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How to separate CPU from Heat Sink?

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  • CPUs
  • Heat
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May 6, 2008 1:18:55 AM

Today I managed to bump the clip holding the CPU heat sink in place. Before I knew it, the heat sink was loose with the CPU attached to it.

I can't reinstall the CPU without removing it from the heat sink, but the two are cemented together right now. Is this where the freezer trick or the use of acetone or rubbing alcohol becomes necessary?

Once I get them apart and clean both surfaces, I have some Arctic Silver 5 that I plan to use.

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May 6, 2008 1:26:09 AM

Yes, use Acetone, works the best and fastest.
May 6, 2008 1:39:40 AM

I hope that chip has an IHS. If not the freezer trick would be better.
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May 6, 2008 1:43:48 AM

It's an AMD 5600+ dual core CPU.

Do you know off hand if it has an IHS?
May 6, 2008 1:44:13 AM

You can use a clothes iron without water and heat up the heatsink. This will soften the thermal compound so you can remove the cpu. It's worked for me.
May 6, 2008 1:47:55 AM

Once you get the liquid to penetrate the TIM, twist the CPU off the HS (like an Oreo cookie). Trying to pry the CPU off could severely damage it. I've done the twisting method a number of times with the factory 'curring' TIM and it's worked everytime with zero damage (not even scratches on the mating surfaces).

Yes, the AMD X2s have an IHS. I just separated an X2 from the factory HSF yesterday infact.
May 6, 2008 2:34:09 AM

X2s have an IHS yes.

Twisting is a good idea but be careful with the pin array.

May 6, 2008 2:57:58 AM

A blow dryer also works to heat up the compound. Just be careful about twisting. Gentle, small, side to side twists are better than a single 'oreo cookie" type twist and have a better chance of not causing pin damage. In any case, the idea is to heat up the thermal compound to soften it before you separate the two.

After you get them apart, take a close look at the CPU pins. I've used a magnifying glass to check to see if all the rows are straight. If you have any bent pins, a razor blade works well to straighten them back up.
May 6, 2008 3:09:16 AM

yes be very careful with the twisting, once i attempted to remove the heatsink from my phenom processor by the twisting method. let's just say that processor came off with the heatsink destroying the motherboard socket. had to replace the mobo. instead of prying the processor from the heatsink, heat it just like people above me metioned, save yourself the trouble by force removing it.
May 6, 2008 3:35:28 AM

I got the CPU free from the heat sink. Thanks for the advice, everyone.

I have a new problem though. With the Arctic Silver instructions, I get the impression they are telling you not to spread the compound over the whole surface. What should I do?

http://www.arcticsilver.com/pdf/appinstruct/as5/ins_as5_amd_dual_wcap.pdf

Only apply thermal compound to the top of the actual CPU heatspreader. Understand that we are just putting thermal compound in close proximity to the center of the heatspreader.

Since the vast majority of the heat from the core travels directly through the heat spreader, it is more important to have a good interface directly above the actual CPU core than it is to have the heat spreader covered with compound from corner to corner.
May 6, 2008 3:49:20 AM

I do the grain-of-rice-sized dab in the middle and place the heatsink straight down on top of it to squeeze it into a uniform layer - method. It's all personal perference. The two things to not do: too little, too much (squeezing out the sides onto your motherboard). The best way to do it is practice a couple times (cleaning off in between) to see what kind of 'impression' is left on the HS and if the impression appears uniform.
May 6, 2008 5:03:45 AM

OK, I got the Arctic Silver applied and the computer reassembled.

It's been running for about 15 minutes now. According to PC Wizard, my CPU temp is a steady 50° C.

I have an AMD 5600+ Windsor processor. No overclocking and I'm using the OEM heat sink and fan. Unfortunately, I do not recall what my old temperatures were. Is 50° C acceptable at this point? The instructions say that after the 200-hour break in period, the temperatures may drop 2-5° C.
May 6, 2008 12:32:51 PM

never owned a 5600, but it's high compared to my 9500 phenom which idles at 29c on stock cooling, 52c on load.
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May 6, 2008 12:47:55 PM

50 is acceptable if you are sure you installed the heatsink correctly and the fan is blowing in the right direction.
What are the core temperatures?
May 6, 2008 12:48:35 PM

I would recommend Arctic Clean parts 1 & 2 for the future. Getting all dirt off no matter how small is very important.
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May 6, 2008 1:02:16 PM

That is a warm processor and I've never used the stock cooler, but that seems a little high. Is Cool n Quiet on? At idle my FX-60 idles only a little above room temperature and it is an OC'ed 110W processor, so it is definitely a hot processor. It does have some exotic air cooling, though.
May 6, 2008 7:17:38 PM

The core temps are always around 35°C.

Should I attempt to re-apply the Silver Arctic paste?
May 6, 2008 8:37:00 PM

Post your idle and loaded (Orthos) temps for Core and CPU, then we can get a better idea of any actions you should take.
!