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Q6600 Thermal Paste Help + Overclocking

Last response: in CPUs
August 18, 2009 7:39:37 AM

Hi Guys

I've been having some trouble getting my thermal paste on correctly. I had earlier tried overclocking by Q6600 and was getting very high temperatures and an 8C differance between Cores 0 and 1 and 2 and 3. Hence, I decided to re-apply my thermal paste. I've tried multiple times but it seems whatever I do I cant get it done correctly. I was earlier posting at another forum and they kept on saying I had too much or that it was too clumpy and I was wondering if you guys could give me some tips on how to apply it.

FYI I am using a Zalman 9700 and the supplied STG1 thermal grease. That is one of the reasons I'm having so much trouble, most people are used to applying it with a syringe but I have a small brush. Its supposed to go on very smoothly yet when I 'brush' the cpu sometimes a lot is applied, sometimes barely any at all.

Bellow is a picture of my CPU right before I put on my cooler.

Now, unless one of you guys post saying its way too much (or little) I'll continue on and do a Prim95 test at stock speeds to give you guys a referance of how my temps are. At the same time I'll post my full system specs.
August 18, 2009 7:47:18 AM

What are the temperatures? IMO Zalman CPU coolers didn't cool too well, and your running a Q6600.
August 18, 2009 7:58:12 AM

I've applied and re-applied thermal paste like 4 times now, so it depends on which deployment we're talking about. I havent tested the newest deployment yet. Does the link look as if its an ideal amount of TMP?

I had overclocked to 3.6 and had varying temperatures. The best temps I got were:

The (load) temps are:
Core 0: 75
Core 1: 75
Core 2: 73
Core 3: 73

These look great, but my PC ( with a 1.4v) was crashing in the Prime95 Large FTT test after 2-3 hours.

I'm running an Antec 900 with ALL fans on high, as well as the Zalman 9700.

Powersupply is a Thermaltake Toughpower 750wt.
Motherboard is an Asus P45 P5Q-Deluxe
RAM is 4gb of Kingston DDR2 800 HyperX

Room temperature is about 24C.

Again though, those were my BEST (for 3.6 and a 400fsb) temps, and even then the PC would crash after 2-3 hours. It most certainly got higher than those, but those are my last recorded times. On other applyments of TMP I've gotten 85C as load temps.

It should be noted that many times I've applied TMP, I get big differances in load temps ( 8C) and my cooler is seated as tightly as can be, so it must be how I'm using the TMP. Thats why I havent gone farther, I'd like your approval of my TMP before I continue on. If nothing is said, I shall do a stock Prime95 test to show you guys the temps and we can talk if I need to re-apply again.

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August 18, 2009 8:02:38 AM

You'll probably need to up the voltage to get 3.6 stable with Q6600. Temperatures don't look to bad for a Zalman 9700
August 18, 2009 8:47:29 AM

No way... you're serious?

Arrrh! The guys at the other forum had said I had 'waay' to much thermal paste on my CPU and had me re-apply it. Again, those were the LOWEST I had ever achieved. I havent had time to test my latest build yet but hopefully I'll have similar temps again.

I was under the assumption 1.4v would be enough for a 400 fsb. What would you suggest to get it stable at those temps?
August 18, 2009 8:52:28 AM

Hmm, seems I cant edit my posts. OK, here is a (old) picture of the amount of thermal paste I had on my CPU when I had my 'best' temps. Is this too much?

Please take a look at the picture I linked on my 1st post, is that a ideal amount of thermal paste? I really have no clue about it so I've been jumping around with differant amounts each time I applied.
August 18, 2009 9:02:38 AM

I guess the second one looks better, is it AS5?
August 18, 2009 9:06:41 AM

Ermm, when you say 2nd one do you mean the old amount or the new one?

I live in Turkey so high quality TMP is hard to find. What I'm using is Zalman STG1. It has been reviewed very highly, its almost identical in perfomance with AS5.
a b à CPUs
August 18, 2009 9:25:13 AM

Your old application looks good. I had the STG also and what I've found is that you need to shake the bottle really good before applying it. Your old application does appear pretty even, so maybe how you seat the hsf is what is causing the issue (if there is an issue at all). You could try sinking pins 1 & 3, then 2 & 4 (the pins diagonal of each other), to probably get an even pressure distribution when seating the hsf.
a b à CPUs
August 18, 2009 9:44:33 AM

I followed the instructions at the Arctic Silver website:

I'm not overclocking my Core i7 so you might take this with a grain of salt - but I'm quite happy with the temps. Under an extended Prime95 load the CPU heatspreader temperature peaks at about 57 degrees C and the processor never drops out of turbo mode. And that's with all my case fans on their lowest speed.
a c 172 à CPUs
a c 197 K Overclocking
August 18, 2009 11:09:56 AM

Your temps seem really high. I was running my Q6600 at 3.6 GHz at 1.42 volts with a TRUE in an Antec 900 case with all the fans set on LOW. Running them faster did not improve cooling. Prime95 stable 24 hours. Load temps were 61 - 66 C.

There is a good chance that you have simply reached the limits of your CPU and cooler and you need to turn the voltage and frequency back down.
Overclocking since 1978 - Z80 (TRS-80) from 1.77 MHz to 2.01 MHz

a c 80 à CPUs
a c 205 K Overclocking
August 18, 2009 11:34:48 AM

Honestly both your STG-1 applications look like crap to me, I don't use STG-1 but it came with my Zalman cooler too, I think I used it once in the beginning but it was liquid and flowed on evenly like paint, yours is extremely clumpy looking.

Try a sandwich bag or some type clean plastic on your fingertip to smooth it out evenly, attaining some Artic Silver 5 or something similar would be in your best interests.

The Zalman is quite top heavy so you need to be sure its making good even contact with the CPU heat spreader when the computer is stood upright, and gravity starts acting on the Zalman, sometimes causing it to not fully contact part of the heatspreader.

IMO thats the biggest negative to the Zalman, its clamping system leaves much to be desired, the HDT style coolers cool much better than the Zalman, like the Xigmatek HDT at about half the cost.
August 18, 2009 11:58:39 AM

Alright I must say it's not really evenly spread, though the cpu cooler should spread it out evenly, it could be your IHS or cpu cooler that has an uneven surface, too. But atm it just looks it has been applied in a bad way. You do clean the surfaces with some organic-material-free alcohol solution?

Best is like others say, get AS5 or some other quality TIM like MX-2
August 18, 2009 8:41:46 PM

Again, the temps I posted were what I remember before it crashed. They were not stable and probably continued to rise afterwards. I did a test earlier and booted with a 400FSB and 1.4v and temps almost stabilized at 77 but then continued to rise past 80.

I have since reduced the FSB. I am now trying a 3.5ghz OC with a 1.39 voltage. I have done a Prime95 and have been stable for 4 hours. Average load temps are 73-71C. Highest recorded temps are 79-77C. ( Fore Cores 0-1 and 2-3 respectively). Room temperature is 23C and all case fans are at max speed.

Again, since I live in Turkey it can be hard to easily find stuff like AS5. The only other thermal paste I saw was OCZ Freeze.