ASRock Mutant X570 Board Uses Intel Cooler Mounting Instead of AMD's AM4

(Image credit: ASRock)

Despite X570 being on the market for about a month now, it's just now come to our attention that one of ASRock's X570 ITX motherboards actually doesn't support AMD stock coolers. That's because it uses Intel's current LGA 1151 mounting mechanism instead of the AM4 mounting mechanism that, to our knowledge, every single other AM4 motherboard uses instead. The X570 Phantom Gaming motherboard advertises its lack of AM4 support on its "special design that uses Intel LGA 115X mounting holes."

You're probably asking yourself why ASRock would make this choice because this is a weird thing to implement on an AMD board where you would expect people to use AM4-compatible coolers like AMD's stock Wraith coolers. ASRock's list of compatible CPU coolers is mostly made up of coolers that have AM4 brackets, which makes this decision seem nonsensical. However, on that very same list, there are CPU coolers that don't support AM4, and most of these coolers are low profile, designed specifically for mini-ITX.

Although it's been two years since Ryzen came out and AMD brought competition back, AMD still doesn't quite have the presence Intel has on the motherboard side (though this is clearly changing), and this is especially the case on niche platforms like mini-ITX. Many of the mini-ITX-oriented coolers on the market only support Intel's current mounting mechanism, so if you want a really good low-profile cooler for your Ryzen 3000 CPU, your options are limited on AM4 sockets. By switching to LGA 1151 (which is also compatible with older coolers for older sockets), ASRock has improved the cooler availability for these CPUs.

Although many companies have issued revisions to support AM4, the best cooler compatibility, old and new, is found on Intel's mounting mechanism. While there are plenty of good coolers for AM4, even those designed for ITX usage, ASRock's decision to use Intel mounting makes sense since there are simply more coolers that do support Intel but not AMD.

Matthew Connatser

Matthew Connatser is a freelancing writer for Tom's Hardware US. He writes articles about CPUs, GPUs, SSDs, and computers in general.

  • evilizlan
    Im not sure about the support of low profile coolers for AMD. I have a HTPC using NH-L12S on AMD in a Silverstone ML04, and very confident Noctua has another model ready for AMD. A friend of mine building a mini itx is using one from Cryorig.
  • foxrox
    This is really smart. It would be good if all of them did that on all mobos. Things like that should be standardized as much as possible. It's kind of stupid to have to buy another cooler or water block to fit if you make a change like CPU brand. Really no different than mobo form factors like ATX and mATX.
  • artk2219
    Eh, for people having issues using coolers on sockets they weren't meant for, I have two words for you, zip ties.
  • Mark H.
    Great news. Running 5/2600 HP Sunflower MB with stock HP bottom bracket, china 1151 top mount & noctua cooler for about a year. works great.
  • C.wolf
    artk2219 said:
    Eh, for people having issues using coolers on sockets they weren't meant for, I have two words for you, zip ties.

    Excellent! I've done that at least 2x.
    I have one more word,,, "Velcro"...
    ...for mounting fans, SSDs and other bits & pieces in weird places.