Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Noob question - After market fans and thermal paste better?

Last response: in Systems
January 10, 2007 8:50:31 PM

I will be putting my new box together over the weekend and I have a few noob questions.....

I have put boxes together in the past and never really worried about using anything other than the std fan and thermal pad/paste that arrive with the CPU. I have never had an issue with my boxes and I dont stress them out very much (few games, convert a avi to DVD format, work from home etc). I have been reading on here lots about over clocking etc and I was wondering if the after market fans and thermal paste are heads and shoulders above what you get a std in the box. Now considering if I decide to get some better paste etc should I remove the existing thermal pad off the e6600 i'm getting before I stick it in or can you simply add some extra paste to the base? As I have said I have only ever used the std parts that come in the box. Also what fans do people recommend for an e6600? I'm not going to go crazy and get water cooling.
January 10, 2007 9:15:36 PM

Some of them are better. Like Freezer 7 Pro & Arctic Silver 5, for example.

If you're not overclocking, the stock thermal compound is ok. I wouldn't worry.
January 10, 2007 9:18:24 PM

The first, and most basic, thing you should do is... wait for it.... wait for it...


there are tons of guides that can help answer those easy question and should give you a fairly good idea of what you're doing.

Please don't fill these forums with posts like this that can be easily answered by a simple google search.
If you still have a question, than post a question, but if it's this easy, just stop and think for a second.

Thank you.
Related resources
January 10, 2007 9:46:15 PM

Nitro I was under the impression that this forum was used to ask questions? Its a valid question. I have seen question of equal merrit asked in the past. Whats wrong with asking if after market thermal paste and fans are that much better than the std given in the box and how they should be used? I saw a post a few weeks ago about scraping off old thermal paste and there were a bunch of replies with advise from a number of people that were happy to help. If your not happy to help then um.......... think for a second........... and just dont reply and waste your time on me if its that much of an inconvience........ or um......... think for a second and dont even click on my post........ It was marked noob question so your expectations should have been managed before even opening the post. There is no need to be a prick about it or act big and tough over the internet. It was a just a question and I dont believe I set out to offend you greatly. If you feel the need to act all huffy and tuff in a forum then please go your hardest as caring about what you think is not the last thing I'm going to wonder about at night.
January 10, 2007 9:49:38 PM

Thanks akhilles thats the kind of answer I was after. Thank you.
January 10, 2007 10:22:25 PM

The short answer... yes. Aftermarket cooling and thermal paste are almost always better than the stock coolers that come with the processor. How much better depends on the cooler of course. THe cooling options available in this day and age are quite varied, and you should be able to find something out there to meet your needs.

Of course, the cooler you can keep your processor, the better it will be for it's life, but if you aren't planning on doing anything from an overclocking standpoint, the stock cooler is usually adequate, as you have found from your previous experience. (Personally, even though I don't OC, I have always replaced the stock cooler with a mid-range air cooler and Arctic Silver paste to protect my investment.)

As for your question about paste, and its application, yes it can make a big difference. As mentioned above, I have always been a big fan of Arctic Silver, and typically see a 5 Celcius temp drop using it (with the same cooler and same CPU) as opposed to the stock pads that come with most heatsinks. You are also correct that, if using aftermarket paste with either the stock cooler or an aftermarket cooler, you will want to make sure that both the surface of the processor and the heatsink is clean of any other paste. Too much can actually hinder its effectiveness.

If you aren't planning on doing any overclocking at all, an aftermarket cooler is not necessary. At the same time, it is definitely still a good idea, and I would also say that a better thermal paste is always a good idea regardless of whether you are replacing the cooler or using stock. I always make sure that I have a tube on hand.
January 10, 2007 10:26:51 PM

Thanks for the well written and helpful reply eightender. That’s exactly what I wanted to know from somebody that has this type of experience. I was thinking of replacing the stock fan to something better, even if I did not bother over clocking and was wondering if doing different paste would be wise at the same time.

Again thanks for the advice. Its what I wanted to know.
January 10, 2007 10:50:24 PM

You are quite welcome. Again, if you are spending the extra money on a cooler upgrade Myself, I prefer Thermaltake or Zalman... I know some will bash me for mentioning Thermaltake, but again, I don't overclock, and they make good mid-range coolers that will drop temps a bit, and not break your budget doing it. I try to stick to something in the $30-40 range, but if you are looking to squeeze every drop out of your computer, you woudl definitley want to look at something a little more high end.

Of course, if you are looking to squeeze every drop out of your CPU, you would probably want to consider other options other than air anyways.

Either way, to my original point.... if you are going to spend the extra $$$ on a cooler, you might as well pick up a tube of paste too. They usually run, what, $8-10 and you can usually get 3 or 4 applications out of a tube, so you're looking at an extra $2-3 for a 5 degree drop in temp. Definitely a good investment in my books.

As a side note, as I was hinting at above, you don't need to use a lot of paste when applying, so a tube should last for several builds. If you look at how thick (or in this case how thin) the pads usually are that comes with a heatsink, they are usually not much thicker than a sheet of paper. The same applies when you are applying paste. You want to cover the surface of the CPU, but that is about it. An make sure not to use too much, and be careful not to get any on the socket etc.

People often run into trouble their first couple of times by using too much, and getting it everywhere. (ie. a tube of thermal paste is NOT meant for just one application) Your best bet is to put a small amount on the CPU, and then use something with a hard, straight edge (thin cardboard, a business card, an old credit card or other plastic card...) to spread it to cover the surface.
January 10, 2007 10:56:17 PM

Hi eightender!

Once again thanks for some great advise. I was actually just looking at the Thermaltake Big Typhoon or a Zalman CNPS9500 on a supplier website. If I go for an after market fan then i will invest in a tube of good paste as well. I assumed that you would not need much on the cpu as the paste that comes std on the cpu is not a great amount and you dont want it going everywhere. I will keep my hunt on for good fans now.
January 11, 2007 12:16:38 AM

Retail coolers include thermal paste in a separate tube or preapplied. You only need to buy extra if your trying to get the absolute maximum performance out of the cooler, or if you change coolers allot. If you do not have any pick up some 91% or 99% isopropyl alcohol for cleaning the old paste off your cpu heat spreader. (70% works, but 99% takes thermal paste off much quicker.)

And a couple little hints coffee filters are a lint free cloth and thats what I use for cleaning the old paste off heat spreader, and run Prime 95 or something else that heats up the cpu before you remove the old heatsink due to its easer to break the seal of the old thermal paste when it is warm.

Now I would choose the Zalman over the TT as Zalman is the better cooler of the two and is easy to install, but also the Arctic Cooling Freezer is a great buy and is very close to the performance of the Zalman for less money. (And make sure you get the Zalman on sale, the full retail price is way to much.)

Now personally I like Scythe and Thermalright coolers the best.
January 11, 2007 12:28:58 AM

Hi Il_palazzo

Thanks for the excellent tips. They are appreciated. I don’t intend on changing coolers or CPU's often but I want to do it right the first time. I was thinking of ditching the std fan, removing the original cpu paste and getting some good after market stuff so if I did want to over clock it was ready to go. If I did not over clock well then hopefully it will protect the investment a little more.

Hmmmm Scythe coolers. I had not seen them before but I will look them up. Thanks again.
January 11, 2007 10:32:57 AM

Isopropyl alcohol is also called rubbing alcohol available at drug stores & walmart.

Some use paper towel or q-tips to clean the surfaces of BOTH the cpu & the base of the cooler. Others use coffee filters. Wait a bit for them to dry.

Don't mix different thermal compounds. Clean the surfaces every time. Apply a tiny amount of compound. Some would even lap (sand) the surfaces & spread the compound evenly with a flat object. I just drop a bit on it in the center, put the cooler on, wiggle it a bit, apply some pressure on it & secure it.

The thermal compound will take a while to be effective.
January 11, 2007 11:43:07 AM

After market fans will be the best bet, as thermal paste will not make that big of a difference :wink:
January 11, 2007 12:03:19 PM

I use the Zalman cooler that you are thinking about and it works nicely. I would recomend putting some after market compound on though, if you are going to put a new cooler on you might as well do it all while it is all apart. I use an old credit card to spread the compound on.
January 11, 2007 12:26:39 PM

mix a jar of strawberry jam with a jar of s**t and you get double the amount of s**t (another old proverb).

remove old thermal compound.
January 11, 2007 12:36:32 PM

Correct you are, might as well put on after market paste too(while he's got it apart) But it will not give a 5 degree drop in temp's as some have typed.
January 11, 2007 7:36:02 PM

Hi Guys

Again thank you for your quality replies. They are much appreciated. I must say I was very disappointed with one of the posts as I have always found this forum to be very informative and helpful. Thanks again. If you were in Oz I would buy you all a beer.
January 11, 2007 7:40:36 PM

Good Luck and post back, and keep those of us with something useful to add to the thread informed :wink: