US-startup Rockit Cool has launched a crowd-funding campaign to produce an affordable de-lidding tool for Intel processors, to make removing the integrated heatspreader (IHS) quick and safe.
Intel has come under fire in recent years for changes to the way it bonds the integrated heatspreader (IHS), a plate of metal that serves to increase the surface area of the die for cooling purposes while also offering mechanical protection against crushing, to the die of its processors. Older processors would typically see the die soldered to the heatspreader, providing a high-quality thermal interface between the two; more recently, the company has begun using thermal grease instead. Removing the IHS and applying higher-quality thermal grease, or even leaving the ISH off entirely for direct-to-die cooling, is increasingly popular but fraught with risk: one slip of the vice or razor and your precious CPU is toast.
As a result, there has been increasing interest in tools to make de-lidding a CPU easier and safer. In November last year Roman 'der8auer' Hartung's Delid Die Mate
launched in the UK, but its £62.99 purchase price meant it was a difficult purchase to justify for someone trying to shave a few degrees off the temperature of a single processor. James Holbrook of Rockit Cool believes he has a solution: a much cheaper but still high-quality delidding tool.
Dubbed the Rockit 88, the tool is entirely standalone: using bolts included with the kit, the lid is gently prized away from the package with no need to lock the chip into a vise or whip out a razor blade. Better still, it's considerably cheaper than the competition: the Rockit 88's crowd-funding campaign sees the device priced at $35 (around £24 excluding taxes), with limited numbers of early-bird units available at $28 (around £19). Even allowing for the somewhat steep $20 shipping fee to the UK (around £14), that makes the Rockit 88 £38 plus taxes - considerably lower than the Delid Die Mate's £62.99.
There are risks, of course: the device is Rockit Cool's first crowd-funding campaign, and while the company has produced prototypes that is no guarantee it will be able to produce at volume in the quality and quantity required. Those willing to take a punt, however, will find more details on the company's Kickstarter page