Noctua, along with some other makers of coolers, introduced mounting kits for their existing cooling systems that enable installation on LGA1700 motherboards in time for Intel's Alder Lake launch last month. Now it turns out that several existing coolers are not compatible with some Asus motherboards. But, of course, that would never be a problem if there were loads of native LGA1700 coolers around.
Noctua has updated its socket compatibility list (opens in new tab) to reflect that its popular high-performance NH-D15, NH-U12S, and NH-U12A air coolers are not mechanically compatible with Asustek's ROG Strix Z690 and upcoming B660 motherboards even with the LGA1700 mounting kits, reports Guru3D (opens in new tab). Noctua's coolers are among the best CPU coolers around, so their incompatibility with select Asus platforms will upset many.
As it turns out, the heatsink that covers the VRMs on the Asus motherboards is large enough to interfere with Noctua's NH-D15, NH-U12S, and NH-U12A air coolers, which are pretty large.
For now, Noctua only mentions select motherboards from Asus (i.e., other motherboards that Noctua has tested are fully compatible with its coolers). Still, the same problem can affect other platforms too (including the upcoming ones) since makers of mainboards tend to install large heatsinks on VRMs in a bid to maximize overclocking capabilities of their products. Furthermore, there are coolers from other makers with large heatsinks that may be incompatible with some LGA1700 motherboards.
It is necessary to note that some makers of mainboards added holes for LGA115x coolers to their LGA1700 platforms since there are many high-performance air and liquid coolers around that easily cool-down Intel's latest 12th- Generation Core 'Alder Lake' processors. The only problem with these holes is that LGA1700 CPUs are lower compared to LGA115x processors, so a brand-new mounting kit is needed to ensure proper contact between the cooler and the IHS.
But the biggest problem is not incompatibility between some coolers and some LGA1700 motherboards. The problem is that as of now there are not so many native LGA1700 coolers around, which could be a problem for some users.