Rockit 88 CPU delidder tool pops the top on recent Intel chips

Rockit Cool's Rockit 88 is a Kickstarter project that aims to make delidding—the practice of removing a CPU's integrated heat spreader, or IHS—easier. Delidding a CPU for extra cooling potential is a well-known but risky practice for extreme overclockers, since it usually involves pliers, a vise, and an X-Acto knife. A slip-up with any of these tools could harm the CPU. The Rockit 88 appears to work by holding Haswell and Skylake CPUs in a dedicated bracket and shearing off the IHS with a moving block. Rockit Cool claims that reducing the thickness of the thermal interface material between the processor die and the IHS on an unspecified, overclocked Devil's Canyon CPU resulted in a 10°C improvement in load temperatures.

Even with the safety and reliability of a delid tool, we're guessing that the risk of damage to the CPU isn't completely eliminated. Even with a dedicated tool, the thermal benefit of delidding is questionable for all but the most extreme overclockers. Going by testing on an older Intel CPU performed by an Anandtech forum member, the upper limit of benefits is about 10°C under load. Linus Tech Tips also tried delidding, and that anecdote suggests even more modest benefits. Still, the Rockit 88 might make the process safer, and it's simple-looking enough that its Kickstarter isn't as scary to back as more ambitious projects might be. Aspiring delidders can pledge $35 in exchange for a complete Rockit 88 kit. Rockit Cool expects to begin delivering Rockit 88s in May.

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