New Ivy Bridge chip runs way hotter than its predecessor

Not so fast, overclocking enthusiasts — early online scuttlebutt suggests that Intel’s new Ivy Bridge chips run hotter than their Sandy Bridge precursors by as much as 20 or 30 degrees Celsius.

Initialtestingshows that heavily overclocking the chips can produce operatingtemperatures above 90 degrees Celsius — far higher than the devices’Sandy Bridge predecessors.

According to a report from Overclocking.com, a community Web sitededicated to “performance computing,” there are two common explanationsfor the startling increase in overclocked temperature. One is that thegreater power density of Ivy Bridge — a consequence of thesmaller CPUdie — provides less surface area from which radiant heat can escape.

However, the site said, that density wouldn’t account for the scale ofthe difference on its own. It’s likely that the use of thermal pasteinstead of the company’s own proprietary fluxless solder to connect theCPU die to the metal heat spreader sharply decreases the heat transferefficiency of the system as a whole.

While this seems like a puzzling choice on the surface — why wouldIntel abandon what appears to be asuperior heat dissipation technique?– Overclocking.com notes that the Ivy Bridge chips provided to manyreviewers have been engineering samples, rather than productionversions, and that the company could well switch back to fluxlesssolder for the majority of the units.

Given the renown won by Sandy Bridge in the performancehardwarecommunity for its easy, forgiving overclocking ability, following inits footsteps would seem to be a wise move.

Email Jon Gold atjgold@nww.com and follow him on Twitter at@NWWJonGold.

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