Surface Mapped Athlon - Is Lapping Required?
Now tell me, what do you see in the blob of thermal goo? A tree? A
forest? A problem?
When we got our
Athlon 550Mhz, the first thing we did was to rip off the heatsink and take a
look under the hood. Right off the bat we noticed a few checks
against good processor-to-heatsink thermal transfer. Not good.
points for improvement became obvious as we looked
- Unflat processor
- Surplus amount
of thermal goo
heatsink edges interfere with proper contact
heatsink design limits useful surface area
for heat transfer
|This image map illustrates problems surrounding flatness
with the mounting
Surface Flatness of Processor Plate :
Considering that the
resting overtop the CPU die and L2 cache is the main place most of us
will attach a heatsink - regardless of whether or not the Athlon has been cracked
open to attach a GFD device - we decided to take
a very close look at it. This plate has
been termed the 'processor heatspreader', and is the main interface for many
types of Athlon heatsinks. With that in mind, the importance of this
plate in transferring as much of the heat generated by the CPU as possible cannot
be under emphasized - especially for the overclocker.
Likewise if liquid cooling is being used (such as the MC2000
cold plate, or a Senfu variation) the cold plate should make perfect
contact with the entire aluminum plate. Poor contact simply means the investment in the
cooling device is being wasted - a bit
With the goo wiped
off we just looked at the plate first of all.
Visually it appeared to be very flat, with a smooth surface, but
the eyes couldn't tell us the micrometer would...