Test a CPU without thermal paste?

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yeahman45

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my computer is not powering up.. so I removed the cpu cooler to clean it up... can I put the CPU without thermal paste just to test if my cpu is faulty? or it will burn without thermal paste?
 
No, although the CPUs should have thermal protection, I'd rather not take the risk. I suggest cleaning the old paste, applying new one, connecting a case speaker to the motherboard and starting the board with only CPU and CPU fan installed. See if any beeps.
 

lazyboy947

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it probably isnt smart, but i will say i have thrown a stock cooler with no mounting hardware, and used paste left on the cooler to quickly do a test boot before, and made sure i held it down, and it was fine, and i would think the same as for no paste, but when i mean quick, barely a minute, but temps were fine as paste was still slightly there and the heatsink wasnt hot. With no either dont chance it, or hold it down securely, and get to the bios post splash screen and thats prob as far as i would go. With no cooler or paste it will most likely end badly....

The paste is there for efficient transfer of the heat between the cooler and cpu headspreader, direct contact should be enough in theory for a quick bootup. Your hardware not mine, if it cant wait until tomorrow for u to go buy some paste then is it worth it?
 

mx_mp210

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I have done it with old system, trust me it gets to it's critical temps too fast, CPU will work but it wont last long enough to do actual work. It's not worth risking system. Apply paste and then try, if your cpu is attached normally it would post, if not then you have some other problem.

You didn't mention why it stopped working at first place. Removing CPU is not the answer. CPUs can sit in socket for years btw.

Edit: Cross referencing other thread by the OP since it's related : http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-2631527/test-cpu-working.html
 
Hi

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Thermal-Compound-Roundup-October-2011/1396/5
(similar results found on Toms Hardware)

this shows Mayonnaise (or salad cream) or toothpast is as good as many professional products and may work for a short period such as boot up to bios screen.

Do not apply too much.

Do at your own risk there may be variations in results with different toothpast and salad creams


I always apply TIM to bottom of heatsink not top of cpu for modern heatsinks where surface area of heatsink is smaller than top of cpu.

regards
Mike Barnes
 
with the HSF VERY FIRMLY pressed on, for only 1-2s, not smart but would probably be OK. Personally I would not, and would not recommend anyone do it. A tube of thermal paste costs $5-10, has dozens of uses, just get the paste.
 

yeahman45

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lol ok guys... I think I will use thermal paste... there's dry thermal paste on the cpu, i guess I can't use this right? need to clean up and re-apply?
 


If the 2 mating surfaces were lapped perfectly flat you could get away with mounting without thermal compound, for testing purposes only, best cooling performance with a little TIM.

Unfortunately with normal mounting sometimes in most cases the CPUs heat spreader is bowed inward in the center, so contact with the heat sink base would be made on the outer edges of the heat spreader and no contact in the center where it is needed the most, and that is really bad!

Without the surfaces being lapped flat, you need to use some TIM.

 

astrofix

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jesus christ -nothing will happen, IT WILL CERTAINLY NOT BURN and it can actually even run cooler than the old or too much paste... i have my phenom 2 overclocked to 3.9 which is like 20 percent from default clock and it has no thermal paste at all, just a tiny tiny drop of universal grease... if there is no lid and the cooler is directly on the chip -that's another story, but with lid (heat spreader) there is no chance in hell that something will go wrong cause of temps difference between paste or no paste
 
The rate of temp increase for a non heatsinked CPU is on the order of several 10's of C per second (older chips might have been closer to 100C/s. so in that 20s, it could easily attempt to reach 250-400C (starting at a 20C ambient), so how quickly can you hit the off button, how quickly can it's thermal protection kick in, and will it do anything other than bring it down to say 5C/s.
 
This is a very interesting thread with lots of assumptions and not much testing. Yesterday there was a post by another member who powered up his new i7 for more than 30 minutes and it still works. It obviously isn't recommended, but it isn't worse than what happens when a cooler gets dislodged.
 
Hi

A long time ago toms hardware recorded some videos of what happened if you removed the cpu heatsink fan from a running system

For a pentium 3 it crashed but recovered when switched off , heatsink re fitted

A pentium 4 slowed down but continued running

A amd athlon cpu melted the cpu and motherboard socket
As no working temperature sensor and bios to protect cpu

It may be possible to use the cpu heatsink with no paste or old paste for long enough to get to bios screen but it is not recommended

Regards
Mike Barnes
 

astrofix

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the original question was about thermal paste, not cooler,. of course you shouldn't even consider powering a working pc without cooler, but you can use the cooler without thermal paste forever at stock frequencies and normal usage, let alone for short time
 
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