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Thermal Paste on the CPU pins 0_o

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May 11, 2007 1:16:57 PM

Hey guys, quick question about this heart attack causing situation. Last night I was doing some work on the PC and I had to take the Heatsink/CPU out to accomplish what I wanted to do. As I was handling the CPU, my fingers slipped and I managed to get a little bit of thermal paste on the top section of the pins near the middle of the chip. I managed to clean it the best I could but of course its near impossible to get every single drop of thermal paste off the pins.

I am using Artic Silver 5 and I did know that it’s formulated to be as little electrically conductive as possible.

“Not Electrically Conductive:
Arctic Silver 5 was formulated to conduct heat, not electricity.
(While much safer than electrically conductive silver and copper greases, Arctic Silver 5 should be kept away from electrical traces, pins, and leads. While it is not electrically conductive, the compound is very slightly capacitive and could potentially cause problems if it bridges two close-proximity electrical paths.)”


So I put everything back together, AT this point I’m tripping out because if my ole’ 939 x2 4400 goes, I wont have the cash to replace it with the exact model, even more so considering how rare the 939 stuff is these days. I booted her up and everything posted and worked fine.

My question relates to how the thermal paste may affect the longevity of the chip? If it works now, would it be possible to fry out in the future by any chance? Or should it be fine for the rest of the chips life if it works fine right now.


Thanks a million guys.

More about : thermal paste cpu pins

May 11, 2007 1:23:01 PM

Well, S939/AM2 pins are not the easiest to clean; if it was a S370/A you could clean them brushing the pins against your shirt and you'd not have a bent pin but these are really thin.
You could try with everything like bathroom/kitchen paper, carefully sliding it along the rows. For what I know, the paste really is not conductive but is considerable amounts, can show capacitive properties, so you'd better eliminate as much of it as you can.
May 11, 2007 1:47:38 PM

Ninja's Steps to averting a possible fook up when it comes to pasty pins...

• Take a disposable bowl.
• Take 90% or higher isopropyl alcohol.
• Pour about one cup of alcohol into the bowl.
• Place chip pin side down into bowl.
• Let soak for about 5 - 10 minutes.
• Wait.
• Order a Pizza.
• Take a toothbrush, preferably a soft bristled one and dip that into the alcohol also.
• Softly and I mean softly brush in between the pins till all the thermal grease is removed.
• Let CPU dry on either a lintless towel or a paper towel till the alcohol is evaporated.
• Drink the remaining alcohol. Both in the bowl and in the bottle. It'll put hair on your chest.
• Throw the bowl away. In a recycling bin. Good for the planet.
• Eat Pizza, remembering to wash your hands before returning to work.
• Replace CPU in socket, then reapply AS5.

Obviously some of the steps are jokes meant to add humor to a situation that may seem tense to you, but the advice is still quite valid. Just be gingerly when cleaning the CPU as to avoid breaking and bending the pins.
Good luck, and let us know how it goes.
Ninja
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May 11, 2007 8:11:23 PM

I don't think so putting thermal paste on the pin would help copper conductivity. The only reason we put thermal paste on the cpu is to make sure we touch all the surface. Because a heatsink probably have like 0.0001 or less difference and to correct this kind of error we use thermal paste. I am sure if i build my own Heatsink on a good surface grinder to make it perfectly with or without thermal paste i won't see any difference.
May 11, 2007 8:19:01 PM

Quote:
I don't think so putting thermal paste on the pin would help copper conductivity. The only reason we put thermal paste on the cpu is to make sure we touch all the surface. Because a heatsink probably have like 0.0001 or less difference and to correct this kind of error we use thermal paste. I am sure if i build my own Heatsink on a good surface grinder to make it perfectly with or without thermal paste i won't see any difference.

There are dozens of world leading companies making heatsinks today and still ALL of their products use thermal paste for the contacts because whatever they do, the surface has bumps and undulations in the level of microns that only a gel can fill; do you think you can do better?!
May 11, 2007 10:07:09 PM

Quote:
I don't think so putting thermal paste on the pin would help copper conductivity. The only reason we put thermal paste on the cpu is to make sure we touch all the surface. Because a heatsink probably have like 0.0001 or less difference and to correct this kind of error we use thermal paste. I am sure if i build my own Heatsink on a good surface grinder to make it perfectly with or without thermal paste i won't see any difference.

There are dozens of world leading companies making heatsinks today and still ALL of their products use thermal paste for the contacts because whatever they do, the surface has bumps and undulations in the level of microns that only a gel can fill; do you think you can do better?!

1 micron is about 0.00003 inch, i can make surface plane with 0.0001 precision with my hand. With a good surface grinder you could have precision to 1 micron or more but still at this point its pretty much plane, the fact is that the cpu heatink itself don't have that much precision.
May 11, 2007 10:13:00 PM

Don't forget the last step: Write out last will and testament, specifying who will inherit your system when you die from drinking isopropyl alcohol. :wink:
May 11, 2007 11:31:38 PM

Ah yes, how could I be so stupid... (-_-)
May 12, 2007 12:10:43 AM

Quote:
My question relates to how the thermal paste may affect the longevity of the chip? If it works now, would it be possible to fry out in the future by any chance? Or should it be fine for the rest of the chips life if it works fine right now.


Err, as this is the question that you actually asked...the probability is reasonably good that if the chip works now, it will carry on working. Now when the chip gets hot, and over time, the thermal paste may creep a bit, so it could fail, but if you get practically all of it off now, you have a good chance.

Remember also that you have to worry about static while you are cleaning it. It shouldn't be a problem with the 'immersed in alcohol' procedure, but if you try to do it dry, be careful.

(and from srgess)
Quote:
the fact is that the cpu heatink itself don't have that much precision.


This works against your own argument. If you are trying to avoid air between the CPU and the heatsink, and given that air is a lousy conductor, even compared to thermal paste, you are, then you need to get the two to fit without gaps. If you argue that the CPU is not very flat, unless you can machine the heatsink to the exact inverse shape (& if that shape is in any way irregular, how you going to fit them together?) you can't exclude the air gaps. So, to get rid of the gaps that exist even when the heatsink is mirror-surfaced, you need some kind of deformable substance that conducts better than air.
May 12, 2007 2:48:05 AM

Quote:
My question relates to how the thermal paste may affect the longevity of the chip? If it works now, would it be possible to fry out in the future by any chance? Or should it be fine for the rest of the chips life if it works fine right now.


Err, as this is the question that you actually asked...the probability is reasonably good that if the chip works now, it will carry on working. Now when the chip gets hot, and over time, the thermal paste may creep a bit, so it could fail, but if you get practically all of it off now, you have a good chance.

Remember also that you have to worry about static while you are cleaning it. It shouldn't be a problem with the 'immersed in alcohol' procedure, but if you try to do it dry, be careful.

(and from srgess)
Quote:
the fact is that the cpu heatink itself don't have that much precision.


This works against your own argument. If you are trying to avoid air between the CPU and the heatsink, and given that air is a lousy conductor, even compared to thermal paste, you are, then you need to get the two to fit without gaps. If you argue that the CPU is not very flat, unless you can machine the heatsink to the exact inverse shape (& if that shape is in any way irregular, how you going to fit them together?) you can't exclude the air gaps. So, to get rid of the gaps that exist even when the heatsink is mirror-surfaced, you need some kind of deformable substance that conducts better than air.


I was just mean that if the cpu surface and heatsink was perfectly plane in term of precision of 0.00001 and more you will not need thermal paste. Just take example of Gauge Blocks if you know what is it; if not ( Its block that are very high precision to calibrate measuring tool such like micrometer etc..) well take 2 block of them slide them together and good luck removing them with your hand. Im not saying thermal paste if bad, its just safer to use it but anyways to answer to the OP the paste is not electrical conductive i don't think so some on the pin will affect something, unless there is very low conductivity, just email artic silver and explain your situation they will know if there a risk.
May 12, 2007 11:34:05 PM

Quote:

• Take 90% or higher isopropyl alcohol.


What's the other 10 percent? 8O
May 13, 2007 12:20:36 AM

Might try a toothpick.
It would be time consuming but hey.
May 13, 2007 12:43:37 AM

first the alcohol and toothbrush will do wonders. just remember to be away from any flame or spark source or you could end up like michael jackson.
And to the person who claims to be able to hand plane anything to the 1 micron regime is full of shit period. You would need a pretty good SEM (scanning electron microscope) to even get a good enough resolution to tell, cal blocks in your hands is rediclous...sorry IMPO anyway.
to the OP good luck....O yeah and if you already have it running decide fairly quick wether or not to mess with it further, the heat load will get it more sticky as it cures in there.
a b à CPUs
May 13, 2007 1:01:49 AM

Quote:
I don't think so putting thermal paste on the pin would help copper conductivity. The only reason we put thermal paste on the cpu is to make sure we touch all the surface. Because a heatsink probably have like 0.0001 or less difference and to correct this kind of error we use thermal paste. I am sure if i build my own Heatsink on a good surface grinder to make it perfectly with or without thermal paste i won't see any difference.

There are dozens of world leading companies making heatsinks today and still ALL of their products use thermal paste for the contacts because whatever they do, the surface has bumps and undulations in the level of microns that only a gel can fill; do you think you can do better?!

1 micron is about 0.00003 inch, i can make surface plane with 0.0001 precision with my hand. With a good surface grinder you could have precision to 1 micron or more but still at this point its pretty much plane, the fact is that the cpu heatink itself don't have that much precision.

What if i was to spot weld the cpu carefully to the HSF 8O

still the issue of burning the cpu die, the the IHS still has a layer there we cant do nothing with
May 13, 2007 1:11:18 AM

Quote:

• Take 90% or higher isopropyl alcohol.


What's the other 10 percent? 8O

HAPPINESS! :D 
May 13, 2007 2:59:34 AM

If you weld it then how will you attach the CPU? :roll:
a b à CPUs
May 22, 2007 9:34:09 AM

Quote:
If you weld it then how will you attach the CPU? :roll:


umm wtf you talkin bout?
May 22, 2007 10:03:01 AM

Quote:
Ninja's Steps to averting a possible fook up when it comes to pasty pins...

• Take a disposable bowl.
• Take 90% or higher isopropyl alcohol.
• Pour about one cup of alcohol into the bowl.
• Place chip pin side down into bowl.
• Let soak for about 5 - 10 minutes.
• Wait.
• Order a Pizza.
• Take a toothbrush, preferably a soft bristled one and dip that into the alcohol also.
• Softly and I mean softly brush in between the pins till all the thermal grease is removed.
• Let CPU dry on either a lintless towel or a paper towel till the alcohol is evaporated.
• Drink the remaining alcohol. Both in the bowl and in the bottle. It'll put hair on your chest.
• Throw the bowl away. In a recycling bin. Good for the planet.
• Eat Pizza, remembering to wash your hands before returning to work.
• Replace CPU in socket, then reapply AS5.

Obviously some of the steps are jokes meant to add humor to a situation that may seem tense to you, but the advice is still quite valid. Just be gingerly when cleaning the CPU as to avoid breaking and bending the pins.
Good luck, and let us know how it goes.
Ninja




Where exactly is the joke? Isn't ordering and eating pizza a standard step in any PC repair project? /shrug
October 16, 2010 10:43:49 PM

I have found that using a tooth brush with ink cleaning fluid does the job. Doesn't damage the pins and looks like new. Leave to dry and give it a try.
a b à CPUs
October 16, 2010 11:19:57 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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