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martin-w

The truth regarding TIM between die and IHS!

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We see a lot of criticism regarding Intel's decision to use thermal paste between die and IHS. The article below puts this into perspective nicely. When you understand how complex soldering an IHS to a die is, and the pitfalls that must be avoided, suddenly Intel opting for TIM makes sense...

 

http://overclocking.guide/the-truth-about-cpu-soldering/

 

 

 

Conclusion

Whenever I read sentences like “What a ripoff – Intel doesn’t even solder a 300 USD CPU” or “Why does intel save 2 USD on soldering” I’m thinking Stop hating on Intel. Intel has some of the best engineers in the world when it comes to metallurgy. They know exactly what they are doing and the reason for conventional thermal paste in recent desktop CPUs is not as simple as it seems.

Micro cracks in solder preforms can damage the CPU permanently after a certain amount of thermal cycles and time. Conventional thermal paste doesn’t perform as good as the solder preform but it should have a longer durability – especially for small size DIE CPUs.

Thinking about the ecology it makes sense to use conventional thermal paste. Gold and indium are rare and expensive materials. Mining of these materials is complex and in addition it’s polluting.

After soldering one of my 6700K CPUs I can tell it’s a pretty complex process. I’m still working on it and trying to make it available for extreme overclockers. However, I doubt that Intel will come back with soldered “small DIE CPUs”. Skylake works great even with normal thermal paste so I see no reason why Intel should/would change anything here.

 

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Makes sense. However Intel should be able to do a better job with the TIM. The gap between the die and IHS is too large, causing the TIM layer to be too thick. The quality of the TIM doesn't seem to be that great either.

I've been running my 4770K with Liquid Pro between the die and IHS since 2013 without issues or increased temps. Still 15-20C below what it was with the stock TIM. A big part of the difference probably comes from shaving off the rubber seal that was keeping the IHS too far from the die.

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Makes sense. However Intel should be able to do a better job with the TIM. The gap between the die and IHS is too large, causing the TIM layer to be too thick. The quality of the TIM doesn't seem to be that great either.

 

 

 

In my Intel podcast post, Intel commented that they are continuing to work on ways to decrease the gap and improve thermal transfer. In fact the Intel guy said they have an entire department dedicated to this. But yes, I agree the gap is too large. One of the reasons is to protect the die apparently. It offers better protection from hefty coolers than a minimal gap.

 

The paste used is made by Dow Corning. Apparently the paste performance reduces slightly  but then remains stable for many years. It's the long term stability, that's why Intel use the stuff.

 

I've been running my 4770K with Liquid Pro between the die and IHS since 2013 without issues or increased temps. Still 15-20C below what it was with the stock TIM. A big part of the difference probably comes from shaving off the rubber seal that was keeping the IHS too far from the die.

 

 

Yep, I agree, that big gap is more of an issue than the TIM. So you have never experienced the "pump out" issue that Intel mention, whereby the expansion and contraction of the CPU pumps out the liquid metal TIM? Asus mention in the podcast that they experienced it too.

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So you have never experienced the "pump out" issue that Intel mention, whereby the expansion and contraction of the CPU pumps out the liquid metal TIM? Asus mention in the podcast that they experienced it too.

 

Not to any noticeable degree at least. Temps are still good and the system is stable after nearly 3 years running de-lidded and overclocked.

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Nice to know it's not such a big deal. I won't be delidding my 6700K though to be honest. I don't see the point for what amounts to such a minimal frame rate increase as a result of a few hundred megahertz. 

 

If I did go down that route it would be because my chip had dodgy TIM/IHS interface, or just for curiosity. 

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From what I understand, Intel improved heat transfer after Haswell, so later CPUs aren't as bad. I was hitting 100C before de-lidding so there was really no other option. Also a 6700K @ stock is probably already as fast as a moderately overclocked Haswell/Devil's Canyon.

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Good grief, 100C you say. At what clock speed and voltage?

 

There are a few YouTube videos around from individuals who have been unlucky enough to have a very dodgy TIM/IHS application and who have been forced to de-lid.

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Good grief, 100C you say. At what clock speed and voltage?

 

There are a few YouTube videos around from individuals who have been unlucky enough to have a very dodgy TIM/IHS application and who have been forced to de-lid.

 

That was at 4.3 GHz, can't remember the voltage but it wasn't particularly high, 1.2x something.

 

The first batch of Haswells were like that, and most wouldn't do more than 4.2 - 4.4 GHz. Intel has certainly improved the TIM application since then though it's still far from ideal.

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