Thermal Paste Removal/Installation Guide

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The idea behind the paste and grease is to make the transfer of the heat as smooth as possible (sort of).

So, if you think that any non-metal material you put on top of the heat spreader of the CPU will handicap that, the less you put, the better.

Now, how does the paste or grease helps making it smooth? Well, first of all, it makes the "rough" surfaces (at a microscopic level, off course) blend with each other, maximizing contact between them. Then comes the paste or grease itself's heat conductivity (you can search for the usual formula for it, according to material used) that won't be better than any metal put for the Heat Sink of Heat Spreader.

So, the argument in favor of "less is more" applies only if:

1.- You successfully cover 90%+ (100% if you spread it manually, off course) of the Heat Spreader area once the Heat Sink comes on top of it. And...
2.- The layer of paste or grease is thin enough to let the 2 metals make contact with each other in most of the area surface they can (this is a "help, but not obstruct" idea). In this regard, some pastes have metal in them to help this somewhat (ArticSilver5 has it's name out of this, I think, lol).

My 2 cents.

Cheers!
 

Ladamyre

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Posabsitivelutely! :heink:

Which is why I think the Indigo Extreme stuff is genius. The procedure for applying it involves melting the stuff so it flows between the microscopic valleys of even the flattest, mirrored surfaces. Then the springs on your heatsink mountings can pull the surfaces as close to each other as possible, allowing as much metal-to-metal contact as the flatness of each will allow.

I will definitely be using the IX solution on my next build.

 

Ladamyre

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Yeah but it's permanent, doesn't dry out. One time and your good for the life of the installation.

Besides, I'll pay $18 for 2 degrees cooler any day!

 

I'd rather spend that $18 on a much better fan(s) that will reduce your temps even more. [:lutfij:4]
 

Ladamyre

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Yeah, I guess if you're on a budget maybe the fan is a priority.

Maybe you could get your girl to forgo one night at the movies, then you'd have enough for the fan and the IX twice over!

 

Ladamyre

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Then I don't understand your objection. You can have both the fan and the IX if you're not on a budget.

 
I'm saying no one would spend $18 on a fan or paste if they had a tight budget. I'm saying they wouldn't have a budget (in the sense that they are rich) because they can spend $18 on paste or a fan.
 

Ladamyre

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I get it. I was just trumpeting my sense of priorities. It's not about being rich per se. If I was short I'd tell the woman, "I take you to the movies next week, this week I'm spending $30 on my computer."

I wonder, could that be why I'm still single?

Which makes me wonder, could that also be why I'm basically a happy man?

*thinking*

Yup! That's it alright.
 

Ladamyre

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Oh don't wait! It's never too early to start having that fun. Just remember me when you look down and see an ankle bracelet with a chain on it attached to a 40lb steel ball...

...or see the chain from your wallet that used to be attached to your belt has been moved to her purse strap...

...or notice a chafing, rough, dog collar has been around your neck and you don't remember when she put it there.

Then you'll know what I'm talking about.

 

killer_chair

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I've found that coffee filters are very effective as well, as I would hesitate to use anything that left a residue on my CPU.

Additionally, I've never replaced my thermal paste (Arctic Silver 5) for the four year life of my computer, and I've never had any problems.
 

WretchedSoul44

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Nice review. I've found that using alcohol for the first few wipes and then just using the paper towels since they aren't wet usually grab the old paste better, making it easier to remove.
 

Proximon

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That was totally fine, unless the pressure was uneven. The CPU is much smaller than the CPU heatspreader, and you do not need to cover the outer edges.

Oh, and you used too much paste and I prefer coffee filters because the are lint free :)

You can also use the individual alcohol swabs found in the first aid section.
 

JoeMomma

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The instructions on my Arctic Silver 5 said to 'tint' both surfaces by rubbing in a micro layer of paste. Then apply a gob the size of a grain of rice to the CPU and spread it thin.
 

randomizer

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That sounds like it could possibly trap air under the film or between it and the layer above. I think I'd prefer just to put the blob on and let it fill the gaps itself.
 

^+1000000000000
Let the weight of the CPU cooler spread the paste.
 
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