Thermal paste on CPU or Water block??

Hi all,

Just wondering what was most effective, applying the thermal paste to the CPU or the water block as I am just about to start installing water cooling.

Also what is the best way - a line down the middle, a few dabs or spreading evenly everywhere?

Thanks
36 answers Last reply
More about thermal paste water block
  1. I put the thermal paste on the CPU, just like a regular HSF.
    I also did the older method of spreading out the thermal paste, from a pea sized drop. Never had an issue doing that way before, so I guess it's just become a habit for me.
  2. I always just put one dab in the center of the CPU. Be sure you clean the CPU before you put new paste on and don't over do the paste, generally the instructions are to put a dab about the size of a rice grain on the CPU
  3. I usually put a very VERY thin coat on both to really get it into the microscopic imperfections, then a rice grain on the middle of the CPU.
  4. cpu

    i tested this and this is proven

    put a drop on the chip bb or bigger in size

    spread it back and forth

    ---then if you have a bad or dished hsf - like my fav cooler the thermal right ultra-120

    add more into the center and move it again towards all edges

    this builds it up in the middle but spreads it evenly - this is proven by us (wsz) to work better
  5. ok thanks for all your opinions guys but as I thought - mixed opinions all round. I think I'll go for a line down the middle as this is what arctic silver recommend for core 2 CPU's.

    thanks
  6. nzxtlexa said:
    ok thanks for all your opinions guys but as I thought - mixed opinions all round. I think I'll go for a line down the middle as this is what arctic silver recommend for core 2 CPU's.

    thanks


    Smart to go with what Artic Silver recommends but be careful not to use too much, you don't want it to seep under the CPU.
  7. nzxtlexa said:
    ok thanks for all your opinions guys but as I thought - mixed opinions all round. I think I'll go for a line down the middle as this is what arctic silver recommend for core 2 CPU's.

    thanks


    I would spead it because how sure can you be that it has spead evenly if you don't spead it first. Also when you have almost a tight fit twist the water block right to left to speadout any air pockets. Remember that the processers are mostly concaved (low in the center) and the CPU water block is normally flat as a pancake so start from the middle outward. Run the water cooling system before plugging anything into the electrical outlet and make sure that there are no leaks, this way if there are you don't fry your system.

    Good luck
  8. thanks systemlord. I have never been able to get my head around putting a line or a blob on the CPU and always thought spreading it everywhere would be more effective. I just think that doing what arctic silver says (which does include twisting a the water block a few degrees right to left) is safer as they've obviously done there research. I just feel safer doing what arctic silver recommend.
  9. nzxtlexa said:
    thanks systemlord. I have never been able to get my head around putting a line or a blob on the CPU and always thought spreading it everywhere would be more effective. I just think that doing what arctic silver says (which does include twisting a the water block a few degrees right to left) is safer as they've obviously done there research. I just feel safer doing what arctic silver recommend.


    Actually I spead it so that it covers the hole CPU surface using my clean dry finger. If you can't feel what you are doing its like cutting the nurves in your arm. Spread the thermal paste from center out and make sure you have a little bit more paste in the center of CPU because of the low spot.

    I even lapped my CPU and heatsink, it really makes a difference. Don't take my word for it have a look for yourself.



    By Systemlord at 2007-12-09


    By systemlord at 2007-12-09
  10. systemlord said:
    Actually I spead it so that it covers the hole CPU surface using my clean dry finger. If you can't feel what you are doing its like cutting the nurves in your arm. Spread the thermal paste from center out and make sure you have a little bit more paste in the center of CPU because of the low spot.

    I even lapped my CPU and heatsink, it really makes a difference. Don't take my word for it have a look for yourself.



    By Systemlord at 2007-12-09


    Not exactly sure, the orientation of the picture is kind of messing with my mind atm.

    What I'm trying to point out is, the AS5 line is wrong. With the load lever to your left, the line should be top to bottom or North and South, if you were to look at it like a map. When installed on the MB plate, in a mid tower case, when your actually looking at the line, it should look like side to side (Edit: horizontally) or East to West.

    Looking at the picture you got, I'd say you have the line wrong, since it does not go with how the cores are lined underneath the IHS.

    C2D cores under IHS

    Correct me if I'm wrong... I don't mind. :D

    I actually perfer spreading the thermal grease evenly on the IHS surface, which basically should create a good seal, and why lapping to me wouldn't be worth the trouble.

    Edit: Although that lap job you did does look awesome. :D
  11. I agree with Grimmy, the picture of this is shown in the arctic silver instructions for Dual Cores

    http://www.arcticsilver.com/pdf/appinstruct/as5/ins_as5_intel_dual_wcap.pdf
  12. Grimmy said:
    Not exactly sure, the orientation of the picture is kind of messing with my mind atm.

    What I'm trying to point out is, the AS5 line is wrong. With the load lever to your left, the line should be top to bottom or North and South, if you were to look at it like a map. When installed on the MB plate, in a mid tower case, when your actually looking at the line, it should look like side to side (Edit: horizontally) or East to West.

    Looking at the picture you got, I'd say you have the line wrong, since it does not go with how the cores are lined underneath the IHS.

    C2D cores under IHS

    Correct me if I'm wrong... I don't mind. :D

    I actually perfer spreading the thermal grease evenly on the IHS surface, which basically should create a good seal, and why lapping to me wouldn't be worth the trouble.


    Edit: Although that lap job you did does look awesome. :D


    That picture is not mine its just a demo picture from AS5 tech support, people this is way to much thermal paste to use. I wouldn't trust tech support after seeing this picture. Remember your only filling microscopic vallys in the two mating surfaces and not putting icing on a cake. :lol: People these companies are selling paste and the more you use the more they sell, $$$. With a lapped surface less paste is required because the microscopic vallys are much smaller after a slight polish.
  13. systemlord said:
    That picture is not mine its just a demo picture from AS5 tech support, people this is way to much thermal paste to use. I wouldn't trust tech support after seeing this picture. Remember your only filling microscopic vallys in the two mating surfaces and not putting icing on a cake. :lol: People these companies are selling paste and the more you use the more they sell, $$$. With a lapped surface less paste is required because the microscopic vallys are much smaller after a slight polish.


    :??: . o O (By Systemlord at 2007-12-09)

    Not understanding why your posting pictures from your image shack album, if its not by you. I mean what you said:

    Quote:
    I even lapped my CPU and heatsink, it really makes a difference. Don't take my word for it have a look for yourself.


    follows that picture. :??:

    I understand the gaps filled by thermal grease is very small, that you couldn't see. I even think the size of a bb is allot, but still enough to cover the IHS to help recreate a seal, using a razor blade.

    A lapped surface will give you more surface contact, but... I dunno, to me, really isn't worth the work. I know if I got my IHS that shiny looking, I'd be pissed off if it got scratch. As a matter of fact, my 7700 Zalman got scratch and had an indention from my old P4 Northwood. It had that lil hole in the IHS that caused the copper to be imprinted on the bottom of the HS.

    But anyhoo.. Any company will want to sell its products, and perhaps put a twist on it. I brought AS5 when it was $15 bucks a tube... and I was pretty much disappointed. It's pretty much almost all gone from me, testing and retesting, and well... I know it really didn't help me much. So I have less faith in lapping, even though it can make it look literally cool. :D
  14. OK thanks everyone. I'm still not really sure whether to do a line down the middle and let the water block spread it out for me or just spread it everywhere. I'll carry on with my research.
  15. nzxtlexa said:
    OK thanks everyone. I'm still not really sure whether to do a line down the middle and let the water block spread it out for me or just spread it everywhere. I'll carry on with my research.



    Applying thermal paste is very very easy, it doesn't need researching. Just spread the paste on the IHS and then put the water block on top, thats it. If this seems to hard for you then have someone do it for you at a computer shop. :)
  16. Thanks systemlord but I think I may just be able to manage it myself
  17. Let us know what your temps are when you all done, I've been thinking about getting a water cooling system. The quietness must be heaven.
  18. So what was the point of this thread to discover that someone can follow the directions of a manufacturer?
    Hell my 6 year old can follow directions.
  19. bobbknight,

    No, strangely enough even we can follow instructions and I'm glad your six year old is so capable!

    It is to see if there are alternative and more effective methods of applying thermal paste and which experienced people like systemlord think give the best results.
  20. @Grimmy: Personally, I have noticed at least a 2C drop from applying AS5 and about a 3-4C drop from lapping.
  21. @Shadow730793..

    Well, I remember when I brought AS5, and mentioned my temps for a P4 2.66 (533FSB) Northwood, and even my upgrade to 3ghz (800FSB) my idle temps were usually 44C. And people kept telling me it should be lower.. you did your installation wrong.. You put too much on it.. Someone else would tell me they idle at 38C.. That's too hot, you should redo it..

    And you know... I could get better temps if I didn't have a room ambient temp of 78-82F. So AS5 or lapping isn't going to make things any cooler fer me. :lol:

    Edit:

    Forgot to mention, I did get 38C idle when my room temps were 68-70F. So I wonder when people notice their temps drop, but don't noticed if their ambient temp got cooler?? :??:
  22. I've been considering water cooling as well, same time I purchase the Penryn quad. I am just concerned about leaks and air bubbles. I would really be in clueless land setting up a water cooling system. I'm sure I could do it, but wouldn't know all the tips n tricks to making it absolutely water tight.
  23. @ Thanatos

    Try water cooling kits. They're very good introductory kits for starters. Personally I highly recommend Swiftech's H20-120.
  24. @ systemlord.

    Yep sure I will post my temps after I've overclocked which should be within the next few days. Hoping to hit at least 3.6ghz with my E6700.
  25. I truely believe that trying to spread the stuff all over the CPU leaves more of a chance for air bubbles to be trapped between the heatsink and CPU, and a possibility of having more thermal compound under the heatsink than is optimum. Afterall, you only need a very, very small amount to fill in the tiny imperfections between the 2 surfaces. A heavy application will actually result in an insulting effect and hamper heat transfer between the parts. I prefer the "grain of rice size" amount, and let the heatsink push the amount of thermal compound out in all directions when you set it into place. Using firm pressure accompanied by a "slight" left and right twist as you seat it down. If you have the right amount, you will just barely start to see some squeezing out around the edges in a few places.
    My 2 cents worth.
  26. thanks jitpublisher, this is like the method I decided to go with anyway, just with an even thinner line down the middle instead of a small rice size blob due to the way the dual chips are layed out under the IHS. thnx
  27. jitpublisher said:
    I truely believe that trying to spread the stuff all over the CPU leaves more of a chance for air bubbles to be trapped between the heatsink and CPU, and a possibility of having more thermal compound under the heatsink than is optimum. Afterall, you only need a very, very small amount to fill in the tiny imperfections between.



    First the reason your supposed to twist the CPU block slightly right to left after you place it on top is so you don't get any air bubbles. The amount needed is determand by how concaved the IHS is, because not everyone has lapped their CPU and when you lap your mating surfaces you require a lot less thermal paste.
  28. nzxtlexa said:
    thanks jitpublisher, this is like the method I decided to go with anyway, just with an even thinner line down the middle instead of a small rice size blob due to the way the dual chips are layed out under the IHS. thnx



    The more surface area you have contact with the more heat transfer you'll have, which is why most guru's lap their CPU water block and their processers. Why do you think most high-end water blocks increase their surface inside the block by 200%, because more surface area = more heat transfer. Why do you think water block companies increase the inside surface area only to have the user decrease the contact surface by not speading the thermal paste.

    Down below is a water block with an increased surface area by 200%.



    By systemlord at 2007-12-23
  29. Honestly the Zalman paste with the brush aplicator is sweet. You can get a perfect coat on the entire cpu surface. The Arctic Silver is ok but tbh I have never seen a difference over the Zalman stuff.
  30. Shadow703793 said:
    @Grimmy: Personally, I have noticed at least a 2C drop from applying AS5 and about a 3-4C drop from lapping.



    That sounds about right, I noticed about 3-4C drop in temps across the board.
  31. @ systemlord,


    Ok here are the results of the overclocking and water cooling like you asked,

    At the moment I'm running 360 x 10 but I need 1.468 Vcore to keep it stable. This leaves my temps idling at about 40 and at 100% load during a stability test, they don't go above 52, which I personally am quite happy with. Is there anything else I can increase that would allow me to then decrease my Vcore because I may as well run as cool as possible.
  32. nzxtlexa said:
    @ systemlord,


    Ok here are the results of the overclocking and water cooling like you asked,

    At the moment I'm running 360 x 10 but I need 1.468 Vcore to keep it stable. This leaves my temps idling at about 40 and at 100% load during a stability test, they don't go above 52, which I personally am quite happy with. Is there anything else I can increase that would allow me to then decrease my Vcore because I may as well run as cool as possible.


    Thats pretty damn good! With mine at 400 x 9 = 3.6GHz near the same CPU Vcore mines at 67C 100% load and thats with my Tuniq Tower 120 and my new Silverstone TJ09 running five S-Flex fans. Yes my E6600 is a voltage pig, looks like you got a better processer than mine. You didn't just up the Vcore by itself did you?


    If so then your CPU Vcore would have to compensate (have to go higher) for the Northbridge being low, because the processer has to comunicate with the Northbridge. With my old Asus P5B Deluxe (RIP) I was able to lower my Vcore voltage by four settings because I upped the NB to 1.55 volts. Make sure you run Prime95 for 24 hours the longer the better.
  33. I forgot to mention that my processer and Tuniq Tower are both lapped to a mirror finish.
  34. Hi systemlord,

    Ok thanks for the feedback. No I didn't just adjust my vcore I've upped a few other things as well including NB, SB HTT etc. Just after I finished my message to you I had a fail in Orthos and so the vcore is now at 1.475, but it only upped the temps my 1.5 degrees max.
  35. also forgot to ask. Do you think at these temps that I can afford to go a bit further, eg maybe 3.7 or 3.75. If I did this temps would probable be about 60. Do you think this is OK? Whats your usual load cut off temp?
  36. If you mean your core temps peak at 60C then yeah thats good, just make sure your temps stay under 60C 90% of the time during testing. You should be able to take it to 1.55 CPU Vcore with a high quality water cooling system as long as your temps are under 60C for all core temps. Find a happy Vcore setting and test it 24 hours then try for 3.8GHz.
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