Since there's conflicting replies, I'll add what I know. The spaces are to prevent the core from being crushed out my a heatsink with a strong clip. eg. thermaltake, globalwin. As long as you're not planning on reinstalling a heatsink/fan it there won't matter. If you've already done so multiple times, your clip will likely loose some of it's spring power and you may be safe. I know my globwin initially was a real bitch to get on off, but me repeatedly playing with the golden bridges has caused the clip to loose some strength. My old coolermaster was the same.