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Removed Thermal Past from Intel Stock Cooler

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June 13, 2013 4:11:47 AM

I had to send a defective MoBo back and when I removed the thermal compound from the Intel stock cooler the 'shiny copper circle' in the middle was gone. All that is left is the aluminum surface of the heat sink. Is this copper looking circle just for decoration? I used electrical grade isopropyl alcohol to remove the paste. I had no problem cleaning the top of the CPU and it's as shiny as when delivered. I looked at the 'sticky' in this section concerning removal of the paste and the picture shows the 'copper circle' still there after cleaning.

Can the CPU cooler be reused with fresh thermal paste or do I have to use a new one? I do have a spare from an earlier build where I used a different CPU cooler.
June 13, 2013 4:15:09 AM

use the other one, more than likely it is better quality than a stock intel one, doesn't take much to be tbh.
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June 13, 2013 4:44:26 AM

@spat55-the other one is a never used stock Intel cooler. My concern is why the 'copper' looking surface disappeared. Maybe it was just some type of coating to make it look good out of the box.
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June 13, 2013 4:50:36 AM

That copper colored circle is of no much use, since the cooler itself is made of aluminum. Apply some good thermal paste and the the heat transfer should be OK.
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June 13, 2013 5:13:01 AM

Yeah, it may just be some type of colored coating that disappears following installation and start up. Pretty dumb if you ask me. thanks for the answer, since I have an extra stock cooler, I just go ahead and install it. The only other solution given the size and configuration of my GA-H77N MoBo would be the Silverstone NT07 but reviews indicate that it's no better than what Intel gives me for free.
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June 13, 2013 5:19:53 AM

You can go ahead and use some fine sandpaper to polish the contact surface of the old cooler to a mirror-like finish; it will help greatly with the heat transfer, since it will minimize the amount of paste needed. Remember, the paste is just there to fill up imperfections between the surface of the CPU and the heatsink, but it can not have the same heat transfer capacity of the metal it's replacing. Hence, the better direct contact you have between the metal surfaces (and the least amount of paste needed to match them up perfectly), the better heat transfer you'll have.
Place the sandpaper on a horizontal table and rub the heatsink on it using circular motion and no pressure down (the weight of the heatsink is enough). Repeat with finer and finer sandpaper until you can see your image in the heatsink. It should be ready for install when the mobo gets back to you.
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July 3, 2013 12:03:08 PM

house70 said:
You can go ahead and use some fine sandpaper to polish the contact surface of the old cooler to a mirror-like finish; it will help greatly with the heat transfer, since it will minimize the amount of paste needed. Remember, the paste is just there to fill up imperfections between the surface of the CPU and the heatsink, but it can not have the same heat transfer capacity of the metal it's replacing. Hence, the better direct contact you have between the metal surfaces (and the least amount of paste needed to match them up perfectly), the better heat transfer you'll have.
Place the sandpaper on a horizontal table and rub the heatsink on it using circular motion and no pressure down (the weight of the heatsink is enough). Repeat with finer and finer sandpaper until you can see your image in the heatsink. It should be ready for install when the mobo gets back to you.


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