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Questing about thermal paste on amd stock fan

Last response: in Systems
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July 14, 2010 4:44:25 PM

So got my parts last night and slowly started putting together my first PC ever. The manuals, as I suspected, all want to contradict each other so it was slow going but I feel like I'm picking up on the right way to do things. I got everything installed except the video card and started trying to connect wires but got headachey confused for too long and decied to go to bed. I had dreams of mis-building computers and now I'm at work -- I'll finish when I get home.

The one rookie mistake I made was putting down the stock fan on the AMD Phenom II. I'm not going to overclock so that's what I'm going with. When I took it out I didn't even realize it had paste on it. So I put it down to see how it set, then took it off and realized there was paste on it because a little was left imprinted on the processor. I then set it down again to attach it and realized it had to be tilted so did this one more time. The grease seemed to feel more "loose" this time but that might just be because now I noticed it. Well I attached it and my question is: will it be OK? I know nothing of how thermal paste works. None of it came off anywhere, on my fingers or elewhere, it's just smudged around a little more. I'm guessing its totally fine -- I'll def. make sure to test the cpu temp while I'm running crazy games -- but wanted to check wit the experts first. Consider this an OCD question.
July 14, 2010 5:04:27 PM

You will need to remove the stock heat sink, clean off the thermal compound from the heat sink & CPU and reply new thermal compound & the heat sink.

Once you apply the heat sink with compound on it, you can't take it off and put it back on again with applying new compound. By not doing so, you have created tiny air voids between the heat sink and CPU, which will effect it's ability to cool the CPU, resulting in hotter than normal temps.

I'm sure it wasn't what you wanted to hear but it is the correct method to do to prevent an CPU temp issues from the start.
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July 14, 2010 5:10:26 PM

Well, since I don't have any paste now and would probably go mad having to wait for it to come in the mail with this brand new machine sitting on my desk, would it be safe to at least start it up and run it and test the temp first? I mean, as long as the temp is at an acceptable level all is kosher, right? (Also what temp would that be?)
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July 14, 2010 5:18:11 PM

You can do that...
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July 14, 2010 7:47:50 PM

What kind of temperatures should I be seeing in an ideal situation for say, idle and then gaming? That way I can see if its fine and if not I'll go back to the drawing board or even get a new fan.
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July 14, 2010 8:23:53 PM

You will want your idle temps around mid the 30's C for standard room temps. You will want your load (not gaming) temps after 2 hours (min) of running Prime 95 to be below 60C or so. This will show you are still achieving good heat transfer between the CPU and heat sink after taking it off and putting it back on.... meaning... everything is okay :D 
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July 14, 2010 9:41:06 PM

Is Prime 95 safe with just the stock heatsink?
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July 14, 2010 10:02:44 PM

Yes, Prime95 is safe on a stock cooker at stock speeds. It will error out (stop) before it would do any damage that is how you know your temps aren't stable.
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July 15, 2010 4:18:47 AM

If you aren't overclocking you are probably going to be just fine. I once had a 3ghz P4 that the notch on the plastic hold down bracket attached to the board around the processor had broken clean off. You won't believe it, but I turned the computer on it's side, simply sit the heatsink down on top of the processor no latch or anything, and ran it like that for 2 years before I finally pulled the plug and retired it. If you lifted the heatsink, you would get a blue screen in about 30 seconds, but as long as you left it alone, it worked great. Don't know how hot it really ever got, but it always worked fine for office use,and it ran 24/7. I don't think I would have tried to game for hours and hours on it though.
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