[SOLVED] Can I use brake cleaner to remove thermal paste from AM4 CPU socket?

Brake cleaner even dissolves plastic screwdriver handles, and the AM4 socket is plastic. The proper product is a plastic safe spray electronic cleaner or electrical contact cleaner. If you must use something from the autoparts store then MAF sensor cleaner is probably closest.

You'd have to use a LOT of it to get paste to run out of a closed socket like AM4 and off the board. At least that socket design makes it really hard to snag any pins.
 

DMAN999

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Apr 17, 2019
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I would not recommend it.
Brake cleaner has other chemicals besides isopropyl alcohol in it that could damage your CPU.
I personally recommend that you use 91-99% isopropyl alcohol and paper coffee filters (they are lint free) to clean thermal paste off of your CPU and cooler.
 
whatever works with cleaning cpu sockets
LOL

When it comes to TIM in the sockets, don't bother. It won't harm anything to leave it there and you are far more likely to damage some of the delicate socket contacts inside the plastic cover trying to clean it. Just be a bit more careful applying it to the CPU next time. But if you absolutely must: use nothing other than isopropyl alcohol if you can't get it done with just the coffee filter trick. (Which, by the way, is also a great way to clean bathroom mirrors and binocular lenses)

The question (chlorinated or non chlorinated) was really kind of rhetorical: chlorinated solvents are a really big no-no as they attack the ozone layer and leave the earth defenseless to harmful UV radiation.
 
Brake cleaner even dissolves plastic screwdriver handles, and the AM4 socket is plastic. The proper product is a plastic safe spray electronic cleaner or electrical contact cleaner. If you must use something from the autoparts store then MAF sensor cleaner is probably closest.

You'd have to use a LOT of it to get paste to run out of a closed socket like AM4 and off the board. At least that socket design makes it really hard to snag any pins.
 
Aug 8, 2019
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Brake cleaner even dissolves plastic screwdriver handles, and the AM4 socket is plastic. The proper product is a plastic safe spray electronic cleaner or electrical contact cleaner. If you must use something from the autoparts store then MAF sensor cleaner is probably closest.

You'd have to use a LOT of it to get paste to run out of a closed socket like AM4 and off the board. At least that socket design makes it really hard to snag any pins.
is it a big deal if I get a little bit of thermal paste on the socket and would that introduce random freezes and slowdowns
 
That really depends on the paste. If it has ground-up metal bits in it (and not metal oxides which are ceramics), then the alternating conductor and insulator makes it capacitive. Silver is the oddball, in that the oxide is even more electrically conductive than the pure metal! So silver oxide in paste is also capacitive.

As you'd expect, a compound that can store an electrical charge and release it abruptly is generally a bad thing to have bridging a whole bunch of sensitive electrical traces--though the voltages may be low enough to not matter. If you look at the datasheet for the socket or CPU you will see most of the pins are redundant for power or ground, and having paste across any of these would be fine. What you probably want to avoid is paste connecting any data pins, and especially not both power and data pins.
 

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