Question Will using Thermal Paste on my CPU and Socket Keep me from Upgrading CPU later?

go7hic13

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Oct 6, 2017
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Hi...

If I use a Thermal Paste (Which seems to come very recommended) would I be ruining the chances of me upgrading the CPU or Socket down the road for the Motherboard or even the CPU I'm removing (with old Thermal Solution on it.)?

Thanks!
 

go7hic13

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  1. No. If you want to change the cooler or CPU later, you clean it ALL off and apply new.
  2. 'very recommended' is an understatement. Paste between the CPU and whatever cooler is required.
Cool... I'm putting my first build in years in and I never worked with Thermal Paste before.

How would one go about cleaning off the CPU and Cooler?

Also, As of now I'm just using the standard Wraith Cooler which comes with my Ryzen 5 3600x. I'd like to do something more or use a better cooler for the CPU but I'm not knowledgeable with the various types and their difficulty to maintain/install.
 

gn842a

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Oct 10, 2016
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You should watch a few how to videos on the net.

Here is one.

Watch a few till you get the idea. The question of technique on how to apply the thermal paste is a religious subject. So in case you panic at the thought that your pea size application is too small or too big, watch this video, it will set your mind at rest.

For cleaning off the compound when you remove the old fan, use the highest isopropyl alcohol you can find (in NY that's around 91%, in other parts of the world 99%, but 70% will work). I do the cleaning with optical grade tissues but that's because in my other life I have a lot of that stuff around. You can use a paper napkin just drop a dime on some higher quality ones that don't drop a lot of dust.

Greg N
 
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go7hic13

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Thanks for all your replies guys. I had a lot of questions answered and I'm looking forward to the video on the size of the thermal paste which should be used. (Another question I had).
 

gn842a

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There are some of the new graphene (looks like a little rubbery pad) pads that do to within a degree of the best TIMs, and, remove all risk of using too much, too little, accidentally putting it in socket, etc..
Linustech had a video on those and I guess they may be the wave of the future.

Nonetheless Stephen Burke at Gamers' Nexus blows a hole in the too much too little debates. He tests gobs that ooze out the side and thin little films and different styles of application in between and they come out to within tenths of a degree of each other. (that's the same link I posted above) Bottom line: there's no wrong way to apply thermal paste (well don't gum up the mobo with the stuff).

Some decades ago the cake mix companies came out with a just add water cake mix, dump it in a bowl, add water, stir, and bake. They weren't particularly successful at first because housewives felt they that they weren't cooking. Put out a mix where you add two eggs and milk and people felt thy were really cooking.

I wonder if the transition away from thermal paste will face a similar obstacle. I find the paste application process so easy that I'm not sure I see the need. They do however have major advantages in that you can swap out the heatsink/fan and put in another one without the need to clean the cpu surface. And the pad can be reused. We'll see how it goes.
 

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