AMD Ryzen 7 CPU Delidded – What’s Underneath?
Samuel Wan / 12 months ago
Since the adoption of the Integrated Heat Spreader, the CPU die had always been soldered to its protective cover. This changed when Intel introduced the use of thermal paste in lieu of solder, citing concerns about cracking. AMD however, has generally stuck to the use of solder, especially for their pure CPU lineup. For Ryzen, the logical move would be to keep using solder for their CPUs. Luckily for us, overclocker der8auer has posted a video showing his delidding efforts.
As expected of an enthusiast class CPU, the Ryzen 7 1700 features relatively expensive Indium solder. This is attached to the IHS using a gold plate and comes in 2 half sized squares. Around the CPU die itself we can see some resistors and capacitors, some of which are quite close to the edge. Since the IHS is attached via epoxy, cutting the IHS is a risky business and der8auer destroyed two chips in his previous attempts. All of these challenges are before the fact that you need to heat the IHS up to about 150~170 C to weaken the solder.
Given the challenges of delidding Ryzen, only the bravest enthusiasts should attempt it. The fact that it is soldered means there won’t be any noticeable cooling benefits. This is unlike with Intel CPUs where delidded chips with better thermal paste often save multiple degrees off their peak temperatures. The only reason to do so is really for bragging rights.
Finally, the fact that AMD has chosen to use solder even for their 14nm products shows that solder is still viable. Intel claimed that due to the small size of CPUs at 22nm and below meant solder could crack after extended heating/cooling cycles. Since AMD has still managed to use solder on smaller dies on 14nm should make us question Intel’s claim. The use of 2 smaller rectangles, likely meant for the half size 4 core CCX Ryzen 3/5 means those chips will be soldered as well. It seems like Intel should rethink their strategy to solder their 4 core mainstream lineup and stop trying to cheap out.