Thanks to Solaris17 in this thread: http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/threads/my-xfx-290x-teardown-56k.196249/ for help in doing this... My temps have been really high on a Sapphire BF4 R9 290x, so I tore the stock HS off to replace the TIM as Solaris17's teardown, he did a great job with it. Everything went smoothly, thermal pads are intact. As in the Solaris17's teardown, the TIM looked just like bubblegum with several areas on the die that appeared not to have any contact at all: And here's what blows my mind! The circled areas (in red) are divots in the copper HS surface! Straight from the factory... Any suggestions on how to lap this? The heatsink doesn't appear to be removable from the plate.