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Do you need to re-apply thermal paste everytime you take off heatsink?

Is it necessary to re-apply thermal paste every time you take off the heatsink? Even if it's just for a few seconds? Like if you put the heatsink on and use your pc for a few hours and then you want to check the spread of the thermal paste so you take the heatsink off to look really quick. Can you just put it back on afterwards or should you apply paste again?
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  1. Best answer
    I think it depends on how long the heat sink was on the cpu, if the paste has cured (dried) then I would say yes, if not, you may just want to make sure the coat is even and use the same stuff.
  2. Ok that makes sense. Except it seems it'll be harder to get an even layer after you remove the heatsink since some of the paste will be on the heatsink and some will be on the cpu.
  3. Even it out on both, or if you don't feel it to be adequate, add a little more if you need to. The problem is keeping it smooth and level.
  4. k thx. Do you know if there's a tool you can buy that can perfectly apply an even layer of thermal paste? That seems like something that should have been invented and included with paste. It'd be a real time saver and avoid common issues like uneven layers or putting too much paste on.
  5. Unfortunately I don't believe there is such a tool.. I use a credit card or something of that sort and aside from factory paste settings, the closest you can get to perfect is good hand eye coordination :).
  6. make sure u buy a good quality paste.
  7. Hmm maybe I should invent one...

    It'd be the only product of its kind in the world and I'd be rich :)

    At least until everyone started copying it.
  8. Lol, I say you do it! I get 49% of the company right? :)
  9. heheh well... I'd give you a free tool ;)
  10. I'd be down with that lol. Or you can select me as best answer :)
  11. Best answer selected by flyz.
  12. done. thx for the help!
  13. No problem, good luck with your invention :)
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