DIY Nickel Plating Guide

Coldplate nickel coating results …

For the performance test, we load the CPU with Prime95 Small FFT as usual in our cooler tests and determine the maximum CPU temperature. Since the nickel plating was so easy, we even nickel plated a second coldplate, namely that of an Arctic Liquid Freezer II 280 water cooler. This gives us an even better indication for our following assessment.

Our measurement results are as follows: The CPU temperature decreased by 3°C from 64°C to 61°C under full load for the Liquid Freezer II 280. For the Arctic Liquid Freezer II 360 with three 120mm fans, the maximum CPU temperature even decreased by 6°C from 66°C to 60°C.

We also verified the original measurements against the original product test before testing with liquid metal. The thermal paste used before that was Arctic MX-4 in the revised 2019 version. With liquid metal, the results of the two water coolers are again close, but this time the Liquid Freezer II 360 narrowly won the race. The improvement in water cooling with 3 fans even exceeded our expectations. Since an improvement occurred with both coolers, we can clearly speak of a recognizable advantage over normal thermal paste, even if the difference is small. For CPUs with higher power consumption, however, the positive effect can be even more pronounced.

Here are the results again in tabular form.

As with any other cooler test, the results were only determined for our components by individual tests. Identical parts can lead to positively as well as negatively deviating results due to manufacturing tolerances and other environmental conditions. In addition, the use of liquid metal in a PC always accompanies a very high risk of causing a short circuit, which can damage the PC. Therefore we do not recommend the use of liquid metal in general.

As always, you do it at your own risk and if you disassemble and coat a CPU cooler, the manufacturer’s warranty expires, which we can’t take over either 😉

Vernickeln Result and general impression …