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Physical CPU damage possible? Everything seems to work fine...

  • A friend of mine who's not very computer-literate got "jealous" of my setup so he bought himself a RPi 3.

    He kept complaining about the thermometer icon/slowdowns and indeed, when I checked his temperature it was constantly hitting the 80c mark even with lightweight emulators at stock clock.

    So I opened his case and apparently he had installed a heatsink with visibly thick, heavy duty double sided tape. No wonder the CPU was boiling hot...

    I tried to gently remove the heatsink but that thing wasn't even moving! I also tried twisting it with no avail. I ever resorted using a guitar pick and it was simply impossible.

    Therefore the only solution was to use a 2mm flat screwdriver to attempt lifting the corner of the heatsink and finally, I managed to remove that thing. The tape was hard as PVC plastic and fortunately stayed with the heatsink.

    Although I did my best not to damage the Pi, I noticed a tiny little dent on the plastic of the CPU. It's not visible at all but I could feel it on my fingernail. It was very likely caused by the screwdriver while I was twisting it to lift the corner of the heatsink.

    We both became pretty worried that I killed his gizmo but fortunately, after I installed the heatsink with a proper tape (0.25mm thin type 8810 by 3M) his setup worked fine and the CPU dropped to a whopping 45-60c range!

    But now he just called me and said that he's really worried that the CPU has been partially damaged and will affect his gameplay. He claimed that he didn't notice any abnormalities but he's getting paranoid about the tiny dent on the CPU's corner side (I shouldn't tell him but I'd rather be honest).

    Is there a way I can do a CPU health test to assure him that nothing's wrong? Or at least I'd like your opinion so I can paste this thread link to reassure him that his device is A-OK.


  • @matchaman If it's running it's fine. If you had damaged anything it simply wouldn't run. He should be thanking you for doing him a favour.

  • Thanks! Well, he's wasn't asking me to replace it, thankfully :P chap just needs peace of mind.

    I know him for many years and I suspect he recalled the overheat damage GPU phenomenon on the original Wii. I remember we were playing Brawl with strange artefacts on screen.

  • @matchaman The actual CPU / SOC is inside the black square you see. Not sure if the Pi Broadcom chip is enclosed in ceramic or plastic but it's just the housing that is scratched / slightly chipped.

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