This Custom Copper IHS For Alder Lake Touts Cooler Temps By Up To 15 Degrees

Intel Alder Lake CPU with a copper IHS
There are multiple ways you can go about chasing lower CPU temps. Adding more fans and periodically cleaning the dust filters can go a long way. So can reapplying the thermal paste, or swapping out your CPU cooling solution for something that packs more punch, perhaps a liquid cooling setup. All good options, or you could throw caution to the wind and switch out the stock integrated heatspreader (IHS) for a custom one made of copper.

This is definitely one of the riskier routes you can take. Delidding your processor leaves little room for error and isn't something you should embark on unless you (A) know what you're getting into, (B) are comfortable with the inherent risks, including permanent damage, and (C) are adventurous when it comes to modding. It also helps to be experienced.

Intel Alder Lake copper IHS
For anyone willing to go that route on their shiny new Alder Lake processor, the delidding enthusiasts at RockItCool have added a few intriguing products specifically for Intel's 12th Gen CPUs. They include...
  • Copper Upgrade Kit - Intel 12th Gen: $79.99
  • Delid & Relid Kit - Intel 12th Gen: $59.99
  • Copper IHS Kit - Intel 12th Gen: $32.99
What these aim to do is to help you replace the stock IHS on your Alder Lake CPU with a custom one made of pure copper that's been CNC machined to It's purportedly smooth and flat, and increases the surface area by 9.5 percent over the stock IHS.

RockItCool copper IHS temperature graph for Alder Lake
Source: RockItCool

RockItCool tested the mod on three processors, the Core i9-12900, Core i5-12600, and Core i5-12400, and claim it brings temps down by up to 15 degrees Celsius. That figure is based on an Alder Lake CPU running at 5.1GHz and going from a peak of around 85C with the stock IHS to around 70C with the custom copper one the company is selling.

The video above gives you an idea of the what the relidding process is like, albeit on a previous generation CPU. There's also a separate video that shows additional steps, like applying adhesive (not included) to the corners and liquid metal to the CPU die and accompanying section of the copper IHS. Take a look...

To be clear, we're not suggesting you should try and tackle this mod. That's up to you do decide, based on your cooling goals, the level of risk you're comfortable taking, and how much a project like this is worth to you. We're merely reporting that something like this exists specifically for Alder Lake. And for those who want to go down this road, these kits probably offer the path of least resistance, though you're still taking on considerable risk (and you'll void your warranty, if that matters to you).

Though Alder Lake is relatively new, we're seeing a handful of cooling mods already. We discussed the use of washers on Intel's LGA 1500 socket when reporting on an apparent cooling advantage of AMD's AM5 socket for AM4, and more recently wrote about a 3D printed bracket, all in the pursuit of lower temps. Cool stuff, eh?