Apply thermal paste to heat-sink fan?

Hello all,

So, I've got all my components and am assembling my rig. However, I have found that my processor is obviously square, but the heat exchange surface of the fan, which came with the processor, is circular.

Should I apply thermal paste to the contact surface of the fan, or try and match the surface area on the square processor? Does it matter? Or should I (not?) just cover the whole processor surface?

Thanks in advance.
18 answers Last reply
More about apply thermal paste heat sink
  1. doesnt matter what shape the heatsink is...

    http://www.arcticsilver.com/arctic_silver_instructions.htm

    it doesnt matter what thermal paste ur using i just use the instructions anyway..
  2. If you have a stock fan it should have thermal wax pre-applied. Adding something over the top of that would be a mistake.
  3. For my systems I always remove that wax and put on arctic silver instead.
  4. Hmmm, now that I look at it, there is some gray crap on the fan's thermal interface surface... I'm intending on eventually getting my water-cooler on this processor... is that factory wax worth anything at all? Maybe hold me over for a week or two while I find an LGA1156 block and prep the transition?
  5. If that's all you're going to use it for it isn't worth the effort to remove.
  6. Another question, unrelated to thermal paste... perhaps I should start another thread.

    To anyone familiar with the ATI Radeon HD 5870: the video card has 2, 6-pin power connections on it. I know both of them must be plugged-in, however I'm not sure how best to achieve this.

    My power supply has 2 "PCI-E" power connectors, one is 6 pin (labeled "PCI-E 1) the other is 6+2 pin (labeled "PCI-E 2").

    Do I use just the 6 pin portion of the 6+2 connector or should I use one of the molex to 6-pin adaptors to connect it to an open molex connector (which would be on a different cable bundle from my PSU)?

    Can I use just the 6 pin portion of the 6+2 connector? And, is it a good/bad idea to have the two connections to the card from 2 different cable bundles from the PSU?

    Thanks again!
  7. The 6-pin portion of the 6+2 pin connector, probably. What PSU?
  8. therianthrope said:
    Another question, unrelated to thermal paste... perhaps I should start another thread.

    To anyone familiar with the ATI Radeon HD 5870: the video card has 2, 6-pin power connections on it. I know both of them must be plugged-in, however I'm not sure how best to achieve this.

    My power supply has 2 "PCI-E" power connectors, one is 6 pin (labeled "PCI-E 1) the other is 6+2 pin (labeled "PCI-E 2").

    Do I use just the 6 pin portion of the 6+2 connector or should I use one of the molex to 6-pin adaptors to connect it to an open molex connector (which would be on a different cable bundle from my PSU)?

    Can I use just the 6 pin portion of the 6+2 connector? And, is it a good/bad idea to have the two connections to the card from 2 different cable bundles from the PSU?

    Thanks again!


    If you leave the 2-pin part unplugged, a 6+2 works as a regular 6-pin connector. If it wasn't compatible, there'd be no reason to give you that instead of just a plain 8-pin connector.
  9. It would be better to connect it WITHOUT the adapters, so plug the 6+2 excluding de 2 pin connector
    You have nothing to worry about to connect it that way... in fact most of the adapters are labeld as provisional and they are not meant to be used for the long term... you've got the perfect PSU and again, nothing to worry about
  10. Proximon said:
    If you have a stock fan it should have thermal wax pre-applied. Adding something over the top of that would be a mistake.


    I'm a very paranoid first time builder. Got myself a q9550 with a stock heat sink. How can I be sure that I should or should not apply thermal onto the heat sink that connected with the CPU?
  11. Look at the heatsink before you attach it. You will see the wax pad. All stock heatsinks come with this. New builders do not need to worry.

    If you are using a stock cooler, keep the stock thermal material. If you need the 3-4C the better paste would bring, you probably also need a better cooler.
  12. Proximon said:
    Look at the heatsink before you attach it. You will see the wax pad. All stock heatsinks come with this. New builders do not need to worry.

    If you are using a stock cooler, keep the stock thermal material. If you need the 3-4C the better paste would bring, you probably also need a better cooler.


    If I'm keeping the wax pad and not planning to overclocked the CPU, should I consider adding thermal to the CPU as well? Because I'm getting the impression that you add thermal to both the CPU and the HSF. But I'm second guessing that adding too much isn't good and having paste on ether the CPU or on the HSF is more than enough. Confirm my speculation please.
  13. I think we are having a language problem here. Let me try to be more clear.

    Do not put any extra thermal paste on your heatsink. Do not put any thermal paste on your CPU.

    Do not buy any thermal paste.

    When you build your computer follow these directions:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/274745-31-step-step-guide-building

    Except that he is using an aftermarket cooler that needs thermal paste... and you are not.
  14. Proximon said:
    I think we are having a language problem here. Let me try to be more clear.

    Do not put any extra thermal paste on your heatsink. Do not put any thermal paste on your CPU.

    Do not buy any thermal paste.

    When you build your computer follow these directions:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/274745-31-step-step-guide-building

    Except that he is using an aftermarket cooler that needs thermal paste... and you are not.


    Ah okay, so the stock HSF that I have already comes with the paste and there is no need. But I can still scrape off the wax if I wanted better thermal with the stock HSF.

    Later in the future when I get a better HSF, I need to make sure it doesn't come with paste already on it, if it doesn't, than I need to apply paste on the CPU when I installed that aftermarket cooler.
  15. Now you understand ;)
  16. therianthrope said:
    Hmmm, now that I look at it, there is some gray crap on the fan's thermal interface surface... I'm intending on eventually getting my water-cooler on this processor... is that factory wax worth anything at all? Maybe hold me over for a week or two while I find an LGA1156 block and prep the transition?


    No, the thermal compound that comes with the stock sink is just there for playing solitaire and Microsoft Office 2003. If you upgrade to Office 2007 you will fry your CPU!!!!! Happened to a friend!!!

    Also, you will need ice freezing for your CPU. I keep my CPU below 0*C because cooler is always better. So if the manufacturer designs the chips for 70 *C then I immediately install an aftermarket ”kelvin hyper freeze” pump to get it down to about 5*C. Anything above that is too hot! It is really cheap, you find it in every store.

    Imagine the amazement of my friends when they see my CPU near 0. Such a worthy investment. I plan to reach 0 K soon.

    You have been warned!!!
  17. The stock cooler sucks. But the paste is good. It was tested on a website and the paste itself performed better than as5 and others. The cooler is horrible though, but putting on different paste will make it worse
  18. Which method of applying the thermal paste is good if the heat sink surface is square in shape?
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