Athlon 64 thermal interface material

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

Hello everybody,

According to several websites, boxed Athlon 64 CPUs come with a thermal
pad (A.K.A. phase-change material) pre-applied on the heatsink.

e.g. http://www.madshrimps.be/printart.php?articID=135

"Also interesting to know, this heatsink has some sort of thermal pad
pre-applied. Mostly this looks and behaves like bubble gum, but this
one's different."

If you've bought a boxed Athlon 64, can you confirm that the HSF is the
Ajigo MF043-044A and that it comes with a pre-applied thermal pad?

I'm thoroughly confused because the following document warns: "Do not
use a thermal pad for AMD Athlon 64 or AMD Opteron processors!"

Thermal Interface Material Comparison: Thermal Pads vs. Thermal Grease
http://www.amd.com/us-en/assets/content_type/white_papers_and_tech_docs/26951.pdf

Did AMD change their mind since April 2004?

--
Regards, Grumble
8 answers Last reply
More about athlon thermal interface material
  1. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Sat, 12 Mar 2005 18:05:28 +0100, Grumble <devnull@kma.eu.org> wrote:

    >Hello everybody,
    >
    >According to several websites, boxed Athlon 64 CPUs come with a thermal
    >pad (A.K.A. phase-change material) pre-applied on the heatsink.
    >
    >e.g. http://www.madshrimps.be/printart.php?articID=135
    >
    >"Also interesting to know, this heatsink has some sort of thermal pad
    >pre-applied. Mostly this looks and behaves like bubble gum, but this
    >one's different."

    I wouldn't call the TIM on my boxed A64 3500+(90nm) a "thermal pad" - it
    was very thinly applied and definitely had a pastey consistency to it
    before use (I scratched just the edge of it with a finger nail) and I
    haven't dismounted it so don't know what it's turned into with heat &
    pressure. It looked & felt nothing like the pads I've seen on the Athlon
    XPs, which are thicker and do have a bubblegum feel to them.

    >If you've bought a boxed Athlon 64, can you confirm that the HSF is the
    >Ajigo MF043-044A and that it comes with a pre-applied thermal pad?

    I've no idea who made it - it's not obvious and I did not examine it in
    detail beyond looking at the TIM. Where is it marked who made it?

    >I'm thoroughly confused because the following document warns: "Do not
    >use a thermal pad for AMD Athlon 64 or AMD Opteron processors!"
    >
    >Thermal Interface Material Comparison: Thermal Pads vs. Thermal Grease
    >http://www.amd.com/us-en/assets/content_type/white_papers_and_tech_docs/26951.pdf
    >
    >Did AMD change their mind since April 2004?

    I don't think so.

    --
    Rgds, George Macdonald
  2. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Sat, 12 Mar 2005 18:05:28 +0100, Grumble <devnull@kma.eu.org>
    wrote:

    >Hello everybody,
    >
    >According to several websites, boxed Athlon 64 CPUs come with a thermal
    >pad (A.K.A. phase-change material) pre-applied on the heatsink.
    >
    >e.g. http://www.madshrimps.be/printart.php?articID=135
    >
    >"Also interesting to know, this heatsink has some sort of thermal pad
    >pre-applied. Mostly this looks and behaves like bubble gum, but this
    >one's different."

    I disagree with their characterization of the material that's on the
    heat sink bottom. It's a grayish paste-like material that if you tried
    removing before it's been used, i.e., heated up by the CPU, would
    break up easily, unlike a thermal pad.

    >
    >If you've bought a boxed Athlon 64, can you confirm that the HSF is the
    >Ajigo MF043-044A and that it comes with a pre-applied thermal pad?

    The material that's on the heat sink bottom is not a pad.

    >
    >I'm thoroughly confused because the following document warns: "Do not
    >use a thermal pad for AMD Athlon 64 or AMD Opteron processors!"
    >
    >Thermal Interface Material Comparison: Thermal Pads vs. Thermal Grease
    >http://www.amd.com/us-en/assets/content_type/white_papers_and_tech_docs/26951.pdf
    >
    >Did AMD change their mind since April 2004?

    No. For heat sinks that rest directly on the microprocessor die, they
    recommend using a pad. For microprocessors that have a heat spreader,
    they do not recommend using a pad.
  3. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    Andy wrote:

    > Grumble wrote:
    >
    >> If you've bought a boxed Athlon 64, can you confirm that the HSF is the
    >> Ajigo MF043-044A and that it comes with a pre-applied thermal pad?
    >
    > The material that's on the heat sink bottom is not a pad.

    I'm completely new to this game, but it seems to me that it qualifies as
    a thermal pad, or phase-change material, according to the definition
    given by AMD. Am I mistaken?

    > No. For heat sinks that rest directly on the microprocessor die, they
    > recommend using a pad. For microprocessors that have a heat spreader,
    > they do not recommend using a pad.

    The document states: "High-performance thermal greases and pastes are
    the recommended solution for lidded processors, such as the AMD Athlon
    64 and AMD Opteron processors." Would you consider the pre-applied
    material on the heatsink some kind of thermal paste?

    Did you just use what came in the box, or did you have to purchase
    additional thermal paste?

    --
    Regards, Grumble
  4. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Sun, 13 Mar 2005 11:57:49 +0100, Grumble <devnull@kma.eu.org> wrote:

    >Andy wrote:
    >
    >> Grumble wrote:
    >>
    >>> If you've bought a boxed Athlon 64, can you confirm that the HSF is the
    >>> Ajigo MF043-044A and that it comes with a pre-applied thermal pad?
    >>
    >> The material that's on the heat sink bottom is not a pad.
    >
    >I'm completely new to this game, but it seems to me that it qualifies as
    >a thermal pad, or phase-change material, according to the definition
    >given by AMD. Am I mistaken?
    >
    >> No. For heat sinks that rest directly on the microprocessor die, they
    >> recommend using a pad. For microprocessors that have a heat spreader,
    >> they do not recommend using a pad.
    >
    >The document states: "High-performance thermal greases and pastes are
    >the recommended solution for lidded processors, such as the AMD Athlon
    >64 and AMD Opteron processors." Would you consider the pre-applied
    >material on the heatsink some kind of thermal paste?
    >
    >Did you just use what came in the box, or did you have to purchase
    >additional thermal paste?

    FWIW, I have a boxed 3200+ Newcastle and the HS had pre-applied thermal
    paste. I've tried Artic Silver 3 on it and don't see any difference at
    all, Maybe 1C lower at idle, probably just room temp changed. ;p.

    Ed
  5. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    Bitstring <42341c9f$0$20744$626a14ce@news.free.fr>, from the wonderful
    person Grumble <devnull@kma.eu.org> said
    <snip>
    >> No. For heat sinks that rest directly on the microprocessor die, they
    >> recommend using a pad.

    Because they are (somewhat justifiably) paranoid about Joe Blow screwing
    up paste/grease application, and because they don't want/expect the
    general public to be changing the HS, or CPU.

    >>For microprocessors that have a heat spreader,
    >> they do not recommend using a pad.
    >
    >The document states: "High-performance thermal greases and pastes are
    >the recommended solution for lidded processors, such as the AMD Athlon
    >64 and AMD Opteron processors." Would you consider the pre-applied
    >material on the heatsink some kind of thermal paste?

    Yes, I'd consider it paste which happens to be pre-applied to the HS.
    This obviously only works with pastes which have very high viscosity
    (approaching 'solid') at room temperature - not a problem, just mix your
    Zinc Oxide (or whatever) with something at the 'waxy' end of 'oil'.

    --
    GSV Three Minds in a Can
    SC recommends the use of Firefox; Get smart, or get assimilated.
  6. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    George Macdonald wrote:

    > I wouldn't call the TIM on my boxed A64 3500+(90nm) a "thermal pad" - it
    > was very thinly applied and definitely had a pastey consistency to it
    > before use (I scratched just the edge of it with a finger nail) and I
    > haven't dismounted it so don't know what it's turned into with heat &
    > pressure. It looked & felt nothing like the pads I've seen on the Athlon
    > XPs, which are thicker and do have a bubblegum feel to them.

    If I understand correctly, you didn't add any extra thermal paste? The
    pre-applied TIM is enough. Right?
  7. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Mon, 14 Mar 2005 20:25:56 +0100, Grumble <devnull@kma.eu.org> wrote:

    >George Macdonald wrote:
    >
    >> I wouldn't call the TIM on my boxed A64 3500+(90nm) a "thermal pad" - it
    >> was very thinly applied and definitely had a pastey consistency to it
    >> before use (I scratched just the edge of it with a finger nail) and I
    >> haven't dismounted it so don't know what it's turned into with heat &
    >> pressure. It looked & felt nothing like the pads I've seen on the Athlon
    >> XPs, which are thicker and do have a bubblegum feel to them.
    >
    >If I understand correctly, you didn't add any extra thermal paste? The
    >pre-applied TIM is enough. Right?

    You only want to apply one thermal interface.

    Chapter 4 (Builder’s Guide)....
    The heatsink has a thermal interface material pre-applied on the bottom.
    This material is protected by a plastic cover.

    Do not use the thermal interface material if it has scratches or gaps.
    If replacement thermal interface material is needed, contact AMD
    technical support for assistance at http://ask.amd.com or (408)
    749-3060. In EMEA, please contact AMD technical support for assistance
    at http://www.amd.com/support.

    If a heatsink is removed for any reason, clean the processor and
    heatsink surface and re-apply an AMD approved thermal interface material
    before re-installing the processor.

    Builder’s Guide for AMD Opteron™ Processor-Based Servers and
    Workstations
    http://www.amd.com/us-en/assets/content_type/white_papers_and_tech_docs/30925.pdf

    hth,
    Ed
  8. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Mon, 14 Mar 2005 20:25:56 +0100, Grumble <devnull@kma.eu.org> wrote:

    >George Macdonald wrote:
    >
    >> I wouldn't call the TIM on my boxed A64 3500+(90nm) a "thermal pad" - it
    >> was very thinly applied and definitely had a pastey consistency to it
    >> before use (I scratched just the edge of it with a finger nail) and I
    >> haven't dismounted it so don't know what it's turned into with heat &
    >> pressure. It looked & felt nothing like the pads I've seen on the Athlon
    >> XPs, which are thicker and do have a bubblegum feel to them.
    >
    >If I understand correctly, you didn't add any extra thermal paste? The
    >pre-applied TIM is enough. Right?

    Correct.

    --
    Rgds, George Macdonald
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