Very interesting results from a very good delid test of deliding and TIMs on an anandtech forum thread where the OP Idontcare
found that the IB temp problem was not from the intell TIM at all, but from the gap between the die and IHS.
- if interested, see post #570 on link below:
And the results?
And if we remove the paper shim and drop that IHS down onto the CPU (not perfectly zero of course, there is still some NT-H1 CPU TIM there after all) reducing the gap to as close to zero as possible then we get the "c" cases...and the temperatures show the expected fantastic drops we have all come to expect from delidding our Ivy Bridge chips.
Conclusion: The Intel stock CPU TIM is not the reason Ivy Bridge's run hot, and replacing the Intel stock CPU TIM is not the reason a delidded Ivy Bridge runs so much cooler - the benefits of delidding are entirely due to the resultant reduction in gap height between the CPU silicon die and the underside of the IHS
This is also noted, and first discovered, on post # 496
http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2261855&page=20>>>>> Surprising also was his finding that direct die to HFS did not help to reduce temps as much as he had thought they would.
The take home message there is replacing the CPU TIM doesn't really provide any benefit. Reducing the gap between the CPU and the IHS does. And removing the IHS entirely doesn't really provide much benefit either.
And that stands to reason. The heat is going to flow through the copper of the IHS the same as it does through the copper of the H100 waterblock.
But if there is a thick pad of thermal paste in the way, as was the case with my 3770k at time of purchase, then it doesn't really matter how good the TIM itself is (unless it too is made of metal) because the mere presence of that thick pad of thermal paste becomes the weakest link in the thermal conductivity equation.
Once you eliminate the bottleneck that is the gap between the IHS and the CPU, or if you happen to end up with an Ivy Bridge CPU which doesn't have much of a gap to begin with (Yuriman ), then you have pretty much optimized the system at that point regardless which CPU TIM of choice you employ and regardless whether or not you leave the IHS in place.
Now the choice of CPU TIM still plays a role in terms of the robustness in maintaining those nice low temperatures. If the so-called "pump out" effect is real then we can expect it to bite us unless we choose a substitute CPU TIM that is designed to avoid such thermo-mechanical effects.
I haven't really got into testing that part out yet, but I expect IC Diamond and the metal TIMs like Liquid Ultra to be key there.
_________________________________Edited by PCWargamer - 10/7/12 at 11:41pm