Best thermal paste application technique: Core i7 + Xiggy Dark Knight

Hi everyone,

I just finished my first ever build using a Core i7 920 (C0) and a Xigmatek S1283V Dark Knight Cooler. My temps are a little on the high side considering that the 920 is running at stock and the cooler is supposed to be a good one.

Ambient 22C
Idle - TCase: 32C
- TJunction: 40C

Prime95 - TCase: 69C
- TJunction: 80C

I've had people report similar, or even lower temps, on stock cooling. I used the thermal paste included with the Dark Knight. Using a credit card I spread a pea sized drop into a very thin, almost translucent coating over the entire IHS. I have also heard that with direct touch heat pipe coolers it is better to apply the paste to the bottom of the heat pipes on the cooler (filling in the gaps between the pipes), and not onto the IHS. I also read a thread by bmbvenom (Ridiculous core i7 temps?!?) where he got excellent temps by applying a thin line of paste directly overtop of the cores, letting the mounting pressure spread it out from there. However bmbvenom was using a Noctua NH-U12P SE1366, which is not a direct touch heat pipe cooler.

So my question is this: What application method has worked best for you with an i7 processor? Also, if you have any recommendations or experience with direct touch heat pipe coolers feel free to chime in!

5 answers Last reply
More about best thermal paste application technique core xiggy dark knight

    A good guide for HDT. Also you need better thermal paste, look at Arctic Cooling MX-2.
  2. Thanks, great link.

    Is the MX-2 compound conductive?
  3. Nope it does not use any form of metal.
  4. I have the black knight on my Q9400 and it keeps temps low even at 3.8GHz.

    I put a small amount of the stock paste on the bottom of the heat pipes, spread it around with my fingertip, and put the cooler on. I didn't try to get it too thin. My theory was that the 1283 only touches the CPU in a few spots so pressure would force the excess compound to squeeze out better than it would with a different cooler.
  5. i tried that method of the two lines and i was idle at 40-45 now im idle 35 and im using OCZ Freeze with dark knight.. and im clocked at 3.8ghz stable :D load temps on prime dont go past 65 which is good
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