How dangerous is it to turn on PC without thermal paste


Feb 14, 2010
ok so i had to take my Phenom II x4 out of its socket, which of course made the Thermal Paste dry, but how dangerous is it to turn my PC on with only that dried thermal paste (and of course the CPU fan)? should i not turn it on at all? or can i just turn it on for a few minutes so i can configure my Bios (this is a new build)

oh the CPU is not overclocked


depends on mobo - on how fast it can detect an overheat and how fast it can idle down or turn off. You can search for video's on p4 overheating and popping their heatspreaders off. LoL were are talking a mere second. I've killed a few myself

I'm Not sure on the phenom x4 series but not worth the risk either imo.



Jan 28, 2008
No, as long as the heatsink is correctly inserted there should be enough contact as not to immediately overheat the processor, thermal paste improves contact between the heatsink and processor, it's not required, but for best effectiveness it's definitely a good idea.

At full load it could mean a different from 3c to 10c + .

No, it pretty much is required. All heatsinks and CPU surfaces have micro fractures that will have air, and serve as an insulator preventing heat transfer.

Thermal paste if not required if you're able to sand down the surfaces so they can form a tight vacuum fit...which is nigh impossible without special equipment.