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Pentium 4 used TIM, not solder

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I've recently been working on a project to figure out how to "decap" integrated circuits using cheap and available tools and chemicals. This has mostly been with smaller chips but I decided to do an old socket 478 Pentium 4 as a surprise to my followers. But I was surprised myself to find that the die wasn't soldered to the IHS and used TIM instead! I thought this was a recent trend and that Intel started using TIM because "the dies were becoming too small to solder." The Pentium 4's die however is fairly large. The one I've torn apart is a 1.7 GHz model manufactured in '01 making it a Willamette chip.

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Does anyone know when Intel was using solder, and if they always used TIM on lower end models?
 

newtekie1

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I actually posted about this about 8 years go. I found out they used TIM on accident when the IHS stuck so firmly to the heatsink that it ripped right off when I tried to pry the processor off the heatsink.

Does anyone know when Intel was using solder, and if they always used TIM on lower end models?
I believe they started using solder when they released the LGA775 Pentium 4s. They also had issues with the switch to solder, ironically a lot of enthusiasts didn't like it. They hadn't perfected the process, and some processors would have voids in the solder. This more commonly an issue with the Pentium Ds and even Core 2 Quads, because the MCM configuration of those processors for some reason made them harder to solder without voids. You'd know you had a void on one of the chips because one core on the Pentium D or one set of cores on the Core 2 Quad would run a lot hotter than the other.
 
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I've delidded a shit ton of socket 478 CPUs. So far almost all of the Northwoods had paste. Except one. And I can't figure out why that one didn't. Since I have 2 of them(exact same Northwood 3.06GHz P4), and one was soldered, while the other had paste. Every Prescott had solder. And the Gallatin I have was also soldered. I have a few four more I'll be delidding pretty soon too(another Northwood a Prescott Celeron and a couple three more Prescott P4s). I have a post over on Vogons with the full details. I'll link to it here ASAP. Not at my desk ATM...

TL;DR

They basically started soldering with Prescott(so far as I've gathered). Though there are some random Northwoods that got soldered too. And Gallatins were soldered prior to both.

Oh...and in regards to the voids. Only on the Gallatin were they're a couple small ones. Not sure if that was because of the HUGE die or what. Anyway...they must have perfected it(on socket 478) after that. Because I haven't seen any voids on the rest of my soldered socket 478s. Just found 3 small ones on my second Pentium 4 HT 550(SL7PP) 3.4GHZ/1M/800 E0 Prescott.

One more thing. I don't believe it has anything to do with high end or low end. It seems to be all socket 478 CPUs after a certain date got soldered. Around(or slighty prior to) when Prescotts were released. Except the Gallatins(which were soldered before any others). IOW low speed P4s and Celerons got soldered too(so far as I've gathered).

EDIT: Here's that post.

And here's my list from it.

So far the Socket 478s I've delidded are:

1 x Celeron 2.0(SL6VR) 2.0GHZ/128/400 D1 Northwood = Paste
2 x Pentium 4 HT 3.06(SL6PG) 3.06GHZ/512/533 D1 Northwood = Paste(on one), Solder(on the other)
1 x Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.2(SL7AA) 3.20GHZ/2M/800 M0 Gallatin = Solder
1 x Pentium 4 HT 3.0E(SL7E4) 3.0GHZ/1M/800 D0 Prescott = Solder
1 x Pentium 4 HT 3.2E(SL7KC) 3.2GHZ/1M/800 D0 Prescott = Solder
1 x Mobile Pentium 4 HT 548(SL7X5) 3.33GHZ/1M/533 E0 Prescott = Solder
2 x Pentium 4 HT 550(SL7PP) 3.4GHZ/1M/800 E0 Prescott = Solder
1 x Pentium 4 HT 550(SL8K4) 3.4GHZ/1M/800 G1 Prescott = Solder

Coming soon...

1 x Celeron D 335(SL7DM) 2.8GHZ/256/533 D0 Prescott
1 x Pentium 4 HT 3.0E(SL7PM) 3.0GHZ/1M/800 E0 Prescott
1 x Pentium 4 HT 3.4E(SL7Q8) 3.2GHZ/1M/800 ?? Prescott

I'll probably run out of post editing time before I get those last 4 delidded. So I'll add a new post below when I'm done. Likely some time later today...
 
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I actually posted about this about 8 years go. I found out they used TIM on accident when the IHS stuck so firmly to the heatsink that it ripped right off when I tried to pry the processor off the heatsink.
That was a pretty clean separation. I also noticed that the die was stuck pretty good to the IHS.
 
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Though I might pop back in here to give you guys a pic of the die (yeah I broke it :().

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You horrible, horrible person.
 
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