Question First Time Build - Wraith Prism Cooler

Jul 22, 2020
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Hoping to get some clarity on this cooler as I've heard such a wide range of opinions regarding the stock paste. I have a Ryzen 5 2600 CPU. My goal is to do some moderate gaming (few hours a day or so, with a little bit of VR). I know the wraith prism isn't the best, but it was a cooler that my buddy wasn't using so he passed it on to me. Everything was right out of the package unused.

I have heard that when the stock paste is removed from this cooler, the copper bars are not completely flush with one another on the heat sink, so there are small gaps between them, which I am afraid would cause heat pockets on my CPU if I were to try and remove the stock paste and add my own. I do not know this for sure, as I have yet to remove the stock paste myself (waiting for my MOBO to come in). My other concern is that the wraith prism has been out for some time now, surely this has played some type of an impact on the pre-applied paste it has? I do have Arctic Silver 5 ready to go so I am prepared for either scenario.

My question is,
1.) Can anyone confirm what I mentioned above regarding the gaps between the bars on the heat sink?
2.) Should I just stick with the pre-applied paste and change it our down the line?


Thank you very much in advanced. Again, this is my first build, so I value any input greatly prior to diving into the actual adventure of building and screwing something up. :)
 

COLGeek

Cybernaut
Moderator
If the stock thermal compound is intact and unused, it is actually quite good and should not need to be replaced.

If it has hardened or has been previously used/damaged, then replacing with Arctic Silver will be fine. Don't worry about minor "gaps" and surface imperfections. That is what the thermal compound is for.
 
Jul 22, 2020
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If the stock thermal compound is intact and unused, it is actually quite good and should not need to be replaced.

If it has hardened or has been previously used/damaged, then replacing with Arctic Silver will be fine. Don't worry about minor "gaps" and surface imperfections. That is what the thermal compound is for.
Thanks COLGeek, I am unsure really what the normal preapplied paste should feel like, so determining if that has hardened compared to what is actually acceptable might be a bit of a challenge. Do you have any suggestions for how I should apply the Arctic 5? I know the dot method is common, but have not heard favorable results for this specific heat sink given the above information.
 
Oct 24, 2019
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Thanks COLGeek, I am unsure really what the normal preapplied paste should feel like, so determining if that has hardened compared to what is actually acceptable might be a bit of a challenge. Do you have any suggestions for how I should apply the Arctic 5? I know the dot method is common, but have not heard favorable results for this specific heat sink given the above information.
The dot method is a rule of thumb most of the time. Just make sure to put enough, not too little or too much.
 
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COLGeek

Cybernaut
Moderator
Thanks COLGeek, I am unsure really what the normal preapplied paste should feel like, so determining if that has hardened compared to what is actually acceptable might be a bit of a challenge. Do you have any suggestions for how I should apply the Arctic 5? I know the dot method is common, but have not heard favorable results for this specific heat sink given the above information.
As long as the thermal compound is still tacky, pliable it is fine. The Wraiths come with a clear plastic cover to protect this material. If used, it is likely okay.

The dot method is fine for most applications.
 

madmatt30

Titan
Ambassador
As long as the thermal compound is still tacky, pliable it is fine. The Wraiths come with a clear plastic cover to protect this material. If used, it is likely okay.

The dot method is fine for most applications.
I'd do an x shape on ryzen cpu's (as the CPU sits on the board) because of the way the ccx's are layed out on the chip itself.

The dot method isn't really optimal for ryzen anymore.
 

COLGeek

Cybernaut
Moderator
I'd do an x shape on ryzen cpu's (as the CPU sits on the board) because of the way the ccx's are layed out on the chip itself.

The dot method isn't really optimal for ryzen anymore.
I actually apply a very thin film (use a plastic spreader) across the mating surface of the CPU's IHS, then connect the heatsink. No gaps. No overflow.

This method is not good for inexperienced users who tend to use too much thermal compound.
 
Reactions: Karadjgne

Karadjgne

Titan
Ambassador

This is a Ryzen 3600. Prior cpus and Intels just had 1 die dead center of the IHS, so pea dot method was perfect. But with the cores spread out to help with adjacent heat issues, often the 'dot' doesn't spread out to the corners or sides well enough for good total coverage. For Ryzen 3000 series is advisable to do the 'spreader' method and give the entire IHS a thin coat. Doesn't take much, but the paste should be uniform, no gaps or really thin spots.

It's far easier to work with the better pastes as they are more fluid and less 'pasty'.
 
Reactions: Mrgr74
Jul 22, 2020
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This is a Ryzen 3600. Prior cpus and Intels just had 1 die dead center of the IHS, so pea dot method was perfect. But with the cores spread out to help with adjacent heat issues, often the 'dot' doesn't spread out to the corners or sides well enough for good total coverage. For Ryzen 3000 series is advisable to do the 'spreader' method and give the entire IHS a thin coat. Doesn't take much, but the paste should be uniform, no gaps or really thin spots.

It's far easier to work with the better pastes as they are more fluid and less 'pasty'.
Thank you for the great info, I will try to remove the paste and apply using the spread tool.
 
Jul 22, 2020
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I actually apply a very thin film (use a plastic spreader) across the mating surface of the CPU's IHS, then connect the heatsink. No gaps. No overflow.

This method is not good for inexperienced users who tend to use too much thermal compound.
Thank you I will definitely try to spread the paste with the tool. I haven't done this before but I'll be sure to start small rather than start big. much appreciated to everyone for the info.
 

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