Since Intel decided to use low-grade thermal material underneath their Integrated Heat Spreader or IHS, the practice of “De-Lidding” or “DE-lid” the CPU has spread widely throughout Internet tech and flight simulator circles. DE-lid is the act of separating the IHS from the die on your brand new multi-hundred dollar CPU in order to improve cooling and allow higher overclocking. While this might sound daunting, Intel’s actions have spurned a whole new market for De-Lidding tools. These tools make the process quick, easy and (for the most part) foolproof. We used to use such primitive methods as the “hammer and vice” or a little later just the “vice” method. A quick Google of these techniques will reveal the scary and unpredictable nature of these early attempts.
We all know that flight simulators’ software from the days of FSX and pre-Direct X 10, always thrived on fast single threaded cores, pushing us to overclock our CPU’s to their max GHz. Overclocking has since become as much a part of flight simming as the proverbial yoke and rudder pedals.
That said, in order to push our beloved CPU’s to their max potential and rendering our scenery as best as possible with faster frames per second, it is necessary to remove the thermal cover material from the die itself on all CPU’s since 4th Generation Haswell.
I highly recommend the trusted DE-lid tool from Rockitcool . By following the very well made video on the website the whole process can be done by a first time “DE-lidder” in a matter of twenty to thirty minutes.
After removing the IHS from the PCB, it is a process of cleaning the die with alcohol wipes, or using my personal favorite, Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound remover.
Next scrape the silicone based adhesive from around the PCB, then apply a conductive thermal compound Coolabratory Pro Ultra or Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut to the die, making sure to cover a thin even layer over the entire surface of the die. Apply the same to the underneath of the IHS, following the rock-it cool video’s tip of using scotch tape to outline the exact spot to apply.
Now we are ready to use Rockit cool “re-lid” tool to put it all back together. Following the instructions we attach the IHS to the PCB using four small dabs of super glue gel, and let sit for a few hours. I recommend four hours to overnight.
After re-installing into the motherboard, congratulations, you have successfully unlocked your max overclocking potential. Expect lower temperatures by 10°C to 20°C!
While “De-Lidding” has become almost fool-proof with the use of DE-lid tools now on the market, like anything else we take upon ourselves to alter, it will void the warranty and it’s not without risks of damage to the processor itself. A further alert: Caution should be exercised when de-lidding the x99 and x299 chipsets. Pushing too far with the tool or careless cleaning of the PCB can result in damaged caps or connectors.
Follow these notes at your own risk. That said, if the author of this article can do it, it is pretty safe to say success is a safe bet.
Onward and upward.