Are you still lapping your heatsinks?

Subject: Cases and Cooling | November 4, 2013 - 04:14 PM |
Tagged: lapping, heatsink, DIY

Back in the ancient past of aircooling, when heatsinks did not weigh a kilogram and 120mm fans were a novelty item and not the standard many enthusiasts practiced the art of lapping.  With a water tray and automotive grade sandpaper of increasingly fine grit you could not only flatten the base of the heatsink, something that was all too necessary for some models, you could also acheive a mirror finish which helped your heat paste spread evenly.  Today you do not hear much talk of lapping either heatsinks nor the integrated heatspreader on CPUs and SPCR decided to test if it remains a good practice.  Check out the difference a proper lapping job still makes, though keep in mind lapping the IHS on your CPU will void the warranty and could weaken its structure.

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Not what you want to see!

"Lapping the CPU in a heatsink test platform is probably a controversial move that's bound to provoke reactions. Funny thing is, it was done a year ago, and photos of the CPU showing the copper top exposed by the lapping have been featured in many of our reviews. Yet, not a single comment. This article goes through the problems, investigations and explorations that led us to lap our Core i7-965 Extreme test CPU, and analyzes the results and implications."

Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:

CASES & COOLING

November 4, 2013 | 08:08 PM - Posted by icebug

I lapped my TRUE when I got it 4-5 years ago and it did improve my temps. Still using it now with an i5 3570k OC'd to 4.6Ghz with not temperature problems whatsoever. Haven't gotten around to lapping the CPU because it's not a risk that I want to take and I am comfortable with the results I have now anyways.

November 4, 2013 | 09:09 PM - Posted by Engineerscake (not verified)

Editing error:

Check out the difference a proper lapping job still makes, though keep in ming lapping the IHS on your CPU will void the warranty and could weaken its structure.

November 5, 2013 | 01:40 PM - Posted by Jeremy Hellstrom

Thanks, got it.  Not sure what the comment below is referencing though

November 5, 2013 | 07:23 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

"Lapping the CPU in a heatsink test platform is probably a controversial move that's bound to provoke reactions..."

Dude nobody cares about anything you do. Stuff it in your butt and STFU!

November 5, 2013 | 05:37 PM - Posted by Q'rash (not verified)

I read the entire article at SPCR yesterday and the part that led them to lapping their CPU was the poor cooling results they got with some heatsinks that were contrary to the results at other websites. The cause appears to be compression of their testbed's CPU IHS as a result of installation and removal of many heatsinks which often apply a high amount of mounting pressure. Fascinating read.

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