Originally Posted by Belial
OP, please disregard the TON of bad advice and misinformation in here (Bruennis is a lone voice of reason here, and a few good anecdotal reports in here). There are people in here that are straight making stuff up.
LQ-315 and NH-D14 would perform about identically to your CNPS12X. It will perform the same as any other high-end air heatsink (maybe a bit less, the nh-d14 and cnps12x is on the weaker side of high end air) and larger 120mm like the LQ-315. Anyone telling you to replace your CNPS12X with a D14 or LQ-315 just has zero clue what they are talking about, they perform nearly the same.
There is no difference in AIO and air cooling, they are essentially the same. A 'fat' closed loop like the LQ-315 is going to perform the same as your mid-upper heatsinks. Only the very biggest AIO's, 240mm rads, will beat the best air, but otherwise they perform very similarly. They are much more in common with air than real, custom water loops.
Coollaboratory Liquid Ultra is not some 'phase change' special stuff, it's just gallium and a few other ingredients that conduct heat very well and have the consistency more like mercury than a traditional 'ceramique' which is your grey pasties. It's an extreme TIM that has extreme performance, and it's a very good value in the sense that you usually have to pay $20+ for a 1-3C temp drop but CLU is generally responsible for 5-15C temp drops. The cheapest place right now to buy it, is from an Ebayer in Germany (google CLU, make sure to include international results which may be off by default), for ~$18 shipped.
You have to understand, there are basically 3 types of air coolers - low end (hyper 212), mid-range (Archon, Haviks, Megahalems), and high end (CNPS12x, NH-D14, CNPS14X, Phanteks, Assassin), with about 1-5C variance in each range, ie basically identical coolers. AIOs like a LQ-315, while great, will perform just the same as mid-range air. It would be a sidegrade. Something like the H220 blows all air coolers away, a good 20C+ better, because it's literally a custom water kit (as you'd expect from something 3x the price). People would not be buying the H220 if it was only a 5C difference than a mid-upper air cooler...
And don't lap your Ivy. Lapping produces zero gain anymore, it only mattered back in the days of the TRUE-120 when heatsinks were extremely unpolished. As for the gaps in the heatpipes, don't worry about them either. The proper way to apply thermal paste to a HDT cooler like you have, is a tiny dot on each of the heatpipes, the tiniest of dabs (not even 1/2 a ricegrain).
It's very possible. I don't know why people insist on delidding with the wrong tools and then come crying about their delid didn't work and how dangerous it is. You need to use a razor
blade, not a hockey stick.
I'm 99% certain your problem is from your TIM application.
Do... not twist the tim. That's an awful idea. Just mount the heatsink straight on. And if there is 'excess TIM' that can 'push out', that means you are using WAY too much tim.
This is what proper TIM looks like:
For your cooler, you basically want to divide the amount used above into 1/6ths and dab it on each pipe. The gaps should not be filled at all.