For the last few days I have been buying different components for my new PC. I decided that this time I'm going to do it myself and I'm not going to buy a pre-made one.
The thing which I am most uncomfortable with is the CPU intallation. I first thought that I had to apply some kind of paste or grease but I found that Intel has some default "thermal interface material" on the cooler in the boxed versions of its processors. I looked for pictures on the Internet and I found that the stock cooler that comes with boxed Intel CPUs has a gray rectangular TIM. I even downloaded a video on how to install a LGA775 CPU and cooler with the same rectangular TIM.
A few days ago I recieved my E6400 and surprise! The TIM is NOT rectangular. There are 3 thick stripes of TIM with two 2mm-wide stripes in the middle through which I can see metal. As I see it, there won't be TIM on the whole contact surface between the CPU and the heatsink (copper-looking thing). Every article I read about CPU istallation says that even air BUBBLES should be avoided.
Now, is this normal? Is this how a E6400 cooler should look? Will the TIM spread to cover the whole surface? Is it safe to just install it like this?
Don't really know how to upload pictures to this forum. I uploaded a picture of the back of the cooler to a free site. It says "remote linking" is not avalable so you'll have to copy the link to a browser address bar and "go" it... http://www.yr-fsx.4t.com/P10102101.JPG