by Anion, 23 March 2003
usually tend to try and squeeze the most juice out of their system,
pushing it to the limit. One very common result of this is that
the heat level rises. To cool the system we use a well ventilated
case, fans with the best airflow, the best CPU cooler we can afford
and even watercooling systems. What if you can't afford buying the
best and the greatest cooling systems? For one thing, you can lap
your heatsinks or waterblocks, which usually leads to some decrease
in temperature. All you'd need to buy is some sandpaper.
Why do lapping
at all? Due to the machining process the heatsink's go through,
the CPU contact area isn't exactly smooth. To our naked eye, the
heatsink's base seems flat and smooth but it has microscopic grooves
all over. These grooves and gaps in the base cause a less than optimum
contact area between the heatsink and the CPU core. Even though
the gaps are filled with thermal paste, heat transfer is less efficient
than if there was direct contact.
Here's a short
and quick guide to lapping your heatsink. All the equipment you
need is some sandpaper of various grit, i.e. 400, 600, 1000, 1500
will need to start sanding the base of the heatsink with 400 grit
sandpaper. The higher the sandpaper grit, the finer the sandpapering
will be, and as a result, the smoother the sanded surface will be.
Place the heatsink somewhere flat, preferably on top of a mirror
or piece of glass. Start sanding using the 400 grit sandpaper on
any direction. Change to a higher grit sandpaper when you feel you
have sanded enough on the previous grit. Repeat using higher and
higher grit sandpaper i.e. 400 grit , 600 grit , 1000 grit , 1500
grit and lastly 2000 grit.
For an easier sanding process, wet the sandpaper using some soap
and water. The mirror shine is obtained by using some Brasso to
polish the lapped surface, though some don't recommend polishing
with metal polisher as this might impede performance. Anion *did*
use some Brasso though, so this particular step can be considered
My test system:
645 Ultra / SiS 645
256MB Apacer PC2700 DDR RAM
Western Digital 8MB 7200rpm
are the results!
A 2C drop in
load temperatures, pretty good results don't you think? Happy lapping!
for reading this review, and I hope you'll check back for more in
the future. Comments and questions
are most welcome. You can discuss
this article in our forums.