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Thought I'd share my experiences with thermal paste application.

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March 26, 2012 12:33:02 PM

I spent about a week testing various methods with my i5-2500k and came to some conclusions, a lot of the info out there seems questionable.

Pea size blob - way too much paste, higher than normal temps.

Vertical line method - same as above

Spreading the paste - creates bubbles and an uneven surface, bad temps

X pattern - too much paste again, bad temps.

The only method I found useful was applying a small BB sized blob in the center of the processor OR heatsink. Blob can be a tiny bit larger than a BB for stuff like direct heat pipe coolers.

On direct heat pipe coolers make sure you fill in the crevices first and scrape off all of the excess paste, so the surface is clean but the crevices are filled. Then use the BB method above.

This has by far given me the best temps at idle and under load. They have been improving over the past few days too, by another 2-3 degrees.

More about : thought share experiences thermal paste application

a b B Homebuilt system
March 26, 2012 1:22:56 PM

when im applying thermal paste i put a pea size amount as you said above and use a business card or a paper flash card to spread it around to make a nice even layer
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March 26, 2012 2:22:21 PM

Yes very similar except I don't agree with how they did their heat pipe direct cooler ;) 

I found using the 2 stripes to be too much
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 26, 2012 3:17:33 PM

Buy a heatsink/cooler with pre-applied thermal paste, and just tighten it on :) 

Works every time :D 
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March 26, 2012 3:39:35 PM

I also used the pea blob method but perhaps a little smaller.

Lmao i had a look at a pack of frozen peas to get some idea and i gota tell ya they are not all the same size :o 

need to be careful with this vague idea of a pea size, it is quite uninformed to say the least. I have good temps so i guess the littlest pea did me well :D  The largest pea i found just seemed to be too much i thought.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 26, 2012 5:54:29 PM

I used the 2 line method and was just the right amount but I'm just experienced. It was better coverage than the dot method on my 212+. Line thickness and length matters. When people say pea sized, it really is bb sized. IMO the best method is dependent on the heatsink surface.
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