Blob vs spread (applying thermal paste)

Hi guys,
My new Coolermaster V8 is on its way somewhere in the post along with some Arctic silver 5. I should have it in the next five days so I was wandering what is the best way to apply thermal compound?

-Some people say its better to put a pea sized blob in the middle and then put the heatsink on it, which will spread it out and create a vacumn.
-Others say its best to spread it with your finger in a plastic bag, as you can then be sure you have even coverage.

Can anyone give me some advice as to which way is better any why?
I like the blob method but I dont like the way you cant be sure you have a full coverage when doing it.
Thanks,Greg.
61 answers Last reply
More about blob spread applying thermal paste
  1. The blob method to me makes more sense.
    i have been a I.T technician for 3years now, i have used this method alot of times.
    The Reason i Stick behind this method is because, When you apply the paste in the center of the cpu and exsert force equaly, the paste is spred evenly and forced into the textured surface between the Heatsink and Cpu. (Thats Why lapping a Cpu Brings the Temp down because you Removing a Layer of metal and evening out the rough texture of the cpu)

    So if you just Spreading you will then get Uneven patches of thermal past that when the heatsink is put on it sits with patches that are not making Contact with the Heatsink.

    Hopes this Clears things up.

    :)
  2. +1 Can't explain it any better than that.
  3. Thanks for the advice, thats how i'l apply my new Thermal Paste then
  4. Glad to have helped :)
  5. There are a few different ways of doing this. My way is a tad different than many others, I just put a dab of paste on the cooler itself and spread evenly...here is a guide that might help you out.....

    http://www.frozencpu.com/resource/r8/How_to_Apply_Thermal_Paste.html

    I do not recommend JUST putting a dab on the CPU and slapping the cooler on because if you use too much chances are it might pour onto the board and if the paste is conductive like AS5, it will damage the board.
  6. The way most pros do it is 5 or so small dabs of the TIM all around. (this is usually done with "white" TIMs as they are not conductive as ovrclkr said.

    BTW OvrClkr, i love the new quote!
  7. I put a small dab on both the cpu and heatsink, then spread it with my finger. I then put the heatsink on the cpu and slide it around to make sure that the compound is spread evenly. I lift the heatsink off and check to make sure there is even contact. Then I put the heatsink back on , slide around again and clamp down.
  8. If I understood all the various info out there correctly that method is not advised since it can create pockets of bad contact.
  9. I do not recommend JUST putting a dab on the CPU and slapping the cooler on because if you use too much chances are it might pour onto the board and if the paste is conductive like AS5, it will damage the board.


    Well Then that Whould be His Problem, But if you were a person with Common Sence You Whould Put a Tiny Blob and Slap on the Heatsink!

    ''Arctic Silver 5 will not separate, run, migrate, or bleed.''

    Direct from There Website!
    :sol:
  10. Best instructions that I have seen:
    Suggestions for applying thermal compound:
    http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=170&Itemid=1&limit=1&limitstart=0
  11. fanaticvo0_20 said:

    ''Arctic Silver 5 will not separate, run, migrate, or bleed.''

    Direct from There Website!
    :sol:

    They don't know their own products very well. I opened a brand new tube the other day and it ran almost like water. I had to squeeze some out until the thin, watery material was gone and then clean it all off so I could start over. I wasted a good 5% of the tube.

    @unholygregor: It really depends on the TIM. Some are quite runny, like AS5, while others are thick and abrasive, like IC Diamond. The latter require large amounts of pressure or they simply will not spread. I think ICD requires 50psi minimum for optimal spreading.
  12. randomizer said:
    I wasted a good 5% of the tube.

    Fortunately, even a small tube goes a long way.
  13. overshocked said:
    The way most pros do it is 5 or so small dabs of the TIM all around. (this is usually done with "white" TIMs as they are not conductive as ovrclkr said.

    BTW OvrClkr, i love the new quote!


    hehe, yea I was bored :D

    yo, have you used this new Gelid compound yet?

    GELID Solutions GC-Extreme
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835426020&cm_re=Gelid%3f-_-35-426-020-_-Product

    if not you should give it a try... lowered my temps by -5/-6 vs. AS5 and MX-2 [:lectrocrew:6]
  14. Ive never had a probem with AS5 running, any way i took this from their website

    "Not Electrically Conductive:
    Arctic Silver 5 was formulated to conduct heat, not electricity."

    @ovrclkr

    This stuff is much better than both ( :

    http://www.svc.com/1366-x1.html
  15. overshocked said:
    Ive never had a probem with AS5 running, any way i took this from their website

    "Not Electrically Conductive:
    Arctic Silver 5 was formulated to conduct heat, not electricity."

    @ovrclkr

    This stuff is much better than both ( :

    http://www.svc.com/1366-x1.html


    Yea, I looked into that over at frozen CPU but it is just too dam expensive for 2 applications :(

    The Gelid Extreme is working just fine. Got the B50 at 4.215Ghz and it will not reach 52c no matter how hot my room is... I even cranked up the heater last night to 80F and the temps stayed the same running large FFT's for over 4 hours.... With my room temp at 70F or lower my LOAD temps hover around 43-45c.... Need a case though, looking at the 902 vs. the haf...
  16. My method for applying thermal compound depends on several factors for me:
    1. Viscosity
    2. Electrical conductivity (Arctic Silver 5 is electrically conductive, not exactly your standard gold conductivity but it's enough to cause shorts).
    3. Heatsink surface's shape, and size.

    This is keeping surface area for heat conductivity, this has NOT being tested properly. I have applied thermal compound using different methods and have yet had to re-seat a heat sink or re-apply thermal compound because of faulty placement of heat sink or thermal compound following these 3 procedures.

    Viscosity is measured by placing it in a clean surface, and taking a cotton swab over it. If it is not easily spread apart by the cotton swab, it will then go with a small amount in the middle, letting the heatsink even it out through pressure, and thermal cycles. The reason why I would do this is if the material is extremely "sticky" and has high viscosity then it would be improbable for it to leak out of the heatsink and will prevent the formation of air bubbles. If the material is less viscous and is spread more easily, then I would have to go with a spread method covering about 3/4ths the CPU's heat spreader to form an extremely thin layer. This will allow it to disperse the easiest. I would then immediately with a cotton swab clean off a good 2mm off the edge. Now I know this sounds weird but there is a reason why I say to spread the thermal compound into a very thin layer if it is easy to spread apart. That is because since it is spread out, the pressure for the heat sink will matter very little, and will only help to even the spread, not so much thin it, this is also prevent air bubbles because of the thinness and any leaking by removing most of the thermal compound from around the edges.

    Electrical conductivity is quite frankly easily researched, most thermal compound companies will list it there.

    3. Heatsink surface's shape and size is incredibly important when applying your thermal compound.
    If the surface is small, then the best approach would be a spread by user method regardless of thermal compound. If the size is large then a dab in the middle would be preferred however would be dependent also on the thermal compound's viscosity. All in all you need to find a heat sink to come close to matching the size of your CPU's heat spreader.
  17. AsAnAtheist said:
    My method for applying thermal compound depends on several factors for me:
    1. Viscosity
    2. Electrical conductivity (Arctic Silver 5 is electrically conductive, not exactly your standard gold conductivity but it's enough to cause shorts).
    3. Heatsink surface's shape, and size.

    This is keeping surface area for heat conductivity, this has NOT being tested properly. I have applied thermal compound using different methods and have yet had to re-seat a heat sink or re-apply thermal compound because of faulty placement of heat sink or thermal compound following these 3 procedures.

    Viscosity is measured by placing it in a clean surface, and taking a cotton swab over it. If it is not easily spread apart by the cotton swab, it will then go with a small amount in the middle, letting the heatsink even it out through pressure, and thermal cycles. The reason why I would do this is if the material is extremely "sticky" and has high viscosity then it would be improbable for it to leak out of the heatsink and will prevent the formation of air bubbles. If the material is less viscous and is spread more easily, then I would have to go with a spread method covering about 3/4ths the CPU's heat spreader to form an extremely thin layer. This will allow it to disperse the easiest. I would then immediately with a cotton swab clean off a good 2mm off the edge. Now I know this sounds weird but there is a reason why I say to spread the thermal compound into a very thin layer if it is easy to spread apart. That is because since it is spread out, the pressure for the heat sink will matter very little, and will only help to even the spread, not so much thin it, this is also prevent air bubbles because of the thinness and any leaking by removing most of the thermal compound from around the edges.

    Electrical conductivity is quite frankly easily researched, most thermal compound companies will list it there.

    3. Heatsink surface's shape and size is incredibly important when applying your thermal compound.
    If the surface is small, then the best approach would be a spread by user method regardless of thermal compound. If the size is large then a dab in the middle would be preferred however would be dependent also on the thermal compound's viscosity. All in all you need to find a heat sink to come close to matching the size of your CPU's heat spreader.


    Nice...

    +1 ;)
  18. OvrClkr said:
    Yea, I looked into that over at frozen CPU but it is just too dam expensive for 2 applications :(

    The Gelid Extreme is working just fine. Got the B50 at 4.215Ghz and it will not reach 52c no matter how hot my room is... I even cranked up the heater last night to 80F and the temps stayed the same running large FFT's for over 4 hours.... With my room temp at 70F or lower my LOAD temps hover around 43-45c.... Need a case though, looking at the 902 vs. the haf...

    Word...

    Its waaaay to expensive.
  19. Hmmm..., what about a Xiggy HDT s1283 where there are 3 copper pipes & 2 aluminum spacers between the 3 copper pipes? What then would you do in that situation?
  20. overshocked said:
    Word...

    Its waaaay to expensive.


    You can get a CCF for a few bucks more... :lol:

    JohnnyLucky uses it and he says it performs as adverstised, I guess if you have cash to burn it should be worth a try....
  21. jonpaul37 said:
    Hmmm..., what about a Xiggy HDT s1283 where there are 3 copper pipes & 2 aluminum spacers between the 3 copper pipes? What then would you do in that situation?

    Read the link that jsc provided.
  22. The HDT is done a few diff ways. One is to cover the base, making sure you fill in the deep spots, scrape off the extra and then use a blob. Or make three lines, one down each heatpipe. the lines are VERY thin BTW. It's covered in Youtube vids and pics on many forums if you dig deep enuff.

    Important point. Even my MX 2 paste (I have done over many with it) when using a new tube (I have used 3 tubes on CPUs and GPUs) there was a slimy goop at first. Since I'm experianced, I know to squeeze the first bit onto something else besides a CPU chip or GPU chip. It's the small things you learn to make your life easier. The only way is to do it over many years, you kinda learn what is right.

    You also get better at reading things and deciding whats crap and not.

    Soo, I'm done.
  23. in a pinch I bought some of the Dynex stuff from Best Buy, spread a thin layer over the entire mating surface of the HDT-1283, carefully placed it on the CPU (AMD Pehon II X3 720), in the process of installing the retention bracket the cooler slid around a little - locked the cooler down.

    With a 800MHz multiplier overclock I'm seeing ~30C idle and 53C under load with Prime95 running a blended, 4-thread torture test for 15 minutes.

    I think I may improve my cooling by upgrading the HDT-1283 fan to a higher CFM. The only technical difference between the HDT-1283 and Dark Knight 1283 is the fan and the Dark Knight was higher in the ranking on Frostytech's chart. I may also step up to a higher CFM fan for the 120mm case exhaust too.

    My temps aren't terrible, but lower would be great if I can do it for under $40 or so.

    I've read so many reviews on thermal compound and application. Many have stated that the difference between compounds is neglible and instead the difference in application, coolers, temperature conditions are more likely to effect your system.

    For those who have just and ONLY changed compounds and then realized a temp drop, maybe your application was different, maybe it was thinner, maybe you cleaned out some dust...idk.

    I was advised by one retailer to clean off the Dynex and use MX2 instead and that'd I'd definitely see a difference. IDK that it's worth the trouble, rather improve the physical airflow within the case - may be more beneficial.

    My system is a Rosewill mATX mid-tower, no discrete GPU at the moment, HDT-1283 blowing into the CPU cooler and up into the OCZ Fatal1ty 550 PSU 120mm fan that sucks air up through the PSU and out the back. Also have the stock Rosewill 120mm case fan that blows out the back of the case. The left side of the case has vent holes that are open.
  24. darkfa8 said:
    in a pinch I bought some of the Dynex stuff from Best Buy, spread a thin layer over the entire mating surface of the HDT-1283, carefully placed it on the CPU (AMD Pehon II X3 720), in the process of installing the retention bracket the cooler slid around a little - locked the cooler down.

    With a 800MHz multiplier overclock I'm seeing ~30C idle and 53C under load with Prime95 running a blended, 4-thread torture test for 15 minutes.

    I think I may improve my cooling by upgrading the HDT-1283 fan to a higher CFM. The only technical difference between the HDT-1283 and Dark Knight 1283 is the fan and the Dark Knight was higher in the ranking on Frostytech's chart. I may also step up to a higher CFM fan for the 120mm case exhaust too.

    My temps aren't terrible, but lower would be great if I can do it for under $40 or so.

    I've read so many reviews on thermal compound and application. Many have stated that the difference between compounds is neglible and instead the difference in application, coolers, temperature conditions are more likely to effect your system.

    For those who have just and ONLY changed compounds and then realized a temp drop, maybe your application was different, maybe it was thinner, maybe you cleaned out some dust...idk.

    I was advised by one retailer to clean off the Dynex and use MX2 instead and that'd I'd definitely see a difference. IDK that it's worth the trouble, rather improve the physical airflow within the case - may be more beneficial.

    My system is a Rosewill mATX mid-tower, no discrete GPU at the moment, HDT-1283 blowing into the CPU cooler and up into the OCZ Fatal1ty 550 PSU 120mm fan that sucks air up through the PSU and out the back. Also have the stock Rosewill 120mm case fan that blows out the back of the case. The left side of the case has vent holes that are open.


    Get rid of that Dynex paste and get some AS5 or MX-2... That Dynex paste is crap ;)

    I re-pasted last night with MX-2 and this was the outcome :



    LOAD temps are around 44/45c at 4Ghz
  25. how did you apply the MX2?
  26. also, what is so bad about the Dynex stuff? Like I said earlier, I've read tons of thermal compound reviews and the temp variance between the majority of popular brands tends to be negligible.

    I did speak to the tech at sidewindercomputers and he also suggested changing to MX2 before upgrading any of my fans to higher CFM units...
  27. jsc said:
    Best instructions that I have seen:
    Suggestions for applying thermal compound:
    http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=170&Itemid=1&limit=1&limitstart=0



    Great Link, Very Informative!
  28. darkfa8 said:
    how did you apply the MX2?


    Put a small dab on the CPU and spread it with an old debit/credit card. Then put a smaller amount on the cooler and spread again.... Re-seat CPU cooler and you are done [:jaydeejohn:5] . Make sure it is a very thin layer and you will be fine....
  29. darkfa8 said:


    I doubt that is 100% legit... if it was it would be on the TOP 30 compounds list ;)

    Dynex is better than the crap OEM's use, but not better than AS5 or any other high grade compound...
  30. I will have to second OvrClkr's opinion. Even if it does give similar results to AS5 it has not had the validity of time. Most of Dynex's products are on the cheap side with overpriced tags for the performance give. The only product I have been happy with is a Dynex multimedia keyboard, thats it.
  31. ...but the specs on the Dynex aren't that far off from those of the AS5.

    I'm not sure whether or not its worth buying MX2 or AS5, pulling the cooler to re-apply OR leaving the Dynex and nearly doubling my CPU fan CFM (current: 56.3CFM/24dba)

    btw: I applied a thin coat of Dynex to the cooler, filling in the cracks with the supplied plastic card. In setting it on the CPU to be clamped down it did/does slide around because of the rocking motion of the locking mechanism on the Xigmatek HDT-S1283 for my AM3 socket.

    Ovrclkr, what were your temps BEFORE you switched to the MX2?
  32. darkfa8 said:
    ...but the specs on the Dynex aren't that far off from those of the AS5.

    I'm not sure whether or not its worth buying MX2 or AS5, pulling the cooler to re-apply OR leaving the Dynex and nearly doubling my CPU fan CFM (current: 56.3CFM/24dba)

    btw: I applied a thin coat of Dynex to the cooler, filling in the cracks with the supplied plastic card. In setting it on the CPU to be clamped down it did/does slide around because of the rocking motion of the locking mechanism on the Xigmatek HDT-S1283 for my AM3 socket.

    Ovrclkr, what were your temps BEFORE you switched to the MX2?


    550 @ 3.5Ghz (stock cooler) (OEM paste) / Idle @ 39c - Load @ 48c

    550 @ 3.5Ghz (AC Freezer 64 and pre-applied MX-2) / Idle @ 31c - Load @ 39c

    550@ 3.5Ghz (Titan Fenir with MX-2) / Idle @ 24c - Load at 32c

    The above temps were taken in a room that did not exceed 25c ambient temp.

    At the moment I am running my 550 as an x4 B50 (just to give you quad temps) and this is the result :

    B50 @ 3.8Ghz <---Daily Clock (Titan Fenir with Gelid Extreme) Idle @ 27c - Load at 43c :





    Of course these temps will change once summer arrives, but i wanted to give you an example of what to expect.
  33. Overclkr- that looks quite promising.

    Maybe I'll change to the Gelid Extreme and a higher output CPU cooler fan and/or higher output case exhaust fan.

    I'll be posting some pictures of my new build shortly to get people's feedback on what, if anything I can do to further improve the air cooling without spending a ton of money.

    also, to note, I am running in a mATX mid-tower, so things are a bit more cramped and I don't even had a discrete GPU installed yet (looking at HD5750 or 5770)
  34. darkfa8 said:
    Overclkr- that looks quite promising.

    Maybe I'll change to the Gelid Extreme and a higher output CPU cooler fan and/or higher output case exhaust fan.

    I'll be posting some pictures of my new build shortly to get people's feedback on what, if anything I can do to further improve the air cooling without spending a ton of money.

    also, to note, I am running in a mATX mid-tower, so things are a bit more cramped and I don't even had a discrete GPU installed yet (looking at HD5750 or 5770)


    You should be fine with MX-2, I only use the Gelid for comparison reasons. It shaved about 2/3c compared to the MX-2, not much considering it was twice as expensive. IMO MX-2 is the best paste for the money.

    What case do you have?
  35. Not a bad case, all you need is a few high CFM fans.. I use these in my Antec 300 :

    Rosewill RFA-120-BL 120mm
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835200049&cm_re=rosewill_120mm-_-35-200-049-_-Product

    and if you do not like the blue LED's :

    Rosewill RFA-120-K 120mm
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835200048&cm_re=rosewill_120mm-_-35-200-048-_-Product

    For the price you will not find a better fan ........
  36. At OvrClkr, Man the shipping costs more than the fan, that stings.
  37. 4Ryan6 said:
    At OvrClkr, Man the shipping costs more than the fan, that stings.


    Yes that's a common occurrence and one that I opted to deal with by adding the odd fan to other orders or purchasing a number of them at once to offset the shipping charges.

    Then again if I go to my local electronic parts supplier and purchase a fan their markup reveals the shipping fees included in the price as you pay ten or fifteen dollars for an item listed for six or seven online.
  38. what about this fan for case exhaust and/or cpu cooler:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103062
  39. darkfa8 said:
    what about this fan for case exhaust and/or cpu cooler:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103062


    If those specifications are to be believed it's a decent fan.

    My cases come with Coolermaster fans though and I find them noisier than Gelid products but then it's entirely possible that they use a lesser product packaged with the cases and I know they don't turn at 2000rpm.

    2000rpm @ just 19db sounds pretty good to me.
  40. I have a q6600 and applied AS5 like the website says, with a thin line right down the middle, my temps are 22C idle high 40s under load with a 3.4 overclock.
  41. also, I have these fans in my Antec 300: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811999479 FREE SHIPPING and they work great!
  42. the reviews on that coolermaster fan weren't that great =\

    idk, picking out a fan is a PITA

    I posted pics of my rig in another thread and some people have suggested I change my CPU cooler, but I think I can decrease temps with some better fans and maybe switching to some MX2 rather then the Dynex (BestBuy) stuff I have in there now.

    If I can drop another 5C+, that would be cool :D
  43. adamh9 said:
    also, I have these fans in my Antec 300: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811999479 FREE SHIPPING and they work great!


    Not bad for a 69CFM fan and free shipping to boot.
  44. Price is great but 39db noise level? Ouch.
  45. darkfa8 said:
    the reviews on that coolermaster fan weren't that great =\

    idk, picking out a fan is a PITA

    I posted pics of my rig in another thread and some people have suggested I change my CPU cooler, but I think I can decrease temps with some better fans and maybe switching to some MX2 rather then the Dynex (BestBuy) stuff I have in there now.

    If I can drop another 5C+, that would be cool :D


    FYI, If you have a local Radio Shack you can snag some Artic Silver 5 or Artic Silver Ceramique they carry it under the Thermaltake label.
  46. i may opt for the MX2 since it's easier to apply and clean up compared to AS5. I can get the MX2 for ~$7 shipped via ebay using bing cashback (8%-off)
  47. Just letting you know its at Radio Shack, not telling you what to buy, I discovered Radio Shack was carrying it on the shelf completely by accident its like $9.00 for a 3.5grm tube, same price for either AS5 or Ceramique.
Ask a new question

Read More

Heatsinks Cooler Master Thermal Compound Overclocking Product