[SOLVED] Will Thermal Paste Save Me

Jan 2, 2019
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I just bought some used hardware as a bundle, i5-4690k, 2x 8 GB ram, and be quiet! cooler (Shadow Rock LP i think), to replace my 8 gb ram and i3-4170 with its factory cooler.

The i5 has no thermal paste on it, the i3 had some from the factory (was like 3-4 years old).
After the change I realised that my PC performance was a bit lower than before, especially considering it went from 8gb ram to 16gb.
After reading some threads I updated my BIOS, that gave me like 3-5 more fps. I decided to check my CPU temperature, which I never did before, so I downloaded CoreTemp.The temperature is like 60-68°C when only Steam and Google is running. When I start playing something it goes to 100° and a bit above.
I dont have any air intake/outtake ventilations, I was always doing finde without them... looking forward to getting some though.

So the question is, do I get such temperature numbers and weaker performance because I have no thermal paste?

Mainboard: H81M-A
GPU: GTX 970
Power Supply: 600W noname, was built into the case (does the job)
 

PC Tailor

Dignified
Herald
You should always have thermal paste.

The thermal paste acts as a thin heat conductor between the CPU and the heatsink, it maximises heat transfer between the two and without it, you have much less heat transfer. It also acts as a layer to cover all impurities or variations in the component surface that could otherwise cause air pockets and trap heat.

I would never run a CPU without thermal paste. Fortunately with the cooler still secure it probably wouldn't overheat and the CPU will throttle itself, but definitely get some paste on it.
 
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Dunlop0078

Polypheme
Herald
So let me get this straight you currently have no thermal paste between your cooler and CPU? Thermal paste is not optional it is required, you will damage that CPU if you keep using it like that. 60c idle temp is horrible and under load it is certainly throttling back a lot to save itself from a heat death. Yes get some thermal paste, I would not continue to use that computer until you do.
 

PC Tailor

Dignified
Herald
You should always have thermal paste.

The thermal paste acts as a thin heat conductor between the CPU and the heatsink, it maximises heat transfer between the two and without it, you have much less heat transfer. It also acts as a layer to cover all impurities or variations in the component surface that could otherwise cause air pockets and trap heat.

I would never run a CPU without thermal paste. Fortunately with the cooler still secure it probably wouldn't overheat and the CPU will throttle itself, but definitely get some paste on it.
 
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Maru777

Honorable
Jul 21, 2014
30
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Like was said, Thermal Paste is necessary if you want a healthy CPU.
A popular well performing Thermal paste is Arctic Silver 5.

(https://www.newegg.com/arctic-silver-as5-3-5g/p/N82E16835100007?Description=arctic silver&cm_re=arctic_silver-_-35-100-007-_-Product
or
)

When applying using the plastic syringe containing the paste, you can do two lines on the CPU (X pattern). But don't put TOO much between the CPU and Heatsink so that it oozes a lot onto the motherboard, that may short something if you're unlucky.
 
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PC Tailor

Dignified
Herald
When applying using the plastic syringe containing the paste, you can do two lines on the CPU (X pattern). But don't put TOO much between the CPU and Heatsink so that it oozes a lot onto the motherboard, that may short something if you're unlucky.
This is probably debatable. Whilst there isn't really a best way to go about it, I feel an X pattern probably leaves too much room for potential dead spots between the HSF and CPU. That and the edges of the CPU don't contribute too massively to heat transfer, generally the "ideal blob" is probably the simplest way to go, and this bit shows how it does generally maximise coverage:

https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/thermal-paste-comparison,5108-3.html
Because ultimately, less is more. But I know it's a big debate frankly.

As for what thermal paste to choose, in the grand scheme of things, as long as you don't go ultra cheap crappy conductive mess, then it doesn't make the world of difference, some even use toothpaste ! :)
 

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