If you’re assembling your own PC, there are a lot of decisions to make. One of which is whether you’ll keep the stock CPU cooler, or opt for something a little beefier (and possibly quieter). Unfortunately, if you have an Intel Skylake processor, you’re probably going to want to stick with the stock cooler, lest you risk damaging this primary component.
Intel released their latest generation of CPUs, dubbed Skylake, back in August of this year. Naturally, there is a wide selection of aftermarket coolers that you can choose from. Unfortunately due to the thinner substrate that Intel used to craft the latest CPUs, it’s possible for those aftermarket coolers to actually damage your processor.
It has been reported that CPUs are being bent and even rendered inoperable, due to this issue. While it’s still being determined what exactly is causing this, it appears that some coolers are putting too much pressure on the CPU, causing the damage. What’s unknown is whether this happens when the cooler is being attached, or if it happens when the computer is moved.
Intel specifies that the maximum mounting pressure for the chips is 50lbs, which is exactly the same as the thicker Broadwell ones. Currently, it is unknown if the aftermarket coolers are putting more than 50lbs of pressure on the chips, or if the chips can’t actually withstand the listed pressure.
Intel is currently investigating the issue, as are a number of aftermarket cooler manufacturers. One company, Scythe has stated that they are redesigning the mounting system for their coolers. For now, it is being recommended that you do not move your case, without first removing your aftermarket cooler, if you have a Skylake processor in your machine.