What happens when a machinist with a penchant for fine details takes on the task of lapping a 16-core CPU? The result is quite possibly the smoothest surface ever achieved on a processor’s integrated heatspreader (IHS). It is so smooth, in fact, that it could probably be installed into a PC without any thermal paste.

Let’s back up a moment and take a high level overview of the cooling mechanics of a CPU. The large chunk of metal on the top is the IHS, and its purpose is twofold: to protect the chip from cracking, and to pull heat up from the CPU die and transfer it to a cooling block—typically an air cooler or a liquid cooling apparatus.

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