AMD's Ryzen CPUs impressed us in many ways since their release just under a week ago by delivering the holy trifecta of performance, power efficiency and affordability. As it turns out, Ryzen wasn't done impressing us just yet. After putting Ryzen under the knife pro overclocker der8auer unveiled another one of Ryzen's strong suits, build quality.
der8auer removed Ryzen's integrated heatspreader, otherwise known simply as the IHS, to find out what kind of a job AMD did when it put these chips together. This practice is quite common among overclockers and is called delidding. That is removing the "lid" i.e. IHS off the package to expose the chip underneath.
Why Do Overclockers Delid Their CPUs?
Delidding became hugely popularity after Intel introduced its Haswell family of Core i7 and Core i5 CPUs which infamously ran very hot. In an effort by overclockers to identify why these chips ran as hot as they did and to try and improve their thermal performance many proceeded to delid their chips. This revealed the culprit behind the unusually high temperatures of Haswell which was that Intel had forgone soldering the IHS onto the die and resorted to using a thermal compound instead as a cost cutting measure.
Intel continues this practice of using a thermal compound between the die and the IHS to this day. And It's quite common to see temperatures go down by 20°-25° Celsius after delidding a Haswell or Skylake CPU and replacing the thermal compound with a higher quality one. With that preface in mind, let's take a look at what AMD did with Ryzen.
Ryzen Delided - AMD Went All Out With A Gold Plated Solder & Silicone Protected Caps
After three attempts der8auer finally succeeded in delidding a Ryzen CPU without killing it. That's right, this is a very risky endeavor and by no means do we recommend it. Not only because it's risky but because, as you'll soon see, there's very little benefit to doing it on a soldered CPU. Especially one as well put together as AMD's Ryzen is.
This is what a Ryzen 7 1700 CPU looks like delided. We can see the solder layer on the die which connects it directly to the IHS. We can also see that AMD has not neglected the caps and has added an extra layer of silicone to protect them. On the IHS itself we can see the gold plating which is necessary for a perfect Indium solder.
Delided Ryzen CPU Temperatures Tested
It's obvious that AMD has gone the extra mile on the build quality to ensure excellent thermal conductivity and the lowest possible temperatures. The important question is has it paid off? Well, to find out der8auer did a thermal comparison of the same Ryzen CPU before and after delidding it in the video below.
The result was a measly difference of 2 degrees Celsius. And that's compared with direct die cooling using liquid metal as a TIM, which represents the absolute best case scenario, since most people who actually delid their chips opt to replace the thermal compound with something better and put the IHS back on rather than keep the die bare. That's because keeping the die bare is extremely risky. Any scrape or scratch can immediately render your chip dead.
So, is it worth it to delid your Ryzen CPU? Absolutely not. Not only because it's extremely risky and will instantly void your warranty, but because the fact of the matter is that by providing such a high quality solder AMD has already given you all the benefits without any of the risks.