I'm by nature a worrier, so naturally I'm worried that in the process of cleaning paste off of my CPU and reseating it I might have touched one of the contacts on the CPU with my dirty fingers. What exactly happens when it gets dirty? Does the CPU just fail to work, or does it affect performance, or what?
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Worst case scenario is that you got some blob of old paste on it, it would short out. If there is nothing visual there is probably no harm done and will not affect anything
So in the worst case we're talking non-functionality, it's not like a speck of paste on a contact is going to lower my OC performance by 10% or anything, correct?