What Is an IHS? A Basic Definition

The inside of an Intel CPU. The left side shows the CPU’s IHS.The inside of an Intel CPU. The left side shows the CPU’s IHS.
IHS stands for integrated heat spreader. The IHS is the metal exterior lid of a CPU’s processor. It serves as both a protective shell around the processing silicon and a pathway for heat to be exchanged between the CPU and your CPU cooler.

Some very intrepid overclockers use a process called delidding to remove their processor's stock IHS and replace it with even more conductive material. No matter how good your IHS is, however, it must always be used in concert with some kind of CPU cooler.

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