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i5-4690K Delidding, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Liquid Metal

My i5-4690K was running with a massive temperature difference between the hottest and coldest cores. Took this as a chance to try out delidding for the first time, as well as liquid metal.

Pre-delidding results. Screenshot’s taken on the 3rd run to let temps normalise. CPU is cooled with an NH-U14S with dual fans, and for thermal paste, I used NT-H1.

Purchased a cheap, 3D printed delidding tool from eBay for £15.75. Link, if anyone’s interested.

Temperature difference definitely wasn’t caused by my paste application. Debatably a bit too much, but that doesn’t hurt.

cough Nice ‘clean’ work surface. Very ESD safe. cough

Nice and cleaned up. Note the hole in the IHS on the opposite corner as the triangle on the chip. Can use that to see which way the IHS sits when putting it back on.

Unfortunately, the CPU started cutting into the tool, between the print layers. Had to give it a jolt to get it out, and then gave it a second go, slightly tilting the chip so it was pressed up against multiple layers. I don’t see this tool lasting more than a few goes.

IHS off, lots of silicone glue.

The old TIM just falls off with a little push. Dry as hell.

Used a razor blade to scrape the silicone off the chip and IHS. Trying my best to not scratch the chip. Got it to the point where the IHS sat nearly flat on the chip. Taking it all off would take quite a while - The stuff’s quite stubborn, and my blade was pretty dull.

Covered the SMDs with Scotch 33+ Tape, making sure not to put it where the IHS sits.

Chose to use Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut because of the rave reviews. This is far too much liquid metal. Sorry I stopped taking pictures at this point, as I was concentrating. That amount easily covered both the IHS and CPU die. You don’t want pooling like you see in the picture, and you can use the syringe to suck up and excess.

Once I had a good application on both, I placed them together, and put it back in the motherboard, lining up the IHS properly, and holding it down with the retention mechanism. Didn’t bother with glue, as I didn’t know how it would turn out. Reapplied NT-H1 and mounted my cooler. The IHS is going nowhere.

Post-delidding results.

15°C drop in temps on hottest core, and 5°C drop on the coldest. From these results, I’d take a stab in the dark and say that the TIM wasn’t as much of a problem as how the IHS sat on my chip.

It’s an absolutely terrifying experience when you do it the first time (especially with a cheap tool), but it’s definitely worth it to prolong the life of your CPU and increase overclocking headroom. Might try to push the chip a tad more, but I know it’ll take >1.3V.


Job well done, hats off to you sir


Nice one Dr. StrangeClock.


Nice results. I’m impressed you had such a temp drop at that low voltage.
I’d be lying if I said that OC doesn’t hurt me on the inside though. I had a 4670k that couldn’t boot 4.3 at anything below 1.4v.

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Damn, I thought this was bad.

The best I’ve got with this is 4.6GHz at 1.35V, but it’s not amazingly stable. Also, running on a Z97-K, the VRMs get a bit toastie above that voltage, and running any stress test results in massive coil whine/buzzing.

Very nice. Really liked this detailed walk through of your experience.

I recently delidded a 7600K for giggles. (I had gotten it for free and had minimal use for it so I’m just using it to play with and push the clocks). Had a very similar experience. It wasn’t too bad to do at all.

Though I think it is an interesting comparison with the TIM here. Your temp drop, while certainly significant, was a fair bit less than I saw. 15-18C on all cores in my case. Seems that Intel TIM was a little bit better in the past…

Also interesting to see the clock headroom. A quick glance showed me that the clocks on the 4690K out of the box were identical to the 6600K I had gotten for my parents and only a slight bit below my 7600K. OC headroom is way different though. The 6600K would do 4.6 @ 1.28 and 4.7 @ 1.30. The 7600K will do 5 @ 1.32.

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Nice write up. You get a like.

Does the delidding tool have file so you can print at home?

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It doesn’t but I can measure it and quickly model it, if you wanted to make your own? I’d modify it a bit to add some strength.

Just uses an M8 bolt and nut.

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More curiosity than anything.

It’s on thingiverse.


what isnt these days?

Glad to see such dramatic temp drop. Its amazing how much intel gets away with such shit TIM :frowning:


Not something I would do at this point but definitely interested in reading and seeing what you did. Congrats on getting those improvements OP.

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Heya, just wanted to add my 2 cents. I recently did this to an aging 4670k for my secondary station, and was blown away. Before I used protronics series 7 paste which must have been garbage, because it would get dry pretty quick (few months) and my temps at 4.6 ghz (highest I could go to below 1.35v) were 50 C idle, and would ramp up to 90 when tested with OCCT. unstable obviously.

After delidding, I’m now looking at 24 C, and the hottest it gets is around 68 C. But that’s after at least 10 minutes. After 2 hours it never went beyond 70, just kind of hovered. Bit odd considering prior results.

It’s not hard. I was a dipshit and put way more freakin Alex Mac stuff than I should have. I bricked my gpu doing this and had to order an RX 580. Oh well. Time for an upgrade anyway. A casualty sacrificed for an unexpected result.

Even though the gpu was a heavier hit financially, I am still blown away by the cpu. I didn’t use tape though, just grabbed my wife’s top coat nail polish. Could have had all kind of weird stuff in it, seems to work well though. Lol I know this because I damn near coated the IHM and used too much between the heat sink and i5 too. Careful this stuff doesn’t get on ur mobo people, take your time. If you have a case where it sits vertically, because if you don’t that stuff will roll out like an old ludacris song in the 90s. Luckily I was using a test bench, scared to tilt it now due to the stories I’ve heard.

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