Product: Non-Conductive AMD & Intel Shims
Street Price: ~ $9
Date Reviewed: May 20, 2001
Reviewed By: Jason
Even though this is the fourth shim review at EOC, these shims
are a little different than all the rest. These shims from CrazyPC
are 100% completely non-conductive, so no more worries about shorting out your
CPU! I was able to verify that claim by testing the shims with an ohm-meter. As
far as I know, there is only one other brand of shim which is non-conductive,
and that is the cpufx anodized shim, however I advise you avoid that brand.
First, it is not completely non-conductive, it is still their original copper
but just with an anodized coating, so if you scratch the coating then you expose
the copper and then you can short something out. Second, cpufx shims are sub-par
in quality control, their tolerances exceed the range for the CPU core, and thus
could cause you to damage your CPU. I will post numbers later on in the review
to backup this claim.
Anyhow, back to these CrazyPC
non-conductive shims, the material is very light weight and very solid. You
shouldn't have to worry about bending or breaking these shims as long as you
handle them within reason. One thing I did notice is that they are the same
cut-out design as the Tweakmonster copper shims, which offers ample clearance
the bridges and other components on the CPU surface.
Unlike other websites, we don't just merely slap something in
our computer and say "Well, it worked good for me". We take a bit more
scientific approach because you need to have proper measurements to verify a
claim. So once again we break out the dial caliper to measure the thickness of
the shims. If you want to read more on the dial caliper, check out the Thermalphobia
review, or the Tweakmonster
review. If the next part sounds familiar it's because it was copied from one
of my previous shim reviews, but included in this one for completeness.
You can find the specifications for the CPU's in public
datasheets available on the Intel & AMD web sites. The specifications are
given in a minimum and maximum tolerance, however looking for an exact target
number I took the average of the two guessing that is the number that production
shoots for. Note that Intel has a narrower tolerance range, half that of AMD,
but the average still comes out within two thousandths of an inch.
So now that we have a baseline to compare against, which we will
say is .033" for Intel and .031" for AMD, we can measure the thickness
of the copper shims to see how they compare.
The main reason for the variance is because the non-conductive shims aren't
as hard as the copper shims, you can in fact compress them a little bit. However
since the CPU core should be taller than the shim, this really isn't something
to worry about.
To compare the numbers to our previous shims that have been reviewed, here's
a chart below:
These shims are really quite nice, and the best part is that they are 100%
non-conductive. This still doesn't mean that you can't damage your CPU if you
misuse these shims, it just means that you don't have to worry about shorting
out anything. So please don't feel over-confident just because you have a
non-conductive shim, that $9 shim can still easily kill your $200 CPU. The one
thing that I'm wondering about, if it is really non-conductive, why did they cut
out the area over the bridges? I guess it was just for simplicity sakes.
I wouldn't hesitate recommending these shims as they are good quality.
However I would still recommend using a copper shim if you plan on doing some
super-cooling with peltiers because I don't think these non-conductive shims
would hold up against the extreme cold, it shows that it is only rated to 0F on
the web site specs.
For $9, I think it is an excellent investment, especially with oversized heat
sinks and copper heat sinks. The shim eases installing a heat sink and also
helps balance the heat sink by creating a larger surface area.
High Quality / Professional Grade
Less than $10
Probably Not The Best Choice For Sub-Zero Cooling
For The Average User: 10 / 10
For The Extreme Overclocker: 9 / 10
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