Intel LGA1851 Meteor Lake Socket Diagram Hints At Cooler Compatibility With Raptor Lake

alder lake socket
As an enthusiast, you have a great many concerns when moving to a new platform. One of those is what you'll need to do about cooling. Some hardcore types have hundreds of dollars invested in thermal solution systems and hardware, like heatsinks and waterblocks. The ability to move those solutions over to a new PC platform is quite a creature comfort.

AMD's already announced that its Zen 4-based Ryzen 7000-series processors will be compatible with Socket AM4 coolers to some degree. Of course, Intel's upcoming Raptor Lake CPUs slot into the same sockets as its extant Alder Lake chips, so there's no concerns about cooler compatibility there. What about future CPUs, though?

If the latest leak over at Benchlife is accurate, it looks like desktop Meteor Lake and Arrow Lake processors will be using an 1851-contact LGA socket. That's a fair few more pins than the existing LGA 1700 used by Alder Lake as well as the 1718 contacts of AMD's Socket AM5. Despite the increased pincount, it seems like the sockets are the same size, although the height that the IHS rises over the motherboard has risen by some 0.1mm.

Still, even though the new socket seems to be slightly taller, existing heatsink and waterblock mounts should remain compatible, perhaps with slight adjustments to screw torque. There could be some concern over the vastly different physical configuration of components on the "disaggregated" Meteor Lake chips; the locality of heat generation could be quite different from Raptor Lake or Alder Lake. That's what the IHS is for, though, right?

In the past, it was thought that Meteor Lake might continue to use the LGA 1700 socket, but this information, if accurate, completely cancels that idea. Well, it was probably foolish to expect Intel to use the same socket for more than two generations of CPU anyway.