I'm building a new computer using an Intel i5 and I want to use the included cooler to save some money since I probably won't be over clocking it any time soon anyway.
The CPU manual doesn't say anything about thermal grease; it just shows in pictures attaching the cooler after the CPU is in the socket. However, my Gigabyte motherboard manual shows to add some kind of thermal grease on the top of the CPU before attaching the cooler.
So do I need thermal paste even though I'm using the stock cooler? Are the three lines of "stuff" on the bottom of the Intel cooler kind of like thermal paste? If yes, does it melt and spread out when you're up and running a little bit? There doesn't seem to be much of it...
Please help. I want to get this build going as soon as possible and I would really like to use the stock cooler without having to buy anything else.
The stock heatsink comes with thermal paste on it. It is kind of tricky, but the best way to tell is to turn the heatsink over and look at it. Sorry, just had to be a smart ass.
You can use the heatsink just as is with the stock thermal paste, or if you want to, you can take a little alcohol and clean it off, then apply your own brand of thermal paste. If you are not going to do any big overclocking, and you are careful to mount the heatsink properly, the paste that comes on it from the factory will work just fine.
If you ever remove the heatsink after you have installed it though, you will need to clean the heatsink, the processor, and apply new thermal paste of your own.