If you were around during the days where CPUs didn’t have heat spreading lids over their dies, you probably remember how easy it was to crack them during heatsink application. This was especially the case with AMD chips, if I recall correctly. While all CPUs come with heatspreaders now, it has become popular to remove them, or ‘delid’ them to give direct contact to the die. This is because CPUs seem to have begun using crappy thermal interface material between the die and heatspreader, leading to inefficient cooling performance.
The obvious problem with that is, delidding accidents notwithstanding, it is back to being easy to crack the die during heatsink application. It’s probably even more likely to happen now that the die isn’t designed to have a heatsink installed on it.
Motherboard manufacturers are always looking for ways to set themselves apart from the competition. As part of this effort, MSI has come up with an interesting idea – the Delid Die Guard.
Teased on their Facebook page, it’s a shim that will bring the surface area back to what the CPU was designed for, while leaving the die exposed. Products just like this have existed in the past, especially for AMD CPUs. They usually weren’t quite so fancy though – die shims usually consisted of thin pieces of copper that people stuck between the CPU and heatsink.
The only issue I see with this is that Intel has already addressed the thermal interface material issue with Haswell in the upcoming Devil’s Canyon CPU. The ‘hardcore Haswell’ that is intended to be used on this Z97 board has
its heatspreader soldered on “improved TIM”, so it may not be worth delidding at all. This could of course be very useful with standard Haswell CPUs, but I’m not sure if people would want to buy a new Z97 board to get a shim to use with their delidded Haswell…