What do you do when your motherboard bends your CPU? If you’re [Karta] or [Luumi], you 3D print a new retaining bracket to fix the problem. [Karta] originated the design, and [Luumi] also tried it and produced the video you can see below.
We think we find flat surfaces all the time, but it is actually very difficult to create something truly flat. You usually learn this when you try to maximize heat transfer between two surfaces. Getting two supposedly flat surfaces to touch is quite hard. CPU brackets use a combination of pressure and some sort of thermal media or paste to fill in any gaps between the CPU case and the heat sink. Intel’s LGA1700 bracket is an example, but there’s been a problem. Apparently, with recent CPUs, the bracket is a little too tight, and it bends the CPU’s case. It doesn’t hurt the CPU, but it does inhibit thermal transfer.
Others have “fixed” this problem by adding some washers to slightly raise the bracket. In both cases, there has been some very small improvement in CPU temperatures. [Luumi] says part of the problem is his water cooling block is not completely flat and needs to be lapped. [Karta], however, reported a 7 degree drop in temperatures, which is pretty significant.
We love seeing how 3D printing can fix or improve things you own. They talk a lot about lapping in the video, and, in some cases, people actually risk lapping the IC die itself to make it flatter. It can help, but the risk is relatively high and the gain is relatively low.