that on several coolers from its portfolio, a change of the mounting system for Skylake / plinth is made ​​1151st All coolers are in fact generally compatible with Skylake sockets, but it can in some cases result in damage to CPU and motherboard when the PC is exposed to stronger shocks (eg shipping or relocation). To prevent this, the pressure was reduced by an adjustment of the screw set. We will send the new set of screws you also like to charge. Please send your request via email to [email protected] or use the contact form on our website(”


“Our SecuFirm2 mounting systems are subjected to prior to the release of new platforms an extensive compatibility testing. It could be determined with reference to the Intel LGA1151 platform (“Skylake”) no problems. Also on the part of our customers and our specialist resellers and system integration partners we have no reports of any problems. Our SecuFirm2 mounting systems access (with the exception of some more compact models of the L-series) for generating the necessary contact pressure on coil springs back, which allow a certain degree of flexibility both in terms of tolerances in the height as well as the case of vibrations or other forces. Compared with conventional spring-less installation systems where pressure is produced exclusively by the deformation of the mounting brackets, so can reduce the mechanical load on the CPU, and motherboard socket and any damage can be prevented by excessive force.”


“All EK Water Blocks EK-Supremacy Series CPU Water Blocks – Including the latest -MX and -EVO variants – are fully Complying with Intel Socket imposed H3 (LGA-1151) Mechanical force limitation. The clamping force, created by our PreciseMount spring loaded mounting mechanism, is well within the allowed mechanical limitations. The design of PreciseMount itself Prevents over-tightening and damage to mechnical Possible Either socket or the CPU packaging.

Older generation of (physically) compatible LGA-1151 Water Blocks with classic, undefined clamping ForceType mouting mechanism such as Supreme LTX – requires special attention When attaching the water block. As a result the use of search Waterblocks is not recommended with the LGA-1151 socket CPUs.”

Today, eTeknix received a statement from ARCTIC about their CPU cooler range and the effect it has on Skylake CPUs and 1151 motherboards:


“With this official statement we would like to assure that ARCTIC coolers are not affected by these problems and thus fully Skylakecompatible. All ARCTIC CPU Coolers complies concerning the released sockets with the mechanical specification from Intel. With our coolersthere are no problems on Intel CPUs of the 6th generation (Skylake) for LGA 1151. Depending on the parcel service drop heights of over 2 m can not be excluded. Therefore we recommend regardless of the CPU used to carefully evaluate the dispatch and the packaging used and to possibly mount larger and heavier CPU coolers by the end user.”


Don’t panic – just be aware of the issue and be careful with your cooler choice.

Information sourced from eTeknix. All quotes are direct and not edited by SFFn.

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