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Thermal compound in CPU Socket?

So, I just got my after market CPU cooler in for my AMD Phenom II x4 965 BE, and as I was taking the CPU out of the motherboard to clean the thermal compound off, some of the compound slid off and went into the CPU socket. I have no idea how bad this is, but what should I do? I don't want to put my CPU in and fry everything, nor do I want to break something trying to clean it. Here is a pic of the CPU socket on my motherboard and the thermal compound in some of the pin holes



Any help or advice would be appreciated.
Thanks!
Reply to Tf3090
16 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about thermal compound cpu socket
  1. It is difficult from that picture to see. If the compound isnt going from pinhole to pinhole, you might be ok. If it does, you won't be ok. Try to clean it off as best as you can. Maybe some toothpicks to scrape the stuff out?

    Be more careful next time.
    Reply to tigerg
  2. tigerg said:
    It is difficult from that picture to see. If the compound isnt going from pinhole to pinhole, you might be ok. If it does, you won't be ok. Try to clean it off as best as you can. Maybe some toothpicks to scrape the stuff out?

    Be more careful next time.



    How should I clean it out, though? I don't want to push the paste into the socket any further, or mess any of the pins up or anything. And if I do put my CPU in (without any heat sink or anything, just the CPU) and try to boot up just to see if it works, will my motherboard/CPU fry immediately? Or will there be some kind of protection to not let that happen?

    And would 70% isopropyl alcohol work to clean the thermal compound out of the socket? I don't have 90% or anything
    Reply to Tf3090
  3. Best answer
    The compound isn't conductive so there's no risk of it causing damage. However, it may insulate the contacts and prevent it from working properly. Use some electronic contact cleaner to clean it out
    Reply to Pinhedd
  4. Pinhedd said:
    The compound isn't conductive so there's no risk of it causing damage. However, it may insulate the contacts and prevent it from working properly. Use some electronic contact cleaner to clean it out


    This is wrong. Lots of thermal paste is conductive. Especially the most popular kind: silver.
    Reply to tigerg
  5. I found this stuff in my garage, would this work on my CPU socket or would it destroy it?
    Reply to Tf3090
  6. tigerg said:
    Pinhedd said:
    The compound isn't conductive so there's no risk of it causing damage. However, it may insulate the contacts and prevent it from working properly. Use some electronic contact cleaner to clean it out


    This is wrong. Lots of thermal paste is conductive. Especially the most popular kind: silver.


    No, it's not wrong. AS5 is not conductive, it is very mildly capacitive.
    Reply to Pinhedd
  7. Tf3090 said:
    I found this stuff in my garage, would this work on my CPU socket or would it destroy it?


    Generally yes, that's the stuff that you want to use. However, some electronic contact cleaners will erode certain plastics. I've never had any adverse effects from using it on motherboards but I did dissolve part of a PS3 controller. Use a QTip to test it out on a corner of the socket to see if it erodes at all.
    Reply to Pinhedd
  8. How do you know he is using Arctic Silver 5? There are lots of other types out there, many of which are very conductive. Plus, if you read the Arctic Silver website, it says AS5 should not be anywhere near electrical traces, pins, and leads. He needs to clean it out.

    As to the can shown above, I wouldn't use anything you find in your garage for automotive uses. That is probably too agressive. I would try scraping the paste out first with a toothpick, see how clean you can get it.
    Reply to tigerg
  9. tigerg said:
    How do you know he is using Arctic Silver 5? There are lots of other types out there, many of which are very conductive. Plus, if you read the Arctic Silver website, it says AS5 should not be anywhere near electrical traces, pins, and leads. He needs to clean it out.

    As to the can shown above, I wouldn't use anything you find in your garage for automotive uses. That is probably too agressive. I would try scraping the paste out first with a toothpick, see how clean you can get it.


    I didn't say anything about AS5, you did. There are some out there that are conductive but they're quite rare and I'm not aware of any that are found in PC shops.

    The AS5 website says that it "might" cause problems if it bridges two traces that are in close proximity. Operative words are "close proximity" and "might"
    Reply to Pinhedd
  10. tigerg said:
    How do you know he is using Arctic Silver 5? There are lots of other types out there, many of which are very conductive. Plus, if you read the Arctic Silver website, it says AS5 should not be anywhere near electrical traces, pins, and leads. He needs to clean it out.

    As to the can shown above, I wouldn't use anything you find in your garage for automotive uses. That is probably too agressive. I would try scraping the paste out first with a toothpick, see how clean you can get it.



    I used the stock thermal compound that came with my AMD Phenom II x4 965
    The control cleaner spray isn't for automotive use, it's for analog TVs apparently. It was just in my garage for storage. I sprayed it on my old heatsink to test it and it did indeed clean of the thermal paste very well. How would I go about applying this to my CPU socket? The stuff doesn't come out very gently, it pretty much bursts out of the container, so I don't want to overload the motherboard with this stuff. Do I spray it directly on the socket, or onto a paper towel?
    Reply to Tf3090
  11. Spray it on a rag or towel first, then gently apply it ot the socket.

    Whatever you do, let the whole thing dry out completely just to be safe.
    Reply to tigerg
  12. Pinhedd said:

    I didn't say anything about AS5, you did. There are some out there that are conductive but they're quite rare and I'm not aware of any that are found in PC shops.

    The AS5 website says that it "might" cause problems if it bridges two traces that are in close proximity. Operative words are "close proximity" and "might"


    Really? You were the first person to mention AS5 in this thread, lol. Scroll up maybe? There is a difference between AS5 and all of the other sorts of silver or metal based thermal grease. Numerous manufacturers use electrically conductive thermal paste. It is cheaper, that's why they do it. Grab a tube of the stuff and stick some probes in it, viola, conductive! I've tried. Also, there is plenty you can buy as a consumer that is electrically conductive. I would rather he be cautious than to make asumptions about what he has stuck in his socket. :)
    Reply to tigerg
  13. Okay, I have sprayed a paper towel and dabbed the surface of the socket a few times and removed most of the compound, I believe. There are still some pin holes with compound in them that the towel can't reach.

    My questions are:

    1. How do I know when the socket is dry, and approximately how long do you think it would take?

    2. Is it safe to plug the CPU back in (no heatsink or fan, just the CPU itself to see if the computer boots, then shutting the computer down immediately so it doesn't overheat) just to test if the CPU runs?

    3. How should I get the thermal compound out that is stuck within the pin holes? There are only two or three holes with the compound still in them, and my paper towel doesn't get them (it only touches the surface of the CPU socket)
    Reply to Tf3090
  14. I dabbed most of it out with that electronic cleaner spray, and apparently the stuff had some mineral oil with it, too, so I used 70% alcohol and cotton swabs to dab all of that off the CPU socket. Let it dry, installed my CPU again, put on the Seidon 120XL watercooler I just got, and everything is working fine. CPU is running very cool (I was worried the paste might have caused overheating issues), maxes out at about 40c running prime95.

    Thank you for the help everybody!
    Reply to Tf3090
  15. Tf3090 said:
    tigerg said:
    How do you know he is using Arctic Silver 5? There are lots of other types out there, many of which are very conductive. Plus, if you read the Arctic Silver website, it says AS5 should not be anywhere near electrical traces, pins, and leads. He needs to clean it out.

    As to the can shown above, I wouldn't use anything you find in your garage for automotive uses. That is probably too agressive. I would try scraping the paste out first with a toothpick, see how clean you can get it.



    I used the stock thermal compound that came with my AMD Phenom II x4 965
    The control cleaner spray isn't for automotive use, it's for analog TVs apparently. It was just in my garage for storage. I sprayed it on my old heatsink to test it and it did indeed clean of the thermal paste very well. How would I go about applying this to my CPU socket? The stuff doesn't come out very gently, it pretty much bursts out of the container, so I don't want to overload the motherboard with this stuff. Do I spray it directly on the socket, or onto a paper towel?


    Tf3090 said:
    I dabbed most of it out with that electronic cleaner spray, and apparently the stuff had some mineral oil with it, too, so I used 70% alcohol and cotton swabs to dab all of that off the CPU socket. Let it dry, installed my CPU again, put on the Seidon 120XL watercooler I just got, and everything is working fine. CPU is running very cool (I was worried the paste might have caused overheating issues), maxes out at about 40c running prime95.

    Thank you for the help everybody!


    Glad to hear it all worked out!
    Reply to Pinhedd
  16. Had thermal paste seep into socket and on the cpu pins, from a 2nd hand motherboard.

    I used a toothpick to clean off as much paste as I could. then used a cheap new toothbrush with an ethanol cleaner to very lightly scrub the paste off the CPU pins. CPU works fine in a different mobo.

    The socket was a bit harder, after using the toothpick, I used isopropyl alcohol to clean the socket. I just poured / squirted it right into the socket and used the toothbrush to scrub off the paste. I used compressed air to blow out as much of the alcohol as I could, then let the motherboard dry overnight with a fan blowing on it. Now running with a different CPU no problems.

    Happy that both motherboard and CPU still work. I stress tested them both with prime95 / open hardware, everything seems to be working.
    Reply to Dubsta
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