Using Current LGA775 CPU Coolers on Core i7

Rob Williams

Staff member
From our front-page news:
So, you want to upgrade to Intel's latest Core i7 when it's finally unleashed on the very-suspecting public. Sounds like a good plan, but did you realize that you'll need to take a few factors into consideration? If you've been reading our pages, then you likely do, but if you don't, we'll be sure to constantly remind you all the way up to the official launch (but unlike the killing off of the analog TV signal, you'll probably listen to our warnings!).

Well, unlike the Core launch, which utilized the same LGA775 socket, Core i7 changes things up, with a slightly larger socket at LGA1336. Luckily, the actual IHS size hasn't changed much, and the die underneath has actually shrunk, so all current CPU coolers for the LGA775 platform will work just fine. What will be required is a bracket upgrade, and in our talks with numerous vendors, almost everyone promises to have their upgrade kits available for launch. Good thing... CPU coolers aren't cheap!


Although I'm unsure if other companies are doing this, Noctua is one that told me straight out that if you own one of their coolers and can upload a proof-of-purchase, they'll ship you the upgrade kit for free. Other companies that will provide upgrade kits for sale at launch include Thermalright, Thermaltake, Cooler Master, Zalman, and potentially others. Those are the main five that seem to be on top of their game, though.

Since a Core i7 upgrade isn't going to be that cheap, it's nice to know that an upgrade kit is all it will take to reuse your favorite CPU cooler with the latest platform. Of course, if you buy an OEM CPU, you aren't going to be out of luck, but you probably won't want to be doing much overclocking on it.