Protect the core of a naked CPU !

Howto by piotke @ 2006-06-28

With the growing popularity of Intel mobile processors on desktop boards more and more people buy them. But these chips have an unprotected core. Installing a special cooler brings the risk of destroying the core. We’ll be taking a look on how to protect the fragile core.
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Protections & Conclusion

What options do we have ?

  • Be a man and don’t use protection. As with other things that need protection you can be lucky. One wrong movement and you’re fucked. ;-)

  • The easiest solution is to find a heatspreader. From an old Pentium 3 or 4. These heatspreaders are generally easy to remove. The advantage is the easiness of installation. Just put it on the core with the needed thermal paste and you’re done.
    The disadvantage is that these things are not so easy to find. Besides that they also bloc the heat transfer slightly….

  • In the Athlon XP era there were copper shims. These copper plates could be placed on the chips’ PCB. But they did not cover the core. The borders were protected. Something like this would be perfect. But you need to be handy to be able to make this. It must me very precise and most important not to thick. Otherwise the cooler will not make, decent, contact with the core.

    Madshrimps (c)
    Picture courtesy of Legit Reviews.

  • There are more options to protect the core, but most of them are deviated of those mentioned.

  • Something like the shim is quite easy to make and will cost you virtually nothing. Lets start.

    Home made shim

    The tools we need:

  • Tape (I used the paper tape used to tape border when painting)
  • Scissors
  • The processor.

    On the left the Intel Core Duo T2600, on the right a Intel Pentium 4 MobileMadshrimps (c)

    The most important tool. Paper tape.
    Madshrimps (c)

    We start by tearing a peace of the tape. Place it next to the core. Misplaced it ? No problem this tape can be easy removed without leaving any sticky marks.

    Step 1
    Madshrimps (c)

    After that we add a part on the other side of the core. We continue doing this until we reached the height of the core. You should have something that looks like the picture below.

    Step 2
    Madshrimps (c)

    Once you think you are done you verify the height of the tape. You can use anything for that. I prefer using a razor blade. These things are perfectly straight. Or a spare processor could do the job as well.
    In the picture you can see that there’s to much tape. The cooler will support on the tape instead of the core. Just remove (or add if you’re to low) a layer of tape until both the core as the tape have the same height. It’s better to have a little bit less tape then to much.

    Step 3
    Madshrimps (c)

    Now the extra tape needs to be removed. Just flip everything and you’ll see the CPU clearly.

    Flip the cpu ..
    Madshrimps (c)

    Using scissors (or a razor or knife or …) you cut of the borders.

    Step 4
    Madshrimps (c)

    You’re finished now !

    Rear and front.
    Madshrimps (c)

    And installed it looks like this:

    Madshrimps (c)


    Just a few minutes of work could save you a lot of frustration installing your computer. This will cost you nothing.
    Keep in mind that nothing is perfect to protect the core. This will only back up some of the user created errors.

    I hope you could appreciate this little how to.

    /Piotke out

    Questions/Comments: forum thread
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    Comment from goingpostale1 @ 2006/06/28
    Maybe an MSI Mobile Pad would fit? I don't know though I haven't had the pleasure yet of working with these chips.

    Comment from Gamer @ 2006/06/28
    An IHS from an PIV works great also.
    can be used on Dothan, Yonah and Merom.
    Comment from piotke @ 2006/06/28
    That's true, but they can't be easily found. Where did you get yours ?
    Comment from Cranox @ 2006/06/29
    Some time ago someone @ XS was selling them.
    Comment from akijikan @ 2006/07/06
    thanks man...I am contemplating IHS removal on my AM2 3500, but scrapped the idea because I was too worried about crushing the core with my clip on heatsink (uneven pressure to the core would kill!) but now I might proceed with this method...I just have to shave down the cam head of the socket!
    Comment from slvrl7 @ 2006/07/06
    which will dissipate heat well
    naked core or not naked core
    Comment from jmke @ 2006/07/06
    without of course.
    Comment from slvrl7 @ 2006/07/06
    Comment from jmke @ 2006/07/07
    let common sense help you find the answer
    Comment from slvrl7 @ 2006/07/07
    yeah i got it