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Noctua offers free Intel Alder Lake cooler upgrades, hints at launch window

Cooler maker Noctua will offer free upgrade kits for Intel’s upcoming Alder Lake platform, as the company confirmed in a blog post this week. In addition to offering owners an upgrade path, the post hints at a launch window for Alder Lake: Mid-October.

Owners of a NM-i17xx-MP78, NM-i17xx-MP83, or one of their respective chromax.black versions can apply with Noctua for a mounting kit upgrade once CPUs and motherboards have started selling. Noctua says owners need proof of purchase for both a supported Noctua cooler and either an Alder Lake CPU or motherboard.

Noctua CPU cooler fin stack.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The post calls out express shipping options but says that owners “who need the kits urgently” can purchase them on Amazon starting in mid-October. That’s a strong hint that Alder Lake will launch around then, building on previous rumors and speculation that Intel is targeting an early fall release.

Recent rumors have pointed at a launch in November, while speculation from earlier this year pegged the launch in September. The biggest clue for October, however, is actually Windows 11.

Last month, a leaked Intel support document pointed at an October 2021 release for Microsoft’s upcoming operating system. The OS will reportedly harness Alder Lake for performance gains, so launching side-by-side would make sense.

Nothing has been confirmed by Microsoft or Intel yet. However, we know Alder Lake is launching this year, so October seems like an ideal target if Intel wants to ride the coattails of Windows 11.

Alder Lake uses the LGA1700 pin layout. Previously, reports suggested that it wouldn’t be compatible with currently available coolers, even with a bracket. With Noctua’s announcement, however, it seems some coolers will work. In addition to offering mounting brackets for existing owners, Noctua says it’s in the process of shipping updated cooler kits with the new mounting hardware.

Most of the coolers from the Austrian company will have upgrade kits available, though a select few won’t. In particular, Noctua says that NH-L9i series coolers will not have an upgrade kit “due to severe compatibility restrictions.” Instead, updated versions of these coolers will arrive in October.

Before applying for an upgrade, make sure to check out Noctua’s socket compatibility grid, which was recently updated with LGA1700.

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Jacob Roach
Lead Reporter, PC Hardware
Jacob Roach is the lead reporter for PC hardware at Digital Trends. In addition to covering the latest PC components, from…
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