Ivy Bridge chips run hotter than predecessors

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.

Initial testing shows that heavily overclocking the chips can produce operating temperatures above 90 degrees Celsius — far higher than the devices’ Sandy Bridge predecessors.

According to a report from Overclocking.com, a community website dedicated to “performance computing,” there are two common explanations for the startling increase in overclocked temperature. One is that the greater power density of Ivy Bridge — a consequence of the smaller CPU die — provides less surface area from which radiant heat can escape.

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

While this seems like a puzzling choice on the surface — why would Intel abandon what appears to be a superior heat dissipation technique? — Overclocking.com notes that the Ivy Bridge chips provided to many reviewers have been engineering samples, rather than production versions, and that the company could well switch back to fluxless solder for the majority of the units.

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

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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