Do I need new Thermal Paste?

Druzzic

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Apr 10, 2017
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I just got a new cpu but I don't have any way to get new thermal paste. So I was wondering, do I absolutely NEED new thermal paste, or can I use the paste on the heatsink?
 

Druzzic

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Apr 10, 2017
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I mean, I had a different cpu with paste. I pulled it off and I'm wondering if I can just stick the new one in without replacing the thermal paste. I ordered new paste that will arrive in 3 days. Is my pc safe to use with the paste and the cpu that is in it right now?
 

Karadjgne

Titan
Herald
No, not safe at all. The job of the paste is to fill in any micro-abrasions or pits in the surface of both the heatsink and cpu lid. It provides a way for the cpu to transfer heat to the heatsink. There's a reason why it must be applied correctly and cleaned correctly. Any minute air bubbles or lint or dust trapped between the cpu and heatsink will effectively insulate, not transfer the heat. When you think of the millions of tiny transistors inside the cpu, failure to transfer the heat means they cook. Literally. All it takes is one decent air pocket and you'll fry a good portion of the cpu, rendering it useless
So, you have 2 options. Wait a few days for $10 worth of paste you ordered OR run a very real risk of needing to order a new cpu a few seconds after turning on the pc with old paste on the cpu.

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/thermal-paste-heat-sink-heat-spreader,review-32799.html

BTW, what paste DID you order?
 

Druzzic

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Apr 10, 2017
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I did end up just putting it in and I haven't seen any problems. Temps at 20 - 26 idle and I even played some overwatch. It was suppose to fry it soon after turning it on?
 

Druzzic

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Apr 10, 2017
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Now, even thought nothing has happened, I'm afraid I messed something up. Is my pc still safe to use until Thursday? Like I said, Temps In the 20s while idle and it was on for a while when I was fixing it up. Processor was a AMD Athlon x4 750K.
 

Karadjgne

Titan
Herald
I said you run a very real risk of frying it. As it is, since you cannot possibly see the transistors, they are nano small, it's entirely possible you just fried several thousand and reduced the working life expectancy of your cpu by half. You may not notice a difference right away, but you've probably started the domino decay. We did try to warn you. This wasn't a joke or any kind of over enthusiastic paranoia. If you think of the cpu strip quartered into its 4 cores, the temp sensor is smack dab in the middle of each core. It registers total heat for the core and will not differentiate between individual transistors. You'll only actually see any difference when you do a breakdown of individual core max usage under stress, you'll start seeing cores with 98% use instead of the purported 100% usage. And that number will get smaller over time until it gets small enough to affect the data going through the core, and you start getting freezes, bluescreens, whea errors etc.
 

Druzzic

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Apr 10, 2017
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The paste wasn't burned or even fully solid. Are you sure I fried it? It didnt get barely hot at all. You sent that first post after I put it in so there was no way of me knowing to not do it. Everyou other post I got said it was fine. Now I just feel like I 'broke' my new cpu.
 

Karadjgne

Titan
Herald
You missed the point. The damage done will be underneath the cpu lid, not on top where you can see it. The damage done is microscopic, you couldn't see it if you tried. Very few pastes ever turn solid, like Arctic Silver 5 does, but that'll take over 200 heat cycles (that's full burn stress testing, overheating cycles) to achieve. Your new paste is now just 2 days away, quit before you do irreparable damage, and just wait. In the mean time, Google videos, read tutorials, check out posts on exactly how to clean a cpu of the old paste. I'd suggest 91% or better isopropyl alcohol and coffee filters. And Patience!
 

Druzzic

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Apr 10, 2017
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I understand. As a surprise, I got the paste today. I put it on and it's working miracles. Except, while trying to update overwatch, it kept freezing my pc and sometimes rebooting itself. Any ideas? I doubt I did any damage to the cpu the first time. The Temps were way too low for it to do any damage.
 

Karadjgne

Titan
Herald
Druzzic. You are thinking that the sensor can see everything. It can't. The phenomenon is called hotspots. Think of a grid 15x10. That's just 150 little squares. The sensor is a thermal strip, like a piece of tape, that travels down the middle of that grid lengthwise. If your temp reads 36°,thats the generalized temp of that entire grid. If you have an air bubble above 3 of those little squares, that's a Hotspot. That temp can reach well over 200° (silicon melts much sooner) in a matter of seconds, of which the core will still read 36°. That hotspot would have to be right on top of the sensor for you to even see a temp difference, and since 12 of the squares read 36, it'll get averaged with the 3 hot squares, so you'd see a core temp of @68° which would only last a few seconds before the transistors burned out and the core goes back to 36. That's assuming it didn't burn out the sensor. In the meantime, you now have transistors burned out (kinda like bad sectors on a hdd) and mostly the core works just fine. But every now and then, that core will deal with a large bandwidth file or be using 2x files simultaneously using up space, and that data will get caught in those bad sectors and create an error. Sometimes that'll show as a freeze, sometimes if the data was important it'll hit as a bluescreen and you'll get irq=less than zero errors or ntkernal errors etc.

Picture it this way. Go wax the hood of a car, but leave out 1 little spot. After you are done, you can't see the spot you missed. No one can tell the difference. Sunny, cloudy, nice weather, you'll never tell. Until it rains and the water beads up everywhere except that 1 little spot that is now totally visible. That's what happens with the pc. It never sees the damage. You can't see the damage. There's no way to see it at all until you get the right combination of circumstances, and then whammo! The pc freezes.
 

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