How tight should the heatsink be screwed in?


Jun 9, 2014
Hello, and sorry for the following.
This might be the wrong question to ask, but i have got a laptop at home, a Fujitsu lifebook a530. It is really old, and overheating extremely. I cleaned the insides and replaced the thermal paste as neatly as possible. There were improvements, but still, playing GTA San Andreas or a similar requirements game causes it to go up to 80 degrees or so, which was a temperature i was hoping not to reach after this.
After opening it again, i noticed that alot of the thermal paste i applied to the cpu ended up around the cpu. Does that mean i tightened the screws too much? Or is it normal? There was a layer of thermal compound on the cpu and gpu, but it was, by my judgement, very thin. Does the overflow of thermal paste mean i tightened the heatsink too much, causing the thermal paste to be squeezed out, or that i simply applied too much of it?


I would say you added just a bit too much. You actually want the paste to squirt out if you add too much (obviously without getting all over everything). You want the minimum space possible between the heat sink surface and the processor surface without cranking the hell out of the screws.
For a laptop, very small pea size in the middle and the tighten the screw until the lock with any force with a screw driver, doing say 5 turns for screw 1 then screw 3 then screw 2 and then screw 4 and repeat, this way you get a even down force.

80c well with the thermal limts of the processor, 90°C for socket, 105°C for soldered CPU.