Image Credit: OCDrift.org
News of Intel's upcoming Haswell-E CPUs continues to slowly drip out as we gear up for pre-release period, and it appears that engineering samples are in the wild for testing and 'other purposes' (i.e. give chips to overclockers to really put through their paces). Braver souls therefore are now taking to finding out everything relevant from the CPU, and where necessary going so far as to potentially damage the die. For science, you understand.
In in the spirit of discovery Malaysian overclocking supremo 'owikh84' (writing for OCDrift.com) showed off the above image, stating that this ultra-high-end Core i7-5960X will features a heatspreader soldered to the CPU die. It reverses a trend of instead using Thermal Interface Material (TIM) gloop which began with the Ivybridge CPUs, resulting in extreme overclockers often removing the heatspreader (in a process called de-lidding) and replacing the TIM with something of higher grade. By soldering at the manufacturing stage thermal conductivity should be significantly improved.
Unfortunately we don't know the exact model pictured, and it may well be an engineering sample with different features to retail chips. Such was rumoured to have also been the case for Ivybridge, leading to disparities in the results of early engineering sample reviews and the retail editions. Nonetheless it's good news for enthusiasts investing in the cutting edge technology available.
September of this year is the current 'best guess' for the release date of Haswell-E CPUs and the X99 platform, and is expected to be the first release of an Intel hexa-core CPU for desktop PCs.