X2 4200 Lidless & IHS Removal Guide!

Cooling Processors quietly

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GHz
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X2 4200 Lidless & IHS Removal Guide!

Post by GHz » Sun Aug 21, 2005 9:45 am

On my old PC, I decided to remove the IHS to see what I would gain. It was a S754 2800+ Newcastle. It went well, shaving a few degrees C off my load and idle temps. Recently, I bought a S939 X2 4200+ and because it was running so hot, I figured it might be worth removing the IHS. Of course, because the CPU is far more valuable I was nervous as heck while doing it, but I'm happy to report the CPU is fine :) I shaved a few C off and best of all: I'm now running undervolted at 1.25V ;)

FYI, I'm using a Zalman 7700-CU to keep it cool. The 120mm Evercool fan is running at 900RPM and the low-load (winamp+streamripper+browsing) temps right now are: 37C/39C case/cpu.

EDIT: PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR MY GUIDE TO REMOVING THE IHS! Enjoy!

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Last edited by GHz on Mon Aug 22, 2005 1:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.
-G

Mystr_Byrnz
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Post by Mystr_Byrnz » Sun Aug 21, 2005 1:13 pm

Nice pics. I've been curious what it looks like under that spreader. :)

Oliver
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Post by Oliver » Mon Aug 22, 2005 11:21 am

GHz

How did you pry off the IHS?
Any pointers?

After you pried it off , what did you see in terms of eveneness of thermal compound application on the inside of the IHS and the die? What solvent did you use to wipe up that compound, and did any get on those components surrounding the die, and did you touch any of those getting the compound off?

Was the top of the die completely flat??

Mats
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Post by Mats » Mon Aug 22, 2005 12:11 pm


GHz
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Post by GHz » Mon Aug 22, 2005 1:09 pm

Oliver: I'll try to answer all your questions, because I had to search all over the place to get information on this.

To take off the IHS: The first thing I did was take a bunch of cotton swabs and dipped them in my girlfriend's nail polish remover. Then I tipped the CPU sideways and soaked the edges of the IHS with the nail polish remover. The idea is that nail polish remover makes the black silicone that holds the IHS in place much softer. Then I used a flat, rectangular razor and sliced into one of the coners... very carefully. While doing this I had the CPU sitting on a soft foam mouse pad, so the pins wouldn't get damaged. Once the razor sliced into the corner, I started slicing into the edges... one side at a time, slowly. In-between I applied more nail polish remover. When I was confident that all of the silicone was cut, I took another razor blade and used both to pry the IHS off. It took almost no effort.

With the IHS off, the core was exposed. The TIM (Thermal Interface Material) used between the core and IHS was a grey material. It was very brittle... I'm not quite sure what it was. I cleaned it off using 91% isopropyl alcohol and cotton swabs. As you can see in the pic, I didn't try very hard to make it super clean, except on the core itself. I'm not worried about it because I doubt that the TIM was conductive.

I checked to see if the core was flat. Both flat razors seem to indicate that the core is not. It appeared to have the same shape as all the other A64s I've encountered, with a little hill in the middle. Fortunately, I don't think it matters when cooling.

With the IHS off, and the core cleaned of the old TIM, I applied my own: Ceramique. I follow the directions on Artic Silver's website. I drew a small line down the middle of the core, carefully placed the Zalman 7700-CU on, gave it a little twist back and forth, and bolted it down.

Anyway, I think it was worth the effort. It's really not hard to do, but you need nerves of steel, especially if you're trying this on an expensive CPU and don't have deep pockets. I can tell you I was sweating bullets doing this little operation, and it's not my first time.

My advice:
TAKE YOUR TIME, and don't apply much pressure... let the razor do the cutting. HTH!
-G

sthayashi
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Post by sthayashi » Mon Aug 22, 2005 9:33 pm

You sir, are a brave soul. I salute you.
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mathias
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Post by mathias » Tue Aug 23, 2005 8:33 am

Although I'd be extremely reluctant to do something like this, I gotta say it's a million times more sensible than going to a casino.

Oliver
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Post by Oliver » Tue Aug 23, 2005 10:55 am

GHz wrote:
I checked to see if the core was flat. Both flat razors seem to indicate that the core is not. It appeared to have the same shape as all the other A64s I've encountered, with a little hill in the middle. Fortunately, I don't think it matters when cooling.

!
GHz
Thanks for the details!
I am curious:

1)If the core is not flat, with that little hill convex shape to it, is the interior of the IHS metal slightly concave to compensate for the hill of the core? Or is the inside of the IHS completely flat, and the thermal transfer material fill up all the space? (And that may be why you describe it as brittle, perhaps like concrete that is brittle and hard, so that it has enough compressive strength to fill up the perimeter gaps and evently distribute the load of the heatsink mount onto the cpu die?)

2) Does the core have some give to it? In other words, when the heatsink gets pressed down on it, does the convex hill get pushed in and flatten out?

3)If on the other hand, the core is non-flexible and retains its convex shape, does less pressure need to be applied by the heatsink than if there was a IHS which has a perfectly flat top?

mattthemuppet
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Post by mattthemuppet » Wed Aug 24, 2005 7:11 am

cool! that's a brave man for sure :)

any worries on chipping the edge of the core with a wobbly HS, seeing's though there aren't any supports on the corners of the chip ( a la Socket A)?

Al
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Post by Al » Wed Aug 24, 2005 7:18 am

Good job... Thought about lapping the core itself to reduce that hill a bit? I'm sure I've read about it somewhere - and I reckon you could be the only one brave enough to try!

It's time someone REALLY started pushing the envelope :D

Al

ronnylov
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Post by ronnylov » Tue Sep 13, 2005 6:46 am

Just remember that when you remove the heatspreader you may have problems with the heatsink not touching the core because the CPU is lower without the heatspreader. I have a mobile Athlon 64 s754 which comes without the heatspreader so there's nothing to remove (already done by AMD). I did some research before buying it and the anandtech forums claims that the only heatsink known to fit was Thermalright SLK-948U which I bought and it indeed fit without any problems.

GHz
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Post by GHz » Wed Sep 14, 2005 12:24 pm

The Zalman 7000 and 7700 both fit fine on a lidless/mobile Athon64 core.
-G

frostedflakes
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Post by frostedflakes » Wed Sep 14, 2005 2:04 pm

As well as the Scythe NCU-2005. I wouldn't recommend any clip-on heatsinks, though (such as the Scythe Ninja, or XP-90, XP-120, or SI-120).
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ronrem
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Post by ronrem » Sat Sep 17, 2005 1:34 pm

Gotta pass on this idea,if the stress wasn't enough I'd likely bleed all over a nice X2. That can't be good. 8)

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