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Can I run my PC without Thermal Paste?

So my brand new rig is going to arrive tomorrow but unfortunately I forgot to order thermal paste with it. I did go and order it the same night, but unfortunately it looks like it got delayed so it's not going to be here for a few more days. I was just wondering if I would be able to build my comp and run it for the few days without thermal paste?

I do have a Zalman CPU cooler coming along with my other parts, so I OBVIOUSLY wouldn't just be running my cpu uncooled. (Yes, I've seen the videos about what happens if you don't have a cooler :P)


If it helps my processor is an Amd Phenom II 965 BE.
22 answers Last reply
More about thermal paste
  1. No, you NEED thermal paste on there. Id order some. However some HSF come with thermal paste already on, or with a pack, but i doubt this one does. You need it or else theres a good chance you may permenantly damage the CPU, or just get horrible cooling numbers.
  2. I actually just checked and judging by the reviews of my Zalman CPU cooler, it does come with thermal paste. If I just went ahead and used that now, could I simply scrape some of it off and put down my better paste once it gets here?
  3. ares1214 said:
    No, you NEED thermal paste on there. Id order some. However some HSF come with thermal paste already on, or with a pack, but i doubt this one does. You need it or else theres a good chance you may permenantly damage the CPU, or just get horrible cooling numbers.


    False, its HIGHLY recommended to use Thermal Paste, but ive seen them run (personally) without thermal paste.

    Amd Barton, Celeron, Intel P4, AMD Phenom II 955BE.

    Ok they run Higher temps, but they still ran fine. But im not suggesting to run without Thermal Paste, actually suggesting the oposite, but it can be done.
  4. You can run your CPU without therm but like reccy stated, its not suggested; but is possible. Heat readings will be about 30-40% higher, and you will experience a freeze if you try to run any game (due to overheat).

    Regardless, the CPU should come with some therm already applied to the base of it... every CPU I've ever purchased has come with some. Maybe I'm just fortunate?
  5. reccy said:
    False, its HIGHLY recommended to use Thermal Paste, but ive seen them run (personally) without thermal paste.

    Amd Barton, Celeron, Intel P4, AMD Phenom II 955BE.

    Ok they run Higher temps, but they still ran fine. But im not suggesting to run without Thermal Paste, actually suggesting the oposite, but it can be done.


    Fine, its possible, but just because a human can fall doesnt mean they can sustain flight. I doubt it would last very long, and possibly ruin the CPU or HSF.
  6. Just be patient and wait for the thermal paste to arrive.

    By all means put the system together on the desk just to check that all your components work, but I don't see the point in building the entire system only to strip it all down again when the paste arrives.
  7. ...or can I run my car without lubricant oil?... the answer is quite obvious...
  8. Well i used to run my E8400 without one. My temps were still normal. No problem. But if you are overclocking then it is a must. Otherwise you may opt not to use it at the expense of the 10 deg higher temperature!
  9. darkguset said:
    ...or can I run my car without lubricant oil?... the answer is quite obvious...


    Vauxhall Astra GSI ran for 3 and a half hours on the rev limiter before it blew up without any oil.. Was fun to see the aftermath
  10. Be patient and wait for the TIM. It's only a few more days, and think of the worry you will save yourself with just a little patience...
  11. Actually, no you dont need thermal paste, its helps yes but aslong as the HSF is doing its job and makes sure the CPU doesnt over heat then its fine.

    Thermal Paste provides a smoother/flatter base for the bottom of the HSF to sit flush on to provide that there is no air gaps, as air is an insulator dont forget ;)

    Plus the Thermal Paste doesn't conduct heat very well, but its better than the air gaps.
  12. Wow, some people seem to have no idea what the thermal paste actually does...

    My advice: Wait for the paste. You'll feel stupid if you rush, then need to wait for a replacement CPU to arrive...
  13. gamerk316 said:
    Wow, some people seem to have no idea what the thermal paste actually does...

    My advice: Wait for the paste. You'll feel stupid if you rush, then need to wait for a replacement CPU to arrive...


    Then explain what thermal paste does. Or you gonna google it wise one?
  14. Zalman used to ship with thermal paste. Make sure you use it.
    It is "possible" to work without, but I'll bet you'll end up paying for another CPU if you try do do anything for longer then a few secs/mins.
    Let me reiterate this,
    use a little thermal paste -always!

    Besides, doesn't it void the intel warrenty if you don't use it?
  15. Without thermal paste, there is a small gap of air between some parts of the CPU and the cooler since both surfaces aren't perfectly flat. This is especially true with any heatsink that has heat pipes that contact the CPU. The thermal paste is better than air at conducting heat. It helps to fill in the small air gaps because like reccy said, air is an insulator and prevents the transfer of heat from the CPU to the heatsink.

    Bottom line, wait for the thermal paste. The last thing you will want to do is risk running your CPU hot and damaging it.
  16. What's with all the doom and gloom? Thermal paste is only supposed to fill the microscopic gaps between heat spreader and heatsink. Metal-on-metal contact is the best and even without TIM there's enough contact for the heatsink to work, it just won't be at peak efficiency.

    Yes, TIM is essential to optimum operation of the heatsink and as a result there's no point in rushing this, but to all of you who think the CPU will melt without any TIM really need to read up on what it does and how it works - too much TIM, after all, acts as an insulator because it reduces metal-on-metal contact.
  17. I actually just checked and judging by the reviews of my Zalman CPU cooler, it does come with thermal paste. If I just went ahead and used that now, could I simply scrape some of it off and put down my better paste once it gets here?
  18. You're gonna need some proper cleaner - Isopropyl alcohol (at least 75%, 90% is better) with a lint-free cloth is widely used, I use Arctic Silver's ArctiClean

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

    because I got it cheap.

    Don't use nail varnish remover though because it usually contains perfumes and other additives that can leave a residue on the heatsink and CPU heatspreader that will cause heat transfer problems.

    Honestly man you're just better off waiting and using the stuff you have on order to save messing about - what did you order anyway?
  19. akondray said:
    I actually just checked and judging by the reviews of my Zalman CPU cooler, it does come with thermal paste. If I just went ahead and used that now, could I simply scrape some of it off and put down my better paste once it gets here?



    Yes. You only really need to use special thermal paste if your tweaking your machine. For normal use, the stuff the Zalman comes with is fine. Job done.
  20. AaronBrown said:
    Can I ask a question I have an Intel cpu and the processor nor the cooler had thermal paste they had a tiny but but not enough and I have just ran the pc for Around 5-10 seconds will this damage my of because I have no thermal paste ?


    5-10 seconds should not hurt PC. Repair CPU installation and test PC. Check CPU heat. Use free program,
    alcpu.com/CoreTemp/
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