Intel's New Stock Alder Lake Heatsink Is Surprisingly Capable

RM1 Intel Stock Cooler
(Image credit: NetEase)

Chinese news outlet NetEase snagged one of Intel's new refreshed stock coolers and tested it with a Core i5-12400. The new RM1 is one of three new stock coolers for the Alder Lake generation and will address the mid-range 12th-Gen Core i3, i5, and i7 CPUs, and it proved to be pretty capable when paired with the Core i5-12400.

A few months ago, we saw reports of Intel revamping its stock cooler lineup specifically for Alder Lake. The revamped lineup also includes the RS1 and RH1. The RS1 will come with new Celeron and Pentium processors and have a similar form factor to Intel's previous cooler designed for its 10th Gen processors and older, so it lacks a copper core. The RH1 will be Intel's flagship cooler, so to speak, and it will only ship with 12th Gen Core i9 chips and has a much larger profile than the RM1. The RH1 will also be the most aesthetically pleasing cooler of the three, with RGB lighting effects on the fan.

Allegedly, these coolers will be bundled with Intel's 65W parts and not Intel's high-wattage K SKUs.

RM1 Intel Stock Cooler

(Image credit: NetEase)

The RM1 cooler features an all-black plastic shroud encasing a blacked-out metal heatsink in the middle and surrounded by a blue ring at the top. At its core, a copper slug directly contacts the CPU to enhance the cooler's capabilities over traditional metal designs. However, the copper slug does look noticeably larger than Intel's previous coolers featuring the same copper cores. Presumably, Intel did this to ensure Alder Lake's larger LGA 1700 form factor could be cooled correctly.

In testing with a Core i5-12400, the cooler kept the CPU at a steady 73C with 20C ambient temperatures while running a full AIDA64 stress test, resulting in around 80W of power consumption. According to the outlet, the only downside was the fan's rather high 3100 RPM, which produced a lot of wind noise.

Nonetheless, this is an impressive result for Intel's new stock cooler. Previous versions of Intel's stock cooler, even with copper slugs, could barely keep 65-80W parts from approaching near 100C, or at best, kept the locked chips at 90-95C under ideal conditions at max load.

If these results are indeed true, then the new RM1 cooler is a huge upgrade over Intel's previous cooler design, and you might not have to ditch it immediately in favor of an aftermarket heatsink. In fact, with over 20C of headroom, there would technically be some overclocking headroom if Intel ever unlocked its 65W parts.

Since all three of these coolers will be designed for Intel's 65W locked SKUs, expect these coolers to arrive when Intel officially releases 65W versions of its Alder Lake desktop CPUs next year.

Aaron Klotz
Freelance News Writer

Aaron Klotz is a freelance writer for Tom’s Hardware US, covering news topics related to computer hardware such as CPUs, and graphics cards.