Question best thermal paste application method for 9900K

Feb 17, 2019
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before I ask the main question, I'm wondering am I freaking out too much? I'm legit so scared right now that even a milligram of difference might screw up the entire system. I've heard people not being able to boot into windows, and is able to boot successfully after they reapplied thermal paste...

anyways. So as you know the common dot method spreads it in a circle, not covering the whole IHS since it's a rectangle. Asked my friend who is a technician at canada computers and he said he personally does dot and smaller dot on the corners to fill in the gaps. However I've also seen that on the gamers nexus modmat it has a diagram saying all coffee lake chips should have a vertical line which makes sense to me since the IHS is a rectangle and isn't round. However even with line there is said to still be open spots on the edges just like dot. So I'm considering my options:

listen to my friend and do big dot in middle and smaller dots on edges

vert line down the middle and smaller dots on edges

just vert line down the middle

or should I just stick with big dot in middle?

***ALSO*** I will be using Arctic Silver 5 thermal paste and on the site it says that it might conduct electricity, so if I spill even a little over the edge will that ruin everything?

GAHHHHHHHHHHHHH so many ways!!!!! Which one is the best??? I wanna boot up first try and don't wanna screw anything up... also going to over clock so... yea... please help!
 
Last edited:

InvalidError

Titan
Moderator
There is a 2-3C difference between the best application method and just putting a sufficient blob straight in the middle and plopping the HSF on top. Not really worth obsessing over. Even a huge glob makes no difference as long as it is non-conductive and the HSF applies sufficient pressure to make the excess ooze out.
 
Feb 17, 2019
75
1
35
0
There is a 2-3C difference between the best application method and just putting a sufficient blob straight in the middle and plopping the HSF on top. Not really worth obsessing over. Even a huge glob makes no difference as long as it is non-conductive and the HSF applies sufficient pressure to make the excess ooze out.
in other words, the dot in the middle is bad application method?
 
in other words, the dot in the middle is bad application method?
the dot in the middle is THE BEST application method.
it will spread out evenly when you press the cpu cooler against the cpu.
just watch a video, apply an approximate amount that looks like it on the cpu and mount the cpu cooler.

after your build is completed check your temperatures with a program and if it boots its most likely fine.
 
In other words, it matters little which method you use.
The purpose of paste is to fill in microscopic pits in the cpu and cooler surfaces.
Air is a very poor conductor of heat.
Thermal paste is much better.
But... thermal paste is not as good as metal to metal contact.
Using too much paste can act as an insulator.
I use the rice sized dot in the middle method.
It will spread out under heat and pressure without trapping air bubbles.
Multiple dots may well trap some air.
It really is hard to use too little.

If you have installed your cooler well, you should see cpu temperatures in the 10-15c. over ambient range.
 
Feb 17, 2019
75
1
35
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the dot in the middle is THE BEST application method.
it will spread out evenly when you press the cpu cooler against the cpu.
just watch a video, apply an approximate amount that looks like it on the cpu and mount the cpu cooler.

after your build is completed check your temperatures with a program and if it boots its most likely fine.
the dot method spreads it in a circle and the IHS is a rectangle/square. This will leave spots uncovered on the edges
 
the dot method spreads it in a circle and the IHS is a rectangle/square. This will leave spots uncovered on the edges
good remark.

google cpu delided or any cpu from the inside you will see a square rectangle in the centre.
that needs to be cooled for the majority. the edges dont matter.
the thinner your paste is (the less you apply), the better it cools.. as long as your cpu is mounted correctly ofcourse.
 
The cpu die only occupies perhaps 1/3 of the heat spreader area.
The hot parts of the processor are even smaller.

The 9900K is a hot chip, not only because it is larger, but also because it is thicker than previous generations.
Not much you can do about that unless you want your chip delidded and lapped.

Really, this is much ado about nothing.
So long as you use some paste and so long as too much does not ooze out over the socket you will do ok.
 
I have used the single pea sized method and have never had an issue. Also I would look at something like Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut or good old Arctic MX-4 instead of the Arctic Silver as both the others are non conductive and both give excellent results.
 

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