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CPU Cooler and Thermal Compound

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June 16, 2001 3:19:05 AM

I have a question about installing a cpu cooler. I just received my AMD Athlon and in the owner's manual they show the installation of a cpu fan and they don't mention using any thermal compound. It appears there is a strip on the bottom of the heatsink so is that the equivalent of thermal compound? I bought a Thermaltek Volcano II and got some thermal paste. Should I also apply that to my cpu before I install the Volcano? I'm sorry if these are lame questions but I really have no idea about this stuff. I hope someone can help me out. Thanks!
Anonymous
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a b K Overclocking
June 16, 2001 3:51:48 AM

teh compounds are extra and usually add up to about 2-5c in cpu temp drop when used. The strip on the heatsink is called a thermal pad which isn't as good as thermal paste like arctic silver (what kind do you have?). Did the heatsink have a plastic wrap over the bottom? Just make sure that it is off if there was one :) 
June 16, 2001 2:21:43 PM

It's not artic silver, but just some generic kind that I bought when I got my cooler. It's white I know that, but I don't know if it's a particular brand. I bought it at Newegg.com.
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June 16, 2001 2:49:28 PM

If the volcano has a thermal pad on some description on the bottom, then remove it, it will peel of mainly, but will probably need the bottom cleaning with alcohol/meths or similar and a lint free cloth. Apply a SMALL amount of compound to the cpu core and smooth evenly with a razor blade or similar implement, you can find detailed instructions on arcitsilvers site, its the same principle weather you use AS or any other thermal compound
<A HREF="http://www.arcticsilver.com " target="_new">http://www.arcticsilver.com </A> theres a link the for instructions

Next time you wave - use all your fingers
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June 17, 2001 5:53:13 AM

DON'T remove the thermal interface material, and DON'T use paste! The material is made to substitute for past, and my testing on this particular cooler shows it works as well as paste! Just remove the plastic film and fire that puppy up with the stock thermal material, then, when it warms up, press down on the cooler to make sure it is seated firmly. The stuff they use is a thermalplatic conductant (feels like hard sily putty when cold) and softens when warm.

Cast not thine pearls before the swine
June 18, 2001 12:46:04 PM

I understand what Crashman is saying, and I'm sure that the heatsink companies have thought carefully about what kind of stuff they'll stick on the bottom of the HS, however, I first put it on with the included pad, and then I thought I'd try with arctic silver and with arctic silver the temp dropped about 5 degrees or so. My advice would be, if you have the thermal paste then scrape off the pad and apply the paste otherwise just leave the pad, it's no big deal.

-----------------------------------
Don't extract the urine.
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June 18, 2001 7:17:32 PM

I found that by pressing the heatsink hard into the stuff while it was warm, I could sqeeze the excess out and that it worked well that way. It may have not been "just as good", but it was pretty close. I tried cleaning it up and adding paste and did not see a noticeable difference. But I think I did see a difference when I buffed the heatsink. Anyway, my experience showed that the stuff was pretty good, as long as the heatsink was seated into it properly.

Cast not thine pearls before the swine
June 19, 2001 1:01:32 PM

I used a razor to scrape the crap off of my volcano. Came completely off, used some arctic silver II and it works nice. I have a manual temperature probe on my A7V though so I don't know exactly what temps I'm getting. Its a lot lower than with their chrome orb thats for sure. its a 1.1 GHz B by the way, nothing to special I'm selling it in a couple of days :-)
June 19, 2001 1:45:52 PM

Do you guys know the best way to remove the paste from the cpu? I suppose also the heatsink?
June 19, 2001 2:42:47 PM

Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) or any similar electronic cleaning solvent (that doesn't leave any residue) will remove most thermal compounds, use with a lint free cloth.
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June 19, 2001 7:06:56 PM

The best cleaner I've found for pre-applied stuff is dishwashing detergent! With very hot water! Since the stuff softens when warm, the hot water makes it slide easily, the detergent then removes it. Works better than alcohol or acetone!

Cast not thine pearls before the swine
June 20, 2001 3:33:55 AM

Thanks, I'm going to have to try that.
June 20, 2001 8:55:21 AM

I'm thinking I'm gonna have to redo the sloppy job I did first time round, do you think by following the instructions on the arcticsilver website that my temps wight get lower?

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Don't extract the urine.
June 20, 2001 6:29:05 PM

Hey guys, I really screwed up. When I took off my cpu fan, I noticed the paste got all over those gold block shaped things on the side (I don't know there proper names). Will I be able to clean that off or is my cpu ruined? This is so incredibly frustrating. Thanks for all your help though.
Anonymous
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June 20, 2001 11:07:11 PM

Just clean it off with alcohol or some other evaporative cleaner. It should be fine.

"Sorry Sir we can't replace your Toshiba cup holder....Toshiba does not make cup holders."
June 21, 2001 4:41:05 PM

People keep telling me to use a lint free cloth, when I clean my cpu, but what exactly is a lint free cloth? Don't all cloths have some lint on them?
Anonymous
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a b K Overclocking
June 21, 2001 8:03:50 PM

Well yes and no. Most cloth does have lint but you can buy what they consider "lint free" cloth as well as paper towel material. We had these things called chem-wipes at work that were lint free(disposable paper towel type material). Anyway the idea is that when you use one they don't leave anything behind and most importantly are not likely to produce static electicity. Lint can cause static electicity and as we all know thats bad for computers.

Some things I was thinking that are somewhat household items that probably are considered lint free might be those handi-wipes or baby-wipes. They have alcohol and I believe are generally lint free. And hey just think how nice your CPU might smell. I know I have seen in the auto section lint free cloth to polish or wipe down cars. Just some ideas.

Anyway if its lint free cloth it says it on the package.

"Sorry Sir we can't replace your Toshiba cup holder....Toshiba does not make cup holders."
Anonymous
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June 21, 2001 8:25:02 PM

You can also wash your proccessor off in the sink with hot soapy water.
It sounds crazy, but it's safe and it works. Then use an old soft toothbrush against it.
There was just a post in the CPU forum that had several people wash there proccessors under water and it cleaned them and they were fine.
Just make darn sure it's dry before you put it back in...
Really dry, water likes to hide between the feet of the resistors on Socket A chips.
Sneaky water, Bad! No cookie!

Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.
-Einstein
June 21, 2001 8:33:48 PM

"...pressing the heatsink hard into the stuff while warm,..."

It's always a bad idea to press the HSF down hard onto an athlon die....unless the idea of replacing a CPU with cracked die dosen't bother you. And the heated die would probably be even easier to crack

The thermal paste works well and there's no need to "press hard" on the athlon die.


I'm not in touch with my feeings, and I like it that way!
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June 21, 2001 9:12:31 PM

I did mine on a PIII. I noticed the heatsink was fairly cool while my processor temps were fairly warm, meaning that the heat was not being tranfered effectively. So I pushed FIRMLY but NOT HARD against the heatsink, and the temps dropped dramatically (about 5C) within seconds. The spring on the VolcanoII is fairly light and the thermal interface material fairly stiff, so it was simply matter of seating the die into the material. I'm talking about maybe 10lbs of force (4.5KG) necessary to seat the thing and sqeeze out the excess.

Cast not thine pearls before the swine
June 22, 2001 2:20:20 PM

Regarding the application of force to a cpu heatsink: AMD guidelines do caution against applying force to anything except the heatsink retaining clip.
Having said that they specify for Athlon (Thunderbird) processors that the die surface should have a maximum static load of 30 lb force and the die edge (at max 2 degree angle) maximum of 10 lb force.
!