It would appear that Intel is finally giving its boring CPU stock coolers a much-needed makeover. Twitter user Ayxerious (opens in new tab) has shared a snippet of Intel's Laminar series of CPU coolers for its upcoming 12th Generation Alder Lake processors.
Intel reportedly developed the Laminar series from feedback obtained from its partners and customers. There is a possibility that the chipmaker will roll out three different thermal solutions for its 65W Alder Lake parts. The Laminar coolers should arrive with an improved thermal design and support for the LGA1700 socket support. These may be preliminary designs, though, so take them with a pinch of salt for now.
The RH1 looks to be designed specifically for the Intel Core i9 Alder Lake SKUs, and is the tallest cooler out of the trio. Heat is transferred from the base plate to multiple aluminum fins, while a cooling fan with RGB lighting will dissipate the heat. The mounting mechanism consists of a simple screw design as opposed to the typical push pins.
The RM1, on the other hand, is tailored to the Intel Core i7, i5 and i3 chips, while the RS1 is strictly for the Pentium and Celeron models. These coolers adhere to the same spiral design, with three key differences. The RM1 seems to feature a thick heatsink and more aluminum fins. There is also a LED strip that surrounds the fan that helps give the RM1 some bling. The RS1's circular heatsink, on the other hand, is smaller and doesn't have as many aluminum fins. Both the RM1 and RS1 rely on push-pin mounting.
It's arguably about time (or well past time) that Intel revamped the stock coolers that come with its processors. AMD renovated its stock coolers when the company launched Ryzen 3000 two years ago. However, Intel's Laminar stock coolers are allegedly for the 65W Alder Lake chips. For comparison, AMD's Wraith Prism and Wraith Spire tame 105W and 95W Ryzen SKUs, respectively. Then again, Intel has always advertised the PL1 value with its processors, so the Laminar coolers may offer higher thermal performance.
Intel is expected to launch Alder Lake this fall, and it'll be an important moment for the chipmaker's history because Alder Lake will bring the first hybrid desktop processor to the mainstream market. So it's no surprise really that a design change this drastic would bring with stock cooler changes as well. And if the Laminar coolers perform as impressively as they look in these images (while keeping fan noise minimal) perhaps there will soon be a bit less of a need to break out one of the best CPU coolers.