Noctua has confirmed it will release upgrade kits for Alder Lake
Austrian manufacturer of CPU coolers and computer fans has confirmed on Twitter that the next-gen Intel series will be compatible with the existing NH-U12A cooler.
Noctua NH-U12A CPU Cooler, Source: Noctua
When asked on Twitter if the company will ensure NH-U12A cooler compatibility with Intel’s upcoming LGA1700 socket for Alder Lake-S, the company representative responded that this information is under NDA. However, the spokesperson added that Noctus is already working on a kit and it should definitely be expected.
We cannot disclose any details yet due to NDA, but we're working on it and you should definitely be able to keep using your NH-U12A via a upgrade kit!
— Noctua (@Noctua_at) January 15, 2021
Intel Alder Lake processors feature an LGA1700 socket, which has the same width of 37.5 mm but it is taller (45.0mm). This 9.5mm difference may render some of the existing CPU coolers incompatible with the new processors series. The CPU coolers which already feature a large contact base should easily be made compatible by companies through upgrade kits, which are often distributed for free.
The NH-U12A cooler is compatible with the LGA2066 (Intel HEDT) socket, which is even larger than LGA1700 (52.5 x 45 mm). Thus, one would guess that all Intel and AMD HEDT compatible coolers could theoretically also support LGA1700.
Intel Alder Lake-S CPU with contact pins for LGA1700 socket, Source: VideoCardz
Noctua offers its SecuFirm2 multi-socket mounting system. The company promises compatibility with past and future sockets and that they will be available for free, but only if such a kit is technically possible.