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Thread: How to Remove Asus Maximus Formula Heatpipe Guide

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb How to Remove Asus Maximus Formula Heatpipe Guide

    Step-by-Step

    Maximus Formula is a great board but it has its own flaw such as the Heatpipe cooler. Its not a bad design but just a bad thermal compound that Asus used. It was design for passive cooling even with the SE version; if you have a poor case air flow then you will run into temperature issues for Northbridge and Southbridge.

    The paste Asus used must have epoxy adhesive mixed to it. It is hard as rock when it cured and its impossible to remove it if you dont know how. Ive heard some horror stories about people have tried to remove it; either they have no success or damage the MOBO.





    You have two choices to improve the temperature by;
    • Easy way: put a spot fan to NB & SB sinks, it will reduce 1-2c degree.
    • Harder way but better: remove the Heatpipe and replace stock thermal paste with a good aftermarket thermal paste.
    In this guide I am going to show you how remove it properly without damage your precious board. No matter if it is a brand new board or it has been used for months. My board was use for over 8 months and I didnt have any problem remove it. Howerver use it at your own risk, unexpected board shorten or damage can occur.

    Tool & Material Needed:
    • Philips and Slotted screwdrivers, small size.
    • Heat gun or Hair dryer
    • Longnose plier
    • Xacto (razor) blade (optional)
    • Construction work gloves
    • Lint free cloth
    • Nail polish remover (optional)
    • 90% Isopropyl Alcohol
    • Old credit card or any plastic card
    Step 1 - The Un-screwed
    1.1 Use Philips head screwdriver to remove 4 threaded screws at the Northbridge sink (Figure 1.1), keep the screws and the support backplate in safe place for reuse.

    1.2 Use your thumb to push the push down locked pins at the Southbridge until it protruded further to the back side of the motherboard. Hold it, and then use a long nose plier to hold on the lockdown prongs and push the pin back to remove it. Becarefull when you do this, just push the prongs pass the hole then use your hand to remove the pin, if you let the plier hit the mobo it can damage the board.



    Figure 1.1

    Step 2 - Bring on the heat
    Ill be using a Heat Gun because its available to me; if you dont have one then uses Hair Dryer. It might take a little longer to heat up the paste, with Heat Gun only take less than 2 minutes. If you are using Heat gun, and it has the temperature settings then you should select the Low setting because its very hot, you dont want to melt the surrounding plastic components. You should keep the distance at least 6 inches (15cm) away from the board. (Figure 2.1)

    2.1 First I will work on the SB, in one hand I aim the Heat gun directly at the sink and the other hand Ill feel the heatpipe. As soon I feel it too hot to touch, I turn off the heat and quickly use a Slotted head screwdriver, put under neat the SB sink and gently pry it with a turning motion fashion (Figure 2.1.b). The sink will pop up easy because the thermal compound losing its grip due to the heat. Keep the screwdriver there (under neat the sink) to lift the sink off the chipset for few seconds. If you let it touches, the paste will cool off and cured. It will stick together again.

    2.2 Now move on to the NB with the same procedure and work on it.

    2.3 As soon the NB sink comes loose, quickly put on the work gloves (or you can ware it ahead of time) and remove the Heatpipe. You will burn your hand if you dont wear gloves.


    Figure 2.1.a - You may see the Heat Gun is very close to the SB, its just for the demo only so I can take the picture.
    Its hard to be a model and a photographer at the same time.


    Figure 2.1.b - Gently turn the screwdriver to use the width to the head to lift the sink up,
    if you have a right temperature then you dont need to force it. Its just come off easily.




    Figure 2.2



    Figure 2.3 - As you can see the SB wasnt fully contacted and looks at how much paste Asus used.
    Thats just a half of it, the other half is on the chipsets.


    Step 3 -The Cleaning Screw
    I will be using Nail Polish remover (I borrowed from my wife.shttttttt.she dosent know) because I dont have 90% Isopropyl alcohol. The one I have only 70%, Nail Polish remover is a little bit stronger but Im going to use them both. The Isopropyl alcohol will use for the final clean up.

    If you have 90% one, then you dont need the Nail Polish remover.
    You probably can use Isopropyl alcohol directly removes the paste by rubbing it, rubbing it with your elbows grease until it come off, STOP.

    I will show you a little trick with a less effort and quicker, save your elbows grease for something else. You will thank me later.

    3.1 Pull out the Heat gun or Hair Dryer to re-heat the NB & SB chipsets until you see the paste have the shiny looks and quickly use the razor blade to scrape off the excess paste. If you choose to use razor blade, make sure you use the one wider than the NB and SB chipsets/sinks surface (see figure 3.1.b) and gently, dont put to much pressure on it or you will scratches the copper surface. I would recommend using a plastic card edges (credit card), its must safer.

    3.2 Now use lint free cloth with Isopropyl alcohol to remove the left over paste. You have to do it quickly while the paste is still hot, it will come off easier then when it cold.

    3.3 Use Isopropyl alcohol to do the final clean up if you use Nail Polish remover.

    3.4 Use the same procedure for the Heatpipe sink.

    3.5 Do a final clean up with the alcohol until you dont see any residues (grayish color) pick up by the cloth.


    Figure 3.1.a Dont use this type of Xacto knife, too narrow and the pointed head will scratch
    the surface of the sink. Look at the gooey stuff...ewh!



    Figure 3.1.b - If you have to use a blade, then use some thing this wide.
    Remember dont put to much pressure on it while you scrapping it.


    Step 4:
    The Installer

    Before you apply any new thermal paste, you should do a dry fitting with the Heatpipe to make sure the NB & SB sinks are totally flat to the chipset. Normally it wont be at first try. Because the crosslinked heat pipe might be wrapped due to the prying. No panic here, all you have to do is to use your thumb put a little pressure (push down) on the crosslinked heat pipe while the heatpipe in the dry fitting position. Now the NB & SB sinks should be stay flat and make a contact with the chipsets.

    Normally, I would use AS5 but I will be using MX-2 thermal paste for this. MX-2 works well as AS5 but this compound is must cheaper than the AS5. The tube you see in the picture only cost me under $8.00 but AS5 will cost over $12 per tube. Now apply a small amount of the thermal paste and reinstall the Heatpipe or you can replace it with the aftermarket cooler of your choice.


    Figure 4.1 - See the two circles? Thats from lapping the NB sink, the two corners was a little bit higher than sink surface.
    I didnt really notice after I lapped, luckily I lapped it.

    Why did I lap the sink in the first place, you ask?
    Because Ive scratched the surface due to using small razor blade, I was in panic (the paste was getting cool) so I just grabbed whatever in my reach. I recommend you to check the flatness of the NB sink especially around the edges (see pic).

    to be continue

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  3. #2
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    Default Part 2 - continued

    With this minor mod you will gain back at least 5-10c in temp for NB & SB.

    Here is a report from XS forums members who has replaced the paste.

    Members reported loaded NB temp's in the 'Aftermarket Block Club':

    ABC Member NB volts NB Loaded CPU Ambient NB Block
    Creek Tha Gray 1.61v 20C -- OCCT at 30min Q6700 GO @ 3.9GHz 24.6C EK S-MAX (Vapor Phase Change user)
    Talonman 1.60v 22C -- 4HR Prime95 Q6600 GO @ 3.8GHz 12.7C EK S-MAX Acetal
    Nikhsub1 1.52v 25C Q6600 @ 3.7GHz n/a MCW30
    Talonman 1.55v 26C -- 1HR Prime95 Q6600 GO @ 3.8GHz 16.6C EK S-MAX Acetal
    Dangals 1.52v 27C -- 1HR Prime95 Q6600 GO @ 3.6GHz 18.5C EK S-MAX Acetal
    neo rtr 1.63v 28C -- 1HR Prime95 QX6700 @ 3.6GHz 18.1C Sixdesign sold by MIPS
    neo rtr 1.70v 28C QX6700 @ 3.6GHz 19.0C Sixdesign sold by MIPS
    WFO 1.46v 30C -- Folding 48Hrs Q6600 GO @ 3.7GHz 21.1C EK S-MAX Acetal
    neo rtr 1.70v 33C QX6700 @ 3.6GHz 24.0C Sixdesign sold by MIPS
    Durkadurka 1.52v 34C -- 2HR Prime95 QX9650 @ 3.8GHz 24.0C EK S-MAX Acetal
    Clunk 1.74v 35C -- Prime over night Q6600 @ 3.6GHz n/a DangerDen Maze4

    Members reported loaded NB temp's using the stock 'Republic of Gamers' cooling:

    ROG Member NB volts NB Loaded CPU
    bill d 1.30v 34C Q6600 @ 2.4GHz
    TheSamuri 1.54v 34C Q6600 GO @ 3.9GHz (Reseated W/MX-2, NB was 48C)
    Renegade5399 1.65v 34C E6850 GO @ 4GHz
    ragge86 1.65v 36C Q6600 @ 3.8GHz
    .OCX 1.57v 38C ---Orthos Beta for 10 hours E6750 @ 3.4GHz
    initialised 1.52v 39C --- After 10mins of SP2004 E4500 @ 3.2GHz
    NysoO 1.60v 39C Q6600 GO @ 3.6GHz
    raju 1.65v 39C --- Prime95 Torture Temp Q6600 @ 3.6GHz (Reseated W/new TIM, NB was 49C)
    DerekFSE 1.50v 40C ---Running Orthos E6400 @ 3.6GHz
    BulldogPO 1.65v 40C --- 24/7 QMC crunching clocks Q6600 @ 3.8GHz
    giorgos th. 1.47v 41C Q6600 @ 3.60GHz
    neo rtr 1.70v 42C QX6700 @ 3.6GHz
    Aldy402 1.63v 43C Q6600 GO @ 3.825GHz (NB was 62C-65C, loaded on air)
    weescott 1.74v 43C Q9550 @ 3.8GHz
    j0nnyr0773n 1.54v 44C Q6600 GO @ 3.6GHz
    Clump 1.62v 46C ---- After 1HR of Prime 95 Q6600 @ 3.6GHz3.8GHz
    giorgos th. 1.47v 41C Q6600 @ 3.60GHz
    neo rtr 1.70v 42C QX6700 @ 3.6GHz
    Aldy402 1.63v 43C Q6600 GO @ 3.825GHz (NB was 62C-65C, loaded on air)
    weescott 1.74v 43C Q9550 @ 3.8GHz
    j0nnyr0773n 1.54v 44C Q6600 GO @ 3.6GHz
    Clump 1.62v 46C ---- After 1HR of Prime 95 Q6600 @ 3.6GHz

    Unfortunately, I am wont be able to share my personal results at this time because Im in the middle of upgrading me WC setup. Its going to take sometime for the results but the guide is available now. I will update the result when it available.

    Bonus Tips
    Ive already installed a chipset fan for the SB before without removing the ROG badge. I used 2 sided adhesive tape to fasten the fan to the badge.

    Now I decided to remove the ROG badge for better air flow cooling and install the fan with threaded screws instead (see pic)

    Chipset fan installed but only 2 screws was use, because the holes are not perfect line up with the fins spacing.
    However, it does the job to hold the fan in place though.

    Hopefully you will have no trouble following my guide and you might use this technique for the other Asus boards or other brand as well.
    Please dont forget to rate our guide and come back post your success results, we like to hear it from you.

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  5. #3
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    very nice guide:cool:

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    First class work Deton, Very clear and concise. I WILL be following this (afterall I will be getting TWO soon (RMA's))

    May I suggest you add a note about this in post1 or post2 (well very near the beginning) of the Maximus thread

    again..... bloody good work mate!

    Edit : I reckon this method will work on most of the Asus boards ....certainly worth trying on my p5e vm hdmi
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    great guide deton

  8. #6
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    I'm glad you guys enjoy it.
    Quote Originally Posted by grumpydaddy View Post
    May I suggest you add a note about this in post1 or post2 (well very near the beginning) of the Maximus thread
    I added in post# 6 because it was talking about temperature issues. I think with this technique will works with any other Asus boards

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    Thanks for that. I have a feeling it will be easier to do when new.

    I hope this gets stickied here in cooling!!! Hint Hint

    One thought I have had....Did you consider putting some sort of heatshield over neighbouring components? (some sort of cloth used by plumbers when soldering) or will they withstand the heatgun?
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    Quote Originally Posted by grumpydaddy View Post
    One thought I have had....Did you consider putting some sort of heatshield over neighbouring components? (some sort of cloth used by plumbers when soldering) or will they withstand the heatgun?
    I though about it. I was thinking of using a sheet of metal to block off the heat but the only components that you're really to worry about it SATA ports and RAM slots. That's why you should aim the heat gun directly at the sink and atleast 6"min away from it. You can test it with your hand, if it is too hot for your hand then start to move the heat gun further away.

    BTW, isn't plumbers use damp or wet cloths?.... that what I would do when I do plumbing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deton View Post

    BTW, isn't plumbers use damp or wet cloths?.... that what I would do when I do plumbing.
    Years ago I would have said asbestos cloth but now I guess it is an alternative...maybe some sort of glass fibre cloth that I have seen.

    No I wasn't thinking of it being wet. Even after all I have seen here the Idea of water and electricity in the same (open) box makes me shudder

    I am an electrician I've had a few "belts" over the years, enough to think water and elec don't mix (couldn't find smilie with hair on end)
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    Great guide Deton if it had been posted 2 weeks ago when i was installing my lcs i would have carried out this mod.

    Will deffo do it the next time when im twinkering with my mobo

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    Quote Originally Posted by neil View Post
    Great guide Deton if it had been posted 2 weeks ago when i was installing my lcs i would have carried out this mod.

    Will deffo do it the next time when im twinkering with my mobo
    thanks, I was planning to have this guide available sooner but as you know if you have a WC setup. It is a pain in the butt to rip everything apart, it's double the work than with aircooling.

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    Definitely an amazing guide!

    A friend and I were talking about how we were going to attempt this with my board, and now I've stumbled on a guide that explains it clearly. Finally, I'm going to be able to truly overclock this system -- and right before a big LAN party in a couple of months too!

    Awesome job!

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    Devhux, good luck with the mod and let us know how it went.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deton View Post
    Devhux, good luck with the mod and let us know how it went.
    Will do. I actually might do this myself this week, as I just fired up ASUS PC Probe and discovered the NB was running at 69 degrees Celcius (!) Yes, the system is very stable (no crashes). I fully blame this summer heat.

    Biggest problem will be re-mounting this Freezone Elite cooler - it took a while to mount it in the first place (not to mention routing all the wires). It's bad when my CPU is running more than 45 degrees cooler than my NB!

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    Excellent work Deton!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Devhux View Post
    Will do. I actually might do this myself this week, as I just fired up ASUS PC Probe and discovered the NB was running at 69 degrees Celcius (!) Yes, the system is very stable (no crashes). I fully blame this summer heat.

    Biggest problem will be re-mounting this Freezone Elite cooler - it took a while to mount it in the first place (not to mention routing all the wires). It's bad when my CPU is running more than 45 degrees cooler than my NB!
    69c for NB?..what's ambient and voltage?
    I never see a NB temp that is high before...
    Yeah, I know how you feel about that you have to rip everything apart. I got my rig totally stripped down barenaked like a first build because I have WCing.

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