I have an Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 retail, and I just wanted to know if a thermal paste is required. I know of the benefits, but wanted to know if it's required or optional. My case has many fans, and I do not plan to overclock.
I don't know what pads are, but maybe it comes with them? When I look at the instructions, it doesn't show any paste being applied. When I look at the bottom of the heatsink, it's a copper circle with three grey strips on it... are these pads?
There should be some material on the bottom of the heatsink which is the stock intel TIM (Thermal Interface Material). When you first turn the system on it melts and fills any scratches that might be on either surface. Look at the heatsink it shoudn't be all metal it should have a white or gray (I can't remember which) square of TIM.
It does have the thermal material on the bottom (3 grey lines over the copper). Upon attaching the heatsink, it just melts on its own, and I don't have to spread it out or take it off to adjust or anything?