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Thermal Grease Cleaning Question

  • CPUs
  • Heatsinks
Last response: in CPUs
June 20, 2008 3:24:49 PM

When putting my new rig together last night I had a problem with the stock Heatsink on my Q9450 not fitting on my board (P5K-E WIFI-AP). the legs weren't long enough to clear the transistors around the CPU and still snap fully into place without the fins resting and putting pressure on the transistors.

So, I pulled it off and used a q-tip to clean the thermal grease that had been pre-applied to the stock HS and wanted to make sure it would be OK. There is a bit of a stain where I cleaned off the TG from the CPU but I can read the text on the CPU so I belive its pretty clean. Going to get another HS today and finish my build but wanted to know if I needed to use any special cleaning product on the CPU before appling more TG and a new HS.

More about : thermal grease cleaning question

June 20, 2008 3:46:12 PM

It's usually best to use rubbing alcohol.
June 20, 2008 4:02:58 PM

nah, in real life, that is plenty clean enough if yoiu just use some isopropyl alcohol
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June 20, 2008 4:10:10 PM

A higher percentage is also preferred, say 90% instead of the 70% that you usually find in your medicine cabinet. But 70% should be fine for most cleaning jobs.

June 20, 2008 4:27:11 PM

I use 91-95% isopropyl alcohol and it cleans things fine. There are a couple commercial cleaners out there, but I think they're a waste of good money. Yeah, avoid the lower quality alcohols as they contain a lot of impurities, oils, and junk that are not good for computer chips.
a c 172 à CPUs
June 20, 2008 4:29:51 PM

You can get 100% at a drugstore. 70% is OK. Avoid something called "rubbing alcohol". It's usually 70% isopropyl, but it has lanolin in it - leaves a film. A piece of a clean coffee filter works well for cleaning - doesn't leave lint behind.
June 20, 2008 4:34:05 PM

or you could use fresh lemon to clean it but remember to rinse it with water afterward.or vinegar if you want.
June 20, 2008 5:30:31 PM

Just go ahead and throw that CPU in the dishwasher. Should be fine. What's the worst that can happen?

June 20, 2008 5:44:29 PM

you wont be able to use the CPU anymore i guess!thats the worse that can happen!LOL
June 20, 2008 6:13:47 PM

I use a mixture of Heptane and Isopropyl Alcohol.

Carefully, with a Q-Tip.

Edit: AKA Contact & Circuit Board Cleaner. $3.00 a can. Available everywhere.
June 20, 2008 6:36:24 PM

personally, i don't use alcohol at all... i use the thermal grease remover from artic silver.

works great for me :)  and i wouldn't use a q-tip either. small cotton strands could come loose from it...i personally use a lint free cloth, such as those in eye glasses cleaning or you could pick some up from your local electronic store.
June 20, 2008 6:49:38 PM

luckily since I was just putting the machine together the thermal grease had never been heated up and it came right off with the q-tip...i picked up an Arctic pro 7 today and a little tube of xigmatex grease sicne they were out of artic silver. Hopefully the system will post and boot smoothly tonight after I put in the new HS and finish connecting everything.
June 20, 2008 7:01:28 PM

Artic Freezer 7 Pro and Artic Silver. What do you think came on the HSF?
June 20, 2008 7:07:06 PM

lap the AC7 Pro post some very good result.