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Still Reasons to Lap Heatsinks?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by blueice, Apr 25, 2012.

  1. blueice

    blueice Private First Class

    Hello everyone!

    It is time to upgrade my custom build rig, which has seen better days (born 2004).

    I will be replacing the following parts: PSU, Vantec 400 watts; CPU, AMD Atholon XP 2800; GPU, EVGA 6600 GT; MB, MSI K7N2 Delta ILSR Nvidia NForce 2; Memory, 1GB XMS Corsair PC-3200 LLPT. :-o

    I am keeping the current hard drives SATA 2, until the prices return to normal.

    The new parts: PSU, Corsair HX750 watts; CPU, AMP Phenom II X6-1055T, (this item will be equipped with an after market, Thermolab Baram Cooler heatsink, a joined with a 120mm fan, NB Multiframe S-Series, model #M12-9) MB, Gigabyte 970A-UD3; GPU, MSI N560 GTX; Memory, Crucial 2 sticks 2GB DDR3-1600 or Ballistix PC3-12800 CL8 1.65v. :yum

    I will be purchasing the hard drives, SATA 3, when pricing declines. BTW, the case is a Super Flower 301 (Korean), with a window on each side; as well as a removable tray for the system board. It has 5, 80mm fans, two front intakes, one top exhaust and two rear exhaust.

    My concern is, that the new parts will generate a great deal more heat.

    I do not overclock nor do I play any intensive games. On the other hand, I may one day and would have no problem taking the time and about 20 to $25, to lap the heatsink.

    Once it is on, I am not incline to disassemble the heatsink, unless there are tech issues. Furthermore, I did examine the base of the heatsink and noticed it is high on both edges.

    I read that the typical heatsink is concave, whereas, the CPUs are convex.

    The current cooling numbers for the CPU, is running between 30 to 40C.

    What say thee, to lap or not lap? :confused Thank you kindly for any replies! :)
  2. blueice

    blueice Private First Class

    :p Hear is my case - Super Flower 301

    Attached Files:

  3. blueice

    blueice Private First Class

    I used two sources as my guide.



    After reading the second one, I performed the water drop test and the water was equally displaced.

    I am not sure how accurate this is, but for now I am going with it.

    I will not be lapping the heatsink. I did find one hardware store that had them by the sheet, most others (including the Internet) where sold by the 5 sheets per pack; which at about $5 to $6 bucks for each grade made this a rather expense mod.
  4. DavidGP

    DavidGP MajorGeeks Forum Administrator - Grand Pooh-Bah Staff Member


    I have tended these days not to lap a HS as the process of making good branded HS is much better and alot of them are pretty flat and smooth, plus while you may take the time to lap the HS the CPU cover will also be a little rough, which will give you a small minute gap between CPU and HS.

    I think with good Thermal Paste (arctic sliver etc) you will have a pretty good thermal layer on the CPU and HS.

    These days modern CPUs are good at managing heat, plus when you build try to place case fans in a good position and direction of airflow to maximise airflow to the insides of the case and tidy all the cables you can as good cable management is great addition to lower case temp, the more messy the cables are inside the case the more areas their are for heat pockets and lower airflow to the hardware.
  5. blueice

    blueice Private First Class

    :) David, most kind of you for your reply! You make some excellent points.

    I also took a closer look at the heatsink and it appears to be well manufactured, with a clean and shining surface.

    You are right about the thermal controls built into today's CPUs...

    As for the thermal paste, I did purchase Arctic Paste and threw the one that came with the HS away...

    You are also correct about the cable management, David...That is why I will be thrilled about the new PSU, which has detachable cables...

    There will be less clutter, to be sure..
  6. DavidGP

    DavidGP MajorGeeks Forum Administrator - Grand Pooh-Bah Staff Member

    Hi blueice

    I think you have this nailed, as you have already in mind the tolerances of HSF and the fact that cable management is crucial to a cool PC.

    I agree with you modular PSUs are the way to go, my Zalman 1000w PSU has modular cables and you only need plug in what you need so this reduces the surplus cables that non-modular PSUs have.

    I wish you well with your build and do let us know how you get on with it.
  7. BILLMCC66

    BILLMCC66 Bionic Belgian

    David has covered the main points and i fully agree with them.
    The machining quality of heat sinks is now so good that unless you have had an accident and scratched the base you do not need to lap it.

    Just for info if it is scratched then find a piece of plate glass (mirrors are best) and buy some lapping compound (you can get it in several grades from most auto shops they use it for grinding in valves on engines) and spread a little on the glass then using circular motions with gentle pressure continue until the scratch is gone.

    Good cable management is essential for best cooling so i always try to put as many cables as possible behind the mobo then you have clear air in the main body of the case, there are many theories about fan placement but mine is a 120mm at the front of the case situated as low down as possible pulling air in and a 120mm or two 80mm at the rear pulling the air out as i like to create a vacuum in the case so as not to let the air stagnate.

    As for the rest you have got it covered for a good working rig.
  8. DavidGP

    DavidGP MajorGeeks Forum Administrator - Grand Pooh-Bah Staff Member

    I totally agree Bill and as I know you build superb custom PCs its a great bit of advice on the 120mm fans and positioning, I tend to use 120mm fans in the whole case, I have two in the front drawing air in and then two at the back an done at the top expelling air.

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