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EKWB De-Lids an AMD Processor for Better Cooling

By - Source: EKWB | B 16 comments
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EKWB de-lids the AMD APUs.

We've long heard of folks de-lidding Intel Ivy Bridge and Haswell processors, but we have not heard of de-lidding AMD processors; that is, up until now.

EKWB claims that it is the first to support cooling of de-lidded AMD A-series CPUs. The de-lidding is only supported with the Llano, Richland, Trinity, and Kaveri APUs. Any socket AM3+ CPUs do not support de-lidding, plainly because the CPU dies are soldered to the IHS.

The product from EKWB that makes this possible is the EK-Supremacy PreciseMount Add-on Naken APU. This is a rather long name for what is essentially a different screw set that allows EKWB's water blocks to be mounted lower, actually reaching the CPU die while providing sufficient pressure.

Note that if you de-lid your processor, your warranty is void; if you fail in the process, only you can be held accountable for any damage done.

EKWB has listed the screw set on its webshop with a price tag of $5.48.

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  • 1 Hide
    Yuka , January 30, 2014 6:31 AM
    I know there are guides and even YouTube videos showing how to de-lid a CPU/APU, but I really want to know how feasible it is. For a rookie de-lidder, what's the % of fail? Is it really helpful?Cheers!
  • 2 Hide
    ShadyHamster , January 30, 2014 6:34 AM
    This would be handy if it was possible to de-lid the am3+ line up of cpu's.
    I don't think anyone would go to the expense to custom liquid cool an apu.
    But i'm sure someone has done it so feel free to prove me wrong.
  • 3 Hide
    clonazepam , January 30, 2014 6:41 AM
    De-lid, water cool, and overclock that AMD APU so you can get the max fps at 720p in all games, and some at 1080p.... OR... the money spent on water cooling goes toward a real GPU.... decisions, decisions.... (yes there are exceptions where a real GPU does not fit, I get it)
  • 0 Hide
    Nintendo Maniac 64 , January 30, 2014 7:08 AM
    The article isn't entirely accurate; last time I checked all AMD CPUs that are 65w TDP and lower do not have a soldered IHS and can be delidded, regardless of socket. This applies all the way back to the Athlon 64.

    In my experience 100w TDP and lower are also not soldered and can be delidded, but I do believe that several 95w TDP Phenoms and FX CPUs are soldered.

    And lastly, AMD has used the exact same mounting method since AM2, so anything that supports de-lidded FM2 will work on delidded AM2/AM3 as well.

    For reference, I use a Cooler Master X6 Elite on a delidded G2 Brisbane 4800+.
  • -2 Hide
    InvalidError , January 30, 2014 7:17 AM
    Quote:
    For a rookie de-lidder, what's the % of fail? Is it really helpful?Cheers!

    Some de-lidding techniques seem awfully simple and relatively fool-proof if they really work as well as shown. Not sure how helpful it is on AMD's deliddables but on Intel chips, the main benefit is eliminating the 100+ microns thick thermal paste gap between the CPU and IHS caused by the IHS glue acting as a shim, preventing the IHS from making physical contact with the die. Removing the glue and putting the IHS back on reduces Intel chips' core temperatures by 8-15C. Putting paper shims to replicate the stock gap and using "better" thermal paste between the IHS and CPU produces worse results, indicating that Intel's "crap paste" actually outperforms the vast majority of "high-end" aftermarket pastes.
  • -4 Hide
    dgingeri , January 30, 2014 7:23 AM
    Is there really a point to delidding these processors? They'll never overclock enough to be competitive to Intel processors. The money is better spent on a better processor.
  • 2 Hide
    hotroderx , January 30, 2014 9:36 AM
    I wonder why manufactures even went to the lidded setup. I remember the old AMD 2500 bartons the chips where uncovered on those.
  • 2 Hide
    dgingeri , January 30, 2014 9:43 AM
    Intel's socket 370 chips also came out without lids. They added a lid on the Pentium 4 socket 423 models.

    The uncovered chips received broken corners quite often because of heatsinks that were installed unevenly. The heatspreader was more a way of protection for the silicon of the chip rather than more evenly spreading the heat. A decent heatsink could spread the heat as well if not better.
  • 5 Hide
    InvalidError , January 30, 2014 10:47 AM
    Quote:
    I wonder why manufactures even went to the lidded setup. I remember the old AMD 2500 bartons the chips where uncovered on those.

    Many people were accidentally crushing their CPU dies and another problem is that without a minimum amount of thermal mass attached to the CPU die, the CPU could overheat and destroy itself faster than thermal management could shut down clocks.

    The IHS eliminates or significantly reduces two of the most common failure modes in retail CPUs.
  • 0 Hide
    06yfz450ridr , January 30, 2014 10:57 AM
    Quote:
    Is there really a point to delidding these processors? They'll never overclock enough to be competitive to Intel processors. The money is better spent on a better processor.


    kind of if you are on a budget, the gpus on board are better for decent gaming compared to intels offerings if you dont have a dedicated gpu.
  • 2 Hide
    hotroderx , January 30, 2014 11:56 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    I wonder why manufactures even went to the lidded setup. I remember the old AMD 2500 bartons the chips where uncovered on those.
    Many people were accidentally crushing their CPU dies and another problem is that without a minimum amount of thermal mass attached to the CPU die, the CPU could overheat and destroy itself faster than thermal management could shut down clocks.The IHS eliminates or significantly reduces two of the most common failure modes in retail CPUs.
    Thanks for the answer that makes a ton of since. I remember back in the day having to be super careful putting on your heat sink or you would risk breaking the chip. Also thinking back seems like they started lidding CPU's when the clocks started getting higher and higher thus producing more heat.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , January 30, 2014 3:49 PM
    So what kind of gain in Celcius or Fahrenheit are we talking about?
  • 1 Hide
    alextheblue , January 30, 2014 6:41 PM
    Quote:
    Removing the glue and putting the IHS back on reduces Intel chips' core temperatures by 8-15C. Putting paper shims to replicate the stock gap and using "better" thermal paste between the IHS and CPU produces worse results, indicating that Intel's "crap paste" actually outperforms the vast majority of "high-end" aftermarket pastes.
    Actually all that really indicates is that if you use them improperly, high-end aftermarket pastes don't do well. I've seen some thermal compound articles that indicate that a lot of the fancier pastes are VERY particular. They *can* work well (assuming it truly is a good compound and not an overpriced wannabe) in the right circumstances. Some are as easy as a pea method, and maybe are forgiving if the results are less than perfect, or it's a bit too thick. Others need to be spread extremely thin, and may be difficult to spread unless heated. Some of them do pretty good with light to medium clamping pressure, others need to be spread thin and used with setups that apply a lot of pressure.

    "Look we replicated the gap for lulz, and this somehow proves Compound X isn't as good as the factory stuff even though we're not using it properly. Teh Lulzzzzzzz"

    This might be useful for 750K/760K chips for a real budget overclock or for the experience. Other than that, I don't see a lot of use cases for delidding FM chips.
  • 0 Hide
    InvalidError , January 30, 2014 8:34 PM
    Quote:
    Actually all that really indicates is that if you use them improperly, high-end aftermarket pastes don't do well.

    If you could apply Intel's IHS paste without the gap, it would likely perform even better than "aftermarket pastes applied properly" except applying Intel's paste properly probably requires a hydraulic press to pack the near-solid paste properly on the IHS before slapping the IHS on the CPU.
  • 0 Hide
    Textfield , February 1, 2014 8:17 AM
    Why not simply replace the IHS with a vapor chamber that contacts the CPU die? Then you've got a true IHS which, in addition to protecting the die, creates a virtually perfect spread of heat. Furthermore, you could put a vapor chamber on, say, an LGA 1150 CPU that bumps up the contact area to that of an LGA2011's IHS, and dramatically increase thermal performance without requiring a specialized heatsink setup.
  • 0 Hide
    InvalidError , February 1, 2014 8:27 AM
    Quote:
    Why not simply replace the IHS with a vapor chamber that contacts the CPU die? Then you've got a true IHS which, in addition to protecting the die, creates a virtually perfect spread of heat.

    How do you ensure that vapor will uniformly hit every hot spot across the die area with sufficient flow to prevent local overheats? You cannot. So you would still need to attach something to spread heat around to prevent local hot spots and increase the heat transfer area from the die to vapor.