As many of you probably know, the Kaby Lake line of CPUs (7700k in this case) have issues of running a little warm. This is a known issue for Intel, but if you read the countless pages of forums on this subject, the response from themis basically “eat sh*t and die”. Or they tell you to stop overclocking… What’s the point of purchasing an unlocked CPU if the manufacturer tells you not to use it for that purpose?! So, if you’re sick of random temp spikes when opening a browser, running hot, and the case fan ramp ups that go along with it all, take it upon yourself and try de-lidding!
It may seem like a daunting task at first: Voiding your warranty and potentially destroying your $300+ CPU by using an electrically conductive thermal paste/grease. Have no fear, the rockit cool de-lidding tool will save your butt!
DISCLAIMER: THIS IS NOT A HOW TO GUIDE! I AM SIMPLY SHARING MY OVERALL PLEASANT EXPERIENCE. MYSELF AND THE REST OF THE MN218 CREW ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE IF YOU SCREW UP ON YOUR DE-LIDDING!! LOOK TO THE MANY DIY GUIDES ONLINE FOR A MORE IN-DEPTH PROCEDURE.
Now on to the good stuff!
Items I used:
Rockit Cool de-lid tool & Re-lid tool
-Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut thermal grease
-GELID GC Extreme Thermal Paste
-Loctite Gel Control Super Glue
-Arctic Clean 2 Step Thermal Paste Surface Cleaner/Purifier
-70% Isopropyl alcohol
-Clear nail polish (Yes, the cashier at Walgreen’s gave me a very odd look when I was checking out…)
-Lots of Q-tips
-Angled makeup brush (worked very well for controlling the liquid metal thermal grease)
-Latex gloves to keep your hand’s oils off of the sensitive electronics
Before I show some of the steps I went through, I’m going to suggest you use a better lit (420 blaze it) work area than I did! I kept having to use my phone’s flashlight which timed out at the most inopportune times…
I’m going to assume you already know how to get to the point where I’m starting off at, which is setting up the de-lidding tool.
Simply line up the arrow on your CPU with the arrow engraved onto the tool and drop it in! Easy as pie!
Sidenote, if you happen to get the tool set I used, it comes with a neat bag 😀
Moving on… After you set the CPU into the engraved half of the holder, set the other half on top and thread in the 3 thumb screws. You don’t need to go very tight with these, just enough to be snug.
Once that’s done, screw in the allen head bolt by hand until you feel some tension. Start threading it in now with the provided allen key until you hear/feel a “POP”, and then back the bolt off to relieve any tension. Voila! Your IHS is now free from your die-set!
Once you remove your IHS, you’ll want to remove all of the original black glue that you can, from both the die and the heat spreader. Note that there will be a slight stain from the glue on the die, which there really isn’t anything you can do about.
About half way clean…
Here it is all nice and clean:
I forgot to take a picture of the Conductonaut after I applied it… So here’s a picture I found which looks just like it. The light makes it look very rough, but it was as smooth as glass!
After you apply your thermal paste, re-lidding is just as easy as the de-lidding was. Simply keep your die in the original half portion of the de-lid tool and assemble it together with the re-lidding tool, as shown below.
Just insert the thumb screws, just snugly again, and tighten down the main bolt to apply minimal pressure on the IHS. Plop a dab of the loctite super glue in each of the 4 corners and let it sit for an hour or 2!
Your CPU is now de-lidded, re-lidded, and ready to rock ‘n’ roll! I can say that, having only done this a few hours ago and being on my PC minimally, there is already a big difference. There is no noticeable temp spike when I open Chrome, and at idle the CPU is running around 25-27°C. Before it was in the mid 30s+. The real test is when I game so I may give an update after a few weeks of clan gaming to give my full thoughts on the outcome, but I’m confident it was well worth the 75 bucks or so I spent on materials!
PS: I am in no way endorsed or paid by Rockit Cool, I just included the name in this writeup because it was a great specialized tool and it made this a very simple operation. There are several more tools out there like it, but I chose this one. Make your own decision, or use a hammer and vise 😉
UPDATE as of 9/12/17:
I can confidently say that this process has worked wonders for my CPU and gaming experience as a whole. My processor is still idling at 26°C and even under intense gaming, I have not seen it spike above 43°C, which I am quite pleased with. Not just for the lower temps, but also the lower fan speeds. I remember before going through with this de-lidding I was annoyed by the high noise level of my fans because they were basically spinning at 100% capacity. I know I could have changed the fan profiles, but that wouldn’t have solved the root problem. After this process, my fans, even during heavy gaming seshes, don’t ever go above a mid-range speed (roughly around 1000 RPM). I am completely for this process and completely satisfied with my personal results!