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IBM's research on thermal paste application

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Anyone get Maximum PC Magazine? This is on page 9 of the June issue. I searched the website to see if I could provide a link but, as part of the “quick start†section, it is not coming up. I thought this was interesting enough to share:

Quote:
X Marks the Warmth

Betcha didn’t know this: When you spread thermal paste across a CPU – even a fancy name-brand paste – you lose about 40% of the CPU’s cooling efficiency to the ceramic or metal particles that make up the thermal compound. And according to IBM, the CPU’s thermal budget is further depleted by the peculiarity of the paste’s flow behavior.

Researchers at the computing behemoth noticed that as a CPU heats up, paste particles bunch together along the diagonals of the chip, forming an X pattern of sorts. Obviously, this runs counter to the “spread evenly†recommendation we give for thermal-paste application.

To address the issue, IBM has designed a trench-like, microscopic irrigation system for CPUs. This lowers paste thickness, reduces the pressure between the CPU and the cooling unit, and ultimately doubles a chip’s cooling efficiency. The only downside? There’s no ETA for this technology to hit consumer chips.
Again, as a sidebar in the magazine, this snip-it of information didn’t come up at the website to provide a link. If anyone can corroborate that I’m not making all this up, please do so. Thanks!
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post #2 of 17
Wow, so what does it suggest we do?
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post #3 of 17
yes i too, have read this. they basically make the surface of the cpu look something like this:

|XXXXXXXXXXX|
|XXXXXXXXXXX|
|XXXXXXXXXXX|
|XXXXXXXXXXX|
|XXXXXXXXXXX|
|XXXXXXXXXXX|

so that the X's are connected and straight lines. this allows the thermal paste to move across the groves and spread evenly. supposedly.
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post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by prosser13 View Post
Wow, so what does it suggest we do?
Yeah, funny thing...it doesn't. It's almost like a slap in the face, saying "there's a better structure, but you can't have it."
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post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by jstupiansky View Post
Yeah, funny thing...it doesn't. It's almost like a slap in the face, saying "there's a better structure, but you can't have it."
actually, after reading this, it gave me a thought and ive tried some intersting things. like lapping my cpu diagnal to diagnal. thus, making that X structure the IBM says is so effective. i dont know if it did anything but hey, maybe it did.
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post #6 of 17
How about we get a razor and do it ourselves?
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post #7 of 17
Hunh...well I guess you could lap perfect and use no paste...
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post #8 of 17
How much of their research is based on an unlapped cpu/heatsink setup? How much would lapping change the spread of the paste?
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post #9 of 17
Well if they used perfectly flat surfaces, maybe we wouldn't need x patterns (AKA air traps) ...lol
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post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kriegen View Post
How much of their research is based on an unlapped cpu/heatsink setup? How much would lapping change the spread of the paste?
No details as such in the mag. What you see in the first post is the full write-up. I guess we'll have to "stay tuned" for more info...but I'm not losing any sleep over it.
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