Scalping the Core i9 14900K and replacing solder with liquid metal

Scalping the Core i9-14900K and replacing solder with liquid metal reduced heating by 12 degrees

Processor manufacturers typically strive to ensure that their products operate reliably within the approved temperature and frequency range. However, enthusiasts who want to improve their performance are constantly looking for ways to improve cooling efficiency. In a recent experiment, the Intel Core i9-14900K processor was replaced with the stock thermal interface under the cover, which showed a 12 degree temperature drop under load.

    Image source: Der8auer, YouTube

Image source: Der8auer, YouTube

Traditional, relevant experience led by German enthusiast Roman Hartung, also known under the pseudonym Der8auer. As always, the logic of action was simple: improving the properties of the thermal interface in the heat transfer chain is intended to accelerate heat dissipation and ensure more comfortable operation of the processor during increased loads, such as overclocking. However, for those who want to repeat this experience, it is important to understand that the necessary removal of the cover from the processor is associated with a high probability of irreparable damage.

The Der8auer cover was removed from the latest Intel Core i9-14900K processor from the recently introduced Raptor Lake Refresh family using a prototype of a special device, since without such equipment there is a high risk of damage to the processor. Under the cover, the manufacturer traditionally uses so-called solder in the latest generations of Intel processors – a thermal interface that holds the cover quite firmly on the chip. As Der8auer found after carrying out appropriate measurements, the gap between the processor crystal and the inner surface of the cover in processors of this series is no more than 0.3 mm, which facilitates the application of an alternative thermal interface of the “liquid metal”. type, since it is not necessary to artificially reduce this gap, for example by removing a metal layer from the mounting surface of the heat spreader cover.

The first phase of testing the Core i9-14900K processor with an alternative thermal interface under the cover was carried out by a German enthusiast with a standard LGA1700 mount without using a clamping frame, which did not ensure the optimal pressing force of the base of the cooling system to the processor cover and the best contact between them. But even under these conditions, the productive processor cores showed a temperature drop of 10 degrees Celsius under load. At the same time, the economical cores reduced their temperature by 8 degrees Celsius. Condaconaut Extreme from Thermal Grizzly was used as the thermal interface.

By installing a pressure frame, the average temperature under load was reduced by almost two more degrees Celsius. The Core i9-14900K chip worked at a frequency of 5.6 GHz at a voltage of 1.39 V. Obviously, for most users, such a temperature increase (12 degrees) under normal load conditions does not justify the risks associated with removing the The processor is connected to the cover, as such manipulations obviously void the warranty claim. Nevertheless, it is useful to examine such data as part of an experiment in order to understand the thermodynamic processes that occur in modern computer systems. The standard Intel thermal interface showed average efficiency in this case, as expected.

About the author

Dylan Harris

Dylan Harris is fascinated by tests and reviews of computer hardware.

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