CPU Lapping, Cpu For A Cheap Cooling Performance Upgrade.

“Lapping” a CPU includes removing the IHS (integrated heat sink) from the central processing unit. Due to manufacturing variations, the IHS on processors could possibly be slightly concave or convex. This results in an uneven contact with the heat sink which degrades cooling by a reasonable margin.

If you are an enthusiast who wants to overclock, How to lap a CPU is a really good idea. Not only is it the cheapest cooling upgrade you may do, it is also the most favorable when looking at the price/performance ratio. The extra cooling may even enable you to overclock your chip further as a result of the increased cooling.

Within this guide, I lapped an Intel Q6600 G0. Before How to lap a CPU, I was only able to overclock the chip to 3.2Ghz maximum temperature under load was 70degC for Heart 0 and 69degC for Core 1. Splendidly, you want to stay the CPU temperature below 70degC. After How to lap a CPU, the maximum temperature under load dropped to 62degC for Core 0 and 57degC for Core 1, a maximum decrease of 12degC – rather a substantial difference! As the temperature had dropped so much, I was able to bump the CPU voltage up even more and further overclock the CPU to 3.4Ghz.


Lapping your processor is quite simple and needs hardly any ability. All you need is some 600 and 1000 grit sandpaper, normally available at your local auto parts or ACE hardware store.

IMPORTANT: Make sure that you discharge yourself of static electricity before touching any computer component, specially the CPU. Static electricity can permanently damage computer parts. To discharge yourself, touch something metal, such as your own COMPUTER case, or use an antistatic grounding bracelet.

1. First, remove the CPU from your system. Clean off any thermal paste from the central processing unit. I prefer to use rubbing alcohol and Q-tips.

2. Then you will need to defend the bottom of the cpu from dust and debris. To keep things simple, you can just use a sheet cut into the shape of the chip. Tape the sheet to the underside of the processor using electrical or masking tape. In the picture I used a cotton cleaning material, but paper is more plentiful and certainly will work just fine.

3. Set the 600 grit sandpaper across a totally flat area. A wood table would not be the finest surface to use due to the pits and valleys in the wood itself. Instead, use a mirror or glass table top.

4. Turn the chip upside down and start sanding off the integrated heat sink using a side-to-side motion. Do not sand using a circular motion, as this might cause the face of the heat sink to be irregular. After about 10-20 swipes back and forth through the sandpaper, turn the cpu 90deg and sand an additional 10 20 times.

5. Repeat this till you have nearly totally removed the integrated heat sink (as shown in image on website).

6. After you get to the point, change your sandpaper to 1000 grit and use the same sanding process to remove the rest of the IHS.

7. You are finished when the IHS is utterly gone and nothing but copper is exposed. At this point, the lapping process is done.


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