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1.4 Heatsink

Lapping the processor heatsink is the process of creating a super flat, smooth surface that will enhance heat exchange and increase the heatsink's overall efficiency.

You can also find a guide with pictures here. Skip down about half way to "Tools to be used".

This is accomplished by sanding the mating surface of the heatsink (and/or the processor core itself) until it has a perfectly flat, smooth surface. Most heatsinks are not perfectly flat which will cause small air gaps between the processor core and the heatsink. This reduces the heatsink's ability to transfer heat away from the processor core.

Use waterproof sandpaper (sometimes called wet or dry) Use lots of water, the water flushes the metal particles away, keeps the sandpaper clog free.

All that is required is a flat surface (glass table works nicely), 400 and 600 grit sand paper to start, and some elbow grease. Lay the 400 grit sandpaper, grit side up, onto your work surface (glass table).

Using only the weight of the heatsink, begin sanding the mating surface of the 'sink in a "figure eight" motion. Rotate the heatsink every so often to avoid sanding in the same direction too much. Do this until a uniform reflective surface is achieved. Repeat Using finer grit sandpaper will help improve heat transfer: 1500 is certainly fine enough, but since you need to get such fine grades at an automobile parts store (it is used for finishing automobile paintwork), you might as well get a sheet each of 600, 800, 1000, 1500, and 2000, an aluminum heatsink should have almost a mirror finish.

Each time you change to a finer grit, carefully wash the work surface, your hands, the heatsink, and the sandpaper. Any larger grit left when you start with a finer grade will leave visible scratches.

After the heatsink is lapped and cleaned, install in the usual way with thermal compound (Arctic Silver). Depending how flat the surface of the heatsink was to begin with, there should now be a reduction in CPU temperature.

by FastEddie See Profile
last modified: 2004-02-07 13:53:53

See the Thermal Compound Review for a hands on test between the following thermal compounds :

-Artic Silver 2
-Evercool 350 Silicone
-Artic Silver 3
-Artic Alumina
-Nanotherm BlueII
-Nanotherm XTC


by FastEddie See Profile
last modified: 2004-02-07 13:57:08

A Peltier cooler is also known as a thermoelectric (TE) modules, which are small solid-state devices that function as heat pumps. Which means it will pump the heat from one side the other. This means that a Peltier element has a hot side and a cool side. To do this, the Peltier element uses electricity and quite a lot. This also means that in addition to pumping heat, the Peltier element will actually produce heat, the system will run hotter, but the Peltier element will cool were it is needed - on the CPU.

The temperature difference between the hot and the cold side is of about 70 degrees, with some high performance Peltiers reaching up to 120 degrees.

A good Peltier will cool significantly better than conventional heatsinks, making them better suited for overclocking. It is important to note that the heatsink of a Peltier cooler will get hotter than the heatsink of a conventional cooler, because of the heat the Peltier element produces.

Keep in mind that for the best cooling, the heatsink for a Peltier CPU cooler must handle THREE times as much heat as the CPU produces.

by FastEddie See Profile
last modified: 2004-02-07 13:53:30

A heatsink and fan or HSF is used to cool various components in a computer, which can include the CPU, Northbridge chipset, video card chipset, and a few others.

The heatsink is usually made out of some sort of metal, the most popular being Copper and Aluminum. The fan refers to the fan that is attached to the top of the heatsink.

by BrushedTooth See Profile edited by FastEddie See Profile
last modified: 2004-02-07 13:53:13

A thermal pad is often times already attached to a heatsink, and covered with a piece of plastic. It is used to help transfer the heat from the core of the CPU to the heatsink.

Thermal paste is usually a substance that is self applied, and it much more efficient at transferring heat between the CPU core, and the heatsink. An example of such a product is Arctic Silver II, for directions on applying follow the link to ArticSilver web site in the recommended links section.

by BrushedTooth See Profile edited by FastEddie See Profile
last modified: 2004-02-07 13:52:36

The amount you can overclock is realative to the Temp. of the CPU and case. Hence the cooler you are the better your can O/C, and the safer it is. Anytime you're going to O/C a computer you should make sure to have a good HSF combo on that CPU so you dont fry it. Case ventilation is equally important. If your case Temp is hot no matter what HSF you have you cpu will be hot. I recomend at least one intake fan and one exhuast fan, but 2 of each is much better and the norm for most O/Cer's.

by rbnice1 See Profile edited by FastEddie See Profile
last modified: 2004-02-07 13:52:51

Thermal grease, compound or paste is a substance that promotes the conduction of heat between two surfaces by filling in small imperfections in the materials that would otherwise create an air gap. It is not nearly as effective as touching metal to metal, but is a better heat conductor than air. You only need to use a very thin film to fill in the small gaps.

To apply thermal paste clean the CPU and HSF with alcohol (Isopropyl,the main ingredient in rubbing alcohol) and let dry. Put a very small amount of compound on the CPU die and spread it so there is a very thin and even film on the CPU. Do not put it anywhere that the CPU does not touch the HSF directly. You can use your finger, but it's better to use something that will not contaminate the compound with oils from the skin of your finger tips. A credit card or razor blade is a better.

Also look under the "Recommended Links" for the "How to Apply Arctic Silver" link.

by FastEddie See Profile
last modified: 2004-02-07 13:52:18

We recently polled the OC'ers to see what heatsink they preferred and you can find the results Here


by FastEddie See Profile
last modified: 2004-02-07 13:50:58

We recently took a Poll of the OC'ers in the BBR forum to see what they thought was the best Thermal Compound to use with their heatsink. You can see the results Here


by FastEddie See Profile
last modified: 2004-02-07 13:51:28