Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Delidding the i5-3570K CPU

Yet another off-topic (non-radio that is) blog entry.
Having built the Core i5-3570K and the Core i3-3225 Hackintosh, the next field of experimentation was to understand the temperature differences of the core, as displayed by some software products.
To run the CPU cores at full load, I used SETI@home.
Doing that, I observed a 10 degrees centigrade difference between the hottest and the coldest core. I Believed that this would cause a lot of thermal strain on the CPU chip.
Hence, I decided to do what others did before, delidd the CPU and regrease the cooling.

I took some pictures during the process, there are not dissimilar to the ones which could be found on the www, i.e. a knife being stuck between the aluminum heat spreader and the CPU's PCB, etc. on demand, I will share my pictures...

My system is cooled by an ANTEC K├╝hler 60 and ran up to 52 degrees centigrade for the hottest core. Using MX2 between the heat spreader and the chip, as well as the heat spreader and the cooling pump, the hottest core shows 50 degrees centigrade. There is still a 10 degrees difference between the hottest and the coolest core.

Was it worth the trouble delidding a CPU, potentially damaging it? NO certainly not. However, it was fun to do it, and hence, I would do it again.

Should you intend to to this exercise yourself, here a tip: run your Ivy Bridge CPU hot before trying to cut the glue. The glue being soft helps a great deal reducing the risk of damaging the PCB due to larger forces being applied.

Mind you, delidding your (expensive) CPU is at your own risk!

Update: I noticed that the temperatures of the cores are much more linked as they were before. One core running at 100% load, whilst the others are at idle will increase the temperature of all core essentially equally. Before the delidding, this single core would got hot, while the others remained cool. Therefore, I would recommend the mod, which seems to remove thermal stress on the die of your cpu.

Update 2: Decided to nevertheless de-lid the Core i3-3225. In the process, I cut myself with the stupid hobby-knife. Probably, due to the lower price of the i3-3225, I was not taking as much care, and hence, the knife went straight into my thumb. Same procedure as before, cleaned the die, applied MX2 to the inside also to the outside, i.e. between the heat spreader and the cooling fan.