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Thermal Pad vs. Thermal Compound?

I just got an AMD Athlon II X2 245 Regor 2.9GHz.. The heatsink and fan came with it in the box..

The thermal pad is already on the heatsink (came like that).. I also have thermal grease..

My question is should i use the thermal PAD or thermal GREASE? What are the advantages/disadvantages of each?
15 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about thermal thermal compound
  1. Retail thermal grease > stock grease.

    Retail thermal grease usually decrease temps (maybe around 2~6C) and are usually much easier to remove.
  2. kylo said:
    I just got an AMD Athlon II X2 245 Regor 2.9GHz.. The heatsink and fan came with it in the box..

    The thermal pad is already on the heatsink (came like that).. I also have thermal grease..

    My question is should i use the thermal PAD or thermal GREASE? What are the advantages/disadvantages of each?


    Thermal pad : Advantages - Less effort, less likely to kill CPU (if thermal paste is conductive)

    Disadvantages - Higher temps - CPU might come off when removed

    Thermal grease : Advantages - Lower temps, easy to remove, higher quality

    Disadvantages - Requires removal of thermal pad, costs money, if electrically conductive, there is a small accidental chance you might short circut the CPU

    In general, non-conductive thermal paste is the best option, something like Tunia TX-3
  3. I think I'll try the pad first? Then see what the temps are and stuff for a while... if it doesn't work to great I'll just redo it with grease..

    Anymore opinions or insights would be great too..!!!
  4. Well, if you use the pad, it's harder to get rid of. It sticks really badly.

    I recommend thermal grease.
  5. Best answer
    "Disadvantages - Higher temps - CPU might come off when removed"

    OP, pay close attention to that point because it does happen and can knacker things up. I've had a few chips break pins because a thermal pad has welded the heatsink and CPU together and the CPU's literally been torn out of the socket as I've tried to remove the heatsink.

    Given that thermal grease works better than pads every time I strongly recommend you go down this route from the get-go.
  6. ok... THANK YOU!!!
  7. Mmm, I killed my 478 Pentium 4 with a thermal pad, but it is the OP's choice.
  8. 1 more quick question....

    Should i do the pea size dot in the middle or an X across the middle, and should i spread it myself or let the heatsink do that?
  9. Quote:
    Anymore opinions or insights would be great too..!!!


    If using the stock HSF and not planning to put on a substancial overclock, stock with factory applied thermal compound should work fine. If the system will be OC'd the stock HSF/thermal compound will have limitations. A high performance aftermarket HSF as well as thermal compound will do you well in that situation. Also, having a case and case fans that provide adequate fresh airflow across the MB chips and CPU will help with system cooling . The stock fans do a reasonablly good job cooling the 45nm chips, but much better is available.
  10. kylo said:
    1 more quick question....

    Should i do the pea size dot in the middle or an X across the middle, and should i spread it myself or let the heatsink do that?


    Pea size dot, sread with heatsink pressure.
  11. I forgot to mention, there is no factory thermal pad on the factory HSF. That is thermal grease and it will wipe right off with a soft cloth and alcohol. Thermal pads are something entirely different.
  12. Thermal pads are what Intel uses right?
  13. Well, thermal pads are what Intel used on socket 478, at least that's what I saw. But not the modern stock HSF's. Remember, those hard thermal pads on the 478. I used a plastic scrapper to get some of them off. A knife? A thermal pad is a physical piece of 'tape' for lack of a better word. Thermal grease is a compound that wipes off, not 'peeled' off in one piece or pieces.
  14. Heh, that pad claimed my old Pentium 4 :cry:
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