Intel Skylake-X, Kaby Lake-X CPUs Stick With TIM, Shun Solder

/ 6 years ago

Intel Skylake-X TIM

Last week, Intel released their long awaited Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X processors. Moving past the 10 core of Broadwell-E, the new HEDT platform features up 18 cores and 36 threads. Despite the high cost of some of these processors, Intel has decided to continue with a controversial practice. Even on this super high-end enthusiast lineup, the chip giant has decided to use plain old TIM instead of solder.

Intel first experimented with TIM or thermal paste back with Ivy Bridge. Due to a poor factory application and the properties of TIM, the CPUs can run into temperature problems when overclocking. Intel claimed that solder was no longer feasible due to the smaller dies and process. It didn’t hurt that using TIM saved some manufacturing cost per chip. The warning came with Broadwell-E which featured TIM. With even the 18 core giant featuring TIM, the days of solder at Intel are at an end.

The use of TIM has led many overclockers to delid their CPUs. In some cases, temperatures can drop by as much as 21C. With so many cores under the hood, delidding an i9-7980XE is sure to allow higher overclocks. With $1999 on the line, however, and the risk associated with delidding, users may have to live with a handicapped CPU. As a consolation, the company has reworked their TIM over time as well as tweaking the application.

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