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  #1  
Old 03-18-2018, 11:49 PM
Zammin Zammin is offline
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Default H115i Possible Mounting Pressure or Motherboard Compatibility issues

Hi everyone,

I made a post about this in the Warranty/RMA section of the forum but that post was primarily about how unhelpful Corsair's tech support have been on two occasions including this one. Here I will post more about the potential issue I am experiencing with hopes that some experienced users can give me some advice here.

I have recently assembled my new 8700k system using an ASUS Maximus X Hero motherboard and I have re-used my Corsair H115i water cooler from my old 4790k system. I have mounted the cooler as per Corsair's instructions which say "tighten the thumb screws until all four corners are firmly secured". I have done this by hand and they are not gorilla-tight or anything like that. The plastic back plate for the cooler is centered correctly as well. Despite this, after having the system running for a number of weeks, I have taken a look at the back of the motherboard to see that the cooler appears to be pushing the area in the center outward somewhat (the CPU socket/clamp area). You will be able to see in the attached pictures that the CPU clamp back plate is somewhat vertically bowed/bent with the cooler fitted.

It is worth noting that I am having no issues with system performance and cooling other than boot times being longer than expected for an NVME SSD, but I believe that is entirely unrelated. I have run many stress tests including AIDA64 and ASUS RealBench a number of times and everything seems fine. I have not experienced any system crashes or failures to boot.

What I am concerned about however, is whether this is something that can cause premature failure of the motherboard or CPU, which were both very expensive. I even removed the cooler, managed to straighten the CPU clamp back plate a bit by hand (basically massaging it with some pressure in the other direction lol) and re-fitted the cooler and didn't even do the screws all the way by hand and the same thing is occurring.

It has been extremely difficult to get an opinion from Corsair on this, I was ignored for 5 days and only received a response after making a complaint here on the forum. The advice I got was: "After reading your description and checking the images it looks fine and safe. I guess the bending is due to the oldness of the back plate, maybe you can consider having a new back plate just to eliminate the dilemma of failing." which doesn't help since that advice is contradictory in itself, and the motherboard is only about a month old.

I have been trying to get an opinion from ASUS on this as well, as the manufacturer of the motherboard, but they have not been helpful either. They only said to make sure the motherboard is mounted to the chassis properly....

I have been considering removing the CPU clamp so I can straighten the back plate and refit it, but I've never done such a thing and I'm not sure if this would void my warranty on the motherboard..

If anyone has any advice for me it would be greatly appreciated.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_0944.JPG (2.21 MB, 231 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0945.JPG (2.22 MB, 292 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0946.JPG (1.80 MB, 238 views)

Last edited by Zammin; 03-18-2018 at 11:54 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-19-2018, 06:06 PM
c-attack c-attack is offline
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I keep looking at this and I am not sure I am seeing it correctly. So the CPU socket support (factory installed - center) is curving a bit? Is it socket bracket bent? Or is it straight and the motherboard is bending? It is hard to tell from photographs.

1) Socket bracket is bending - This should never happen and suggests to me some kind of manufacturing defect. I don't know how you could even exert enough force to make that bend, but not crush every single pin on the working side of the socket. The only thing I can imagine is the socket support is slipping down the screws somehow.

2) Motherboard is bending, exposing the still straight socket support - Maybe, but think of how much force it would take to pull from the center of a motherboard and alter the shape. Conceivable, I could exert force on the ends of the board to slightly alter its shape, but all the ones I have lying around are extremely rigid. Maybe after years of heating/cooling under strain, but in just a few months? This seems like really long odds.

I am playing around with my H115i Pro trying to see how this can happen. I having a hard time. The pump head on mine is really light and there is little pressure involved anywhere. The Asetek pump head support backplate is barely needed.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Zammin View Post
I have been trying to get an opinion from ASUS on this as well, as the manufacturer of the motherboard, but they have not been helpful either. They only said to make sure the motherboard is mounted to the chassis properly....
Very first thing I though of. Sadly, that is about the response I expected. At this point, I see the motherboard as defective. If you are somehow still within your return window with the vendor, do it. If not, the RMA through Asus is usually slow and frustrating with the threat of billing you for things they consider to be "your fault". Still, I am unsure how to feel about the socket being pushed out. It would have my attention.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Zammin View Post
I have been considering removing the CPU clamp so I can straighten the back plate and refit it, but I've never done such a thing and I'm not sure if this would void my warranty on the motherboard..
I would be really, really careful with this, mostly because of the points above. If you start this, then later RMA the board and Asus determines you have worked on it, the response may be unfavorable.

It is a royal pain, but perhaps the best thing to do is take the board out of the case and do a physical assessment. How much bend is there, anything loose, pin damage check, etc. Also, if I were submitting photos to Asus, I would do it with the naked board and nothing else attached, out of the case. I know these are not great options and you have already thought of everything I've said, but you just don't see a lot of bending motherboards anymore and a ROG model should never do this without strapping some really heavy metal custom water cooling block to the front of it, along with a VRM block, and maybe something else.

Last edited by c-attack; 03-19-2018 at 06:18 PM.
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  #3  
Old 03-19-2018, 09:41 PM
Zammin Zammin is offline
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It's the back plate of the CPU socket that is bent, and the surrounding area of the motherboard is being flexed outward a bit by what I can only assume is the pressure exerted by the cooler. I understand it's difficult to see the issue in the photos because it's not flexing/bending that much. I have attached a quick drawing to demonstrate what I mean from what would be a side view of the CPU clamp back plate.

I had a look at the Gigabyte Gaming 7 motherboard from my old 4790k system which had the same cooler on it and it appears that back plate is also showing some bowing/bending similar to this one. I never had any performance or cooling issues on that system either.

To me this all seems to point toward the cooler being the cause. I have had nothing but trouble with corsair products lately so this doesn't come as a surprise to me, sadly.

I will most likely try to get a proper response from ASUS on the matter before I go ahead with anything, but to be honest I am not expecting much.. It's sad how poor the after sales support is from big name brands like Corsair and ASUS, even on their high end products. With this cooler causing damage to my motherboards I would have expected Corsair to offer to replace the damaged parts but it seems pretty clear that they (at least their tech support) don't care at all.

If anyone reading this has removed and reinstalled a CPU clamp from a motherboard before, please let me know about it.
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File Type: png CPU Clamp Back Plate Example.png (2.2 KB, 106 views)
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Old 03-19-2018, 09:44 PM
Zammin Zammin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c-attack View Post
It is a royal pain, but perhaps the best thing to do is take the board out of the case and do a physical assessment. How much bend is there, anything loose, pin damage check, etc. Also, if I were submitting photos to Asus, I would do it with the naked board and nothing else attached, out of the case. I know these are not great options and you have already thought of everything I've said, but you just don't see a lot of bending motherboards anymore and a ROG model should never do this without strapping some really heavy metal custom water cooling block to the front of it, along with a VRM block, and maybe something else.
In regards to this, I have already removed the cooler and taken the CPU out. The socket and CPU look totally fine and straight. with the cooler removed the only thing bent is the back plate of the CPU clamp shown in the photos.
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  #5  
Old 03-19-2018, 10:13 PM
c-attack c-attack is offline
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The problem is this isn’t just some wonky Corsair backplate. It comes from the OEM and is featured on nearly every AIO cooler made in the last several years. If you have an 115x socket, you have that same backplate. You just don’t see complaints about bending boards. The last one I remember was a few years back and it was a $79 special. There a lot of us with these coolers and these boards. I think we need to find another common thread.
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  #6  
Old 03-19-2018, 10:24 PM
Zammin Zammin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c-attack View Post
The problem is this isn’t just some wonky Corsair backplate. It comes from the OEM and is featured on nearly every AIO cooler made in the last several years. If you have an 115x socket, you have that same backplate. You just don’t see complaints about bending boards. The last one I remember was a few years back and it was a $79 special. There a lot of us with these coolers and these boards. I think we need to find another common thread.
Yeah I am aware of this, I did a lot of searching online and I also have not been able to find any other cases of this exact issue, which is why I contacted Corsair and ASUS in the first instance, but as usual the responses are vague and I get ignored for many days at a time.

I know it's obviously not a common issue, but I do know that I have followed the instructions for the product carefully when installing the unit and it has caused this issue on two separate motherboards. So as far as I am concerned, at this point the cooler (at least the one that I have) is causing the problems here. I was hoping that Corsair would help me out here as it is their product but so far they have not helped at all.

Whether it is really a big issue or not I don't know, considering my system is currently running fine. I just don't want it to cause premature failure of my expensive components...

Last edited by Zammin; 03-19-2018 at 10:27 PM.
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  #7  
Old 03-22-2018, 08:57 AM
Zammin Zammin is offline
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To follow up on this, when watching today's JayzTwoCents video about prebuilt computers I noticed that the prebuilt PC (NZXT) he was reviewing has the same issue as me, and it has an NZXT AIO which uses the same Asutek design as Corsairs line up. I've attached some screenshots to this post and here is a link to the video:

It would seem to me that this issue then comes down to the bracket used in these AIOs. it only braces at the four points at the corners where the standoffs go, rather than something like an EK water block which uses a full size flat metal clamp with a rubber gasket.

Let this be a buyer beware to anyone looking to buy Corsair's (or any other brand using Asutek pumps) AIO coolers. Having seen this I now know It's not just me, these things are obviously problematic in their mounting mechanism. You might argue that Intel stock coolers only grab those four points and don't use a back plate but these AIOs are obviously exerting a lot more mounting pressure, at least when fitted as per the instructions.

If you're OK with this as long as the system runs, then great. I can't prove that this kind of thing will cause any sort of premature failure since my system is still okay and both ASUS and Corsair's tech support are ignoring me. I have received this kind of treatment from Corsair's tech support before but I'm disappointed that ASUS are ignoring me as well. Both big name brands with rubbish after sales support it would seem.

In any case, I have to agree with c-attack in that this kind of thing shouldn't be happening, so I am getting rid of this dodgy AIO and going with a custom watercooling loop instead, as mentioned above EK's mounting mechanism looks far better designed than the plastic crap that what came with my H115i.
Attached Images
File Type: png J2C Bent Bracket 2.png (4.65 MB, 145 views)
File Type: png J2C Bent Bracket.png (4.35 MB, 125 views)

Last edited by Zammin; 03-22-2018 at 09:05 AM.
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