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Thermal Paste


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#1 jawknee912

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Posted 15 July 2006 - 04:56 PM

i know that when you put new thermal paste on a processor you should clean off the old and use a very small amount. what do you use to clean off the old paste and what do you use to spread the new paste out evenly? thanks in advance for any answers.

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#2 protozero

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Posted 15 July 2006 - 06:33 PM

For cleaning, something soft and disposable, but don't use something like a carpet, cause of static. To spread it you could put on a rubber glove and spread it around circularly with your finger. Since thermal paste is annoying to get off you hands, (just keeps spreading if you use water) I wouldn't use your bare finger.
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#3 jawknee912

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Posted 16 July 2006 - 04:09 AM

use water???

#4 Gothmog

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Posted 16 July 2006 - 07:14 AM

use water???

I think he meant using water to clean the paste off your fingers not on the proc

Thermal grease comes supplied in little tubes (see Figure 23). All you need to do is apply a little grease to the base of the heatsink and spread this into the thin layer using a piece of cardboard. Generally, a plastic spreader is supplied to do this job. You only want a thin layer (paper thin, no more), but it does need to be free from air bubbles, which can cause pockets of heat to build up.

I stole this from this guide. You may have to skip to the end to find the CPU and cooler sections.

#5 DaveM59

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Posted 16 July 2006 - 07:23 AM

For cleaning the old stuff off, rubbing alcohol is good. If the paste is really stubborn there are stronger solvents, but try alcohol first.

#6 dc3

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Posted 16 July 2006 - 10:19 AM

If this is a re-application and the comopound is dried into a solid mass, take a plastic credit card and very gently scrap the compound area only, after that you may need to use some type of solvent such as alcoholor or acetoneto clean the residue.

To apply the compound, put a small drop on the surface that will mate to the heat sink and spread it with your finger, your finger will survive with a simple wipe on a paper towel, if it's getting everywhere...you're using way too much! I wouldn't worry about air pockets, when the heat sink is clamped down it will spread the compound in such a manner that this will not be a consideration.

One note of warning, if you use a product like Artic Silver be aware that the compound contains silver which is a conductive material, so be careful not to allow it to migrate.

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#7 Gothmog

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Posted 17 July 2006 - 01:06 AM

dc3, do you find it is best to spread the grease onto the processor rather than the heat-sink like that guide suggests? I realize they will both get the same result, but is one way more managable?

#8 protozero

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Posted 17 July 2006 - 01:24 AM

I would put it on the processor. If you put it on the heatsink you may put it in the wrong place and not a good contact surface with the paste.
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#9 TheEmuRider

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Posted 17 July 2006 - 03:21 AM

is it completely necessary to use thermal paste? my processor didnt come with any.

if so, what are some good/affordable brands?

#10 AmBush

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Posted 17 July 2006 - 01:02 PM

is it completely necessary to use thermal paste? my processor didnt come with any.

ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY It helps heat transfer from CPU and CPU to cooling BTW CPU's DO NOT come With TIM (all the ones i have had never had any if they did it was binned :thumbsup: )


if so, what are some good/affordable brands?

Personally I WOULDN'T scrimp on TIM (Thermal Interface Material) You have two choices Pad or Paste (Gunk/Goo/grease just some aliases)
Its generally said if your CPU/GPU cooling is not likley to be removed/replaced for some time then your best using pads If your Overclocking or modding your better off using paste.

IMO Arctic Silver 5 Is about the best


About TIM vs Pads

How To Clean Guide
K.I.S.S "Keep It Simple and Straightforward"

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#11 TheEmuRider

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Posted 17 July 2006 - 11:02 PM

Thankyou very much :thumbsup:

#12 dc3

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Posted 18 July 2006 - 03:14 AM

dc3, do you find it is best to spread the grease onto the processor rather than the heat-sink like that guide suggests? I realize they will both get the same result, but is one way more managable?


I've never read the instructions, it just made sense put it on the PCU, after all it is the critical area.

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#13 jawknee912

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Posted 19 July 2006 - 09:08 PM

i just put a Zakman CNPS9500 in my pc with Arctic Silver 5 thermal compound and my cpu dropped from 60C to 53C. Is that normal? I figured that it would drop to atleast 45C. and its not my air flow either. the ambient temp at the mobo is 36C. what's going on?

#14 usasma

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 11:00 AM

Depends on a whole lot of factors:

CPU
Airflow in/around the case
Ambient temp
Overclocking
Installation technique
etc.

I stopped taking temps a while back - but my last was a P4 Prescott running at 53 to 55 C. The heatsink that I installed lowered the temps into the high 40's
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#15 DaveM59

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 11:21 AM

An 8C drop is pretty good if the only change you made was switching to Arctic Silve paste.




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