CPU cooler Heat Sink + Fan): polishing

October 2016

Improving the effeciency (heat dissipation) of the heat sink by polishing it

What makes the difference in price between low end cooler and the high end ones?
  • The material used
  • The number of fins and airducs
  • The quality and the noise level the fan
  • The quality of the surface of the base of the radiator

We will primarily focus on the last point, as not only it directly affects the price of the cooler, but also its the overall performance.
The base is often rough on low-cost solutions as getting proper polishing involve some manufacturing cost, and it is obtained in two ways:
  • By hand
  • With machinery and specialized tools.

In both cases, the cost is significant.

If the surface is well polished then the contact with the CPU will be better, the use of thermal paste optimized and performance improved.

We can also polish the CPU (manually) but there are some risks, because the warranty shall be void and if the operation is too "deep", there is a risk of damaging the processor(permanently).


Before Polishing

After Polishing

Each one has its own method! Personally, I make use a flexible abrasive of a well-known brand.
Use one having a Grit of 400 minimum to start (the higher the number, the higher the grain is fine, finish the job using a 800 or 1000).
With the flexible abrasive, make circular movements (reverse the direction from time to time), then horizontally.
Please note that the surface must be polished, but also remain flat!

After 30min

Some tips from the author of this tip

  • For a flawless finish and a beautiful appearance ... use a car polish! Y
  • To do this, take a good polish to remove scratches and shades (available in all auto centers).
  • However, rinse well with water after use to remove any traces of oil on the heat sink.

Related :

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