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Noctua / E6400 lapping and minor case mod NOTE: lots of pics

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
Greetings,

I was uncertain which forum to post this under as it is somewhat of a hybrid: lapping log, hardware review, minor case mod and general pictorial. I hope that you find this as interesting as I did.

This was my first time lapping a HS or CPU, so for the veterans please don’t be too harsh, but please do say what's on your mind. All recommendations, advice and input are warmly welcomed for my future endeavors.

Here are some pics of the boxed items, the HS and the CPU prior to the install


Size: The top coin is a US Quarter, the bottom is a Sterling Pound

First: It is my recommendation that when using a Dremel or similar tool that you wear eye-protection. I like having depth perception (I used lightly shaded sun glasses). Additionally, I would wear a mask of some kind. I did not have one so I used a T-shirt. Some of the cutting, sanding and grinding segments produced a lot of fine dust (both plastic and copper). I don’t need that crap in my lungs, neither do any of you. Okay, "Mother may I..." stuff aside..

Tools that I used

•Sandpaper (600, 800, 1000, 1200, 1500, 2000, and 2500) I purchased the 600 and 800 after taking the pics, so they are not part of the visuals.

•Canned air (this was very useful – almost indispensable, I’m glad that I had some handy)
•Basic PC tool kit
•Anti-static measures
•Safety gear for the eyes and lungs
•Patience and a steady hand

Surface: Make sure that the surface that you are using is flat. You will notice in my pics that the mirror is off to the side of the round table. The seam in the middle of the table where the leaf is inserted was causing the minutest rocking motion as the HS traveled over it. Not good.

To water or not: I went with dry. I tried it briefly with water, but did not see a performance difference, and it was messy (probably just me). The water did however prevent the copper powder from becoming airborne. Still, I went with dry and a makeshift mask.

Pressure: I only placed mild pressure at 600 and 800. For all higher grits I allowed the weight of the HS to do the work. When lapping the CPU I just let it glide over the sandpaper while applying a very small amount of pressure.

Motion: At the onset of each grit I did a zigzag along the y-axis, then the x-axis. After 4-5 minutes, I switched to circular motions that rotated between clockwise and counterclockwise every 30 -45 seconds. I discovered that a pulling motion was the smoothest: when moving right I pulled with my right hand and my left was only guiding the trailing edge, opposite in the other direction. I used the canned air to remove the buildup on the sandpaper surface and to remove any fine debris on the HS itself every 5 minutes or so.

Avoid “juddering” or “stuttering” across the sandpaper, I found that this marred my work. I found this to be an issue only with the HS as the center of gravity of the HS was considerably higher than the CPU. The CPU was much like ice-skating.

I switched paper when there were larger pieces of debris that could not be dislodged from the sanding surface with the canned air. These larger particles caused lans and grooves on the HS and IHS.

Here are images of the completed HS and CPU: and the CPU socketed: And with the AS5: Now the mounted Noctua:

**NOTE: The image above that depcits the CPU with AS5 on it has WAY TOO much AS5. Even though it was rolling-paper thin...too much. Use less.

120mm fans: The HS did not come with any fans. I was prepared with 2 new Thermaltake fans. There was only one issue. To mount them to the HS they needed to be modified. Cutting a wedge out the side that made contact with the HS did the trick. Did this: and The fans mounted:

The Noctua barley fit in the case with the airbox. I was fortunate as I had already taken the Dremel to the airbox so that the Zalman would orient toward the blowhole, and I wanted to do the same for the Noctua:

My one and only complaint about the P180: No filter on the airbox intake. With all the thought that went into the design I was somewhat let down. My only choice at this point was a “bailing wire and duct-tape” job. I will be refining this soon as I like to be able to clean the filters (the 2 front-side intakes are readily removable) weekly, and I do not relish the idea of opening the case and removing the airbox each time. The airbox supports a 80x15 fan. I used a Panaflow, which is also a very loud fan. I really needed an exterior hardware solution (did not want software like Speedfan) so that I could keep the volt-modded 7900GT cool while gaming. Since all the controls on the Gatewatch were taken I modded a Zalman (the Panaflow is not set up for direct voltage regulation) to fit the 3.5" bay. I drilled the hole and used high-temp 3M double tape to afix it. I finished it off with one of the knobs from the Thermaltake fan controllers.

And a shot of the finished project without the airbox mounted:


Results:

The Thermaltake fans are the loudest that I have ever heard. I almost messed my pants when I first powered on the system. Good Lord! What a racket! Fortunately I am using an Aerocool Gatewatch and running the fans at 1300RPM’s is more than acceptable to me for sound and temp.

I have read that the AS5 will take longer to cure when lapping is a factor. If that is the case then I am ecstatic. My CPU temp is down 6-9C over the entire spectrum, per PC Probe!

Zalman CNPS9500: Ambient= 20C (morning)/ Idle=38C / Load=49-54C
Ambient 30C (afternoon)/ Idle 48C / Load = 52-59C

Noctua NE-U12, lapped: Ambient= 20C (morning)/ Idle=28C / Load= 43C (min during that run was 39C)

and

Ambient 30C (afternoon)/ 41C / Load = 46-50C

I wish that I had air-conditioning. I rent, so it seems a pain..

Note: The lower Load Temp set reflects gaming (F.E.A.R. , HL2:E1), and the higher Temp set is Prime95 on both cores.

It was hard to get a good read as it takes days to get an accurate average. In addition to the setting time for the AS5, I read that it takes longer for lapped surfaces. I won't really know for another week. At that time I will use my temp probe and attach the findings to this thread.

But temp drops right off the bat are makeing me

Regardless of the efficacy of lapping or otherwise (I have read a number of heated debates), it was an excellent experience and I enjoyed the challenge very much. I must say that lapping the CPU was sorta scary. I work hard for my $ and I take extra one-day jobs on the weekends to support my rigs, and the thought of sandpapering a C2D E6400 was, well.... almost thrilling. I kept thinking about when I would be able to get a replacement after I bolloxed this one. But... all's well that end's well. Oh! and cooler too!

Next summer: Water-cooling!!

P.S. Does anyone know of any quiet 120's they would recommend?
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post #2 of 36
Wow, very informative... a must read (and see!) for those who are thinking of lapping.

REP+
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post #3 of 36
Nice work Syrillian, I'll do them same for my E6400 and BT next week. Just wonder how did you apply AS5? Did you use DOT METHOD? I like Silverstone FM121 fan (103cmf at max speed 2400rpm) If you drop rpm around 1500 then it's quite and push a lot more air than TT.
Beside, are there any caution about lapping E6400? I'm little nervous!!!
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post #4 of 36
I can't make the pictures any bigger. Great work though! Glad to see you went for a unique heatsink.
EDIT: Nevermind, the pictures seem to be working now and it looks like you might have used to much AS5 for a lapped CPU.
post #5 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ngocrebel
Nice work Syrillian, I'll do them same for my E6400 and BT next week. Just wonder how did you apply AS5? Did you use DOT METHOD? I like Silverstone FM121 fan (103cmf at max speed 2400rpm) If you drop rpm around 1500 then it's quite and push a lot more air than TT.
Beside, are there any caution about lapping E6400? I'm little nervous!!!
Thanks, this is a reply to RyGyuy also: Genreally I do use the dot method, though this time I wanted to tray the spread. The picture doesn't really show the thickness. It is about skin thin - really thin. It took awhile to get it the way that I wanted. I used a plastic card cut to size.

As far as cautions, avoid "stuttering" accross the paper and take your time. There were moments when I wanted to "hurry up and finish", but I disciplined myself. The results were worth it
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post #6 of 36
Take the time to learn how to use your camera more effectively? Wow... blurry. I don't know how any of you can make an accurate judgement based on most of these pictures. Anywho... seems to be a decent improvement over the Zalman. I wasn't very impressed at all with mine.
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post #7 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by apollyon0810
Take the time to learn how to use your camera more effectively? Wow... blurry. I don't know how any of you can make an accurate judgement based on most of these pictures. Anywho... seems to be a decent improvement over the Zalman. I wasn't very impressed at all with mine.
Yeah...maybe. Bear in mind (though you could not have known), that I was using a 6-year old 1.3 Mega pixel camera. Sorry for the poor quality, I took about 60 pics and those were the best. The results were really nice looking and the performance is slowly improving (cooling) as the AS5 settles.

Thanks for the input!
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post #8 of 36
Jesus that IHS looks almost see thru its so clean!

pink
post #9 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Pink57
Jesus that IHS looks almost see thru its so clean!

pink
Thanks.
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post #10 of 36
not many ppl have the nuts to lap a new C2D!
cant complain..
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cant complain..
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