Delidding Another 7980XE - What We've Learned from Delids

By Published December 30, 2017 at 11:40 pm
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Just a quick update for everyone: We've got a major feature -- an end-of-year special that includes a short film (something we've never done before) -- going up tomorrow at around 9AM EST. That'll be sort of an end-of-year recap of a few key components, primarily those that disappointed us.

In the meantime, while we were playing one-day roles of directors and cinematographers, we've set to work on delidding another 7980XE. This will be our third delid of the 18C CPU, with another ~4~5 delids of lower-end CPUs from the past few months. Our previous delid was for Kyle of "Bitwit," which later led to our Intel X299 VRM thermal investigation of the ASUS Rampage VI Extreme motherboard's VRM temperatures. It was an excellent opportunity for us to explore potential sideshoot content pieces in more depth, and gave us multiple samples to build a larger sample size.

We're now up to 3x 18C CPUs delidded, and are collecting data on the latest for Ed from Tech Source. The delid just completed, and we're now in the resealing stage.

We've learned the following key properties for peak thermal performance with a delid:

  • On dual-substrate HCC CPUs, we've found that scraping the lower layer of silicone adhesive from the substrate, then both layers of silicone adhesive on the IHS, yields the best thermal results. We recommend leaving the upper layer of adhesive on the upper substrate, as it acts as a guiding mechanism for re-application of the IHS, and helps to align the re-mount. We've found that removing this layer doesn't impact thermals more than 1-3 degrees Celsius, which is very close to error margins.
  • We've found that applying liquid metal on both the IHS and CPU die is required, as the surface tension of liquid metal will result in limited contact without LM applied on both sides.
  • We've learned that resealing the IHS is best done with very light and sparing application of silicone adhesive, primarily around the corners of the lower substrate (apply direct to IHS), and around the outer edge of the IHS. For our own CPUs, we do not re-seal, but we re-seal them for the other YouTubers, as the CPUs must endure shipping. We've found that resealing at all will increase reported temperatures a bit, but not in a way which negates the obvious advantage of being sealed -- namely, being able to move it, turn it vertically, and ship it.

This next delid should be done soon, and will go live on Tech Source's channel sometime thereafter.

As for our primary content, we've got a short film intro to tomorrow's video, and we're very excited to show it all off.

Stay tuned!

- Steve.

Steve Burke

Steve started GamersNexus back when it was just a cool name, and now it's grown into an expansive website with an overwhelming amount of features. He recalls his first difficult decision with GN's direction: "I didn't know whether or not I wanted 'Gamers' to have a possessive apostrophe -- I mean, grammatically it should, but I didn't like it in the name. It was ugly. I also had people who were typing apostrophes into the address bar - sigh. It made sense to just leave it as 'Gamers.'"

First world problems, Steve. First world problems.

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