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  1. #1

    Lapping your CPU

    Before reading, lapping your CPU is basically grinding it down on sandpaper and smoothing out the surface for better heat transfer between the CPU and the heatsink. (CPU's and heatsink's are not perfectly flat when new)


    So I've never actually tried it but I have these 2 old CPU's laying around, an old Pentium 4 and an Opteron 265. Lapping the Pentium 4 may be pointless as I don't even have a motherboard for it anymore but I still have everything for the Opteron.

    For the Opteron I was planning to wetsand it down to around 1000 grit (working it's way up from 300) because I'll be somewhat using it.
    As for the Pentium, I may end up working it all the way up to 1500-2000 grit for a mirror finish and have it sitting around as a decoration or something.


    Soooo, kinda curious. Anybody here have any experience with this?
    Last edited by Icpie; 2011-09-10 at 12:30 AM.
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  2. #2

  3. #3
    Check this out also
    http://www.l3p.nl/other-builds-mods/cpu-lapping/
    Something slightly insane about lapping a i7 980x

  4. #4
    Stood in the Fire shoebox's Avatar
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    , i want to lap my cpu now and its cooler. scary, but if i could nock of another 5-10 degree's its worth it.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by shoebox View Post
    , i want to lap my cpu now and its cooler. scary, but if i could nock of another 5-10 degree's its worth it.
    or you could go with better cooling?
    also there is a reason we use thermal paste, it is to act as a conductor.

    if you are having heat issues after applying aftermarket solutions (i.e better heat sinks/water cooling) then you're doing something wrong

  6. #6
    No experience, and i would not do it, i cant see the problem, i mean, thermal paste does exactly that, mkills the anomalies and transfers the heat., besides, you cant be sure wheter us just over did it on the CPU..
    EDIT: Lapping will not give you -10C. and there is not way to drop it under enviroment temprature.
    Maybe it will give you 3-4C at most.

    PS: If you are thinking of lapping your heatsink, DONT do it if the heatsink is with direct contact heatpipes.
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Kirkh View Post
    EDIT: Lapping will not give you -10C. and there is not way to drop it under enviroment temprature.
    cooling with air you can't cool it below the temperature of the air, but if you use water cooling then you can get as low as the water temperature (not gonna happen tho without serious investments...)

  8. #8
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  9. #9
    Herald of the Titans Saithes's Avatar
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    Lapping the CPU helps level out the IHS so the heatsink can make better contact. Less paste means less restriction on heat since copper can conduct heat better than a paste can. I did it to an old Core 2 I had back in the day and it dropped my Core Temps by about 5-7C each and brought the core temps 1-2C closer to each other instead of being 3-4C apart.

  10. #10
    The Lightbringer Djinni's Avatar
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    Last i checked you dont lap the cpu itself.. only the cooler.... lapping the CPU wil 99% of the time damage it.
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  11. #11
    Herald of the Titans Saithes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Djinni View Post
    Last i checked you dont lap the cpu itself.. only the cooler.... lapping the CPU wil 99% of the time damage it.
    Since when? Tons of people lap the CPU as well as their heatsink. The IHS on the CPU is typically more unlevel than the heatsink itself.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Codexea View Post
    Check this out also
    http://www.l3p.nl/other-builds-mods/cpu-lapping/
    Something slightly insane about lapping a i7 980x
    AVG lit up like a fire truck when I went to that site, saying it blocked 8 trojans. Anyone who's been to that site, I'd recommend running a full scan with your AV and Malwarebytes.

    On the subject of lapping, I think I might experiment with this Pentium D I have, then move on to this 2500K when I pick up an IB chip next year . If the results are as good as they seem, it definitely looks worth it for max clockers.
    Last edited by Nellah; 2011-09-10 at 08:30 AM.
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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Djinni View Post
    Last i checked you dont lap the cpu itself.. only the cooler.... lapping the CPU wil 99% of the time damage it.
    no.
    in extremely easy terms you remove the metal coating exposing the copper to gain a more direct and smooth surface to attach your heat sink to.
    you don't touch the actual circuitry.

  14. #14
    Stood in the Fire shoebox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adimaya View Post
    or you could go with better cooling?
    what does that have to do with me wanting to lap my cpu or cooler heat sink? for all you know i could have the best water cooling loop ever, and if lapping the cpu and heatsink can reduce the temps by a few degree's then why should i have to go with "better" cooling? you expect me to be at 90*c on idle or something for me to say that i want to lap?

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by shoebox View Post
    what does that have to do with me wanting to lap my cpu or cooler heat sink? for all you know i could have the best water cooling loop ever, and if lapping the cpu and heatsink can reduce the temps by a few degree's then why should i have to go with "better" cooling? you expect me to be at 90*c on idle or something for me to say that i want to lap?
    if your CPU is at acceptable temperatures, why would you want to do something that potentially could damage your CPU?

    lapping is only done if you want to push your rig to the max if you have OC'd to the max, and looking at your signature I would assume that is not the case for you.

  16. #16
    High Overlord Ominouscloud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shoebox View Post
    what does that have to do with me wanting to lap my cpu or cooler heat sink? for all you know i could have the best water cooling loop ever, and if lapping the cpu and heatsink can reduce the temps by a few degree's then why should i have to go with "better" cooling? you expect me to be at 90*c on idle or something for me to say that i want to lap?
    If you're at 90C at idle you're doing it wrong... but seriously, he's just trying to point out that it's 2-3 degrees, not 5-10... if you need to knock off 5-10 degrees you need to rethink your cooling solution, not grind some metal off an already fragile component.

    But then again, you're using a non-K 2500 so I don't see where this would be an issue for you at all.

  17. #17
    Stood in the Fire shoebox's Avatar
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    well, im doing a new build as soon as Patsburg comes out with heavy overclocks, and an extremely expensive watercooling system im building. and if i can get that at say 35* idle, 60* load (just an example) and i can knock off HOWEVER many degree's possible il do it, because i can. he doesn't need to say to me that i have to get a new cooling system, when he doesn't know what temps im at right now, or what cooling system i am using. he is just taking a shot at me for wanting to lap.

  18. #18
    I am Murloc! Cyanotical's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nellah View Post
    AVG lit up like a fire truck when I went to that site, saying it blocked 8 trojans. Anyone who's been to that site, I'd recommend running a full scan with your AV and Malwarebytes.
    kaspersky found nothing



    as far as lapping goes, practice on some old chips first, if you are near a large public school, talk to their IT, a lot of schools are replacing their old dells and are tossing out a lot of lga775 chips, im sure they would let you have a few
    Last edited by Cyanotical; 2011-09-10 at 09:40 AM.

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  19. #19
    High Overlord Ominouscloud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shoebox View Post
    well, im doing a new build as soon as Patsburg comes out with heavy overclocks, and an extremely expensive watercooling system im building. and if i can get that at say 35* idle, 60* load (just an example) and i can knock off HOWEVER many degree's possible il do it, because i can. he doesn't need to say to me that i have to get a new cooling system, when he doesn't know what temps im at right now, or what cooling system i am using. he is just taking a shot at me for wanting to lap.
    He wasn't taking a shot at you... I think you need to chill out. He was however questioning why one would take such risks with your setup in your signature when there would be nothing to gain, but much to lose.

  20. #20
    Stood in the Fire shoebox's Avatar
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    Because i enjoy working, modding and exploring all the things about computers, be it from modding a case, to risky lapping a CPU.

    Ii think its hard to convey tone over the forums, i took his comment in an aggressive manner (which might not be what he was trying to convey) however i didn't mean mine in an aggressive manner either, but more to explain why i wanted to Lap as there seemed to be confusion. Also, what i said doesn't call for anyone to question anything. I want to lap my cpu and cooler to reduce the temps more.

    anyway let us drop this here and now and get some sandpaper.

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