Intel's redesigned stock cooler for Alder Lake CPUs is surprisingly capable

Shawn Knight

Posts: 14,141   +154
Staff member
Bottom line: Stock CPU coolers rarely get recruited for serious enthusiast PC builds. In the event they do end up mounted to a motherboard, it’s often only for a short period until the budget allows for a proper aftermarket replacement. Should you find yourself in this situation with Intel’s new batch of coolers for select Alder Lake CPUs, you may be surprised to learn that they are quite capable.

Chinese publication NetEase recently got their hands on Intel’s RM1 heatsink, its solution for mid-range CPUs. For reference, RS1 heatsinks are meant for low-end applications while the RH1 cooler is designed for more powerful chips.

Load testing with a Core i5-12400 processor under an ambient room temperature of 20 C (68 F) resulted in temps of around 73 C (163.4 F) at a fan speed of 3,100 RPM. Under normal conditions, the fan spins at closer to 1,300 RPM and is said to be very quiet.

If you’re dealing with a higher-powered, overclocking-friendly K-series part, this should be a moot point as Intel typically doesn’t ship stock coolers with these chips. For that, you’ll want something from a reputable third-party provider.

I’m partial to massive air-cooled heatsinks with slow-spinning fans that require virtually vero maintenance like those sold by Noctua, but as Rob highlighted in his recent build log, closed-loop liquid cooling kits are an excellent alternative.

Intel is expected to debut non-K series Alder Lake CPUs during its digital CES event next week.

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Achaios

Posts: 384   +1,054
I saw this and since it looks exactly like the stock cooler of my haswell CPU but with some blue added, I figured that its "surprising capability" is just Intel baloney.
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,597   +1,422
3100rpm under load? I think id still replace it. Wouldnt it be nice and more environmentally friendly if you could omit the cooler and get $5 or something back. Id prefer that. In my PC parts box ive got half a dozen never used stock CPU coolers. Its just e-waste for me.
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,597   +1,422
For 99% of the people this will be plenty. The rest of 1% will overspend just to have a few degrees less
I agree that its for the masses but I think the lower temps would probably allow the part to boost higher and/or longer. You also get quieter results from third party coolers and some people want a cooler that looks nicer. Its not just about a few degrees.
 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 2,151   +2,603
TechSpot Elite
I agree that its for the masses but I think the lower temps would probably allow the part to boost higher and/or longer. You also get quieter results from third party coolers and some people want a cooler that looks nicer. Its not just about a few degrees.

If the i5-12400 stays at 73C with this stock cooler as described in the article, then lower temps from a different cooler will not enable any higher performance as it'll maintain its maximum boost at this temperature.
 

Daniele 00

Posts: 159   +121
For 99% of the people this will be plenty. The rest of 1% will overspend just to have a few degrees less
let's skip on the provocative "overspend" and the "1%"...
they will also get more lifespan of their cpu too. and less noise. dont forget
 

Daniele 00

Posts: 159   +121
Noctua here noctua there. a Marketing world -_-'.
Why not quote other very good brands too. I'm using a Thermalright on my ryzen 2600x n I appreciate their quality n professionality.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 2,373   +2,886
TechSpot Elite
I'd be really interested to see how this compares to the previous Intel cooler because saying that a cooler is better than the old Intel stock cooler (that stayed the same from the Pentium-4 to today) isn't exactly setting the bar very high.

I can definitely say for certain that the AMD coolers work VERY well. My stepdad was complaining about the Wraith Prism on his Ryzen 9 3900X. He wasn't complaining about the cooling, he's just an old-school boomer who DESPISES the RGB effects and wanted them gone. Fortunately, I still had the non-RGB Wraith Spire from my R5-3600X that I'd never used (because I just kept using the RGB Wraith Spire from my R7-1700). I installed it on his R9-3900X (and wondered if it would be good enough) and it was perfectly fine. He was just glad not to have RGB anymore and the Spire that was provided with the Ryzen 5 worked perfectly well on the Ryzen 9.

I'm using the Wraith Prism now on my R5-3600X because it doesn't require a base plate like the Spire did so that was one less thing to do when switching to my X570 motherboard. Interestingly, the Wraith Prism is just an RGB version of the Wraith cooler that was included with both of my Phenom II CPUs and my FX-8350. Whoever designed the original Wraith cooler did a great job.
 

Faelan

Posts: 146   +158
It's 2022.
Nothing less than an AIO will do.

For a 12400?

No…

That’s going to require at least a dual 420mm radiator custom loop. Make sure to use them thick boys, not those skinny girl radiators. And push-pull configuration. Delta fans of course… unless you can find a GE9X (a single one should do in that case). Nothing less will do.
 

s3thra

Posts: 38   +50
TechSpot Elite
Noctua here noctua there. a Marketing world -_-'.
Why not quote other very good brands too. I'm using a Thermalright on my ryzen 2600x n I appreciate their quality n professionality.
Indeed. I've been using a Cryorig H7 on my AM4 build. It was a fraction of the cost of the high end coolers, but keeps the temps down far greater than any stock cooler at vastly quieter noise levels as well.
 

qtbrn

Posts: 9   +7
my noctua nh-D14 disagrees. :)
We may be missing how much lower the temps of other more critical components (mboard especially in the long run) in your pc will be running at as aio channel heat out of casing. Not to mention more space without the massive cooler block.
 

Peter Farkas

Posts: 604   +464
We may be missing how much lower the temps of other more critical components (mboard especially in the long run) in your pc will be running at as aio channel heat out of casing. Not to mention more space without the massive cooler block.
perhaps, but if you read my post, I only reacted to the dude saying nothing less than an AIO will do in 2022 which is nonsense...
 

Faelan

Posts: 146   +158
Sure, if you're comfortable hanging over 2 and 1/2 pounds off your mother board have at it. Me, I'll pass thank you very much...
That's the beauty of my Thermaltake Core X9 case. It doesn't hang off the motherboard, it sit on the motherboard because the motherboard is mounted horizontally. Same with the GPU. No anti-sag bracket or riser cables needed.

Unfortunately, Thermaltake decided to discontinue the Core X9 instead of updating it. The frame lives on in the Level 20 XT, but it trades all the mesh for tempered glass, effectively turning it into a fish tank with narrow slits for air intake/exhaust, and because of the design, it makes for a mediocre display case since you can't easily hide the cables.
 

Peter Farkas

Posts: 604   +464
Sure, if you're comfortable hanging over 2 and 1/2 pounds off your mother board have at it. Me, I'll pass thank you very much...
LMAO, what does that 2.5 pounds hanging from your motherboard mean? hahahaha
Nothing. I have been using these big tower coolers for a decades and never had any issue with them.
Since you are worried about the weight of a cooler, aren't you worried about the leak from AIOs too? :)
Omg, people really come up with dumb things all the time.
 
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