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IBM Doubles CPU Cooling With Simple Change

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the things-overclockers-have-known-for-years dept.

IBM 208

Ars Technica is reporting that IBM has discovered a new cooling breakthrough that, unlike several other recent announcements, should be relatively easy and cost-effective to implement. "IBM's find addresses how thermal paste is typically spread between the face of a chip and the heat spreader that sits directly over the core. Overclockers already know how crucial it is to apply thermal paste the right way: too much, and it causes heat buildup. Too little, and it causes heat buildup. It has to be "just right," which is why IBM looked to find the best way to get the gooey stuff where it needs to be and in the right amount, and to make it significantly more efficient in the process."

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IB-What? (-1, Offtopic)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 7 years ago | (#18490145)

Who caress about that shit ? We want Goatse [goatse.cx] !!!!!!

Re:IB-What? (1, Troll)

Hamilton Publius (909539) | more than 7 years ago | (#18490325)

cmdr taco knows a little bit about getting the gooey stuff right where it needs to be and in just the right amount....

And people thought they were cool polishing...... (3, Insightful)

malfunct (120790) | more than 7 years ago | (#18490151)

I find it kind of funny that after all these years of proper modders polishing the hell out of thier heatsink and spreader, along comes IBM and makes them rough and it cools better :)

That said, its probably only better in the average case but less good than the ideal case due to the fact of having less contact in the microgroove areas.

Re:And people thought they were cool polishing.... (2, Informative)

planckscale (579258) | more than 7 years ago | (#18490221)

I've read it's best not to polish but to use a very fine grain sandpaper to rough the surface up just right. And don't tell me I don't know how much paste to apply. I'm a proper paste amount applier thank you very much.

Re:And people thought they were cool polishing.... (1)

NeilTheStupidHead (963719) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491905)

I agree, I usually use 3000+ grain wet-dry automotive finishing sand paper. It works by increasing the available surface area, which increases thermal transfer. Though for most low-performance computers I build, I just use thermal tape as it's easier to clean up.

Re:And people thought they were cool polishing.... (3, Informative)

feceus (450222) | more than 7 years ago | (#18490371)

If you'd ever taken the time to actually try lapping the heatsink and heat spreaders rather than making fun, you would notice a significant drop in temperatures.

Even today with the new Core 2 Duo CPUs, the IHS have been found to be concave. Personally having lapped my CPU, the load temperatures dropped 10 C - nothing to sneeze at.

This article is more about the refinement of a technique. Notice how the article states "micrometer-length trenches", and not surfaces filled with ridges you can feel by running along it with your finger nail.

Most overclockers know that you get diminishing returns the further you polish the surfaces anyway.

cores aren't exposed anymore (3, Interesting)

Imazalil (553163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18490483)

I could be wrong, but I believe that the polishing was done back in the day when the core was exposed (back in the Athlon days) so that the heatsink would make the best contact it could with the core. The core was such a small dense area that the best contact possible was needed. Now that everyone has a spreader on their core(s) the spreader itself does most of the immediate heat relieving and the contact between the spreader and cooler is much larger. With the larger area of contact using the super polished method it is much harder to get an even 'sandwich' across the entire area of the spreader, thus the move to the rougher finish.

Did you read the article? (4, Insightful)

Fallen Kell (165468) | more than 7 years ago | (#18490599)

And if you did, you will know that the thermal paste itself is very inefficient for its thermal properties compared to the metal surface of the heatsink. What IBM has found out is a way to cheaply and quickly put a heatsink on the CPU which uses less thermal paste (1/3 less), which results in a 50% increase in cooling capability of the heatsink. What they don't tell you is that the idea way is to spread the paste using a hard straight edge with a uniform height over the cpu itself and apply an extremely smooth heatsink to this. But, this process takes too long for it to be worth it in mass production. It typically takes me 2-3 minutes to spread the thermal compound and mount the heatsink on a chip. In a production line, it needs to take 5-20 seconds.

All IBM has done is develop a better method compared to their previous less efficient method. It is still worse then someone taking the time to lap the heatsink level and smooth and properly spread the true correct amount of thermal compound on the CPU then IBM's new method. To give you an idea, IBM is still using around 10x more thermal compound then is used in hand built systems. As you saw, a 1/3 reduction resulted in 50% increase in performance. Imagine then what a 9/10 reduction would result... The compound itself has the highest/worst thermal co-efficient in the cooling system. It makes a lot of sense that getting less of it in there will increase the performance. The key to reducing this substance is having a heatsink that will fit perfectly flush with the CPU.

Re:Did you read the article? (5, Informative)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18490879)

An easy way to think about it is that the paste is better than an air gap, but worse than contact.

Exactly (1)

CasperIV (1013029) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491391)

That' is exactly right. They just made it easier to do quickly. Back in the day, I ran little Thoroughbred B core AMD's for over 3ghz; the only reason they stayed running is because of the connection between heatsink and CPU. The issue is not the amount of heat you can move from the heatsink (with newer heatsinks), but rather how fast you can move it away from the CPU. On some of my really high over clocking experiments it's not possible to even use a heatsink, but rather I need to force cool the die it's self... but that's not a problem for manufacturers yet ;)

Re:Did you read the article? (4, Interesting)

dreamlax (981973) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491441)

It typically takes me 2-3 minutes to spread the thermal compound and mount the heatsink on a chip. In a production line, it needs to take 5-20 seconds.

2 or 3 minutes? I work for Toshiba, and I fix laptops every day. It only takes me 5 seconds to apply thermal grease, if that. It is also compulsory for us to perform hardware stress testing if we change the motherboard, RAM, CPU or graphics card (if present). The report tells us how quickly the core heats up, to what temperature, how fast it cools once the CPU steps down to its slowest speed etc. Provided those figures are satisfactory, I don't have to reapply thermal grease.

Please don't think I'm calling you incompetent or anything, taking your time on this sort of thing is ideal, you don't want to over- or under-do it. I'm just used to re-greasing CPUs every day.

The way I was taught was (provided you're squeezing it out of a syringe or something) to make a Hershey (as in Hershey's Kiss). Put a Hershey of grease in the very centre of the core, and the flat surface of the heatsink will spread it across the entire core. It takes a while before you realise what is a good sized Hershey. Just about all of the time when I run the stress test on a good sized Hershey the report will return "optimal performance". I've been told by other laptop technicians that this technique is crap, but even after a year, the same grease will still return "optimal performance".

Re:Did you read the article? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18491517)

5 secondes? That's probably why my Toshiba GPU was overheating ... only going on the web and scrolling was making the laptop to crash due to overheating lol

Yeah it got repaired.... but probably by someone taking more then 5 seconds putting the heat sink on it :D

Re:Did you read the article? (2, Informative)

Chirs (87576) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491569)

High performance thermal pastes (Arctic Silver for instance) are too thick for that technique to work. You need to smear it evenly across the cpu before putting the heatsink on.

Manually applying it is not nearly as good (2, Insightful)

bigtrike (904535) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491689)

Do you really think that in 2 minutes with a razor blade that you can get a more uniform thickness than machinery which can be accurate to millionths of an inch?

Re:Did you read the article? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18491737)

A 1/3 reduction gives 50% so a 3/3 reduction should give 150%!!!!!one

Re:And people thought they were cool polishing.... (4, Informative)

thrawn_aj (1073100) | more than 7 years ago | (#18490853)

along comes IBM and makes them rough and it cools better :)
Hmm, I am not a modder, but I am a lab rat and roughening is a common technique used to increase the effective available surface area that is in contact with the heat-sink compound. This is not limited to CPU cooling and it's a little strange that it's taken so long to implement. Chemists play the same trick when they want to increase the rate of a reaction, powder up your reagents, or your catalysts. Of course, this will work only up to the point where the heat-sink particles (micron sized here I'd guess) can SEE the extra surface area. Hence, there exists a limit to how rough or how fine you want the surface beyond which range the cooling gets less efficient. A fine grit sandpaper (as a responder suggests in this thread) should be the way to go.

Re:And people thought they were cool polishing.... (2, Informative)

sdack (601542) | more than 7 years ago | (#18490941)

It is less funny when you realize that the roughness stands in a direct relationship to the size of the metal bits in the paste. If all you can get between the valleys of a roughened copper heat sink is the binding mass instead of the silver particles because their too large then you will have a rather bad heat conduction. If you however get the surface rough and the silver particles are as small as nano particles, then you might get what IBM has achieved: much more surface and lots of contact.

Excellent (1, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 7 years ago | (#18490163)

It doesn't help power consumption, but better cooling = less fans = less noise. I wish I had a server in the basement, that is if I had a basement (no, I'm not living in one).

Re:Excellent (4, Informative)

unborracho (108756) | more than 7 years ago | (#18490185)

sure, it does. Less fans = less power consumption.

Re:Excellent (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491083)

Uh? Because 1-2W/80mm fan mean so much when you got a 50W+ CPU and a 50W+ GPU in your system...

Re:Excellent (1)

Simon (S2) (600188) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491449)

Uh? Because 1-2W/80mm fan mean so much when you got a 50W+ CPU and a 50W+ GPU in your system...

That's 2%. Not much, but still...

Re:Excellent (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18491713)

Multiply that by a few [hundred] million computers and suddenly you're saving a few [hundred] MW. See also: this post [slashdot.org] .

I'll never understand why people are so quick to dismiss seemingly trivial power savings. What's trivial on the single-person level is not-so-trivial on a global level.

Re:Excellent (0, Redundant)

gweihir (88907) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491383)

sure, it does. Less fans = less power consumption.

This effect is not of any significance....

Re:Excellent (1)

unborracho (108756) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491607)

Think larger scale where there are server farms which require a ton of cooling - a 2% reduction could potentially be a huge cost savings.

Sure, you're not going to notice it on your electric bill at home...

Completely wrong! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18491645)

GP post is wrong: better cooling = less fans = less noise.
Better cooling here means a cooler CPU. But the EXACT same amount of heat (TDP) is being dissipated from it (just more efficiently). And that same amount of heat has to be pushed outside the case, so just as many fans are required to push the air in/out the case. So same noise too. Not that making quiet PCs is hard these days, the parts are all available (quiet fans, quiet PSUs, good cases, water cooling, etc) -- they're just pricey.

And your post is also wrong in a way. A couple fans make so little of a difference over the total power consumption of the whole PC, like half a percent perhaps. Nothing to make any real difference. There's many other ways to reduce power consumption which actually make a real difference. Not to mention, you still need as many fans in the first place.

Re:Excellent (1)

ajlitt (19055) | more than 7 years ago | (#18490315)

Unfortunately, it doesn't. However, lower temperatures should allow a CPU to run at the same speed at a lower voltage.

Re:Excellent (4, Informative)

Chacham (981) | more than 7 years ago | (#18490381)

It doesn't help power consumption, but better cooling = less fans = less noise.

Actually, it helps *very* much with power consumption. Usually, resistance goes up as the tempeature does. For example, this is what an incandescent bulb relies on. What this means, is that as the chip gets hotter, it will resist more, causing a need for higher output to get the same usuable energy. By cooling the chip, its resistance stays low, allowing a higher efficiency in power usuage. IOW, less heat, less energy required.

Secondly, as another commentor pointed out, there's the fans that are use to cool it down, which indirectly allows for a lower power-consumption.

Re:Excellent (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18490515)

Silicon transistors go the other way -- resistance decreases as temperature goes up.

Re:Excellent (2, Informative)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 7 years ago | (#18490577)

Actually, it helps *very* much with power consumption. Usually, resistance goes up as the tempeature does. For example, this is what an incandescent bulb relies on.

IIRC, semiconductors don't work that way; Their resistance tends to decrease with increasing temperature.

Re:Excellent (1)

Marillion (33728) | more than 7 years ago | (#18490765)

Except that as resistance goes up, wattage goes down. the light bulb achieves a point of equalibrium. The filament heats up, the resistance increases. If the filament slightly overheats, the drop in power causes the filament to cool off slightly and lowers the resistance and draws more current which will then heat it up to compensate. A lightbulb is continously and chaotically but imperceptably changing intensity.

Re:Excellent (1)

Dare nMc (468959) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491829)

Power = (V^2)/R
so correct incandescent bulb, gets hot, resistance goes up, less power consumed (at constant voltage).

is that as the chip gets hotter, it will resist more, causing a need for higher output

    ok, you got lucky ;) since semiconductors act the opposite of purly resisitive your correct. hotter they get the more they conduct (lower resistance), and the hotter they get... until chip protection kicks in and lower the clock rate, or whatever.

Good, it was the worse part! (4, Insightful)

moore.dustin (942289) | more than 7 years ago | (#18490187)

Everything about putting together a new computer, or installing a new chip set is pretty straight-forward, except for the thermal paste. While nothing is to complicated, it is the only factor that is not clearly right or wrong depending on how you do it. Couple that with it being the hardest thing to reach in/on the computer, I am glad to see some changes are being made. It would be nice to simplify the process down to be just as easy as setting the fan on top of it.

Re:Good, it was the worse part! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18490833)

It would be nice to simplify the process down to be just as easy as setting the fan on top of it.

IIRC, retail (not OEM!) AMD chips have (or had, a couple of years ago when I last built a system) a "thermal pad" on the included heatsink. It's a one-time-use deal, and it's a PITA to clean it off if you want to re-use the parts elsewhere, but it's about as close to what you're asking for as is possible.

Re:Good, it was the worse part! (1)

Proofof. Chaos (1067060) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491761)

IIRC, retail (not OEM!) AMD chips have (or had, a couple of years ago when I last built a system) a "thermal pad" on the included heat-sink
As of last fall, they still do. And it is a RPITA to clean it off. I had to because a certain electronics retailer, named after a much better grocery chain, sold me a "new" processor with the thermal pad already melted, and I didn't feel comfortable re-using it.

Re:Good, it was the worse part! (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 7 years ago | (#18490993)

It would be nice to simplify the process down to be just as easy as setting the fan on top of it.

Hell yes. Installing the heatsink is, at least for me, pretty complicated. I think I once broke a CPU when I did it. Applying thermal paste is equally hard. These days I just let the shop handle all things related to the CPU.

Re:Good, it was the worse part! (2, Informative)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491367)

I did that once, and had problems, and then opened the machine up to find that they'd just squeezed a dime-sized glob of paste on the cpu, and then mashed the heat sink down on top of it...There was a visible gap between the CPU and the heatsink.

I "noticed" it almost immediately because of the massive increase in fan noise...the fan was supposed to be replaced with an identical fan, so I thought they'd just screwed me, but the fan was correct, so I checked the cpu, and voila, craptacularity.

The easiest way to apply thermal paste is to seat the processor, and then dump a glob of paste on it, and spread it as thin as you possibly can with a credit card or some other plastic scraping tool...Don't be afraid to scrape off the excess! That's what you're supposed to be doing! Then mash the heat sink down on it, and see if any squeezes out the sides...If it does, you've got too much. Scrape some more off. You should definitely be able to see the top of the CPU through the paste.

Easy as pie. The only time I ever saw anyone have problems was with one of those old Socket A AMD processors, where you had to have a fricking screwdriver to force the metal clamps on the heatsink into place...Lot of people put holes in their motherboards while installing one of those chips.

Re:Good, it was the worse part! (3, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491359)

I just want a CPU with an integrated water block. It will require quite a bit of care to make sure that you don't gum it up, but it would solve all these heat transfer problems once and for all. Plus, if I can get water cooling everywhere, then I can eliminate all but one fan (which can be large but slow and thus quiet) and one pump, which will be immersed in the reservoir and thus quiet. I actually have a water block and a pump and just scored a tiny oil cooler to use as a reservoir, but my next system will probably be dual-dualcore so my one corny water block that I made in machining class will probably go unused. It was still a fun exercise.

user a razor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18490195)

a cheap way to simulate IBM's invention, just scratch the surface with a razor.. make a bunch of diagonal cuts across each other.. smooth it out a little bit with a brillo pad and you're ready to rock & roll. Worth a try, with amd X2's at $75, why the hell not.

Re:user a razor (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18490493)

What kind of pussy are you?

Real men don't use razors, real men use chainsaws.

So... what did they do? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18490223)

I looked at the original article for 8-12 seconds and wasn't able to find the text where they explain what they did change.

Could someone please explain to someone who's comfortable with suffering from a hardcore-attention-span-lexia?

Re:So... what did they do? (3, Informative)

malfunct (120790) | more than 7 years ago | (#18490275)

They etched a series of microgrooves on the surface of the headsink to act as a channel for excess thermal paste. This is supposed to make much better contact than a smooth surface.

Re:So... what did they do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18490497)

Nowadays, this counts as a patentable innovation.

Re:So... what did they do? (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 7 years ago | (#18490843)

I'd agree with that in this case. They took existing product and made an improvement to it. How long do you think it took them to determine that cross-hatched X pattern was ideal?

It's also relatively novel, compared to the general trend of having the smoothest surface possible. I'd get one of these, mostly because I'm too lazy and inexperienced with the full on lapping and polishing method.

Re:So... what did they do? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18491053)

...which is the exact same reason a mason uses a notched trowel to spread thinset when laying ceramic tile.

Re:So... what did they do? (1)

un1xl0ser (575642) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491535)

Err, I thought that it was to reduce build-up and naturally spread more evenly, the whole magic cross thing.

Re:So... what did they do? (1)

Proofof. Chaos (1067060) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491893)

Could someone please explain to someone who's comfortable with suffering from a hardcore-attention-span-lexia?
If you're comfortable with it, why did you post anonymously.

Nothing new here (1)

BadERA (107121) | more than 7 years ago | (#18490243)

This is the same "breakthrough" they came out with five months ago, only applying the same technique to the two facing surfaces rather than just the one.

Artic Silver provides great instructions... (5, Informative)

madhatter256 (443326) | more than 7 years ago | (#18490337)

When i ordered my Artic Silver compound, the website had some instructions on how to apply the paste depending on what type of CPU you own. These instructions can be applied to any kind of thermal paste.

here's a link.

http://www.arcticsilver.com/instructions.htm [arcticsilver.com]

Re:Artic Silver provides great instructions... (1)

Workaphobia (931620) | more than 7 years ago | (#18490721)

From someone who is not a coolant expert but likes to think of himself as not being an idiot:

The last time I had to install a CPU/heatsink, I found those instructions pretty ambiguous. It didn't help that they seemed to conflict with the CPU installation instructions. I ended up with a dead CPU and no idea if it was a result of the coolant touching the contacts, something screwy with the ethol alcohol, or some static mishandling on my part. In the end I exchanged for another CPU and left it alone with the stock wax pad.

Re:Artic Silver provides great instructions... (1)

moonbender (547943) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491121)

Hey thanks, I didn't expect much, but that really was quite detailed and interesting. Will remember it the next time I apply the stuff.

Sadly (4, Interesting)

Khyber (864651) | more than 7 years ago | (#18490357)

this isn't taught where I work, and as a result oftentimes we get the units we fixed sent right back for overheating and shutting down. Pop off the heatpipe and fan assemly on the laptop mtherboard, and whoa-nelly! The ENTIRE SURFACE OF THE PROCESSOR'S COATED with thermal paste.

Each tube of thermal paste we get contains about 4CCs worth of thermal paste - MORE than enough to handle about seven or so CPUs. Instead, the entire tube gets shot onto the proc, because the syring is labeled "Single use only" (Yea, that's what I thought.)

Roughing the surface of the core casing seems like a good idea, but I dunno, most thermal compounds are rather gritty as is and wont' fit into those uber-tiny grooves. A more liquid thermal ahesive would see to be a better idea if you're going to mar the surface of the core's protective casing, I would think.

Re:Sadly (1)

dami99 (1014687) | more than 7 years ago | (#18490547)

Yeah, most people put on way too much. You don't need a lot. The article is actually referring to the paste between the IHS and the chip though, not the IHS and the HSF.

Re:Sadly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18490839)

You work for Apple?

Stirling Engines (4, Interesting)

rrhal (88665) | more than 7 years ago | (#18490375)

When will someone get a clue and power CPU fans with Stirling Engines?

Re:Stirling Engines (2)

njchick (611256) | more than 7 years ago | (#18490893)

It was tried before [wikipedia.org] and didn't work.

Re:Stirling Engines (1)

xehonk (930376) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491065)

He said the cpu fan, no the cpu. And the cpu surely pumps out enough heat to power something like a fan. Though this is unrelated to the article, which is about getting the heat away from the cpu in the first place, not using it afterwards.

Re:Stirling Engines (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18491183)

A perpetual motion machine has nothing to do with powering a cpu fan. We aren't talking a closed system which cycles back on tiself, as a CPU/fan combo is obviously open, with the CPU drawing significant power.

The only question is whether a fan can be powered by the heat given off the cpu compared to the temperature differential of the rest of the environment (aka the cold side of the stirling engine). And that would vary depending on the cpu but I think yes on most modern cpus; after all, we have passively cooled cpus available now (heatsink only, no fan) and heat pipe systems.

A stirling engine would work. Problem is cost. A heat sink usually is extruded, and cheap. Adding a mini engine to your setup would probably include retooling your setup--case design, cold side of the pump, arrangement of where your cpu is, all in addition to the design of the stirling engine itself (simple, but unique per setup since there are so many cpu/case/fan combos out there).

Then again, all in all, I see the cooling of cpus as a boring topic. Nothiing a large surfaces, liquid cooling, and peltiers can't handle, something being done for years now. Cooling *efficiently* is another matter entirely, and a stirling engine would help, but if we had cpus that were pumping out that much heat, it'd be easier to couple the output to the incoming cold lines of our hot water heaters. Fact is, given the growth of the laptop market, the cpu will just be better designed to be more energy efficient than mucking around with reinventing the traditional fan/heatsink parts.

Re:Stirling Engines (1)

xutopia (469129) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491099)

Stirling engines aren't good enough... otherwise we'd use them everywhere there is heat.

Re:Stirling Engines (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18491251)

Too complex? Why don't all cars have turbos?

Re:Stirling Engines (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491327)

A better question is "why aren't all cars offered with a turbo"? The answer is that gas doesn't cost enough here yet. In other parts of the world, supercharging is far more ubiquitous. But we Americans are least concerned with efficiency. As our dollar tanks, I assure you, we will become more concerned.

Re:Stirling Engines (1)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491511)

The minute they get the idea to make heatsinks out of Sterling Silver.

Re:Stirling Engines (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491857)

Computer users aren't as bad as audiophools.

Yet.

Too hot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18490385)

Well, tell me something new. We all know already the problems with the gooey stuff when it gets too hot.

Roughened heat sink only for thermal paste? (1)

gravy.jones (969410) | more than 7 years ago | (#18490407)

Does this "groovy" breakthrough only apply to chips that have been pasted with thermal goo? Will I get a hotter CPU by only using the new roughened heat sink without the goo?

Gooey stuff (4, Funny)

Experiment 626 (698257) | more than 7 years ago | (#18490477)

IBM looked to find the best way to get the gooey stuff where it needs to be and in the right amount

I know some sites with plenty of AVIs that will show you how to do that...

Re:Gooey stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18490607)

Artic Silver Bukkake?

Re:Gooey stuff (1)

Glowing Fish (155236) | more than 7 years ago | (#18490773)

Its actually pretty easy, such technology for spreading of gooey stuff already is quite sophisticated when it comes to keyboards. We just have to apply it other places.

Re:Gooey stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18491779)

tomshardware?

Previously announced in October (4, Informative)

writertype (541679) | more than 7 years ago | (#18490479)

Extreme Tech had this last year. With even more pictures! :)

Story is here [extremetech.com] .

Re:Previously announced in October (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18490873)

The 'arstechnica ambulance chasers' are a day late and a dollar short, like usual, per your link, writertype (good catch by the way):

http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1697,2040734 ,00.asp [extremetech.com]

Arstechnica news style = just spit back what others put out, mere 2nd hand day old bread, practically posting their copy online, plagiarized, or variations of the original idea and theme to cover their asses generally. As usual, they are not very original or creative. What does one want from a pack of nitwits like the arstechnica forums board has? The only person with any real smarts and accomplishments in this field that are even somewhat known from their forums members is a guy named J. E. Hanrihan, a noted driver developer! Mind you, he does not hang out there much to begin with or even at all for years now. He's too far above their mindless drivel of most of their forums membership. As far as the rest? Nobodies and nothings in this field or life, as to a good 90% of them. The worst of their lot is that stooge Jeremy Reimer, who has no professional experience in the computer science field, nor even a degree or certification in it, for example. Jeremy Reimer, who made an utter fool out of himself at Windows it pro magazine forums with his friend Jay Little. Both of them had to leave out of shame. Just an indicator of the character of the type that flocks to arstechnica - the greatest pack of underachievers there is online imho and those of others who call them this and are utterly correct.

Thermal Paste Patch? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18490499)

For the last computer I built, the AMD CPU came with a little patch of thermal paste rather than a tube. I just put it on like a sticker and bolted down the heatsink. No muss, no fuss. Many friends told me to turn in my propeller beanie for not using silver paste, but it overclocked just fine (only 10%--I was scared to go higher)and stayed cool enough.

It seems to me that if you come up with some "magic cross" defying pattern, you could sell it in little pre-spread patches. In fact, I'm sure the same companies who make shitty paste that turn out to have no silver in them at all are already working on it, regardless of any IBM patents on the process. Oooo, I gotta go, I just had an idea: New, improved, thermally-quilted paste patches. I'll be rich.

the last time i did it (0)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 7 years ago | (#18490601)

when i bought a new mobo to slide behind my AMD i bought some thermal paste from a local ma & pa computer store and the paste came in a hypodermic syringe (sans needle) and i asked them about it and they said just use it all, it seemed to be the right amount, my CPU runs about 110 Fahrenheit unless i am compiling software for a long time and then i seen it get as high as 125, then i open the cover to let the tower breathe better and it usually drops back down to around 115...

Re:the last time i did it (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18490759)

First, you should have done some research. I don't care how much was in that syringe, it was probably too much -- you only need a small amount of thermal paste, just enough to fill the tiny gaps between a CPU and the heat sink.

Second, removing the case's cover will completely disrupt the air flow inside. If that actually makes your CPU cooler, you have some serious problems with the way your fans are set up. If they're set up so that they're constantly pushing cold air over the CPU and hot air out of the case, it should, in fact, be cooler with the cover on.

Re:the last time i did it (2, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491403)

Second, removing the case's cover will completely disrupt the air flow inside. If that actually makes your CPU cooler, you have some serious problems with the way your fans are set up. If they're set up so that they're constantly pushing cold air over the CPU and hot air out of the case, it should, in fact, be cooler with the cover on.

Most cheap PC cases are designed utterly without thought to proper airflow.

Also most times fans blow in from the front, across the drives, where the air is preheated.

Most cheap PC cases will cool better when open, sad but true.

Re:the last time i did it (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491587)

Actually, pulling or pushing fresh air in across the drives is the right way to design a case. The hard drive is the only part that is likely to be permanently damaged by overheating. Thus, it really needs to have cool air being pulled across it from the outside. By necessity, everything else is secondary.

I won't argue that PC cases are generally not designed with air flow in mind, though. Half the time, there's no air blowing across some significant portion of the case---RAM, PCI slots, etc. Then, people wonder why those computers crash constantly.

Re:the last time i did it (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491641)

Err... across some significant portion of the system, I mean. I didn't mean to imply that RAM or PCI slots were part of the case. :-)

Re:the last time i did it (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491743)

Actually, pulling or pushing fresh air in across the drives is the right way to design a case.

Only if the next step is to exhaust it without blowing it across your CPU, which would like to have cooler air.

Cases should have multiple paths for airflow.

So put a radiator between the CPU and the radiator (1)

gelfling (6534) | more than 7 years ago | (#18490611)

If I get this right the secret is to insert the goo into a radiator shaped slot between the radiator and the top of the chip. Basically put more surface area between the goo and the radiator.

Isn't there a solid material someone can invent to transfer the heat from the chip to the radiator? Like a thin gold foil material that conducts the heat from the top of the CPU to the bottom of the aluminum heat sink? Maybe we start to need to make heatsinks out of something better than the cheapest shlock we have on hand? Maybe we need to cast heatpipes right into the top of the chip?

Re:So put a radiator between the CPU and the radia (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 7 years ago | (#18490715)

Actually copper is an extremely efficient heat conduit. The reason why you use a paste instead of a solid is that even a polished surface will have irregularities in it. The paste will have a significantly larger amount of surface contact than any solid layer.

-Rick

Someone explain. This sounds silly. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18490633)

This technique is simply increasing the surface area interface between the paste and the heat sink, with a side effect: poor paste application will result in a much smaller interface. Sounds bad.

Although this might be superior in someone's theory (and please explain what theory), I have doubts that it'll be effective in practice: the overall thermal interface will be identical in size, and the thermal mass will be more or less the same.

Applicator (1)

RiotXIX (230569) | more than 7 years ago | (#18490655)

That's great. Where can I buy such an applicator to put on the thermal paste like this?

Re:Applicator (1)

un1xl0ser (575642) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491507)

The point is that the processor CAP is grooved to allow you to spread it normally. Little to no change in how you apply.

this seems like a good idea..but. (1, Redundant)

atarione (601740) | more than 7 years ago | (#18490667)

for something like a CPU which (if you are a big enough nerd) gets taken out swapped..etc occasionally.. how much harder would it be to get the old paste off... in order to have fresh new (effective) paste on when reinstalling the CPU???

for the record after years of overclockers lapping their cpu's to a mirror surface i am amused that IBM now says the rough surface is more effective =p

Re:this seems like a good idea..but. (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 7 years ago | (#18490953)

I think, and I could be completely wrong here, but the theory seems sound, that IBM's method is more efficient in the mass market arena, for the people that don't lap their heatsinks to a mirror shine. It's better to be slightly notched than a non-lapped heatsink, but lapped still beats out this style.

In other words, this is for OEM systems, like Dell, or lazy system builders, like me. Lapping would still be the preferred for the hard core clockers who can easily apply that microlayer of paste.

obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18490761)

IBM: My cooling powers have doubled since the last time we met.
AMD/Intel: Good. Twice the pride, double the heat.

Did anyone find the last line odd? (1)

HungSoLow (809760) | more than 7 years ago | (#18490965)

"IBM looked to find the best way to get the gooey stuff where it needs to be and in the right amount, and to make it significantly more efficient in the process"

IBM certainly is branching out!

I thank you fO8 your time (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18490987)

I don't think I'm reading this the same way... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18491081)

I don't think this is referring to the system builder applying the big copper bahemoths we put on top of our CPU, but actually the way the manufacturer puts the big silver heat spreader on top of the little black core (from the first sentance in the abstract).

Re:I don't think I'm reading this the same way... (1)

sdack (601542) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491319)

You might have a point there ...

How Come? (1)

eriks (31863) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491139)

How come nobody makes a CPU with the heat spreader and the main Heat sink as one solid piece? Then you'd only have one junction that needs goo, between the die and the heat spreader, right? Or am I oversimplifying the problem?

Re:How Come? (1)

Bearhouse (1034238) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491351)

Plenty of reasons: 1. Price (of final part) 2. Manufacturing complexity (also linked to price) 3. Usage of final component (flexibility of application). Note that even makers of high-end GPUs / graphics cards(where price is less important) still use traditional methods of cooling.

Welcome To (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18491237)

Last Month.

I saw this at LEAST a few months ago...

Liquid-metal heat conductors (1)

sdack (601542) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491267)

What they have now achieved can ultimately be achieved through the use of liquid-metal heat conductors. The liquid metal will fill any gaps on the surfaces and deep down to an atomic level, creating the best contact imaginable.

Ridges (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18491407)

The micro ridges help with the paste, but I am amazed that they do not have much bigger ridges in the surface, After all it is about surface area as well. A set of defined waves going through the top will allow for an increase in the SA and to pull the heat upwards away from from the chip.

I got a better idea! (2, Interesting)

nbritton (823086) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491479)

Make the top of the cpu's copper slug corrugated or dimpled, sin(x) and sin(x) + sin(y) respectively. Doing this will create more surface area for heat transfer. You can then use a piece of malleable gold foil to fill in any gaps.

One of those why didn't I think of that moments... D'oh!

Re:I got a better idea! (1)

nbritton (823086) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491563)

Or you could do diamond shaped, tan(sin(x)) + tan(sin(x)).

Re:I got a better idea! (1)

sdack (601542) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491639)

Using sinus instead of triangles will have a similar surface. You could however do sin(x) + sin(y) - sin(10x)/5 - sin(10y)/5 and make it all more wobblier. But then again you can do that with triangles, too. Therefore there is no need for any fancy sinus and you get the reason for your "D'oh!". It is just not necessary. What IBM was looking for was a simple solution and they found one.

Not just CPUs... (1)

Splab (574204) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491561)

but also GPUs, I installed one of these bad boys: thermaltake schooner [thermaltake.com] , but before I bought it I did some research and the reviewers claimed that the x800 pro from ATI would run at about 92 degrees Celsius under load, that was a bit worrying, but I took the chance and installed it. My card has never been above 80 with that heat sink, and I think the difference is in how and what type of compound used. I didn't use the supplied compound, but went with arctic silver instead, also I paid special notice to the instructions, most GPUs are slightly concave, so you have to be extra careful when applying the paste.

Before I saw the article... (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491649)

I thought that IBM would propose puting the leads on two outside edges of the chip and slapping a heatsink on the bottom. That would (almost) double the heat dissipation, too.

Suckers!!! I use somethign far far better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18491679)

I like to use JB weld and I weld the CPU and heatsink together as one, that way ther is no gaps and the heat transfer is very high!

http://jbweld.net/products/jbweld.php [jbweld.net]
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