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Do not use thermal paste

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Anonymous
a b à CPUs
a b V Motherboard
March 21, 2010 6:35:49 PM

I'm going to be building my first machine in the coming weeks and I need some advice:

My friend told me that thermal paste is optional if you have proper cooling in your case. He said that hes never used thermal paste and that it could actually damage the motherboard if it seeps over the cpu. I'm scared to use thermal paste, as I really see no point other than taking a chance and letting it fall over and damage my motherboard. He's pretty reputable as he owns his own local computer shop and has been building machines for the community for years.

My question is, why the hell do people use it with this risk of having it damage the mobo?

More about : thermal paste

a b à CPUs
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March 21, 2010 6:41:59 PM

thats is the biggest load of crap i heard this month thermal paste is a pivitol part of pc cooling,thermal paste helps with the effective heat transfer between your cpu and your cpu cooler

only way thermal paste could damage anything is if its applied incorrectly

why would a company like intel,amd even ship thermal paste with their cpu's if it could seriously damage anything

just bout every pc cooling company on earth have their own thermal paste on the market
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a b à CPUs
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March 21, 2010 6:50:43 PM

Your friend doesn't know anything. His CPU is going to die prematurely.

Thermal paste if necessary for heat transfer since a heatsink can't form a perfect contact with the CPU surface...the job of TP is to eliminate the insulating air between the two surfaces.

It only seeps over the CPU if you have no idea what you're doing and use far more paste than you should (your foolish friend probably did this). If you apply the correct amount of thermal paste, there should be no problem whatsoever.

As Obsidian said, all companies that provide heatsinks ship them with thermal paste (pre-applied or in a tube) for a good reason.
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a c 105 à CPUs
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March 21, 2010 6:51:01 PM

Quote:
My question is, why the hell do people use it with this risk of having it damage the mobo?


because you would need to be blind, deaf, and stupid to put the amount on you are talking about and most people would rather not fry their CPU like an egg.
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a b à CPUs
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March 21, 2010 6:54:22 PM

ct1615 said:
because you would need to be blind, deaf, and stupid to put the amount on you are talking about and most people would rather not fry their CPU like an egg.

ur totally right :sol: 
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a b à CPUs
March 21, 2010 6:55:18 PM

Thermal paste is intended to increase the thermal conductivity between the surfaces of both the CPU heatspreader and the heatsink itself. It attempts to compensate for irregularities between the two surfaces - tiny microscopic bumps or ridges which may hinder proper thermal conductivity between the two surfaces. The heatsink is obviously designed to dissipate heat from the CPU itself so the better the contact between the CPU and the heatsink the more heat will be dissipated and the cooler the CPU.

There is a risk of damage to the motherboard from excess use of thermal compound. This mainly comes down to the fact that some makes of thermal paste use metal compounds in their paste since metal is a better thermal conductor. Silver is a very common example. Obviously metals also conduct electricity and so can short out components on the motherboard if it does seep over.

However, the risk of this is miniscule if the thermal paste is properly applied which isn't difficult to do. In my opinion thermal paste is part of a whole range of procedures which together contribute to a cool-running system. Case airflow also falls into this bracket since a heatsink will never dissipate heat effectively if the air around the heatsink is warm.

There are some people who will say that you don't need thermal paste etc. but in my opinion there is absolutely no plausible reason not to do so. Why take the risk? As I said the chances of you damaging components is slim to none if you apply it correctly.

A popular method which you may feel more comfortable to use is to apply a small amount of compound roughly the size of a small pea or a grain of rice to the center of the CPU base. Then install the heatsink attempting to keep it all level to ensure an even spread. The pressure from the heatsink once it has been locked in place does the job of spreading the compound for you and you tend to achieve a fairly even spread. This is the method I would recommend if you aren't sure.

Obviously are friend has a different opinion on the use of thermal paste but I would say its largely unfounded. Maybe he isn't comfortable applying it correctly himself I don't know but as I mentioned I would class it as a critical part in a whole process of ensuring a cool and healthy system.

Hope this helps!
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a c 105 à CPUs
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March 21, 2010 7:22:36 PM

+1 but its exactly why I stated above...word for word
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a b à CPUs
March 21, 2010 7:28:43 PM

ct1615 said:
+1 but its exactly why I stated above...word for word


Yeah I actually did start typing that before anyone had replied but it took a while :p 
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March 21, 2010 11:32:22 PM

All things considered your friend was right when he said that they dont need thermal paste. Sure a PC can get along without it but if it makes your cpu run 1-3 degrees cooler than why not? And to better answer your question. Its always better to use thermal paste because you will have a slightly cooler cpu, but your pc will run just fine with out the paste as long you have your heatsink seated properly over the cpu. The paste just helps fill in the microscopic grooves in the metal we cant see to better transfer the heat. And what I do is just put a little dab on the cpu and just use a business card or something similar to spread evenly across the cpu. You would have to try really hard to have the stuff seeping into and around the socket. LOL
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a b à CPUs
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March 21, 2010 11:34:36 PM

Your friend wont be in business for long if he dont use paste. He probably dont brush his red neck teeth either.
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March 21, 2010 11:44:56 PM

prelude2250 said:
All things considered your friend was right when he said that they dont need thermal paste. Sure a PC can get along without it but if it makes your cpu run 1-3 degrees cooler than why not? And to better answer your question. Its always better to use thermal paste because you will have a slightly cooler cpu, but your pc will run just fine with out the paste as long you have your heatsink seated properly over the cpu. The paste just helps fill in the microscopic grooves in the metal we cant see to better transfer the heat. And what I do is just put a little dab on the cpu and just use a business card or something similar to spread evenly across the cpu. You would have to try really hard to have the stuff seeping into and around the socket. LOL


It will be way more than 1-3 degrees. Depending on the evenness of the CPU surface and how well the heatsink base is polished, no thermal paste can mean it will be significantly hotter...
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a c 126 à CPUs
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March 21, 2010 11:50:05 PM

I agree with everyone here. Thermal paste also helps to fill in the small gaps between the heatsink and the CPU since neither are completley flat, unless you lap them which is more dangerouse to the CPU itself but not the heatsink.

Every CPU stock fan has a thing of thermal paste on it.

If you use AS5, normally you want to use a small pea sized (if that) drop and spread it flat and evenly across the HSF of the CPU, most people use a credit card I tend to use a brush that came with some other thermal paste.

So in short, your friend will probably kill his CPU faster without themral past than with it.
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a b à CPUs
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March 22, 2010 1:55:07 AM

Previous post have stated why you shoud use the thermo paste.
Here are two points not normally mentioned
(1) It reduces oxidation which inhibits the transfer of heat. As pointed out there are "spots" that are not in perfect contact, while the Paste fills these gaps and improves thermo conductivity, it also prevents oxidation.
(2) It reduces electrochemical (galvanic) action between the CPU and the Heat sink. This is caused when two dissimilar metals are in contact with each other - when heated this process is excellerated.

My use of reduces could be replaced with prevents, But some my argue, nothing is 100%
Not positive, but I don't believe AS5 is conductive, The Silver is in a suspension, and also not sure if it is Pure silver, or a silver compound. If it is a compound then it is non-conductive. If Pure silver then the "suspension" prevents conductivity.

We have a taped off 1 meter distance from the Satelite instrument to keep "un-informed" people from getting to close. I would recommend that you apply this principle - DO NOT let your friend within 1 Meter of your new computer!!!!
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March 22, 2010 2:04:15 AM

use thermal paste apply like prelude said you wont be sorry. so 100% that thermal paste is ok to use? hehe
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March 22, 2010 2:27:08 AM

When people say apply a pea sized amount of thermal paste, this is correct, IF your peas are the size of grains of rice. Grains of rice are about the size that you want. That is if you're using a normal cooler, not one like the coolermaster hyper 212+. For that cooler, fill in the gaps between the copper pipes with lines of thermal paste, try and smoosh it in with a credit card, then squeegee off the excess. THEN apply two very thin lines of paste down the two center parts of the cooler.
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March 22, 2010 3:45:13 AM

+1 for thermal paste -100 for your idiotic friend. k thx bye :p 
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March 22, 2010 5:53:35 AM

WOW i cant seem to get pasted his friend having a shop! thats why i like doing thing my self... from working on my own truck.... too my PCs.... i have never heard any thing like that and i have heard some off the wall s@#% in my time working on PCs..... us the paste and get the best you can find... TAKE EVERY ONES WORD.....
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March 22, 2010 6:43:08 AM

You should do a follow-up on all the "computers in the community'' he claims to have made.

Maybe its a tactic for him, prey on those that are not well knowledgable on computers (like you OP) by tellng them not to use thermal paste, thus he is guaranteed on at least a machine repair every few weeks.

Dumb bastard!!
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a b à CPUs
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March 22, 2010 1:29:29 PM

And as an additional extra:

The only way thermal paste could damage your motherboard if it seeps is if it's electrically conductive. Only Arctic Silver 5 is slightly electrically conductive - all the others like Ceramique, MX-3, etc. aren't - slap it on your board and nowt will happen.
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March 22, 2010 2:56:13 PM

That's the single most biggest bull**** I've ever heard about...

A CPU Heatsink without Thermal Compound is like... a stove and a pan without fire...

Ok that example sucks, but whatever man! I don't think your friend even knows what heatsink is, and you'll definitely be hearing from him soon... ("Darned, buddy. My CPU just went mad")

For the love of God do not turn on the machine with a CPU and Heatsink with no thermal compound! :sweat: 
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March 22, 2010 3:33:36 PM

Most cpus will overheat without some kind of thermal compound. This is why it comes pre-applied to alot of coolers, you would have to go out of your way to remove it.

By not using thermal paste your friend would have alot of trouble with processors overheating and I doubt he would get much business if anyone found out. So at a guess hes not suggesting thermal paste but rather some kind of thermal tape/pad. An example of thermal tape is the stuff you see pre-applied to alot of heat sinks. Its usually not the best stuff to use for the job in terms of thermal conductivity, it also doesn't give the best coverage between the processor and the heatsink. It will do the job, just paste does it better.

I doubt hes talking about thermal pads either as these would be terrible for processor cooling and are usually just reserved for mosfets and memory.

Applied properly no thermal paste should give you issues, and even if done wrong (so it leaks out the sides) alot of brands are not conductive. The main one touted for being conductive being as5, which is in fact capacitive, also has equal potential to damage things...

Dont be afraid of using thermal paste (or if your using a stock HSF then just use the pre-applied tape) because if you use enough so it leaks round the edges your going very wrong.

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a b à CPUs
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March 22, 2010 4:45:08 PM

From ArticSilver
Quote
Not Electrically Conductive:
Arctic Silver 5 was formulated to conduct heat, not electricity.
(While much safer than electrically conductive silver and copper greases, Arctic Silver 5 should be kept away from electrical traces, pins, and leads. While it is not electrically conductive, the compound is very slightly capacitive and could potentially cause problems if it bridges two close-proximity electrical paths.)
End Quote


All Thermo paste would exhibit this characteristic - Just that the capacitance for AS5 would be Higher than a non-metalic. Also this would only have an effect on a signal line, not on adjacent Power/Gnd line.
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March 23, 2010 3:01:22 PM

Some people would give you a wrong advice, be careful on absorbing a bias answer either from any forums or even your friends (Yes, the dumbest noob that pawned a local computer shop).

Having said that, the best way to learn is to read a lot, research any reviews, guides, etc or even check youtube videos (plenty of useful infos there).

Btw... CPU - Thermal Paste - Heatsink = is compulsory and extent your cpu life

CPU - nothing - Heatsink = One way ticket to get a new CPU (Btw.. try to do this while playing UNREAL TOURNAMENT, I DARE YA!)
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a b à CPUs
March 23, 2010 3:03:31 PM

why does this sounds very troll like to me....
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April 4, 2012 8:12:15 PM

this may sound troll like but in my community there are computer "technicians" that would be this braindead. I worked for a company that told me not to use thermal paste. The stuff we did have was locked away like it was gold at a whole 8 dollars a tube. This brain damage is real. There are too many "shade tree computer techs" that don't know their head from their butt. These are guys that have an average iq at best. It makes me look like a super genius (which I am not) when I can fix something better than someone with 20 years in the business and I only have 4 years in the biz professionally. It's sad really, because some of my competition really has been in the business this long and hasn't grasped some of the fundamentals. They only reason they lasted that long is that it's a small town and they are marginally smarter than your average geek squad tech.
theholylancer said:
why does this sounds very troll like to me....
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July 16, 2012 1:48:19 AM

[/quote][/quote][/quote]
daship said:
Your friend wont be in business for long if he dont use paste. He probably dont brush his red neck teeth either.


With all due respect,mostly all of us do brush our teeth. the fact that 1 person isn't as bright as others don't mean you have to put it on a specific group of people. If he don't use thermal paste then its his problem.
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August 6, 2012 2:19:57 AM

i have to dissagree. i have a p4 3ghz hyper threading processor that is known for overheating and im not using thermal compound. I havent for the past 7 years and i still dont have a problem. in fact i removed the factory paste from dell from my friends heatsink and their temps dropped 10c. and yes u can do damage only if u use 2 much.
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a c 307 à CPUs
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August 6, 2012 2:41:59 AM

Th33xtr3m3 said:
i have to dissagree. i have a p4 3ghz hyper threading processor that is known for overheating and im not using thermal compound. I havent for the past 7 years and i still dont have a problem. in fact i removed the factory paste from dell from my friends heatsink and their temps dropped 10c. and yes u can do damage only if u use 2 much.


...What can you do when folks say stuff like this?
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a c 190 à CPUs
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August 6, 2012 2:45:01 AM

clutchc said:
...What can you do when folks say stuff like this?


I just close the thread to end the lunacy
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