'Sticky' AMD Ryzen Processors Got You Down? ProArtist's New Bracket Has You Covered

As posted to the Chiphell forums by kthlon, a new mounting mechanism for Socket AM4 processors, including AMD's venerable Ryzen series, has appeared that prevents the processor from 'sticking' to the cooler when you remove it. Though the product hasn't made it to the U.S. market yet, it also comes in Noctua- and Thermaltake-compatible flavors.

While the AM4 socket is perhaps the longest-lived socket in x86 history, supporting more chips than we can recall from any other single socket, it does have one annoying tendency–When you remove a cooler, the chip can become stuck to the cooling plate due to a suction-like effect created by the thermal interface material (TIM). This results in the chip being pulled from the pin grid array (PGA) socket even though the socket arm is still firmly latched in a 'closed' position.

This problem isn't entirely dangerous if you notice the processor is stuck to the cooler (it certainly doesn't damage the socket or chip). Still, it could be dangerous if you didn't notice and sat the cooler/chip down on another surface, thus bending the pins. It also takes some patience to slide the 'stuck' processor off the edge of the cooling plate, and you risk getting TIM between the processors' pins.

Necessity is the mother of invention, though. As seen in the album above, the new ProArtist IFE2 cooler bracket is designed to completely eliminate the problem by firmly holding the processor in place via a secondary bracket that extends downward to surround the processor. A secondary mount installs over the IFE2 bracket so you can mount the cooler, but the net effect is that you can remove the heatsink without any chance of the processor coming along with it. 

(Image credit: Chiphell)

The IFE2 bracket is sold as a stand-alone kit in China, but we can't find any listings for the product in the United States. According to a post by momomo_us, Noctua- and Thermaltake-compatible kits are available in China. 

You could theoretically use the bracket with other coolers, but compatibility with standard coolers might be a bit spotty due to varying standoff heights, so you'll need to make sure the cooler still has a good firm fit with acceptable mounting pressure. However, the bracket is also sold in bundles with some coolers, like ProArtist's Desserts 3, which we also can't find for sale in the western hemisphere. We wouldn't be surprised to see similar brackets eventually make their way to western shores, though.

Admittedly, removing a processor isn't a frequent task for 'normal' users unless they frequently swap processors or re-TIM the chip, and the problem is easy to fix: You can either twist the cooler as you remove it, or remove it while the chip is still warm. 

Paul Alcorn
Managing Editor: News and Emerging Tech

Paul Alcorn is the Managing Editor: News and Emerging Tech for Tom's Hardware US. He also writes news and reviews on CPUs, storage, and enterprise hardware.

  • COLGeek
    I would actually like to get my hands on one of these. Recently, I experienced the very incident this device is meant to prevent. The result was about an hour of effort to straighten several pins.
  • dmitche31958
    Yes. I want it. Hving a bad MOBO from ASUS, which they refused to acknowledge after 2 months of ownership I replaced the MOBO. Getting the CPU/Fan off of the board was a real pain as I couldn't get the fan off the CPU. I had to take both off as one unit and be careful not to damage it.

    And yes, I got some paste on the pins but that turned out to be easier to fix than this issue is.
  • eklipz330
    I don't want to assume anything, but shouldn't running a very high load on the cpu and twisting the heatsink during removal be enough?

    I have Liquid metal applied right now so I'm assuming it'll be a challenge when it's time to upgrade.
  • willgart
    use a dental floss, and its done.
  • NightHawkRMX
    I have only had this issue happen with the stock cooler and included paste.

    My arctic MX4 compound does not do this.
  • Nightseer
    Or just turn PC on for a bit to preheat paste and then before pulling out, just twist a cooler a bit to loosen seal thermal paste makes. Or option B, use dental floss to cut it, which also releases that seal. Though I personally never had much issue even if I pulled CPU out. As long as it goes straight up, there shouldn't be any bent pins. It is bit scary first time it happens though. So now I occasionally do this to scare other people when I am fixing their PC... :-D

    So unless it comes with a cooler or motherboard or CPU, I am going to pass.
  • uberDoward
    I registered just to ask this question, related to this comment in the article:
    While the AM4 socket is perhaps the longest-lived socket in x86 history, supporting more chips than we can recall from any other single socket...

    Socket 7???

    Heck, AMD was the one responsible for keeping Socket 7 alive for LONG after Intel tried to kill it off!

    In fact, I don't think Socket 7 officially 'died' until 2015 with AMD's Geode processors!
  • escksu
    Hmm.... looks like many pple still don't know how to remove heatsinks from these CPUs.
  • cryoburner
    If a mounting system that came with a cooler included this feature, it could be a nice touch. Paying extra to get the hardware on its own seems a bit pointless though. If one knows about the possibility of this happening when removing a cooler, they will probably also know of the steps they can take to prevent it from happening without the need for a bracket.
  • vinay2070
    This happened to me when I first tried to remove the 3700X from the mobo. Happened with the stock thermal paste that came with the AMD HSF. Hasnt happened with Arctic Silver 5 though. I was really scared when I saw the processor coming off. Thought I damanaged something on the motherboard. Thankfully, both were fine :)