Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Install the CPU/heatsink before mobo in is case?

Tags:
  • CPUs
  • Cases
  • Heatsinks
Last response: in CPUs
Share
December 31, 2006 3:21:37 AM

Are you supposed to mount the CPU/heatsink on the motherboard before or after it's in the case?

Is Arctic Silver worth scraping the paste off my Opterons heatsink and re-applying?

More about : install cpu heatsink mobo case

December 31, 2006 3:30:35 AM

You install the CPU and mount the heatsink before you put the motherboard in the case. In smaller cases you may not have the clearance neccesary to install the heatsink after the board is installed in the case. Additionally, the screws/clips/etc. of the heatsink are more accessible when the motherboard is outside of the case.

Always remove existing thermal material (Artic Silver) and apply a fresh coat when you remove the heatsink.
December 31, 2006 3:39:25 AM

Quote:
Always remove existing thermal material (Artic Silver) and apply a fresh coat when you remove the heatsink.


I don't think you followed. It's a brand new motherboard, Opteron, and heatsink/fan. The heatsink already has a fresh coat of thermal paste from the factory.
Related resources
December 31, 2006 3:43:19 AM

Quote:
Always remove existing thermal material (Artic Silver) and apply a fresh coat when you remove the heatsink.


I don't think you followed. It's a brand new motherboard, Opteron, and heatsink/fan. The heatsink already has a fresh coat of thermal paste from the factory.

That's what Mex meant. That coat of thermal paste from the factory should be removed before applying Artic Silver. If you remove the heatsink for any reason, it's always better to clean the heatsink and apply a new coat of thermal paste.

Oh, and yes, it's much easier to install the heatsink/cpu when the mobo is out of the case. Especially if you have to use a backplane clip or need to tighten stuff from behind the motherboard.
December 31, 2006 3:46:32 AM

Let me revise what I'm trying to say.

Is the past that is already on the heatsink from AMD of good quality, OR should I scrape it off and apply the Arctic Silver 5 instead?
December 31, 2006 3:49:41 AM

I didn't mean to be so vague; I didn't realize you were talking about a heatsink with paste pre-applied. The stuff on the heatsink will do the job, but Artic Silver is better - if you have AS, I would go ahead and use it, especially if you plan to overclock.
December 31, 2006 3:50:07 AM

Quote:
Let me revise what I'm trying to say.

Is the past that is already on the heatsink from AMD of good quality, OR should I scrape it off and apply the Arctic Silver 5 instead?


Ah...I understand now.

If you're not going to overclock the CPU, the thermal paste on the back of the heatsink should be good enough. No need for AS5.

But if you do have AS5 handy, I would still use that over the factory thermal paste.
December 31, 2006 3:53:25 AM

Cool. And I just follow the instructions on their website, one rice sized dab and apply the heatsink? I don't have to smear it all over or anything?
December 31, 2006 3:55:56 AM

I guess not.

I still do, but I guess I was doing it wrong with AS5. Whoops. :?
December 31, 2006 4:11:17 AM

I think it depends on your CPU. The site has you choose your CPU, and for an Intel dual core it has a thin line run down the CPU instead of the dot.
December 31, 2006 4:15:14 AM

Quote:
Are you supposed to mount the CPU/heatsink on the motherboard before or after it's in the case?

Is Arctic Silver worth scraping the paste off my Opterons heatsink and re-applying?


Its a helluva lot easier to mount CPU and FS / F outside case than in... Less blood involved... Try to use your MB's anti-static bag over some cardboard or some such. A wrist strap might be a nice idea, as there will be no gnd on your build area. Connect it to the nearest gnd point.

As to whether to use the existing thermal compound or not... Dunno. I would suppose that most supplied gunk that comes with a server-grade CPU would be adequate, if not more than adequate. AS5 is not the end-all of thermal compounds, just one of the better ones.
December 31, 2006 4:29:18 AM

You are doing it the same way most experienced builders do.
The idea with any thermal paste is to get the least "usable" amount down. Any extra is actually bad. You want a layer that is transparent, that's all.
The purpose of thermal compound is to fill the small cracks and wholes, to keep air out.
A mating surface of metal conducts heat away, much better than any paste can. This requires a flawless lap on bothe hs and heat spreader, which I do not recommend. A wee bit of AS can fill the flaws, without too much loss of thermal conductivity. You should not use more than is needed to fill those flaws.
A grain or rice is larger than the amount of AS that is used by most experienced builders.
December 31, 2006 4:36:32 AM

Yup, I still do the grain of rice, and spread it out a bit routine.

I didn't know Artic Silver had those new instructions for the different CPU types. It was interesting.
December 31, 2006 4:49:02 AM

Quote:
A grain or rice is larger than the amount of AS that is used by most experienced builders.


From the Arctic Silver installation .pdf:

Understand that we are just putting thermal compound in close proximity to the center of the heatspreader. Only a small amount of Arctic Silver is needed. The example at left shows you an approximate amount to use, about the size of one and a half uncooked grains of short-grain white rice or ¾ of a BB.

I guess I should have specified uncooked short-grain white rice lol. Do you agree with the instructions above?

I've read all about the purpose of thermal compound, lapping, and installation but I'm feeling apprehensive as I've never done this before.
December 31, 2006 5:26:58 AM

The opteron has a good flat surface on it's heat spreader.
Following those instructions will work, though as I said, you will end up with excesive paste. If you give the hsf a few extra twists, with the pressure applied by today's hsf, you will end up with better distribution, and any excess should be forced out.
December 31, 2006 6:40:43 AM

Thanks, I just put it on. Now for the RAM, HDDs, case etc.
!