Delid My CPU


I have a wide gamut of stupid things I’ve done with computer bits. It’s a broad collection of stuff that on retrospect can only be best described using the word ‘stupid’. Not to be deterred by evidence, or learning or prolonged self-awareness, I’m now thinking of 'delid’ing my i5 4690K and trying to fix it.

A ‘delid’ is where you crack open the CPU into two bits, the Integrated Heat Spreader (IHS - the metal block that you think is your CPU) and the underlying gubbins of the actual chip. Hopefully you end up with two bits and not several more, as Intel glues the IHS on pretty tight.

This is done so that you can scrape off all the old, cheap and dry thermal paste that Intel spent over 3 cents on your $300 chip on and radically increase the cooling ability. Typically we’re talking about 10-20C delta difference here, especially if you use a liquid metal rather than crappy paste.

So why do this, it sounds incredibly error prone? The reason is my i5 seems to be dying. For the longest time I could happily run it at 4.5GHz and it did a great job, so good in fact that I didn’t really have to upgrade as soon as I thought I would. So many sims seem bottlenecked around single core speed that I was in a good place for a while.

Recently though it’s started to heat up, in that previously under full load it wouldn’t even bother with 60C, while now it has started to creep up to 80C. I’ve also had a few thermal shutdowns, that I thought was my water cooler block pump stopping (but wasn’t, it’s fine). It has now got to the state that I’ve had to run it at stock 3.9GHz (the horror!) and it still gets too hot under load. The stability side is what gets me too, as I don’t really trust it to run solidly.

So my choices are to (a) buy something else or (b) try this first, hence the scaling back of how daft this is. I don’t have a lot to lose.

To delid I’m thinking of these two things:

  1. A vice to crack open the chip (I’ve forewarned this is stupid, right?):
  1. Some liquid metal

Believe me, I already have the 99% Alcohol. :slight_smile:

They’ll take a bit to arrive, so I thought I’d journal this here. If anyone has any advice apart from ‘STOP’ and has done this before then let me know.

If you’re curious, here’s some steps on what is involved:


Haven’t done it before, but is it an i5 6600k Skylake? Couldn’t you score a replacement CPU for a decent price?

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Wait, what?

Are you talking about removing the heat sink (ie: thermal fins and fans and such) or cracking the chip literally in two along the horizontal?

Ok wait. I looked at the Toms Hardware link and it’s taking the ‘shell’ off the top. So maybe not that crazy. I was thinking back to those Pentium days when the chip came as a solid stone-ish block and not the modern metal cap. Carry on. :slight_smile:

Let me know how it goes. I might need to try this myself just to break it and get a new CPU (but I am trying to hold out until the next gen comes out (early 2020).

EDIT: I should try overclocking first. I’ve never bothered before.

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I say go for it! You don’t have much to lose, and like Franze said - can possibly get a replacement used one for a reasonable price. If it works you stand to save at least a few hundred bucks.

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Is that legal in Canada? Or is that a procedure that must be done across the border? (Somehow I doubt we are more liberal than Canada)…




I’m unplugging my internet. I’ll come back in a week and see if your house is still there.


Because the 1150 socket motherboard is pretty good, and has lots of DDR3 RAM etc, then if this goes completely breasts up then I’ll probably do that, just to reclaim the hardware and donate forward. I think my daughter is next in-line for ‘Dad Buys Too Much Stuff’ PC upgrade, so she’ll be happy.

My plan is for either an i5 9600K overclocked to an inch of its poor life, or the i9 9900K route. It’s all expensive because I’ll need a Z390, 32GB etc etc at the same time. I like to squeeze the value and be a bit behind the ‘top dollar’ curve for stuff, so not sure as yet. Perhaps subconsciously I’ll squirt liquid metal all over the exposed die and it’ll make my mind up for me. :slight_smile:


The Geneva Convention doesn’t apply to the Haswell series, so I don’t have to black op this one - I can use the vice until it pops.

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Ah…someone with my affliction.

“Well…were a good ole’ try…but my knuckles are bleeding and I think I’d be better off having the Amazon drone drop me off a new one…”


My gif barrage should kill that damn i5 dead…!



You should. I was going to say I would be very happy to help as done lots of that, but I’m posting in a topic mainly about my CPU slowly dying, so make of that what you will. :wink:


Alright. I have that exact CPU in an ASUS Z97-A motherboard. If you don’t mind me sidetracking you for a little bit whilst you order those parts, what are your overclock settings? (I have a Corsair H90i liquid cooler )

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I always knew/suspected that overclocking would shorten its life but it’s high time to make it more useful as it is :slight_smile:




Ah…remember these performance gains back in the day (2008)?



Here’s my bill from Canada Computers:
Asus ROG Maximum Formula XI Z390 - $579.00
Three Year Direct Replacement Warranty - $86.85
I9-9900K - $709.00
Warranty 3yr - $106.35
Corsair Vengeance RBG Pro 16GB (2x8GB) - $189.99 (I bought two of those kits so double it)

Subtotal: $1861.18 plus Sales tax (13% here in Ontario)
Total was $2103.13 CAD @ Canada Computers

I picked that motherboard specifically for it’s massive USB (most simply don’t have enough on the back panel even with case/front panel connections for me) port count and that it can take two M.2 socket drives without killing off your a couple SATA ports or losing some PCIE slots/lanes.


What’s that in Metric?


The K version of the chip makes it pretty easy to try, without having to change lots of settings, as your CPU is ‘unlocked’.

You effectively just want to alter the ‘CPU Core Ratio’ (often called a ‘Multiplier’) as the ASUS bios calls it. The ‘Ai Tweaker’ tab will have everything left at Auto, ‘Sync All Cores’ and up the ratio to something like 43 to start with. The voltages will auto adjust and you monitor temps. When happy under load, you up the multiplier some more until unhappy. :slight_smile:

Beyond just the multiplier there’s a whole bunch of things to make it more ‘solid’ in terms of Vdrop, Vcore, but a 1150 bios like that should be good just for some light experimenting first.

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Yes, Money is base 10.
The US uses Metric based money too. It’s the beginning of the Metric hostile takeover.
It has begun…


Ok. BIOS updates tomorrow, then AI Suite install. I do have an M.2 drive inbound for tomorrow (X-Plane was much too slow on my HDD so it goes to my STAT SSD and DCS goes to my new M.2).

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I voted to REMAIN. I don’t know what that means. But I filled it out and sent it to the UK because I think that meant I could keep miles per hour. Right on.