Thermalright's AM5 Secure Frame Is A Functional And Stylish Cover For AMD Zen 4 CPUs

hero thermalright am5 socket frame red
AMD's Socket AM5 is a notable improvement over Socket AM4 in that it's impossible (or at least, much more difficult) to accidentally yank your CPU out of the socket when you're changing heatsinks. However, it does have its own share of annoyances. Chief among them is the cut-out design of the CPU IHS, which could allow difficult-to-clean thermal gunk to accumulate around the CPU. Noctua already showed its solution to this problem, but Thermalright has one too: the AM5 Secure Frame.

In appearance, the AM5 Secure Frame looks like the "Bending Corrector Frame" that the same company produced for LGA 1700. Thermalright's LGA 1700 socket cover, as the name implies, was intended to resolve an issue where high tension placed on the extra-long LGA 1700 CPU causes it to bend in the middle, reducing cooling efficiency. Socket AM5 doesn't have that problem, so this product seems more like a fashion accessory and a bit of extra convenience than anything you'd buy to actually improve your cooling performance.

socket am5 sam removed
The Socket AM5 SAM's screws don't come out. Image: der8auer's delid video.

Installing it will be pain, though; not only do you have to remove the original Socket Actuation Module (SAM)—that's the clamp that is normally there on AM5 motherboards to hold the CPU into the LGA socket—but you'll also have to find some suitable screws. On Intel platforms, you can re-use the original screws, but on Socket AM5, they're captive to the SAM and can't be removed without damage. You can remove the SAM from the backplate—no problem—but you can't remove the screws from the SAM itself. WikiChip says the proper size is #6-32.

thermalright am5 socket frame black
The black version could look pretty spiffy in a blacked-out build.

Like the aforementioned LGA 1700 part, the AM5 Secure Frame is made from aluminum, and it comes in your choice of red or black. The product pages list that it includes an L-shaped screwdriver as well as 2 grams of Thermalright's own TF7 thermal grease. As with the previous Thermalright product, we probably wouldn't recommend using it for extreme overclocking. Apparently Thermal Grizzly will have its own delid-friendly retention frame on the way for folks that popped the top on their Zen 4 CPUs to improve thermals, though. The bear company already sells AM5 CPU Guards similar to Noctua's solution.

Unfortunately, we don't know how much Thermalright's frame will cost, or when it will be available. We've pinged the cooler and case manufacturer for details and will update this post if we get a reply.