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Replacing liquid cpu cooler with another liquid cpu cooler. Do I need to rub off the thermal paste?

I am currently using Zalman LQ315 as my cpu cooler I installed it as is (w/o applying thermal paste because the cooler comes with preapplied thermal paste).

Now I am looking to change my liquid cooler in the near future. My question is do I need to rub off with alcohol the paste on my cpu before installing a new liquid cooler? I am looking for a 240mm liquid cooler probably the Corsair series.

Another question do I need to remove the old backplate and replace it with the new one?
6 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about replacing liquid cpu cooler liquid cpu cooler rub thermal paste
  1. Anytime you break the contact between the CPU and whatever cooler is there, you need to clean and redo the paste.
  2. It is a just to be safe scenario. As a lot of builders know, the paste is much more resilient than one assembly. If the paste seems to be 'liquidy' you should be good to go. But as stated, why not apply new thermal paste especially when all coolers come with their own.

    As for the blackplate, you will have to use the hardware that comes with the new cooler. Almost every time there differences either on the back (screw holes) or on the cooler mounting mechanism. So you would have to go with the new hardware.
  3. Airbus580 said:
    I am currently using Zalman LQ315 as my cpu cooler I installed it as is (w/o applying thermal paste because the cooler comes with preapplied thermal paste).

    Now I am looking to change my liquid cooler in the near future. My question is do I need to rub off with alcohol the paste on my cpu before installing a new liquid cooler? I am looking for a 240mm liquid cooler probably the Corsair series.

    Another question do I need to remove the old backplate and replace it with the new one?


    Q1 No. A gentle but dilligent cleansing with household wipes (slightly damp, not dripping wet) followed with a gentle polish is fine

    Q2. Not usually. I was able to replace an antec unit with a corsair unit without replacing the backplate. The backplate is a universal design and unless worn should fit all coolers compatible with the designated socket type
  4. Thanks for the answers.
    Let's say hypothetically I 'cleaned' my CPU after removing the liquid cooler and bought a Corsair cooler with preapplied thermal compound do I still need to use a separate thermal paste?
    Or can I just directly plugged it on to the CPU?
  5. Best answer
    Airbus580 said:
    Thanks for the answers.
    Let's say hypothetically I 'cleaned' my CPU after removing the liquid cooler and bought a Corsair cooler with preapplied thermal compound do I still need to use a separate thermal paste?
    Or can I just directly plugged it on to the CPU?


    If the cooler you get has preapplied, that is just fine.
    Nothing else needed.
  6. Airbus580 said:
    Thanks for the answers.
    Let's say hypothetically I 'cleaned' my CPU after removing the liquid cooler and bought a Corsair cooler with preapplied thermal compound do I still need to use a separate thermal paste?
    Or can I just directly plugged it on to the CPU?
    If the new cooler has it's own pre-applied paste, then you don't need to add any more. Simply clean the old paste off your CPU and attach the new cooler.
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