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How To Replace Memory Heat Spreaders

Welcome to another session of void-your-warranty, as today we take a look at upgrading stock heat spreaders on RAM.

By: Andrew Jones | Guides | Posted: Jul 1, 2008 4:00 am

A little hot under the collar


Welcome to another session of void-your-warranty, as today we will look at upgrading the stock heat spreaders on a pair of Kingston DDR2 memory modules.



What we will do here is run through a step-by-step of removing the plain flat aluminum spreaders that come with most RAM modules and upgrading them with some Nexus HXR-550B Heat-Pipe memory coolers.



Firstly, a warning before we start:-


- This will void your warranty!


- Do not attempt this mod unless you can afford to replace the RAM if you happen to break it!


- TweakTown and its associates are not responsible for any damage or harm caused in any way!


Now that that is over with, let's look at the various ways of removing the heat spreaders on your RAM sticks.


Method 1


One method is to freeze the RAM, thus causing the thermal adhesive to harden and the bond between it and the chip to become much weaker. This makes it a lot easier to pry apart.




- It's relatively safe to put RAM in the freezer; in an anti-static bag!.


- It takes most of the thermal adhesive off the chip, so there's less cleaning up to do.




- It can damage the RAM PCB and components when prying open.


- It can potentially rip a RAM chip off if it's really stuck.


Method 2


The next method is the heater method which involves using a hairdryer to heat the RAM heatsinks up; this makes the thermal adhesive more pliable and easier to pry off.




- It's quicker to do than freezing.




- Heat damages components. If you get it really hot you risk damaging the chips.


- There's potential to burn yourself if you heat it up too much.


- You can still rip a RAM chip off if it's really stuck.


- There's potential for damage to components when prying open.


Method 3


The last method is the slicing method, which works best if the adhesive is a soft pad. Fortunately, most are these days. You insert a small wedge to help lift the RAM sink slightly, then you take a thin bladed sharp knife and slice away at the adhesive on top of the chip.




- There are no extreme temperatures to deal with or potential damaging of the chips.


- There's no risk of ripping a chip off if you slice through the material.


- There's less risk of damaging the components or PCB when prying open.




- It requires two small wedges (or similar) to lift the heat spreader slightly.


- It requires use of a knife and increased risk of cutting yourself.


- It's time consuming and a bit messy.


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