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Processor Heat Sink Repair/fine tuning

Discussion in 'AMD Thunderbird' started by Guest, Jan 17, 2004.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    This may be useful or informative to those of you who install Heat Sinks and
    Fans on your processor on the motherboard.

    Recently I built a new AMD-based computer.
    When putting on the new heatsink, I decided to take a few hours trying
    different heat sinks & fan combinations, to see what difference in
    temperature was reported.

    I took off a 'Cooler One' HSF from my old XP 1700+, and looked at the copper
    where it contacted the processor.
    Nicely polished, but kind of uneven - not flat. Hadn't looked this close
    when I installed it.
    After hand-machining with a good flat file, I had removed the waves from the
    Installing it, I achieved a temperature reduction of 5 deg. C.

    Looking at the bottom of a couple of other aluminum HS, I found they were
    not very flat, either. In this case they were all concave, i.e., the center
    was deeper/closer to the fan than the edges.
    I corrected this on one other HS as well. Cooler by 3 deg. C.
    I was pleased by these results, but disappointed by the quality of the heat
    sinks I had.

    I believe the thermal pad is designed to compensate for the uneven contact
    on the processor.
    This way, the HS can be made faster/cheaper.

    In my experience in utilizing a file for this purpose, I must practice a
    process of slowly and carefully removing the material.
    This means filing across the HS from different directions, with a fine(not
    coarse) flat file that is in very good condition. And often rotating the
    file to the other side, and cleaning the file frequently with a file card or
    wire brush. Material embedded in the file will scratch the surface that is
    being filed.
    The cutting action occurs when it is pushing away, due to the design.
    Pulling back can have a polishing action, but that's during the final
    Other techniques exist... your experience may vary.

    I am not recommending anyone do this work as I have described above.
    Only reporting my experience - FYI. This is my hold-harmless statement.

    If you do choose to do this, please post with your results. Good luck to

    Best Regards,
    Guest, Jan 17, 2004
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  2. Guest

    Arthur Buse Guest

    Here are some web pages about flattening (also called lapping)




    As you say, working on the heatseak risks making it worse. The really
    scary thing is flattening the CPU...


    Arthur Buse, Jan 17, 2004
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