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Noob question about thermal paste

Last response: in CPUs
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March 15, 2006 3:30:08 PM

Hi, I'm building my own comp for first time, and I'm using an A64 3700 which comes with its own thermal paste already applied to its fan's heatsink. The paste comes in this neat little thin-layer square that pretty much fits right over the CPU, but I've read on a website that you smear the paste all over the heatsink into a thin layer. I'm assuming that I don't have to smear this square all over the sink?

Also, I accidentally scratched a tiny groove about 3/4 a centimeter long across the paste. I put back whatever I scratched off, but the groove is still visible. Hopefully this doesn't affect my CPU's cooling?

Thanks for helping out a noob! Also, I'm not planning on OC'ing, I just wanna play games, so I'm gonna stick with the stock paste and fan.
March 15, 2006 3:37:30 PM

I think you'll be fine. Just keep an eye on the temps for a while and make sure it doesn't run hot. If it does, reinstall it with new paste.

All you gotta do is drop the HSF right onto the processor.
March 15, 2006 5:11:58 PM

I am running my Athlon 64 3200+ at a stock frequency and using the stock thermal pad and everything is fine and dandy!

Quick Terminolgy Lesson:

Thermal Pad - What comes on many heatsinks. You just pull the protective cover off and set the heatsink on the processor.

Thermal Paste - The stuff you ooze out onto a processor and spread out. Applying too much paste or too little paste could cause problems. Many people who like to overclock will use a premium thermal paste such as Artic Silver.
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March 15, 2006 5:27:52 PM

If it's an A64 you should be find. You could dump a little of the thermal goo as I like to call it on the chip. Even with the square it does help to add the paste.


Ever get that stuff on your fingers??
March 15, 2006 5:35:43 PM

The square that you are reffering to is a thermal pad. It will work fine in most applications. If you plan on overclocking though, I would use a nice thermal grease like Artic Silver.
March 15, 2006 5:42:32 PM

Be aware that the thermal pad on the base of the stock heatsink is good for ONE USE ONLY. This means if you remove the heatsink at ANY time, you will then have to remove the thermal pad and use thermal paste.
March 15, 2006 5:53:24 PM

Thanks for the help on the thermal pad , guys!!! I'll just keep track of the temperatures and make sure it's ok, my comp is not entirely built yet so I can't test it yet.

Quote:
Ever get that stuff on your fingers??

I got a little of it on my fingertip. It's not toxic or anything, is it? It's not like I licked my finger to taste. :) 
March 15, 2006 6:17:48 PM

Yeah you should test it first but if it's not good enough for you then get some good aftermarket thermal paste like the one of ocz or artic silver which conducts more heat better than regular pastes that comes with the product.

I have used the artic silver 5 on my cpu's, chipsets and graphics cards and notice some 5 to 10c* decrease in temps.
March 15, 2006 7:06:13 PM

Quote:
Thanks for the help on the thermal pad , guys!!! I'll just keep track of the temperatures and make sure it's ok, my comp is not entirely built yet so I can't test it yet.

Ever get that stuff on your fingers??

I got a little of it on my fingertip. It's not toxic or anything, is it? It's not like I licked my finger to taste. :) 


Messy isnt it?
March 15, 2006 9:34:23 PM

Quote:
Messy isnt it?

Yeah it was hard to get neatly off my fingertip when I initially got it on. Kinda tough to manage and spread back out too. should have probably used a razor blade, I used my pocketknife after cleaning its blade.
!