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Thermal Paste - correct application?

Last response: in Systems
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January 12, 2012 3:19:18 AM

I have seen several ways to apply thermal paste and that led me to ask... is there a generally preferred method? A Newegg video showed me to use the "baggie" method to aply paste to the top of the cpu but made no mention of paste application to the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus (which I also have and will be installing).

Then I go to the Cooler Master forum and it shows to put a bead of paste between each pipe.

Just where and how much I ask.... your input is appreciated.
January 12, 2012 4:10:42 AM

One dot , middle of the processor , and spread thin with a business card or similar piece of cardboard

BUT the direct heatpipe coolers often have a small gap where the heat pipes havent been squeezed perfectly . That gap needs more paste so spread a tiny drop there if its needed
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January 12, 2012 4:12:39 AM

Business card works really well. Just make sure the coat of paste is almost see through.
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January 12, 2012 4:21:52 AM

The heat sink can spread the paste itself and its probably better that it does.

It is probably also not that great if you can see through the paste after it is applied. Sounds like it needs more paste in that case.

Read the link from above.
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January 12, 2012 5:40:49 AM

i use silicone/plastic spoons designed for this job (or for eating icecream :p ). either way works, it is all a matter of how comfortable and experienced you are with each method.
I dislike "blob and press" because you can never be sure which direction it will go, and you can't be sure the cavities of the heatpipes will be filled.
"Spread up, spread down and sandwich it" is what i use, though it might trap pockets of air.
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January 12, 2012 11:13:26 AM

So with using the 212 cooler, the paste needs to be applied to only the cooler and not the cpu?
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January 12, 2012 1:21:51 PM

Heat Sink
Paste
Processor

that is what the sandwich is supposed to look like.

If you apply paste to either one then it automatically goes on the other one when you combine them.
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January 12, 2012 3:06:18 PM

i put a very very thin layer on each one of them. using the spoony to the point where the next shaving reveals the material under the paste. cover again and keep spreading.
Add the quantity of a rice grain, at most, to each surface. You put paste on the heatsink so that you cover the gaps between heatpipes and contact surface. On the processor you put paste and spread it so that it goes in the holes of the surface you can't see with your eyes.
By applying paste to both surfaces you make sure you have it spread evenly, that most of the critical area is covered (imagine a circle in the middle of the chip plate) and that heatpipe gaps are filled.
Even if on some parts you spread it too thin, the sandwich will merge the thin layer from above with the one in the bottom making a nice uniform layer. Like i said before, the only weakness to this method is air pockets... but i'd rather have that to chances i didn't cover critical areas.
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Best solution

January 12, 2012 3:19:56 PM

The best way is to read the directions on the package.

They are all different materials and different application method's and they all suggest different amounts so the advice people are giving you here is probably not accurate to the one you choose.

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January 16, 2012 3:51:39 AM

Best answer selected by pcdad.
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