Do I need to add thermal paste to my new build?


Mar 8, 2009
Will be receiving the parts for my new build today. I'm pairing an AMD Phenom II X4 940 Deneb 3.0Ghz with a Gigabyte GA-MA790GP-UD4H mobo and a Xigmatek Dark Knight S1283V cpu cooler. I'm not planning on overclocking the system right away, but may do a slight oc in the future. My question is: should i also add a third-party thermal paste to this setup? is it necessary if I don't overclock? Is it something I can add later if I choose to overclock or must i add it when i set this rig up for the first time? any thoughts on this are much appreciated. this rig is being set up in a CM690 case.
That CPU cooler comes with stock thermal compound included.
It's fine for any medium overclock. An after-market thermal compound like Arctic Cooling MX-2 or OCZ Freeze would keep the temps a few degrees lower, making higher (near maximum) overclocks easier to reach.
You can add an aftermarket thermal compound later. It's a bit of work to remove the cooler, clean the heat sink and CPU and then apply new thermal compound.

I would def. use thermal paste for any build. For the few dollars it cost it's well worth it if you want to help keep your temps low. Try the Arctic Cooling MX-2. It's non conductive, and it has no set up time.


Mar 17, 2009
I suck at applying thermal paste and have built about half a dozen PCs for personal use. Someone link me to a 'Retard's Guide to Applying Thermal Paste' please ;) I swear it's either never even or I put to much or to little.