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Intel caught using cheap thermal paste in Ivy Bridge?

Sharif Sakr
05.14.12
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For all the good stuff it brings, Ivy Bridge has also been running a little hotter than reviewers and overclockers might have liked -- and that's putting it mildly. A few weeks back, Overclockers discovered a possible culprit: regular thermal paste that sits between the CPU die and the outwardly-visible heatspreader plate. By contrast, Intel splashed out on fluxless solder in this position in its Sandy Bridge processors, which is known have much greater thermal conductivity. Now, Japanese site PC Watch has taken the next logical step, by replacing the stock thermal paste in a Core i7-3770K with a pricier aftermarket alternative to see what would happen. Just like that, stock clock temperatures dropped by 18 percent, while overclocked temperatures (4GHz at 1.2V) fell by 23 percent. Better thermals allowed the chip to sustain higher core voltages and core clock speeds and thereby deliver greater performance. It goes to show, you can't cut corners -- even 22nm ones -- without someone noticing, but then Apple could have told you that.

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