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how often should i renew my thermal paste?


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8 replies to this topic

#1 CalusBlade

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 10:54 PM

Yea so pretty much the topic.  Also How should I clean my heatsink?  my heat sink kinda looks like a jail cell like thing.  The little metal parts are about 1 mm apart.  With metal rod like things dead in the middle.



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#2 Anshad Edavana

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 11:19 PM

Hi

 

Is it a laptop or desktop ? . Did you experience a overheating issue or is it just a preventive maintenance ?



#3 CalusBlade

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 11:47 PM

Its a desktop and not really.  Never shut down due to heat form what i can tell.  Usually shut down on my cause my computer hates specfic games (dragon nest, Starwars the new republic).  I use HW moniter since it seems to be the most accurate.  It usually stays around 32-40 C.  The onther one I use is Core Temp but this one seems to be werid cause it would drop down to 10 C and go up to 57 C. 

 

If it matters its a AMD processor.



#4 dpunisher

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 08:43 AM

http://www.majorgeeks.com/files/details/intelburntest.html

 

Try this.  Don't worry about the "Intel" part of it, it works fine on all CPUs.  After looping that through a test, see what your temps peak at.

 

 To clean heatsinks I use canned air in combo with a vac cleaner to get the crud out.  Be a bit careful with getting any dust in the PSU.  I cleaned a system last month, full of gunk.  Blew out the PSU, blew dust into the PSU evidently.  I didn't even check it afterward as I was rushed that day.  Got it to the clients business, plugged it in and just a wonderful loud "POP!" as the PSU shorted out.  They got a new CX430 from me.....gratis.

 

Just be careful, don't jar around the heatsink/cooler.  If it has a fan on it you will likely have to pull it off.

 

Laptops I have found the best way to clean the garbage out is to use a vac on the air intake, and blow canned air in the outlet.  Sometimes I will use a piece of wire or whatever I have inserted through the intake vent to hold the CPU fan still when using a vacuum so as not to spin it up unpowered.

 

Thermal paste/thermal pad:  For OEMs, the thermal interface is usually considered permanent.   Years ago, about the time of Socket 754 I think, AMD issued a directive that the only thermal interfaces that should be used on their CPUs was either a stock thermal pad or Shin-Etsu compound.  Pretty much everyone that built their own systems ignored that, and the universe never collapsed.  Generally I consider thermal interfaces OK if they are doing their job.  Some consider thinner stuff (AS5 etc) as replaceable every 2 years.

 

IMHO, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.


Edited by dpunisher, 17 June 2013 - 09:32 AM.

I am a retired Ford tech. Next to Fords, any computer is a piece of cake. (The cake, its not a lie)

3770K @4.5, Corsair H100, GTX780, 16gig Samsung, Obsidian 700 (yes there is a 700)


#5 CalusBlade

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 11:09 AM

Yes i do use a can of air for dust but I also have sticky dust on my heat sink so I usually use a tooth pick or a bush dipped in alchool or blech to clean it out then I blow try it.



#6 GreenGiant117

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 12:07 PM

Be careful with canned or compressed air through fans, especially on video cards, while spinning the fan is fun if it is plugged in you are sending voltage back through the system, a friend of mine destroyed his video card doing this.



#7 CalusBlade

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 12:16 PM

Be careful with canned or compressed air through fans, especially on video cards, while spinning the fan is fun if it is plugged in you are sending voltage back through the system, a friend of mine destroyed his video card doing this.

 

Yes, well aware of this.  I keep it form spinning while I clean



#8 dpunisher

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 03:22 PM

If you have a nasty heatsink,  pull it and clean it with brake clean, or acetone, or alcohol or whatever cuts the crud.  I have had smoker's systems apart and ended up pulling the heatsink off and throwing it in the dishwasher (without letting the wife know about it).  Since I got an ultrasonic cleaner I usually take some liquid soap and hot water and run it for 15-20 minutes to get stuff clean.  Fans, I usually end up replacing them vs cleaning them when they are really dirty.

 

If you are careful, you can hose the heatsink and fan with electrical contact cleaner if you don't want to pull everything apart.  Not recommended, but it can be done.


I am a retired Ford tech. Next to Fords, any computer is a piece of cake. (The cake, its not a lie)

3770K @4.5, Corsair H100, GTX780, 16gig Samsung, Obsidian 700 (yes there is a 700)


#9 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 07:38 PM

Further to dpunisher's reply - if you move / dislodge / break the bond between the heatsink and the CPU chip, you MUST replace the heatsink compound.

 

This requires that you clean the old compound off both surfaces - cotton buds and iso-propyl alchohol usually do nicely - and replace the old compound with a fairly thin but complete layer of new compound. This only needs to be applied to one of the mating surfaces before you reuninte the heatsink and the processor.

 

You will find that some processors use what is called a thermal pad. If you can't source a replacement pad you can use heatsink paste. What matters is that the heatsink still makes a firm bond with the processor surface when the clips are fastened.

 

Finally - don't get heatsink paste on your clothes. It's hell to get off !

 

Chris Cosgrove






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