The process of removing a CPU’s IHS (integrated heat spreader). An IHS absorbs and spreads out heat from a CPU to its heat sink to keep it cooler. You would delid a CPU in order to replace it with an alternative thermal material for an even cooler PC. This is relevant if you want to overclock your machine.
Note, there’s a company called Silicon Lottery that acquires processors and delids them to replace the thermal paste inside Intel CPUs with liquid metal Thermal Grizzly Condoctonaut. The firm claims this reduces operating temperatures by 15-25°C , depending on the workload. The improved thermal transfer material helps facilitate more aggressive overclocks. Silicon Lottery sells the modified processors at a premium price and with a one-year warranty (rather than Intel's standard three-year coverage). Silicon Lottery also has a paid-for service where they’ll delid your processor for you.
Want to try delidding yourself? For help, check out our article on how to delid your CPU and why it's worth it.
This article is part of the Tom's Hardware Glossary.
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Scharon Harding has a special affinity for gaming peripherals (especially monitors), laptops and virtual reality. Previously, she covered business technology, including hardware, software, cyber security, cloud and other IT happenings, at Channelnomics, with bylines at CRN UK.