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Tips using Thermal Compound and an After Market Cooler

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January 11, 2012 1:34:17 PM

Hello All,

I am posting because I will be slowly building my own PC and I had a few questions about Thermal Compounds and aftermarket coolers. Here is the pertinent information about the build:

CPU:
Intel Core i5 2500 Quad Core

After-market Cooler:
Hyper 212+

One of the nice posters here on Tom's Hardware suggested the After-market cooler and mentioned I would need thermal compound on the CPU before installing the cooler. I have never put thermal compound on a PC so I basically wanted to get some tips and info from those more experienced.

1.) Should it be put on the CPU before it's installed on the MoBo?

2.) What is curing and do all thermal compounds have to be cured?

3.) Is there much of a difference between the thermal compounds mentioned on 4ryan6's link?

4.) Is there one that would be really nice for this setup that wouldn't cost an arm and a leg?

5.) What is the proper way to apply the compound?

Thanks,

AQuebman
a b à CPUs
January 11, 2012 1:37:57 PM

youtube if your friend
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a b à CPUs
January 11, 2012 2:09:56 PM

Here is a link, there are many more but this gives the general idea (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7rPqCvCt0g). Please note the amount of compound does not need to be very thick. In fact a thin layer is best. It should only just make the surface of the cpu disappear. Now to your questions:
1. Yes
2. Yes and no, they all will slightly improve their performance over a short time to maximum heat transfer. You may see a 1-3 degree improvement after curing.
3. Did not read the link. If you are not going to OC to the max a few degrees one way or the other may not matter.
4. Any of the Arctic Silver compounds will work well (http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...).
5. Watch the video link.
Hope this helps. GL
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a b à CPUs
January 11, 2012 2:17:12 PM

There are tutorials to how to put on the compound. Your new aftermarket cooler should come with enough compound for at least one installation, it doesn't take much.

Install the cpu in the motherboard first, then put the compound on the cpu, then put on the cooler. Some people say to use a small blob of compound on the center of the cpu, about the size of a pea, then when you put on the cooler the pressure will spread out the compound. Turn on the computer and test the temperatures with coretemp or some similar program.

Different coolers attach different ways, you just have to be sure that the cooler is securely attached and touching the cpu completely. The coolers with clips and springs at each corner have the most chance of improper installation, IOW if one clip is not securely attached the cooler will be uneven on the cpu and part of the cpu will get too hot.
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a c 103 à CPUs
January 11, 2012 2:36:05 PM

^The tube supplied is enough for a ton of installations,
please do not think you have to use the full amount, the amount needed (as you will see from afore-mentioned videos etc), is tiny
Moto
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a c 188 à CPUs
January 11, 2012 3:22:55 PM

+1 to all the above posters

Great advise from all them. Heck since you are using the Intel® Core™ i5-2500 you won't be overclocking so you really can get away with using the stock cooler unless you are in a poorly vented area. The stock cooler will come with a per applied thermal component that will ensure that you don't need to worry about adding any extra TIM (Thermal Interface Material) unless you remove the cooler in the future.

Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team
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January 11, 2012 3:25:16 PM

Thank you all for the help and I'll have to try it without the cooler I didn't realize i'd be able to run it without one.
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a c 103 à CPUs
January 11, 2012 3:27:40 PM

No!
Do not run the chip without a cooler!!!!

Christian meant use the stock cooler/heatsink, not a complete lack of cooler

He meant you may not need an aftermarket unit, whatever you do, you MUST have a cooler/heatsink of some sort on there before powering up
Moto
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January 11, 2012 3:31:38 PM

Oh of course I knew that I meant the aftermarket cooler.
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a c 103 à CPUs
January 11, 2012 3:41:13 PM

Phew! didn't want a disaster happening man,
I've known it done....
Moto
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January 11, 2012 3:43:57 PM

Well I appreciate the concern but I have had a PC given to me that was improperly cooled so I know the importance of air flow and cooling of some sort on the processor. I'm assuming the processor comes stock with some sort of heat sink usually? Never bought one new I was just assuming it probably did.
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a c 103 à CPUs
January 11, 2012 3:48:35 PM

If you buy a retail pack processor then yes,
the 'stock' or standard issue heatsink is supplied, if you buy the P.I.B. there won't be, obviously if you are planning on an aftermarket cooler, it makes sense to not have to throw away the stock item, so you can buy them without
Moto
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a b à CPUs
January 11, 2012 6:59:23 PM

IntelEnthusiast said:
+1 to all the above posters

Great advise from all them. Heck since you are using the Intel® Core™ i5-2500 you won't be overclocking so you really can get away with using the stock cooler unless you are in a poorly vented area. The stock cooler will come with a per applied thermal component that will ensure that you don't need to worry about adding any extra TIM (Thermal Interface Material) unless you remove the cooler in the future.

Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team



Hi Christian :) 

Ok, I had to laugh reading that answer.... please tell me who invented the Phrase TIM.....It had to be someone who has never built a computer in his life.... or an advertising person ???

All the best Brett :) 
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a b à CPUs
January 11, 2012 8:39:25 PM

The only way you can run the cpu without a cooler is to do an oil submersion build. Your computer will then do double service as a deep fry appliance :) 
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January 12, 2012 1:48:19 AM

Hmmm Dogsnake this throws a whole new wrinkle in because I do like deep fried foods... i'd love to deep fry a small batch of fries while playing SWTOR lol.
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January 19, 2012 10:28:29 PM

Brett928S2 said:
Hi Christian :) 

Ok, I had to laugh reading that answer.... please tell me who invented the Phrase TIM.....It had to be someone who has never built a computer in his life.... or an advertising person ???

All the best Brett :) 


I like "TIM." Sounds clean. Unlike grease- sounds greasy. Or paste- sounds like something you put on an adult dancer. lol just messing around
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