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Thermal Paste and Heatsink

Last response: in Systems
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October 20, 2010 4:23:17 AM

Hi all,
I'm building a computer for the first time. So, I installed the cpu cooler that came with processor. I forgot I had to install the one I bought instead of that one. Do I have to remove the thermal compound on the chip that rubbed off of the stock cooler even though I never turned the computer on? Also I plan to use a thermal grease on the new cooler I'll be installing in it's place.

More about : thermal paste heatsink

October 20, 2010 5:01:04 AM

enjoi525 said:
Hi all,
I'm building a computer for the first time. So, I installed the cpu cooler that came with processor. I forgot I had to install the one I bought instead of that one. Do I have to remove the thermal compound on the chip that rubbed off of the stock cooler even though I never turned the computer on? Also I plan to use a thermal grease on the new cooler I'll be installing in it's place.


Well, if I'm reading you right you're going to be using new thermal paste anyway-so yes, you should remove all of the thermal paste from the cpu. Too much thermal grease can cause problems. I use a somewhat damp (not wet!) paper towel to remove the bulk of the paste, then use rubbing alcohol to remove the rest and to clean the surface of the CPU heatshield. After you allow it to dry for a minute or two, you are ready to apply the new thermal material and install the new heat sink.

Aftermarket TIM's tend to be much better than the stuff included with an oem heatsink. I've noticed recently however that they seem to be including better interface material that appears to use silver or a similar metal that makes the paste gray. Also seems to work pretty good as well. Just fyi.
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October 20, 2010 5:10:51 AM

buzznut said:
Well, if I'm reading you right you're going to be using new thermal paste anyway-so yes, you should remove all of the thermal paste from the cpu. Too much thermal grease can cause problems. I use a somewhat damp (not wet!) paper towel to remove the bulk of the paste, then use rubbing alcohol to remove the rest and to clean the surface of the CPU heatshield. After you allow it to dry for a minute or two, you are ready to apply the new thermal material and install the new heat sink.

Aftermarket TIM's tend to be much better than the stuff included with an oem heatsink. I've noticed recently however that they seem to be including better interface material that appears to use silver or a similar metal that makes the paste gray. Also seems to work pretty good as well. Just fyi.


Basically, I just installed the thing then realized the oops. So, there is just small dime to nickel size bit of thermal compound left on the chip
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October 20, 2010 5:21:42 AM

That's ok, I would remove it anyway.
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