Intel Core i5 CPU and Cooler Help

Doing my first build. Just received all of the parts from Newegg. The CPU I purchased is the Intel Core i5 Lynnfield 1156 2.66 MHz. The included cooler is separate (not attached), and I realize that I need to attach it, but there is no thermal compound included in the box. As I look at where the fan attaches to the processor, there are three small, gray strips. Are these thermal pads that are used in lieu of thermal compound? They do not cover the entire surface of the bottom of the heat sink. Here is an article that I am using to help me, It states that You don't need to add any additional thermal paste or other materials but then right below the picture it states If the heatsink didn't come with any thermal compound applied, add a small amount to the top of the Intel processor and spread it around evenly. Never install a heatsink without thermal compound! So, is the "thermal material" different than the "thermal compound"? Does it require both? Can anyone tell me if this CPU and cooler requires thermal compound, or is it ready to attach right out of the box? Thank you for your assistance!

PS. I realize the article is for the Intel socket 1366 processor, but earlier in the article they state that it is the same as the 1156 as far as installation goes.

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  1. Best answer
    If you are applying a stock cooler, it already has the thermal compound (pads as your described), so there is no need to add anything. Just attach to the motherboard.

    If you are applying an aftermarket cooler, you will need to apply thermal compound before installing the heat sink to the CPU... Best Thermal Paste Application Methods
  2. Thank you for the response, techmo34!
    One other question, if I may...
    The installation instructions that came with the cpu only has pictures, or diagrams to show how to install, but at the beginning of the instructions it has the advice to please review the additional integration notes available at Then when you try to go to that website, it requires you to join to see its contents, In order to view this content, you must be enrolled in one of the Intel programs listed below. Is this something that I really need to do? IT looks like something just for people that build and sell computers with Intel products in them, but if there are installation guides and tips, then maybe I want to join?
  3. I won't worry about joining that site or any other site really for installation guides and tips. You can find all the information you need here by asking questions or through Google. :D
  4. Ok, thank you!
  5. Best answer selected by kmorris_99.
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