Caution: this post is not for the feint of heart. I voided another warrantee today. The victim:
That's right the heart of the rig: the Haswell CPU. After reading about the various accounts of modders delidding their CPU (i.e. remove the metal heat lid on top to expose the bare silicon chip underneath), I thought it was way too cool to pass up a chance to have a go at it. There are two methods out there to do this: One uses a razor to slowly and gently pry under the top to cut the glue holding it. The second just uses a hammer ... oh yeah that's the way to go!
First your start with a vice which I happen to have in the shop.
Next I turned the CPU upside down and clamp it in by just the metal heat spreader on top.
Next get out your favorite block of wood and hammer.
Finally, put edge of wood up against the CPU PCB board and hit the other end with the hammer. I don't have a photo of this step, but I can say the top loosened up in just two blows. It didn't fly off, rather just became loose and I gently pulled it apart with my hands.
After that, I took the majority of the glue off (the black stuff) using my exacto-knife.
I brought it back into my office and cleaned it up the rest of the way.
I'm going to use Coollaboratory Liquid Ultra (CLU) as the new paste. But, because that can conduct electricity and I don't want to short out the small devices to the left of the chip itself, I first covered those using Prolimatech PK-3 thermal paste. PK-3 doesn't conduct electricity and will protect those tiny devices in case the CLU tries to find it's way in that direction.
I next put on the CLU using the small brush it comes with. Just did a thin layer on both the chip and the heat spreader.
All that is left is putting the CPU back on the mother board, put on the heat spreader, and clamp it down.
I threw the stock cooler back on top for now. Holding my breath, I plugged it in and turned it on. I'm happy to report the patient survived the surgery and posted up to the bios setup page. At this time I can't comment on any before/after temperatures as I'm going to wait until I get the water cooling done to really put it through the paces.
All in all, wasn't really hard to do ... once you get past the nervousness on potentially losing a few hundred that is.
BTW: There are youtube videos showing this process as well. Here's a nice short one.