(EPIC) The Truth about CPU Soldering - Der8auer Tries Solder Thermal Interface on Skylake

So, sometimes people complain about the relatively weak thermal interface material on the new Intel processors. Especially compared to their HEDT counterparts, which have a solder based TIM, it seems that it's a low-balling approach to use plain thermal paste on a CPU that still costs over USD $400. Well, luckily we have Der8auer who takes the time to explain the problems with solder and even tries to solder TIM on the 6700K Skylake. This is a good read, I promise!

The gist of the article comes down to this: micro-cracks in the solder interface puts the CPU at higher risk of damage earlier in its total lifespan than conventional thermal paste does. In addition, mining the materials required for preparing the CPU for solder thermal interface (like gold and indium) is expensive and ecologically not that great. Regular ol' thermal paste may perform worse, all things considered it's a better choice especially for small sized processor dies.

Please have a look at Overclocking.guide for the full article and scientific background information. Amazing research!


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Belgium Massman says:

:celebration: :ws:

Sweden lanbonden says:

Really interesting read, Ill bookmark it for the next (thousand times) someone complains about the IHS not being soldered.

Indonesia Lucky_n00b says:

GREAT reading! Very impressed at the research Roman put into this, completely a couple steps ahead of everybody else :ws: :ws:

France Zwitterion says:

Very Impressive !!
Very Good Job Der8auer ;)

Germany please_delete_me says:

lanbonden said: Really interesting read, Ill bookmark it for the next (thousand times) someone complains about the IHS not being soldered.


Indeed it's a interesting read with lots of information. Thanks Roman! :)

But in the end there is one fact: It is a tough job to solder IHS but it's not impossible (as we can see on different Intel generations). And since it is possible Intel could have done it right with Skylake. As you know they didn't and for me there are only two arguments for that: Production is easier without soldering and its cheaper.

Intel could have done it but they decided not to do. So in my oppinion complains about the IHS not being soldered are still "valid".

United Kingdom nickolp1974 says:

Top marks for this one Roman, certainly shows that it ain't that easy! Hats off to ya fella ;)

United Kingdom ObscureParadox says:

interesting article but I'm curious if really the reason is still down to cost. At the end of the day Northwoord, Presscott and Wolfdale were all soldered and the die size was much smaller. Haswell at the end of the day was a much bigger die than these and is not soldered.

United States GtiJason says:

Great read, lots of info I was unaware of. You are on a roll

United States Random says:

jeez u guys. saying intel's chioce.. did you read the article? its pretty clear.

United States steponz says:

ObscureParadox said: interesting article but I'm curious if really the reason is still down to cost.

At the end of the day Northwoord, Presscott and Wolfdale were all soldered and the die size was much smaller. Haswell at the end of the day was a much bigger die than these and is not soldered.


Hard to say.. you never know what the actual reason until you talk to an intel rep.

Could be anything really... Really good article Roman....

Czech Republic havli says:

ObscureParadox said: interesting article but I'm curious if really the reason is still down to cost.

At the end of the day Northwoord, Presscott and Wolfdale were all soldered and the die size was much smaller. Haswell at the end of the day was a much bigger die than these and is not soldered.

Not sure about Northwood, but Prescott is soldered for sure and its die size is only 112 mm^2. Maybe it has something to do with the shape of actual core? IB/HW/SL are all rectangular but older cores are more square.

United States Gunslinger says:

Seems to me that if they would not glue the IHS down to the PCB it would solve the bowing issue caused by thermal expansion/contraction. If it's properly soldered to the core area, what is the purpose of the adhesive?

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