[SOLVED] Ryzen 3rd gen thermal paste application?

TheNerdyGlaceon

Respectable
Oct 1, 2018
920
180
2,340
53
My 3900X arrives next week and I've been hearing from multiple people that the classic "pea-sized dot" method in the middle no longer applies to 3rd gen Ryzens?

Looking at the dies, to me, it looks like it shouldn't matter:



If I apply a dot in the middle it should cover both dies no? What's the best way to go about this? Keep the pea-sized dot method or try something new?

Also, my NH-D15 came with a tube of NT-H1 thermal paste. Should I use that or the MX-4 paste I already have? Don't know if there's a difference between the two. I'd prefer the one with more longevity.
 

Phaaze88

Glorious
Ambassador
Just 5 small dots. I don't even make the middle one larger anymore.

If you know where the die(s) are, you don't NEED to follow the usual methods word for word.
IF that TPU image for the 3900X is accurate... if it were ME, I would just apply 2 dots: Keeping in mind where that little triangle is, one near the center and a little to the left, and the other near the top-right corner, and test it out.
 

Math Geek

Champion
Ambassador
i learned many many years ago to spread a very thin layer over the whole IHS and it's what i still do. i never went to the pea sized method. if you're concerned then do what i do and spread it out over the whole thing. make it thin enough that you can just about read the information printed on the IHS. it should be that thin if you cover the whole thing
 
Reactions: RodroX

TheNerdyGlaceon

Respectable
Oct 1, 2018
920
180
2,340
53
i learned many many years ago to spread a very thin layer over the whole IHS and it's what i still do. i never went to the pea sized method. if you're concerned then do what i do and spread it out over the whole thing. make it thin enough that you can just about read the information printed on the IHS. it should be that thin if you cover the whole thing
I am not confident enough to do that
 

Math Geek

Champion
Ambassador
easy to do, just use the side of a piece of paper of cardboard and slowly spread your pea sized drop over the rest of the IHS. keep going until it is all covered, then bush over that until it's thin enough to just about see the print through it. much easier than you're thinking :)

you'll find a good bit of it is on the paper and no on the IHS which is not a bad thing so long as it's spread out.

though i do recall being scared to death the first time i did it myself!!
 

Phaaze88

Glorious
Ambassador
If I apply a dot in the middle it should cover both dies no? What's the best way to go about this? Keep the pea-sized dot method or try something new?
Dot in the middle isn't very effective on that cpu unless you apply an excessive amount in the middle, and as we all know, that's just wasting paste... Noctua is shown doing in their NT-H1 application for AM4 cpus with the center dot method, and I don't agree with it because of the multi-chip dies:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GcMz2imdQuM


If you're still hesitating with the light spread, go with the 5 dot method instead - just, don't use quite as much as this guy did, and a little further away from the corners. NT-H2 does not spread as easily as the older H1 does.
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBS2SfB4wB0
 

TheNerdyGlaceon

Respectable
Oct 1, 2018
920
180
2,340
53
If you're still hesitating with the light spread, go with the 5 dot method instead - just, don't use quite as much as this guy did, and a little further away from the corners. NT-H2 does not spread as easily as the older H1 does.
Yeah I'm thinking to go with that one. Didn't know what to think of that video as i have NT-H1 and not NT-H2.
So little bit bigger dot in the middle, then 4 smaller dots around it?
Is NT-H1 any worse/better than MX-4?
 

Phaaze88

Glorious
Ambassador
Just 5 small dots. I don't even make the middle one larger anymore.

If you know where the die(s) are, you don't NEED to follow the usual methods word for word.
IF that TPU image for the 3900X is accurate... if it were ME, I would just apply 2 dots: Keeping in mind where that little triangle is, one near the center and a little to the left, and the other near the top-right corner, and test it out.
 

Phaaze88

Glorious
Ambassador
And that's why I said IF. That's actually a Ryzen 3600.
While the above is a 3950X, they use the same number of CCX dies - the 3900X just has half the cores disabled on one, if I recall correctly.
So, in THIS case - keeping in mind where that triangle is when placed in the socket, I would do a 3 dot triangle method.
 

TheNerdyGlaceon

Respectable
Oct 1, 2018
920
180
2,340
53
Okay I'll just go with either the 3 dot method or the 5 dot at this point, clearly one big dot isn't perfect anymore

One last question: NT-H1 or MX-4? Which one lasts longer and is any of them too "sticky" so I don't have to spin my cooler 360 degrees in order to get it off?
 

Phaaze88

Glorious
Ambassador
I, at least, couldn't say.
My experience with MX-4 was short lived and too long ago to remember, and I'm inside my PC too often to comment on a paste's behavior after an extended 'sit' time; if I'm not running some kind of cooler experiment, then I do maintenance like every month or 2... PC-OCD.
 

TheNerdyGlaceon

Respectable
Oct 1, 2018
920
180
2,340
53
Alright I'll just go with the 20g tube of MX-4 I already have, don't know why I bought this much lol

I'd rather use something I have experience with. Now if this cooler came with a tube of NT-H2 instead I'd use that.

I do maintenance like every month or 2... PC-OCD.
Can relate, I clean my dust filters, heatsinks and GPU twice per month and I don't know why
 
Last edited:

Phaaze88

Glorious
Ambassador
20g?!
Dang, I'm kinda jealous...

NT-H2 isn't all that different from NT-H1.
It doesn't spread as easily, which can be either a pro or a con. No one should care about temperature difference with paste - that's not the purpose of it.
Even if it were to make a small difference, it's only with the high TDP cpus, which the 3900X isn't - at least, it's not on the same level as a 9900K, for example.
 
Reactions: TheNerdyGlaceon

TheNerdyGlaceon

Respectable
Oct 1, 2018
920
180
2,340
53
Oh, good to know.

5 dots of MX-4 it is then.

As for my upgrades, the NH-D15 is just sitting beside my desk now, because both the CPU/Mobo aren't here yet.

I also decided to mount back the Noctua fans when the CPU arrives, because I deduced the front fans are making the noise due to the dust filter being literally next to them.

I can move them on the other side of the fan mounting panel and that's a good distance away from the dust filter. I recently switched to a full SSD build as well, so the anti-vibration pads will help in reducing vibration further.

At least I hope. There's no performance hit if I move the front fans a bit further back so that they're not right against the dust filter right? NF-A14 has more static pressure than Pure Wings 2 from what I've seen.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS