MAK­ING IN­TEL BET­TER

Maximum PC - - R&D -

I’ve spent a good while try­ing AMD’s Ryzen ar­chi­tec­ture at home, and al­though it’s a fan­tas­tic lit­tle chip, the over­clock­ing ex­pe­ri­ence is in­cred­i­bly lim­ited, and it hasn’t quite sat­is­fied my pro­gres­sive power itch.

Re­cently, In­tel loaned us two Core i9-7900Xs, and I’m tempted to take one of those for a per­sonal up­grade. The thing is, X299 has is­sues in­volv­ing over­clock­ing, too. The first is to do with the VRMs (volt­age reg­u­la­tion mod­ules) throt­tling the pro­ces­sor once they hit 107 C. That’s a fairly easy fix—the an­swer is to in­vest in a liq­uid­cooled monoblock that cools both the pro­ces­sor and the VRMs.

Far more ter­ri­fy­ing to solve is the fact that In­tel re­fuses to sol­der the IHS (heat spreader) on to the CPU die, in­stead us­ing cheap ther­mal paste to trans­fer heat from the die to the IHS. The so­lu­tion would be to delid the CPU, a risky process that typ­i­cally re­quires you to use a ra­zor blade to sep­a­rate the IHS from the CPU and PCB. So, we got in touch with Der8auer, the world fa­mous over­clocker, to see whether he could loan us one of his Delid Die Mate Xs. It’s a neat lit­tle de­vice, that re­moves the IHS safely. It’s then up to us to clean off the glue, ap­ply liq­uid metal ther­mal paste be­tween the CPU die and the IHS, then reglue the IHS back down for far lower tem­per­a­tures. Still ter­ri­fy­ing, but in the hunt for bet­ter ther­mals, over­clocks, and more, we sim­ply have to give it a try.

ZAK STOREY DEPUTY ED­I­TOR

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