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Intel's Core i7-4960X Exposed: CPU Die Soldered to the IHS

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July 1, 2013 9:16:07 AM

Well, the theory for why Intel used thermal grease and not solder on Haswell and Ivy Bridge, the one that said they couldn't be soldered because of the shrunken die size is now proven untrue.

No other explanation then Intel either was saving money or artificially gimping Haswell/IB or both.
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July 1, 2013 9:36:39 AM

But than wont the IVB-E die be bigger than standard?
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July 1, 2013 9:39:23 AM

Quote:
With the LGA 1155 Ivy-Bridge chips a handful of users would opt to remove the lid from their chips in order to get around Intel's decision to solder, though obviously at the cost of warranty.


Should be Intel's decision NOT to solder (or Intel's decision to use crappy TIM).
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July 1, 2013 9:39:45 AM

ingtar33 said:
Well, the theory for why Intel used thermal grease and not solder on Haswell and Ivy Bridge, the one that said they couldn't be soldered because of the shrunken die size is now proven untrue.

No other explanation then Intel either was saving money or artificially gimping Haswell/IB or both.

Possibly. It could also be that Intel needed extra time to devise a solder method for the smaller die. Not saying you're wrong, but I'm willing to give Intel the benefit of the doubt until proven wrong.

This does mean that Intel has no excuse to not solder normal Ivy Bridges now, though.
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July 1, 2013 9:41:25 AM

This shouldn't come as much of a surprise. I think it's pretty clear now what Intel is doing, if it wasn't abundantly clear already. The whole point of the thermal compound on Ivy and Haswell isn't to pinch pennies or out of necessity as some have suggested. It's a way to further segment their desktop line-up by artificially limiting the overclocking potential of their LGA 1155 processors. This gives both Sandy and Ivy Bridge-E a sort of 'manufactured' advantage over Ivy and Haswell by offsetting any IPC disadvantage with additional overclocking headroom. It's a clever move on their end, it just sucks for the average enthusiast. Of course I got thumbed down to oblivion when Ivy Bridge first released for even suggesting that this might be the case. The prevailing theory at the time seemed to be that the engineers and scientists at Intel simply didn't know what the hell they were doing... lol.
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July 1, 2013 9:44:26 AM

it's an engineering sample the 4770k ES's didn't use thermal paste either, but the OEM versions do. So take this article with a grain of salt.
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July 1, 2013 10:54:04 AM

and i thought amd was cheap... intel is cheaper but in a bad way. naughty naughty naughty. so i guess they can use their unused tp's to grease up their own butt's now that they are back to soldering.
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July 1, 2013 11:12:32 AM

basketcase87 said:
Quote:
With the LGA 1155 Ivy-Bridge chips a handful of users would opt to remove the lid from their chips in order to get around Intel's decision to solder, though obviously at the cost of warranty.


Should be Intel's decision NOT to solder (or Intel's decision to use crappy TIM).


Actually, the problem isn't that they used the TIM (although soldering does improve the heat transfer slightly), the real problem is that there is a very tiny gap between the TIM and the IHS causing the heat transfer from TIM to the IHS to end up being radiative instead of conductive (radiative is the worst form of heat transfer). This has been proven a number of times from people that have de-lidded both IB and Haswell CPUs.
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July 1, 2013 12:37:22 PM

lol. leaking something and you can only leak "one" photo? fishy fishy.
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July 1, 2013 1:01:29 PM

Being an engineering sample this doesn't really mean very much. IIRC the IB engineering samples were also soldered on.

De-lid a production chip and get back to me.
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July 1, 2013 1:34:12 PM

a lot of people complained about them using TIM in Ivy_bridge, but only a few people that delidded actually saw temperature improvements from the forums that i scoured when i was interested.

not worth it unless your temps are seriously out of line. and if you're watercooling.
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July 1, 2013 4:29:55 PM

So basically 100mhz faster than the current top of the line CPU. Not all that impressive a difference
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July 1, 2013 5:48:59 PM

I agree with Physical, we need production chips to tell for certain. Anyway if this is only on their hexacore chips I'm not all that interested.
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July 1, 2013 6:09:22 PM

Remind me how you can safely rip off a soldered on heatsink from a flimsy piece of silicon.

Also, I read that using TIM is in order to reduce costs, not because the TIM process is much cheaper, but because the soldering process is easily botched and leads to more failures. The TIM process gives good enough performance at a better success rate. Also, I heard that the small gap between the heatspreader and die is good for big heavy heatsinks, as they tend to crush the die otherwise.

All of this I got from a Toms commenter who probably posted above me already
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July 1, 2013 9:00:58 PM

Just a question though... unless otherwise this is Ag sintered or the die has a sintered TiNiAu (where both process are also very expensive), how does Intel manage the adhesion of solder to silicon? I think this is a hoax...
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July 2, 2013 3:13:18 AM

I dont really see much reason to trust this guy...
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July 2, 2013 3:41:23 AM

I love these threads, just for the tin foil hat brigade.
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July 2, 2013 4:49:53 AM

vaughn2k said:
how does Intel manage the adhesion of solder to silicon? I think this is a hoax...

They can do copper deposition using the same process as normal metal layers, use a chemical plating step to apply tin to that copper and solder the IHS to that. This is basically the same thing that happens on the side where uBGA balls are attached.
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July 2, 2013 5:05:09 AM

Well as Intel starts to release that AMD is less and less relevant. It will try to wring out every dime it can. Just wait. The bean counters are sitting around trying to work out how to make themselves richer. The question is if the shareholders will also get richer.
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July 2, 2013 6:32:18 AM

Hmm... still no word on new 2011 socket CPUs?
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July 2, 2013 6:43:47 AM

shadowfamicom said:
Hmm... still no word on new 2011 socket CPUs?

Last time I checked, i7-4960X which this article was about is exactly that and expected later this year.
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July 2, 2013 7:23:50 AM

shadowfamicom said:
Hmm... still no word on new 2011 socket CPUs?


The i7 4960X is a Intel Extreme Socket 2011 chip :D 

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July 2, 2013 5:01:48 PM

Op my mistake must have read it wrong!
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July 27, 2013 10:38:16 AM

Quote:

This shouldn't come as much of a surprise. I think it's pretty clear now what Intel is doing, if it wasn't abundantly clear already. The whole point of the thermal compound on Ivy and Haswell isn't to pinch pennies or out of necessity as some have suggested. It's a way to further segment their desktop line-up by artificially limiting the overclocking potential of their LGA 1155 processors. This gives both Sandy and Ivy Bridge-E a sort of 'manufactured' advantage over Ivy and Haswell by offsetting any IPC disadvantage with additional overclocking headroom. It's a clever move on their end, it just sucks for the average enthusiast.

This is unproven.

Hanlon's razor
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July 28, 2013 3:02:05 PM

smeezekitty said:
Quote:

This shouldn't come as much of a surprise. I think it's pretty clear now what Intel is doing, if it wasn't abundantly clear already. The whole point of the thermal compound on Ivy and Haswell isn't to pinch pennies or out of necessity as some have suggested. It's a way to further segment their desktop line-up by artificially limiting the overclocking potential of their LGA 1155 processors. This gives both Sandy and Ivy Bridge-E a sort of 'manufactured' advantage over Ivy and Haswell by offsetting any IPC disadvantage with additional overclocking headroom. It's a clever move on their end, it just sucks for the average enthusiast.

This is unproven.

Hanlon's razor

I think you're either misinterpreting my comment, or that adage.

You really believe this is just an off the cuff, purposeless screw up by the engineers at Intel? That for two consecutive generations they would opt for a less effective method of heat transfer for their mainstream desktop lineup, out of ignorance and stupidity, but by chance continue to use a more effective method in their high-end desktop and workstation/server lineup? After all they don't know what the hell they're doing, right?

I'm definitely not trying to say this is proven, or fact, just that this is a likely explanation. I don't really understand why this theory is so difficult for some people to fathom possible. The only resulting difference between fluxless solder and thermal compound (as perceived by the end user) is heat conduction. Overclocking is the only place this becomes a limiting factor. Why would Intel do this? Perhaps to limit overclocking headroom? I don't think that's an unreasonable assumption to make, by any stretch of the imagination. In fact I think it's far less reasonable to attribute this all to an error in judgement on Intel's part, an error they made two generations in a row on just one of their platforms, for some reason. Intel has a high-end platform that's far more expensive than their mainstream, and 1-2 generations behind, and I think they're trying to give that high-end platform every advantage they can to offset the IPC and efficiency improvements in their mainstream platform.
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July 28, 2013 3:07:06 PM

Or, just maybe possibly using thermal compound is cheaper, with less botched chips.

And of course Intel is stupid and dumb. Not that they are at the very pinnacle of hardware tech inventing everything and more every single year. Solder vs. paste is a very hard issue compared to implementing hyperthreading and 3D transistors, and...
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July 28, 2013 3:08:28 PM

Quote:


You really believe this is just an off the cuff, purposeless screw up by the engineers at Intel? That for two consecutive generations they would opt for a less effective method of heat transfer for their mainstream desktop lineup, out of ignorance and stupidity, but by chance continue to use a more effective method in their high-end desktop and workstation/server lineup? After all they don't know what the hell they're doing, right?

And you are not properly considering cost. You do not know how much difference in cost solder vs paste is. It may not be cost effective to use solder in most cases for all we know.

Quote:

I'm definitely not trying to say this is proven, or fact, just that this is a likely explanation. I don't really understand why this theory is so difficult for some people to fathom possible. The only resulting difference between fluxless solder and thermal compound (as perceived by the end user) is heat conduction. Overclocking is the only place this becomes a limiting factor. Why would Intel do this? Perhaps to limit overclocking headroom? I don't think that's an unreasonable assumption to make, by any stretch of the imagination. In fact I think it's far less reasonable to attribute this all to an error in judgement on Intel's part, an error they made two generations in a row on just one of their platforms, for some reason. Intel has a high-end platform that's far more expensive than their mainstream, and 1-2 generations behind, and I think they're trying to give that high-end platform every advantage they can to offset the IPC and efficiency improvements in their mainstream platform.

The reason I don't think it is the reason is there are far easier and more effective ways to limit overclock headroom.

These include things like multiplier limits and voltage clamps.

You cant assume that every business decision that does not clearly benefit the consumer is anything other than either stupidity or cheapness.

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July 28, 2013 3:22:43 PM

I guess there is a reason for no unlocked pentiums and such.
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July 29, 2013 9:54:04 AM

smeezekitty said:

And you are not properly considering cost. You do not know how much difference in cost solder vs paste is. It may not be cost effective to use solder in most cases for all we know.

Well, apparently I misunderstood what you were trying to say, which is kind of easy to do when you give a vague half-sentence response. I honestly don't think 'stupidity' has anything to do with this, which is basically all I could gather from the argument in your previous comment. Intel made this decision for a reason, whether it be for cost savings, to limit overclocking, or some other combination of reasons.

Cost savings is the only other argument I've seen that seems to be a likely explanation. Although I've never seen a legitimate source state this, and I don't think it fully explains why only a single platform uses this method, and only since the introduction of Sandy Bridge-E. If the reason was purely for cost savings (and stupidity), why not use it on LGA 2011 i7's as well? Why hasn't it been used more prevalently in the past?

smeezekitty said:

The reason I don't think it is the reason is there are far easier and more effective ways to limit overclock headroom.

These include things like multiplier limits and voltage clamps.

You cant assume that every business decision that does not clearly benefit the consumer is anything other than either stupidity or cheapness.


The reason I don't think they would do something as blatant as capping the multiplier at ~45x is because enthusiasts would be in far more of an uproar than they already are. Capping K series processors or removing K series processors entirely from their mainstream enthusiast lineup would be stupid, and a bad business decision.

So if I'm understanding you correctly, basically what you're saying is to assume that every business decision that does not clearly benefit the consumer is the result of stupidity (or append.cheapness)? Really, I think you might be misinterpreting the adage.
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July 29, 2013 10:01:11 AM

JPNpower said:
Or, just maybe possibly using thermal compound is cheaper, with less botched chips.

Maybe possibly. Although if that were the case I would think it would've been a far more prevalent method of heat conduction prior to Ivy Bridge.
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July 29, 2013 1:09:29 PM

That is easy. Until then, superior heat conductivity must have been necessary for acceptable performance. Ivy and new CPUs are, well, insanely fast @ good heat efficiency. Thus it does not need it.
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July 29, 2013 2:28:15 PM

JPNpower said:
That is easy. Until then, superior heat conductivity must have been necessary for acceptable performance. Ivy and new CPUs are, well, insanely fast @ good heat efficiency. Thus it does not need it.

I don't think it's quite that simple. There have been many processors in the past with TDP's below those of the Ivy Bridge and Haswell desktop lineups (~80W), many of which offered class leading performance for their time. Take the 65W TDP Core 2 Duo (Conroe) for example. I'm pretty sure desktop Core 2's didn't use thermal compound, and if they did it was never mentioned.
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July 29, 2013 4:10:45 PM

Here is a sample list of pasted CPUs

IHS Not Soldered To Die

Hyperthreading/Single Cores

-(S-478) Pentium 4 HT (Northwood "A" and "B" Core)*
-(S-478) Celeron
-(S-775) Celeron
-Celeron 420
-Celeron 430
-Celeron 440
-AMD Athlon 64 3200+*
-AMD Athlon 64 3700+*
-AMD Athlon 64 3800+ (Venice core)

Dual Cores

-AMD X2 5000+ BE (Brisbane core)
-Celeron Dual Core E1200
-Celeron Dual Core E1400
-Pentium Dual Core E2140
-Pentium Dual Core E2160
-Pentium Dual Core E2180
-Pentium Dual Core E2200
-Pentium Dual Core E2210
-Pentium Dual Core E2220
-Pentium Dual Core E6300
-Core 2 Duo E4300
-Core 2 Duo E4400
-Core 2 Duo E4500
-Core 2 Duo E4600
-Core 2 Duo E6300 (L2 stepping)*
-Core 2 Duo E6400 (L2 stepping)*
-Core 2 Duo E7200
-Core 2 Duo E7300
-Core 2 Duo E7400
-Core 2 Duo E7500
-Core 2 Duo E7600
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July 29, 2013 4:33:01 PM

Thanks for the information. Could you provide a source?

As far as I can tell, there seems to be little correlation with TDP in that list.
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July 29, 2013 5:04:09 PM

That was from overclockers.net

(sh@t you can delid list.) I'll take a look at their sources, but it seems to be from personal experiences.
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July 29, 2013 5:21:29 PM

JPNpower said:
That was from overclockers.net

(sh@t you can delid list.) I'll take a look at their sources, but it seems to be from personal experiences.


Okay... could you provide some links? Most of what I'm finding about deliding is Ivy Bridge specific.
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July 29, 2013 8:14:55 PM

Umm wow, that's some next level extrapolation you did there. One thread features a soldered LGA775 P4, and the other a 478 P4 with thermal compound. Is this seriously what you based your list on? You must've gone through a hell of a lot of forums, many probably containing information of questionable integrity, kinda like this one.
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July 30, 2013 1:45:16 PM

Unfortunately I am not the kind of knowledgeable person as you are. My tools are google, wiki and toms only. That list is from overclock.net via google. others are also from the first page on google.
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July 30, 2013 4:35:45 PM

JPNpower said:
Unfortunately I am not the kind of knowledgeable person as you are. My tools are google, wiki and toms only. That list is from overclock.net via google. others are also from the first page on google.


You have to be able to back up the information you put out, and you haven't, so I think I'm rightfully skeptical of the list you posted. One of the many areas of confusion for me is how you gathered the list. I don't know why you haven't just come out and explicitly stated this, but from what I could gather from your previous comments I assumed you didn't just find a page with this information on it. And when you say something like, "That list is from overclock.net" it tends to read like... well, verbatim. I found a list of these CPU's on overclock.net.

Your reluctance to cite your sources, or even briefly elaborate on how you gathered the list, along with the two links you did provide, just makes me even less confident in the integrity of your list. Then when I basically ask, 'are you kidding me?' you deflect to, 'well I'm sorry I don't know as much as you do'. I mean seriously, I'm not even sure what you're doing or trying to say. In fact at this point I'm mildly certain you're just trolling.

I don't think I'm asking for anything crazy here. It's common practice on forums to back up assertions or critical information with links to relevant sources.
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July 31, 2013 6:17:20 AM

OK, I'm sorry if I caused confusion. Long ago, I read an article on deliding, since I was interested, and found a list of CPUs that can be delided, hence no solder. That is the list. I was merely listing a few things that I heard from this, and other forums found by spare time google searches. I did not provide links, as those forums did not have good "evidence", and I could only find a few good sites with videos and pictures to back up claims. I do not know much about this topic, and was merely throwing a few things out there, that maybe somebody else could explain. However, since there was nobody left but you and I, I just stated my assumptions that I got from those pieces of info.

Yes, it is good practice to back up claims, if you are confident in your stance, and need to prove something to others. I was merely poking around, trying to learn more, and neither have anything to defend, nor evidence to do so properly.
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August 29, 2013 1:57:01 PM

A i3 is not faster than the a10 in gaming performance even the i3 is slightly worse than the a8 6600k and lol the a8 is so much cheaper ^^.
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August 29, 2013 1:57:42 PM

A i3 is not faster than the a10 in gaming performance even the i3 is slightly worse than the a8 6600k and lol the a8 is so much cheaper ^^.
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August 29, 2013 3:46:23 PM

For gaming it is pretty much irrelevant because the Intel graphics is so bad IF you are going to use the built in graphics.
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August 31, 2013 9:09:33 PM

how is this verus a 4670k stock
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August 31, 2013 9:09:36 PM

how is this verus a 4670k stock
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!