Aqua Computer Makes 3D-Printable Skylake CPU Delidding Tool

In order to delid a CPU, many users prefer using dedicated tools to do the job for one very simple reason: Although you can use nothing more than a vice, flat-head screwdriver, and a hammer, you can imagine what may happen if you opt to take that route. For that reason, various manufacturers have built their own CPU delidding tools, the most recent of which is Aqua Computer from Germany. Its tool is a little different from its competitors, however, as rather than buying one from Aqua Computer, you can 3D print it at home.

Among the handful of changes that Intel made to its design in the transition to Skylake CPUs, one of the things it did not change is that it still uses thermal paste between the CPU die and the HIS (integrated heatspreader) instead of soldering them. Heat is therefore transported to the CPU cooler less efficiently, raising operating temperatures and reducing overclocking headroom. To reduce temperatures, users delid their CPUs to have the CPU die make direct contact with the cooler.

Aqua Computer’s tool works quite simply. You first insert the Skylake CPU in the bottom pocket, place the top over it, and rotate it 15 degrees until locked. Then, you grab two screwdrivers, stick them in the holes, and twist a little further until you hear a crack. That crack is the glue bond breaking between the CPU’s IHS and the substrate.

You can download the files to 3D print the Skylake Twister at Thingiverse.

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  • Saberus
    Twist until you hear a crack. That phrase makes my hair stand on end. I can understand the benefits of de-lidding for performance enthusiasts, but as a tech I shudder.

    So my thought is, is this foolproof? Or are you just as likely to damage the die?
  • beckerp86
    To the author:

    I don't believe the 1151 socket design allows you to leave the Integrated Heat Spreader (IHS) off of the CPU. The CPU would sit too low in the socket for any cooler to touch. For anyone thinking about de-lidding, please confirm before proceeding with the instructions in this post.
  • InvalidError
    1878122 said:
    I don't believe the 1151 socket design allows you to leave the Integrated Heat Spreader (IHS) off of the CPU. The CPU would sit too low in the socket for any cooler to touch.

    It depends on the cooler's tolerances and their retention clip designs. Some HSF use spring tensioning (ex.: 212+/EVO) and can accommodate much wider tolerances than other HSFs, like Inte'ls stock design, which are designed with exact physical dimensions in mind. HSFs that use long threaded screws with no stops can accommodate any CPU height but you need to be careful about fastening the HSF evenly and not apply excessive force.