[CPU] Do you need to apply Thermal Paste between CPU and CPU cooler?

steve695

Honorable
May 31, 2012
154
0
10,680
0
Hey all

I built my first gaming PC yesterday and I forgot to apply thermal paste between my CPU and CPU cooler.

Will this matter? Is it important to apply thermal paste?
 


You can check the temps with any number of programs (you'll need to have Windows installed first, of course). A few that I recommend are HWMonitor, Core Temp and RealTemp.

There really isn't a one size fits all "normal" temp range because of the variables involved (room temp, case airflow, etc.), but in general, with the stock cooler on that CPU, you should idle from 35-45C, and full 100% stress test load should be around 60-70C (maybe a bit higher).
 
Was it the stock cooler or an aftermarket cooler?

If it was the stock cooler, the thermal paste was pre-applied (almost definitely), but if it's an aftermarket cooler, you DEFINITELY need to apply some paste.

And yes, it ABSOLUTELY matters. You HAVE to use thermal paste.
 

steve695

Honorable
May 31, 2012
154
0
10,680
0


Stock cooler. I don't remember seeing Thermal Paste on it. It's an Intel i5 3570k if that helps.
 


OK, yeah, it has the paste pre-applied then.

Should have looked something like this (not exactly because this cooler is slightly different, but the thermal paste would be the same).
 


You shouldn't have needed to peel anything off, no, but yes taking it off will mean that you have to completely clean everything off and start over with new paste. Removing and re-seating disturbs the paste and causes air bubbles which leads to much higher temps.
 

steve695

Honorable
May 31, 2012
154
0
10,680
0
Oh ok.

Because I initially put the CPU cooler on facing the wrong way. It was only sitting like this for about 5 minutes until I turned it around.
 


It's not ideal, but if you never turned the system on (gave the CPU a chance to heat up) before you repositioned it, it should be ok.

If you have higher than normal temps, that would be the first thing I would suspect though.
 


You can check the temps with any number of programs (you'll need to have Windows installed first, of course). A few that I recommend are HWMonitor, Core Temp and RealTemp.

There really isn't a one size fits all "normal" temp range because of the variables involved (room temp, case airflow, etc.), but in general, with the stock cooler on that CPU, you should idle from 35-45C, and full 100% stress test load should be around 60-70C (maybe a bit higher).
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS