In the next couple of days I am buying a Noctua U12P-SE air cooler for my i7 920 as I am currently running a stock cooler and am having some performance issues, which I am hoping can be solved by cooling my CPU *fingers crossed*.
My problem is, this is my first build, I don't have a whole lot of knowlege when it comes to putting computers together (the shop I bought from assembled this for me). Being the first time I am going to install a CPU cooler, naturally, I am quite concerned that I might mess something up, especially on my CPU.
Mainly, my biggest concern is the thermal paste, as I have looked at many instructions on the internet and I am being told from one extreme to the other. (Some say put a pea shape in the middle and only that, others say apply a thin lay across the whole thing).
I'm just wondering if I could get any tips, based on personal experiences, that would be very helpful.
It gets kind of crazy with thermal compounds. There are over 80 brands available lossely grouped into 4 broad categories. Generally the manufacturers provide instructions indicating which application method to use. Manufactuers may even specify different application methods for different types of cpu's. For example, a manufacturer might specify the pea method for an AMD cpu and the thin line method for an Intel cpu. Another manufacturer might specify spreading a thin film for both AMD and Intel cpu's. There is no standard general purpose method.
The Noctua web site has instructions for applying thermal compound. In step 5 of the installation process the pea method is used: