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Too much thermal paste on i7?

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August 2, 2011 10:28:35 AM

I have an i7 2600 on Asus P8H67-M LE motherboard. It's a stock build, maybe 4-5 months old. My motherboard failed 10 days back, and I got a warranty replacement. After getting my system back, on a whim, I ran Prime95 and checked temperatures.

I'm glad I did, because the processor seems to be overheating! Idle is alright at 37-40 C, but when I run P95, temperatures rise sharply to 60+ and continue rising. Within a minute or two, I'm seeing 90 across all four cores (Tj max is 98).

I have a suspicion that this is because there is too much thermal paste. I assume the engineer who replaced the motherboard just dabbed on more thermal paste without removing the existing one. So it runs okay without load, but under load, heat dissipation isn't as quick as it should be.

I don't want to give it back to the service center, so I'd like to do this myself.

1. Can anyone confirm that this is indeed the problem? All characteristics of the problem seem to support my hypothesis.

2. Can someone point me to guides to do this. I did google, but I'm overwhelmed by the number of articles, so it would be nice if someone posted the de facto articles for...
a. How to scrape thermal paste off safely.
b. What brand of thermal paste to buy.
c. How to apply it.

I hope I've been clear. Please help me, since I want to do this right, and not burn out my CPU over the long haul.

More about : thermal paste

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August 2, 2011 10:53:05 AM

There is normally a sufficient layer of thermal paste at the bottom of the CPU out of the box and you shouldn't have to add more. I have 2 i7's and both are stock paste that came with the CPU and work for about a year now perfectly.

Check the CPU fan speed, it should be in the thosands not in the hundreds under load.
You can normally scrape the old hard paste off the heatsink without too much safety precaution, but first you must get the replacement paste. One must take care that the CPU and Motherboard is static sensitive and you should earth yourself before touching these components, and try not to touch the pins on the CPU.

I think it is much more likely that the replacement technician did not apply another layer of paste at all. Paste also gets old and somestimes you need to re apply paste after a while.
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August 2, 2011 11:26:37 AM

Thanks guys, that helps. I think I'll go with MX-2 based on recommendations on this forum, or AS5 if that isn't available.

@gaborbarla: Yes, I will get the anti-static band that goes around the wrist. I don't think I'll be taking the CPU out of its socket anyway.
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August 2, 2011 11:26:43 AM

I'm assuming your using the stock fan heat sink. THe best way I find is to use a high purity isoprophl alcohol and Q-Tips to clean the chip and heat sink.

As for the TIM, a dab a little bigger than this should do it------> O
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August 2, 2011 11:30:18 AM

^ Bipedal, only that big? Because in the guide that dhicks linked to, they spread it out evenly over the whole chip. Here, the surface is much bigger (since the chip isn't exposed).

Just checking, because it'll wear quite thin when I spread it out.
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August 2, 2011 12:41:03 PM

For the stock cooler it should work. You want to cover the chip but as thin as possible. A lot of people install the heat sink then take it off to see what kind of coverage they're getting. Can't hurt to do a little experimenting.
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August 2, 2011 1:02:21 PM

here is your guide watching will be easier than reading.

how thermal paste spread:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EyXLu1Ms-q4

how to correctly apply thermal paste:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPys__ikCIg


dont buy a silicon paste(white ones)although it spreads better but the metallic gray liquid paste are better in temps. the metallic liquid is 4c to 6c cooler than the silicon.
trust me i tested it and compared the temps.
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August 2, 2011 3:02:46 PM

Man just put a rice grain amount on and spread equally over the cpu in a thin layer, if it fails to cover it all equally apply a little more. its easy.

This is supposed to be the best thermal paste

http://overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=TH-001...

but obv mx2 or as5 will do nicely
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August 3, 2011 4:54:59 AM

Your help is really appreciated, everyone. The videos and tip on how much to apply was extremely useful. I would have spread it evenly across the processor otherwise. I'll be doing the replacement soon. I'll update this thread with how it goes.
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August 3, 2011 4:56:20 AM

Best answer selected by mudeth.
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August 3, 2011 6:35:53 AM

Okay, it's done. I cleaned up the CPU and heatsink using isopropyl alcohol, waited for it to dry, applied a pea-sized amount of CoolerMaster thermal paste (it was the only one available in the shop, and I didn't have time to shop around).

Sealed it up. System is up and running, and it seems a bit slower to heat up, but it still hits 85 degrees. Stopped it at that point. Do you think it could be a voltage problem?
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August 3, 2011 7:03:41 AM

its your cooler, you are using the stock intel, that is a normal temp you are having, stock intel cooler cannot cool much with prime95 running, 85c that will be the best temp that it can hold. if you want it to have better temps you should buy a better cooler. i have the coolermaster v8 cooler and its cooling my i7 to max of 64c at 100%load and 34-37c at normal use, i run prime95 before and it reached 67c after an hour. stock coolers cannot cool that way.
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August 3, 2011 7:15:18 AM

Hm.. that's interesting. I'll probably pick up an aftermarket cooler then for peace of mind. Thanks oby.
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August 3, 2011 7:40:48 AM

yes, i remember when i first assembled my i7 it has the stock cooler for the first 2 weeks, it reached 78c at 100%load because i use 3dmax rendering and animation, i didnt bother running prime95 because i know it would be worst. then after 2 weeks i have the bucks i didnt hesitate buying a cooler that will it my case, i end up buying coolermaster v8, i tested it with the 2 thermal paste from cooler master, i bought a coolermaster silicon(whitepaste) and the liquid metal paste that came from the v8, and the silicon was plus 4c in temps.
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August 3, 2011 7:54:23 AM

oby20 said:
yes, i remember when i first assembled my i7 it has the stock cooler for the first 2 weeks, it reached 78c at 100%load because i use 3dmax rendering and animation, i didnt bother running prime95 because i know it would be worst. then after 2 weeks i have the bucks i didnt hesitate buying a cooler that will it my case, i end up buying coolermaster v8, i tested it with the 2 thermal paste from cooler master, i bought a coolermaster silicon(whitepaste) and the liquid metal paste that came from the v8, and the silicon was plus 4c in temps.

That sounds a lot like my situation. It's reassuring to know it isn't a problem with my particular build. Weird that Intel does that, shouldn't the stock cooler be able to handle full load? Or do they assume that their CPUs won't be used on heavy duty stuff?

The i5 on my new laptop runs p95 just fine. Fan starts spinning and it raises all hell, but temperature stabilizes and doesn't get anywhere close to these levels.
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August 3, 2011 8:06:34 AM

mudeth said:
That sounds a lot like my situation. It's reassuring to know it isn't a problem with my particular build. Weird that Intel does that, shouldn't the stock cooler be able to handle full load? Or do they assume that their CPUs won't be used on heavy duty stuff?

The i5 on my new laptop runs p95 just fine. Fan starts spinning and it raises all hell, but temperature stabilizes and doesn't get anywhere close to these levels.



it also has something to do with your psu, if your psu is not good(low efficiency below 80%) it draws more power because low efficient psu is wasting more power that is why in draws more just to reach that rated wattage labeled in them, that makes the cpu temp so high than the normal. while high efficient psu just needs to draw less power from the plug do it.
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August 3, 2011 8:19:15 AM

oby20 said:
it also has something to do with your psu, if your psu is not good(low efficiency below 80%) it draws more power because low efficient psu is wasting more power that is why in draws more just to reach that rated wattage labeled in them, that makes the cpu temp so high than the normal. while high efficient psu just needs to draw less power from the plug do it.

I don't think it's the PSU; I have a CoolerMaster PSU and cabinet, and I remember buying one rated much higher than I needed just to be safe.

Also, I'm not sure I completely agree with the logic about drawing more power, etc. :) 
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August 3, 2011 8:28:01 AM

mudeth said:
I don't think it's the PSU; I have a CoolerMaster PSU and cabinet, and I remember buying one rated much higher than I needed just to be safe.

Also, I'm not sure I completely agree with the logic about drawing more power, etc. :) 


+1 on that one
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August 3, 2011 8:44:35 AM

i think you dont know much!LOL

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/80_PLUS

PARAGRAPH What it means

The efficiency of a computer power supply is its output power divided by its input power. The remaining power is converted into heat. For instance, a 600-watt power supply with 60% efficiency running at full load would draw 1000 W from the mains and would therefore waste 400 W as heat. On the other hand a 600-watt power supply with 80% efficiency running at full load would draw 750 W from the mains and would therefore waste only 150 W as heat.

For a given power supply, efficiency varies depending on how much power is being delivered. Supplies are typically most efficient at between half and three quarters load, much less efficient at low load, and somewhat less efficient at maximum load. Older ATX power supplies were typically 60% to 75% efficient. To qualify for 80 PLUS, a power supply must achieve at least 80% efficiency at three specified loads (20%, 50% and 100% of maximum rated power). However, 80 PLUS supplies may still be less than 80% efficient at lower loads. For instance, an 80 PLUS, 520 watt supply could still be 70% or less efficient at 60 watts (a typical idle power for a desktop computer).[7] Thus it is still important to select a supply with capacity appropriate to the device being powered.

It is easier to achieve the higher efficiency levels for higher wattage supplies, so gold and platinum supplies may be less available in consumer level supplies of reasonable capacity for typical desktop machines.

Typical computer power supplies may have power factors as low as 0.5 to 0.6.[8] The higher power factor reduces the peak current draw, reducing load on the circuit or on an uninterruptible power supply.

Reducing the heat output of the computer helps reduce noise, since fans do not have to spin as fast to cool the computer. Reduced heat and resulting lower cooling demands may increase computer reliability.[8]

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August 3, 2011 8:47:00 AM

mudeth said:
I don't think it's the PSU; I have a CoolerMaster PSU and cabinet, and I remember buying one rated much higher than I needed just to be safe.

Also, I'm not sure I completely agree with the logic about drawing more power, etc. :) 


i think you better start believing it :D 
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August 3, 2011 8:53:01 AM

^ I completely agree that when a less efficient PSU draws more power than a more efficient one and wastes it as heat. However, the power used by a CPU will remain constant at a particular load. It draws the same current, whatever the PSU is, and at the same (dynamic) voltage. So the CPU itself will not heat up more. The PSU may, but it will be minor, and the resulting effect on CPU temperature will be even more negligible.
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August 3, 2011 8:57:25 AM

oby20 get over yourself, whilst some of what you said is true, some is not, so you best start believing, i dont think you know much.
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August 3, 2011 9:04:21 AM

oby20 said:
i think you better start believing it :D 


LOL, you better start believing that me and your mum are an item and from time to time you will hear us engaging in vigorous activities. Just accept it, things will be easier.
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August 3, 2011 9:18:05 AM

2335964,9,879206 said:
Man just put a rice grain amount on and spread equally over the cpu in a thin layer, if it fails to cover it all equally apply a little more. its easy.


LOL! i think your the one who dont know much what are you a stand up comedian??!!LOL
you think you know much??hahaha you dont even know how to apply a thermal paste correctly!LOL what a dumb ass!LOL
and my mum is not like your mum!LOL a m!lF!!! hahahhahah!!!!
hahaha get over yourself clown!
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August 3, 2011 9:23:02 AM

oby20 said:
2335964,9,879206 said:
Man just put a rice grain amount on and spread equally over the cpu in a thin layer, if it fails to cover it all equally apply a little more. its easy.


LOL! i think your the one who dont know much what are you a stand up comedian??!!LOL
you think you know much??hahaha you dont even know how to apply a thermal paste correctly!LOL what a dumb ass!LOL
and my mum is not like your mum!LOL a m!lF!!! hahahhahah!!!!
hahaha get over yourself clown!
said:


Ok then, I have tried both methods of applying thermal paste, one spreading equally all over and two placing the amount in the middle and letting the heatsink spread it out. I can honestly say the first approach gave better cooling everytime, granted only 2 degrees but still.

Your the one who thinks a PSU gives different voltage to a cpu and heats it up.
You really know your stuff & where did I say i know everything, I was merely agreeing with the OP on your psu heating up cpu suggestion.

Go back to school buddy.
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August 3, 2011 9:28:07 AM

how can you say something correctly if you dont even know something very simple!LOL you are SoStupid!LOL
spreading paste equally is an old school! you better start reading man! better start learning simple things before you jump to something complicated! your brain will overheat!LOL!!!!! hahaaha!!!
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August 3, 2011 9:32:18 AM

i can understand you dont know something about the psu!LOL because you dont even know how to apply a thermal paste correctly!LOL hahahaha
you are speaking out of ignorance!LOL poor little kid! go back to your m!lf mum and learn something!LOL
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August 3, 2011 9:36:45 AM

well i got the Best Answer here so you can go home and cry or FI_Ick your m!lf mom!LOL!!!!!!
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August 3, 2011 9:39:07 AM

Mate as I just said your incorrect about the psu statement. The op agreed also. So that makes us both dumbasses? Also there are a few techniques to apply thermal paste, I choose the one that I find the best. I have built several high spec rigs and have tried this on them all. So I think I do know how to apply thermal paste. I am an IT Technician for a living and I am not a kid. I am not going to argue with a 12 year old on a forum, grow up and go back to school.

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August 3, 2011 9:41:21 AM

oby20 said:
well i got the Best Answer here so you can go home and cry or FI_Ick your m!lf mom!LOL!!!!!!


i dont write to get best answer, I enjoy contributing. He gave you best answer then disagreed with your psu comment.
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August 3, 2011 9:46:57 AM

dhicks19 said:
Mate as I just said your incorrect about the psu statement. The op agreed also. So that makes us both dumbasses? Also there are a few techniques to apply thermal paste, I choose the one that I find the best. I have built several high spec rigs and have tried this on them all. So I think I do know how to apply thermal paste. I am an IT Technician for a living and I am not a kid. I am not going to argue with a 12 year old on a forum, grow up and go back to school.


you really speak out of ignorance do you?LOL! after what you said first about your mum??LOL who do you think acts like a 12 yr old kid?LOL
i dont believe you are an IT, you dont even know how suggest someone how to apply a paste correctly!LOL you are an IT in different I-ignorant T-technician!LOL
yeah IT!!!LOL
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August 3, 2011 9:50:27 AM

and you say my jokes are bad? you certainly are below 12 years of age. As I keep saying your method is not the only method. A quick google search and you will see guides that apply both methods. Oh wait your one of those people who has to be right everytime. My bad..... Im done arguing with a 7 year old, go play action man or something and learn some english. Goodday to you sir
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August 3, 2011 9:55:47 AM

dhicks19 said:
and you say my jokes are bad? you certainly are below 12 years of age. As I keep saying your method is not the only method. A quick google search and you will see guides that apply both methods. Oh wait your one of those people who has to be right everytime. My bad..... Im done arguing with a 7 year old, go play action man or something and learn some english. Goodday to you sir


i rather learn more than speaking english!LOL after saying that thing about your mum, you are worst than a 7yr old kid!LOL
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August 3, 2011 9:57:12 AM

As I also said, me and your mother cant help it, we are in love. Prob be over your house tonight so see you then.
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August 3, 2011 10:00:53 AM

atleast i can speak your language!LOL can you speak my language?LOL
your english wont make you a good computer technician!LOL
yes you are an IT... Ignorant Technician!
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August 3, 2011 10:06:08 AM

question, who would want to speak your langauge. I know I wouldnt. Here we go I will try: 見到你後,當我看到你的母親, wir sehen uns später, wenn ich deine Mutter zu sehen, vous voir plus tard quand je vois votre mère, Θα σας δούμε αργότερα, όταν βλέπω τη μητέρα σου, vediamo più tardi, quando vedo tua madre, Zobaczymy się później, kiedy widzę swoją matkę, vejo você mais tarde quando eu ver a sua mãe, Nos vemos más tarde cuando me vea a su madre,i anne gördüğünüzde sonra görüşürüz.

WOW your 30 and still live with your mother. Bad times
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August 3, 2011 10:07:07 AM

dhicks19 said:
As I also said, me and your mother cant help it, we are in love. Prob be over your house tonight so see you then.


hahahaha!!! thats a typical loser kid's story! losers keep dreaming something they are not!LOL keep telling poor stories!LOl
poor kid!LOL you are really a stand up comedian!LOL pity you!LOL
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August 3, 2011 10:07:57 AM

No all jokes aside, I am totally serious about your mum. I think she is the one
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August 3, 2011 10:13:54 AM

hahahaha! only a dumb person will believe you wrote it! dont fool yourself, how can you type something so quickly with different languages! hahahaha you are fooling yourself! stupid! Idiot Dumb! i can google faster than you did!LOL hahahahahaha
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August 3, 2011 10:15:45 AM

dhicks19 said:
No all jokes aside, I am totally serious about your mum. I think she is the one


hahahaha!!!!!!! maybe your my Son! i F your mom when i was 9yrs old! hahahaha!
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August 3, 2011 10:19:00 AM

seriously too! i F your mom when i was 9! i am 30 now! your 21 now! poor kid your M!lf mom didnt took care of you nicely! you grew up stupid son!LOL!!!!!
hahahahahahahah!!!!
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August 3, 2011 10:20:25 AM

no listen Brian, I am serious, we are getting married next month, me and your mum are happy together, the quicker you accept it the better. Just be happy for her. And ^ WTF, obviously I dont know all them languages, only a dumb person would think someone would pretend they knew all them languages.

FAIL, we will discuss this later, I will be over about 10pm
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August 3, 2011 10:26:38 AM

a 21 yr old stand up comedian doing it for a living!LOL hahahaha!!!! my mum is your granny! your my son!!LOL!!!!!!!! hahahahahah!!!!!
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August 3, 2011 10:27:37 AM

ok keep telling yourself that, you just cant stand to see her happy. well i got news for you. we are together like it or not. See you later buddy
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a b V Motherboard
August 3, 2011 10:27:55 AM

errrrr wtf oby20 and dhicks19

to the OP if you have a stock hsf it sounds like it wasnt seated correctly

they say to apply it thin (thermal paste) but iv found for 99% of the time to use a small but decent ammount in the centre and let the hsf and vibrations from use spread it about, none of this credit card nonsense
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August 3, 2011 10:30:08 AM

yes obviously too the way you speak! with all the messages you put in??? yes it came from you.. "only a dumb person would think someone would pretend"
hahaha ouch!!!!!!!!!LOL
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August 3, 2011 10:33:17 AM

dhicks19 said:
ok keep telling yourself that, you just cant stand to see her happy. well i got news for you. we are together like it or not. See you later buddy


yes keep telling it too!LOL you look like a loser kid who never F somebody... ever!LOL hahahahaha!!!!
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August 3, 2011 10:35:15 AM

what did you finish? high school?LOL hahahaha yeah thats great! tell your mum i miss her!LOL hahahahaha!!!!
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August 3, 2011 10:58:48 AM

apache_lives said:
errrrr wtf oby20 and dhicks19

to the OP if you have a stock hsf it sounds like it wasnt seated correctly

they say to apply it thin (thermal paste) but iv found for 99% of the time to use a small but decent ammount in the centre and let the hsf and vibrations from use spread it about, none of this credit card nonsense


THANK YOU apache_lives! I was beginning to get tired of that fight. Though, to be honest, it was just getting interesting. The moving in bit smelt like a nice story arc.

I reapplied the heatsink already, like I said in my post. There is a noticeable improvement in my temperatures, and Prime95 is not shooting temperatures straight up, but I'm still not happy with the cooling I'm getting. So, like oby20 said, I'll be picking up an aftermarket HSF.

In any case, I'm glad I had a hands-on experience of cleaning my CPU and applying thermal paste.
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