Intel 12th gen LGA 1700 Socket Washer Mod and other alternatives

Intel’s 12th gen LGA 1700 sockets presented an issue that caused the CPUs to run hotter than they should. Testers did some efforts to fix it one of which is the LGA 1700 socket mod. We are going to discuss that mod in this article.

What is the issue with Intel 12th gen processors and sockets?

Intel changed the shape of their processors from square to rectangular when they released the 12th gen processor.

Sure, they increased the number of transistors and pins by a big number, which resulted in great power.

But with great power and new shape came an issue with these new 12th gen processors. 

The issue is that the new LGA 1700 socket in the new motherboards uses the same old latching mechanism or ILM ( Independent Loading Mechanism) that intel has been using for years and years.

Not only did the processors widen but they also gained a little height. All of the changes resulted in the socket putting quite a bit of pressure or strain on the Processor’s die or specifically the IHS (Integrated Heat Spreader), which in turn bent over time.

The bending not only causes structural problems but also causes thermal issues, that’s why this issue became big.

The thermal issue is caused because of the CPU bending badly into a concave shape, due to which the contact between the IHS and Cooler’s plate becomes non-optimal.

So, that’s the issue with the 12th gen CPUs. Igor’s Lab, an independent tech review and analysis site published an article about this issue and using a socket mod to solve this or to bring down temperatures. In the next part, we are going to discuss the Mod.

What is the LGA 1700 Socket Mod?


The mod basically involves using 1 mm washers to bring the LGA 1700 socket’s ILM up by 1 mm. This decreases the pressure put onto the CPU and the motherboard by the latching system and levels it with the IHS. 

Igor’s Lab in their test reported temperature drops of 5° Celcius on full load on an Intel i9 12900k, after the washer mod. Users have also reported 7° Celcius drops in temperatures too

There can be these kinds of results in your pc too or there might not be any significant change at all, it all depends on how bad the situation really was and what type of cooler you are using. For example, if it’s an AIO then if the design is from Asetek or Coolit. 

Asetek-designed coolers have a slight curve to them. That curve makes up for the curve that the Intel CPUs IHS has from the factory. So they are kind of made for the bendy CPUs and won’t show much difference after the washer mod.

How to do the LGA 1700 Socket Mod?

So, if you are going to do the Washer mod you need to use plastic washers. Plastic washers are not sharp and will not damage the solder mask of your motherboard. Whereas if you use metal washers they can scratch the solder mask and cause shorting.

Firstly, take the ILM out of the motherboard and remember how tight the screws were. Then place the washers on the four holes. Finally, just screw the ILM back in and you have done the mod.

Conclusion: Is the LGA 1700 Washer Mod worth it? And its alternatives

Source: Reddit

“Should I do this mod or not?” this question must’ve popped up in your mind. Basically, whether you should use it or not totally depends on what the current operation of your CPU is like. 

If you use it on stock and are not facing any issues then you might not need to do it. But if you take the long-term effects that the bending might have or if you are using low-budget motherboards with less number of layers in the PCB then you should consider doing the mod as a bendy motherboard can be really bad.

However, if you are planning to overclock your 12th gen CPU then you have to do this or do some other alternatives of this mod.

The washer mod is fine, as it might give you 5-7 degrees of temperature drop. Also doesn’t void your warranty nor does it cost anything (the washers can be found with the screws supplied with your motherboard or cabinet).

But there are alternatives to it like Lapping which is an extreme option. In Lapping, we sand down the irregularities of the IHS and make it flat in order to have maximum contact with the cooler’s cold plate. This voids your warranty but it can give you a drop of 10 degrees or more.

Other not-so-extreme options are Contact frames and mounting brackets for LGA 1700 boards by brands like Thermal Grizzly. 

The contact frames totally replace the ILM and put even pressure on the whole IHS, unlike the stock ILM which puts most of the pressure on the center.

The thermal grizzly contact frame is sold for 36 USD, which might be expensive for you. But if you are investing money into a CPU like i9 12900k, you should consider spending this extra cash or doing the washer mod.

You can also check the article we did on the Best coolers for i5 12600k and we hope that this article helped you.

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