You can't delid a soldered CPU without either cracking the solder or melting it. So unless one of these people has a specifically calibrated X-Ray machine, they weren't seeing it, or again, even looking for it. This isn't to mention that I linked an article that you quoted where Intel itself sets up an experiment that shows how they were mitigating the issue but seen it as a problem for future smaller nm dies - it was published in 2006. You're just assuming the TIM is cheaper. Everyone just assumes the TIM is cheaper. It's literally the basis for my rant. Prove to me it's cheaper. Give me any site, forum post, anything where it goes into more detail then "It has to be cheaper because it's not metal!" or "it has to be cheaper because it's not helping my OC!" I find it really hard to believe that you can't distinguish the difference between those two completely different scenarios. That's embarrassing.