Intel 12th Gen Stock Cooler is Actually Pretty Cool

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Image Credit via NetEase

We’ve recently lampooned in passing the reality of the small aluminum fin section in the previous Peruvian retail 12400F reveal.

Well, our expectations are flipped. A Chinese publication outlet revealed benchmarks of the Laminar RM1 heatsink, and it performs quite competitively.

Under Max Load, Under Highest Stress (for a Core i5)

Image Credit via NetEase

According to the benchmark data that was revealed by NetEase, the Laminar RM1 heatsink compliments well the energy efficiency improvements of entry-level to mid-range Alder Lake CPUs it is specifically distributed for. The load test started with an ambient room temperature of 20 degrees Celsius, maxing out at 73 degrees Celsius, and gaining a fan speed of 3,100 RPM at the highest.

Now, this achievement may sound mundane and all, especially if you are already a long-time owner of a Ryzen system using the venerable Wraith Stealth cooler. However, these benchmarks are considered notable as a milestone from intel because:

  1. This is a maximum load test, meaning that at regular heavy tasks, you can expect it to run much, much quieter, and at temperatures quite below 70 degrees Celsius.
  2. The last two CPU generations saw the worst in stock cooler performance yet, with Rocket Lake being even worse due to its bigger power draw.

Specifically for the Core i5 11400F, the stock cooler was simply insufficient when the CPU is let loose on its maximum of 125 watts power draw, heating up to a toasty 91 degrees Celsius on a similar 3,100 RPM fan speed. The Core i5 10400F was much better at around 78 degrees Celsius, although this was achieved at a much, much lower power draw of 54 watts.

And as for the power draw of the Core i5 12400… it maxed at around 73 watts. That’s, actually just a weird coincidence. But case in point, the Laminar RM1 stock cooler was five degrees lower than even the i5 10400F, even if the Comet Lake contender was using just a third of the Alder Lake counterpart’s power draw.

One Part Permanently Off the List… Once More

Image Credt via NetEase

Normally for even non-K Core i5 CPUs, the general consensus of PC builders is to simply include a cheap aftermarket cooler like the Hyper 212 in order to completely forget about any potential throttling issues. So in effect, many budget Core i5 PCs of the last few years (save for pathetically poor thermal performance OEM prebuilts) had opted to add 20 to 30 USD more to the cost of the build to completely ignore the stock cooler. A rather minuscule amount that might be better invested elsewhere in the build.

With the new and improved Alder Lake stock cooler, however, we can kind of see the old Zen+ Wraith Stealth-esque meta rising from among its budget builds. Whereas it eventually got ridiculous to use the Wraith Stealth for the Ryzen 5 3600 and Ryzen 5 5600X, the Ryzen 5 2600 kept its efficient use of its stock cooler, a favorable fate that will soon befall the Core i5 12400 in the next few months.

Besides, we finally have some good enough justification (or at least reason to give it a break) for the new Alder Lake cooler’s upgraded fake fins n’ blue lights aesthetics.

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