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How to tell if thermal paste was applied correctly

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Last response: in CPUs
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August 23, 2009 11:29:52 AM

I followed tecmo34's thread "Recommended Builds by Usage" and built the Budget system several days ago:

Quote:
Budget: $726.98 Updated to a better RAM & HSF ... thanks shortstuff_mt

* CPU: AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor - Retail
* MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
* RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL5D-4GBPK - Retail
* HSF: Sunbeam CR-CCTF 120 mm Core-Contact Freezer CPU Cooler W/TX-2 - Retail
* HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM
* PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 ... - Retail
* GPU: XFX HD-487A-ZHFC Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
* DVD: LG DVD Burner Black SATA Model GH22NS50 - OEM
* Case: COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail


I am concerned that I used too much/little thermal grease because my core temperatures are higher than those reported in the Newegg reviews for the Sunbeam Core Contact Freeze component.

My "Core" temperature (according to SpeedFan) idles at 26-28 C, and then when I play a game like Fallout 3 or CoD 4 it spikes up to around 40 C.

Is this okay, or should I try re-installing the cooler with a fresh application of thermal grease?

Also, in the SpeedFan application, should I be monitoring the "Core" temperature or the "Temp1" temperature for the CPU?
August 23, 2009 1:07:43 PM

You want to be monitoring the temperatures of the actual cores, So 40c sounds perfect for a load temperature. Taking your HSF off and reapplying paste would only gain you 1c if anything.

You have to remember that ambient temperature will also effect what your temps are. In the review, It could have been alot cooler than your temps.
August 23, 2009 1:14:04 PM

it sounds fine to me, how long has it been together? What compound did you use?

I take everything in the newegg reviews with a grain of salt myself. Plus you don't know the whole story, they might be in an AC room at 65F.

As a side note usually the compound needs to burn in a bit. let prime 95 run for a few hours or overnight if you wanna speed up the process, Just be sure keep an eye on your temps for the first hour or so in case there is a problem. But i think you are just worrying a bit. The phenom2 line has a max temp of 73C and even under load you are a good 30C under that. Finally I personally use the core temp myself.
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August 23, 2009 1:37:01 PM

rosenberg1979 said:
it sounds fine to me, how long has it been together? What compound did you use?

I take everything in the newegg reviews with a grain of salt myself. Plus you don't know the whole story, they might be in an AC room at 65F.

As a side note usually the compound needs to burn in a bit. let prime 95 run for a few hours or overnight if you wanna speed up the process, Just be sure keep an eye on your temps for the first hour or so in case there is a problem. But i think you are just worrying a bit. The phenom2 line has a max temp of 73C and even under load you are a good 30C under that. Finally I personally use the core temp myself.


I've been running the setup for 4 days now, and I used the TX-2 thermal paste that came with the Sunbeam Core Contact Freezer.

I'll try running Prime 95 and see what happens.
August 23, 2009 1:55:22 PM

thermal paste can take up to a couple of weeks to work properly dude, so give it 3 just to be safe, also monitor your cpu temps from bios where possible mate, ive had so many false readings from speed fan and other temp monitor software
August 23, 2009 1:57:18 PM

also, im about to buy the processor you have, alot of people say if you go into bios and alter the multiplier to 17.5 then you will gain a hell of a performance boost :)  most people have that cpu clocked completely stable at 3.5 gig and depending on mobo they even have it clocked at that with 4th core unlocked :) 
August 23, 2009 2:50:26 PM

dacca said:
thermal paste can take up to a couple of weeks to work properly dude, so give it 3 just to be safe, also monitor your cpu temps from bios where possible mate, ive had so many false readings from speed fan and other temp monitor software


You're right. I get completely different readings from the BIOS. It says 45 C for CPU temp and 37 C for system temp.
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