Intel Core i9-9900K Delidded and Soldered
Samuel Wan / 6 months ago
Intel Core i9-9900K Shows Return to Solder
Back in 2012, Intel started a love affair with thermal paste. After a long-standing relationship with solder, the chip giant changed things up for Ivy Bridge. Since the start of the 22nm process, the use of thermal paste has been the bane of enthusiasts. For the upcoming 9th generation, Intel is finally backtracking with some solder returning. This past weekend, we got our first look at what the STIM looks like.
For the new solder, Intel is calling it STIM or Soldered Thermal Interface Material. Replacing the plain old paste with STIM means the end of delidding. Delidding allowed direct to metal cooling at a risk of damage to the chip. For the new Core i9-9900K, the STIM is evident. After delidding, there appears to be some damage to the chip which is usual for solder. While delidding is dead, there really isn’t a need for it anymore.
Core i5 9600K Will Also Feature STIM
According to the guys at XFastest who delidded the chip, STIM isn’t just limited to the i9 9900K. In fact, both the i7 9700K and i5 9600K will feature STIM. This is news as Intel said the 9th generation, in general, would get STIM. It was unclear if only the top end 8 core models would return to solder or would the 6 core i5 get it as well. For now, it looks like the Core i3 is out of luck. This may be a shame since the quad cores are still quite competitive and nice.
With a return to STIM, users should expect to see higher overclocks without having to delid. In many cases, the recent generations of Intel CPUs have been more thermally limited in their overclocks than anything else. When Intel moved to thermal paste, the claim was that the die sizes were too small. With die sizes for 6 core Whiskey Lake about the same size as 4 core Ivy Bridge, it looks like market forces have forced Intel to stop skimping on TIM and finally bring back the solder.