Delidding AMD Ryzen Processors Shows Few Benefits And Presents Significant Damage Risk

Now that AMD's fancy new Ryzen processors are available, some people might be wondering if the effort and risk of delidding one of the CPUs is worth the potential reward. This is a question that renowned overclocker "Der8auer" set out to answer in a new YouTube video after demonstrating in a previous clip how to remove the integrated heat spreader (IHS) from an AMD Ryzen CPU. The answer? Don't bother, because even if someone manages to lift the lid off a Ryzen processor without destroying it, the reduction in temperature is minimal.

AMD Ryzen Delidded

Delidding processors is common in the professional overclocking community. Some enthusiasts dabble with the practice as well, all in an effort to reach the CPU die directly for superior cooling capabilities. However, Ryzen processors present some unique challenges. As Der8auer discussed in his previous video, delidding a Ryzen chip is a bit more difficult than most other processors—he destroyed two Ryzen 7 1700 CPUs making that video.

Just as importantly, note only did AMD apparently do a darn good job soldering the IHS, it also uses a high quality thermal interface material (TIM). This is what Der8auer demonstrates in his second video. Have a look:

Der8auer discovers that not only is it especially risky trying to remove the IHS, but after doing so there are not many CPU coolers that will be compatible, at least that is the case with his ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero motherboard. The silicon around the CPU socket is actually slightly higher than the CPU die itself. Cooler makers did not account for that, as the majority of people buying their coolers will use them on lidded chips.

Even after finding a cooler that works with a delidded chip, Der8auer found that the temp difference is negligible. Here is a look at temps he achieved with an AMD Ryzen 7 1800X:

 Average Temp
Maximum Temp
AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
AMD Ryzen 7 1800X Delidded

For all the effort and risk involved in delidding a Ryzen 7 1800X processor, the end result is a measly 1C reduction in maximum temps on the hottest core, and less than a 4C difference in the average temperature reading. As for overclocking, Der8auer hit 4,000MHz with the CPU's lid on, and 4,025MHz with the lid off, the latter of which he said could have been due to luck.

While professional overclockers will still delid Ryzen chips in pursuit of world overclocking records, the takeaway here is that everyone else will be better served by leaving the lid on.