This is my first build - I'm using an Intel E6600 with stock heat sink & fan on a Gigabyte GA-965G-DS3 mobo. CPU and fan install with the pre-packaged thermal pad so no thermal paste/compound was necessary on initial build. Unfortunately I had some problems with the mobo (unrelated to this topic) and had to RMA the board after about a month of use.
When I disconnected the CPU & fan from the board, part of the thermal pad had adhered itself to the top of the CPU itself (which I assume is normal). Now being kept in a safe place until I get the mobo back from Gigabyte, will I be able to re-install the CPU and stock fan with the existing thermal pad (where part of it is stuck to the CPU top & part of it stuck to the stock heat sink)? If not, what options do I have to put humpty back together?
thermal pads are notorious for making messes and becoming glue over time. this is why enthusiasts stay away from them. i even remove them off my video cards and replace them with thermal paste.
i would not recomend reusing a thermal pad especially if it is damaged in the removal process.
clean that thermal pad off the heatsink by using a razor blade to remove all the excess. but make sure not to saw the heatsink or use any back and fourth motions as razors do cut copper. just use a sliding motion in one direction. you can pick up thermal paste at any computer store, best buy, compusa or similar.
for applying the paste, just use a small dab in the middle of the cpu, and use a flat piece of plast to spread it evenly and as thinly as possible over the entire cpu. then reinstall your heatsink and your good to go. you will notice better temps with paste rather than a pad.
clean that thermal pad off and buy a Zalman 9700 LED cooler from New egg-- its silent and does a much better job that that stock cooler, or get a Arctic Cooling 64 freezer-- they come with the paste you need to install on the cooler-- the 64 freezer already has it applied and the zalman has a paint on substance which is really cool lookin. Either way get something else and overclock that sucker
yes - if your really cheap and dumb!
yes - if you only run the cpu for a very short time you can 3-4 tests (i have done this many times then i toss them) before they start to smash the pad (which is not a pad but compound in square) and it falls apart!
no - if your smart and halve half a functional brain - if its smashed and smoothed out the edges rolled then your not going to get the compound to flow in reverse back where you need it
Thanks to all of you for your helpful posts. I'll look into replacing the fan - I had heard applying the paste was tricky which is why I shied away from buying a separate fan but since I have to now apply paste anyway, might as well go for the quiet fan.
I especially appreciate the detailed instructions on removing the pad from the CPU.