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Why does Intel ship the stock cooler with three bands of thermal paste, instead of uniform covering over the copper surface?

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September 7, 2013 11:30:01 AM

I'd assembled my own desktops back in 2006 and 2009. At that time, the stock cooler's thermal paste formed an uniform covering over the heatsink surface that touches the processor.

A few days ago, I assembled my latest computer. The i5 3570's cooler came with three bands of grey thermal paste. I assembled it as instructed. It seems to running fine with turbo boost turned off (33C idle, 43C while gaming), but I'm worried about hot spots on the CPU. Wouldn't the uneven cooling harm the CPU?

People say the thermal paste melts and covers the surface, when the CPU is turned on for the first time, but I don't think thermal pastes melt. If they'd melted, then they would have seeped through the cracks and covered the mainboard, at high temperatures.

Should I disassemble the CPU and recoat the Heatsink surface with some new thermal paste, just to be on the safe side?
a b à CPUs
September 7, 2013 11:44:21 AM

The 3 stripes that you have is Thermal Interface Material (TIM), from Intel. It will melt, but will not spill as there is a metal heatspreader cap. This is a very effective thermal paste.

One catch is, that if the TIM looses contact with the heatsink, you must remove it and add new thermal paste. It is a one time use thing. Isopropyl Alcohol is very effective in removing TIM.
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a c 213 à CPUs
a b å Intel
September 7, 2013 11:46:58 AM

They do it that way because their testing shows it produced the best results. There will be no uneven cooling....if you take it off you will see that the TIM has "spread out"

Before

.

After



Why did you turn off boost ? It is designed to work that way with the stock cooler.

Most TIMs are already melted....be damned hard to get outta the tubes if they weren't ... some (IC Diamond) its recommended that you heat up in cup of warm water.

Good read here;

http://archive.benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=co...
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a c 130 å Intel
September 7, 2013 11:47:57 AM

Intel obviously feels that the three line method works very well if that's what they did to apply the thermal compound. The compound doesn't melt but it will soften and is actually soft to begin with so the pressure that is applied to the heat sink when it's tightened down will spread the thermal compound so that it covers the proper area that needs to be covered.
The middle of the CPU is where it needs to be covered and the edges actually don't need any. Most people use the pea sized amount method and then by pressing the heat sink down on the CPU spreads it in a circle and that's all that's needed.
Personally I like to apply my own and I do cover the whole top with thermal compound but that's my choice.

If you remove the heat sink to reapply look and see what the coverage is on the top of the CPU so that next time you can do it the way you want.
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September 7, 2013 11:58:05 AM

Thanks a lot for your answers. They were extremely helpful! :)  You all are so nice people. You help me a lot. :) 

Jack: I turned off Boost because, 3.4 GHz is enough for me and I don't want the CPU to overwork and heat up while gaming. I'm a strict no-no of any sort of overclocking by the way. :)  I've also turned the boost off in my i7 laptop.
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a c 213 à CPUs
a b å Intel
September 7, 2013 12:07:45 PM

It's by no means being overworked. It's basically a "marketing tool" ...instead of calling it a "power save" feature when speed isn't needed, they call it a boost feature. The CPU has a TJmax of 105C.... I doubt you'll ever hit 55

If it had any chance of damaging or accelerating wear on the CPU, it wouldn't be covered by the warranty.
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September 7, 2013 1:14:57 PM

JackNaylorPE said:
It's by no means being overworked. It's basically a "marketing tool" ...instead of calling it a "power save" feature when speed isn't needed, they call it a boost feature. The CPU has a TJmax of 105C.... I doubt you'll ever hit 55

If it had any chance of damaging or accelerating wear on the CPU, it wouldn't be covered by the warranty.



Thank you for the info. I think I'll turn it on for my desktop. :) 

But why does my 2 month old laptop's processor heat up to 70-90C when using turbo boost, while rendering HD videos? This, using the laptop on the table, not on the bed. 80C is very harmful, ain't it? When boost is off, it hardly crosses 60C.
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a c 130 å Intel
September 7, 2013 4:26:35 PM

Laptops don't have the same cooling power that desktops have, you can put several 120mm or larger fans in a desktop while your limited to maybe two 40mm or 60mm fans in a laptop.

You should get one of these for your laptop;

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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September 8, 2013 12:51:36 PM

inzone said:
Laptops don't have the same cooling power that desktops have, you can put several 120mm or larger fans in a desktop while your limited to maybe two 40mm or 60mm fans in a laptop.

You should get one of these for your laptop;

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



Thank you very much. I already have a cooler master notepal L1, but it doesn't reduce the processor temp. Just the HDD temp, board temp.
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