There’s good news for enthusiasts and fans of high-performance processors, at least in theory. After years of relying on thermal paste between its actual CPU die and the integrated heat spreader, or IHS, Intel may finally move back to solder for its highest-end desktop microprocessors.
Delidding Intel CPUs started to become popular with Haswell, when it became clear that the integrated voltage regulator contributed to the chips running hot. Normally, enthusiasts think about thermal paste as something you apply between the top of the metal cap on the CPU and the bottom of your heatsink, but there’s an entire additional layer of material between the top of the CPU die and the heat spreader. If you’re wondering why Intel and AMD use heat spreaders in the first place, the answer is for protection. Trying to balance a heatsink on a tiny die and a few felt pads isn’t a task for the faint-hearted, as many a cracked Athlon core could attest. (AMD used to ship CPUs sans heat spreaders. It wasn’t great).
Now, to the actual leak in question. According to Videocardz, Intel’s Core i9-9900K and possibly lower-end models like the Core i7-9700K and Core i5-9600K will all use solder, not thermal paste. Maximum turbo clocks are also higher on all three chips compared to eighth-generation cores.
The degree to which enthusiast overclocking headroom will improve over stock will depend on how aggressively Intel has attempted to capitalize on the advantages of moving to solder in the first place. But regardless, solder has been a massive ask from the enthusiast community since at least Haswell, and Intel is finally moving to deliver.
Leaked Benchmarks Show Intel’s Core i9-9900K Crushing AMD’s Ryzen 7 2700X
Intel's Core i9 looks to be a winner of a part if early tests are accurate.
ET Deals: Pre-Order Intel Core i9-9900k, AMD Threadripper Price Drops
Looking to build a new rig? Well, you can currently pre-order the Intel Core i9-9900K 8-core processor for $530 on Amazon. Alternately, consider taking advantage of a handful of excellent price drops on AMD Ryzen processors – including high-end Threadrippers.
ET Deals: 40 Percent off Tile Mate with Replaceable Battery, Intel Core i9-9900k Releases Tomorrow
If you misplace your gear on a regular bases, the Tile Mate Bluetooth tracker is worth investing in. And since the new model has a replaceable battery, and the four-pack is currently being discounted by $40, now's a great time to buy.
Intel Core i9-9900K Review: Welcome to an Intel-AMD 8-Core Slugfest
David and Goliath. Scrappy underdog versus industry titan. Half-dead incompetent failure versus bloated, corrupt "leader" too stuck in its own past to ever drive the future. Frame the fight as it pleases you, smoke 'em if you got 'em, and pull up a chair. AMD and Intel are going to war.