MSI's CPU Guard bracket could protect Skylake CPUs from bending


— 11:55 AM on December 16, 2015

Recent reports suggest that Intel's Skylake processors might bend under the weight of third-party coolers. Heatsink manufacturers like Silverstone and Noctua have since defended the safety of their products, but MSI has announced a potential solution for the concerned: the CPU Guard 1151.

The CPU Guard 1151 works by bracing the corners of the processor with a sturdy metal bracket. Builders can then mount their heatsinks atop the CPU as usual. As the name suggests, MSI designed the bracket to work with Socket 1151 processors, including models from Intel’s Xeon, Core, Pentium and Celeron lines.

While this bracket may provide some peace of mind to those using oversized coolers, others may ask whether the CPU Guard addresses a real problem. Intel told Tom's Hardware that its Skylake processors do indeed have a thinner PCB than previous models, but cooling manufacturers claim that their products meet the physical specifications Intel provides.

Then again, those worried about the risk of ruining an expensive processor might find that the CPU Guard 1151 provides an extra measure of security. MSI has not yet released pricing and availability for the CPU Guard, but if the price is reasonable, this bracket might serve well as cheap insurance.

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