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[CPU] Do you need to apply Thermal Paste between CPU and CPU cooler?

Tags:
  • CPUs
  • Cooling
  • Thermal Compound
Last response: in CPUs
August 2, 2012 9:51:25 PM

Hey all

I built my first gaming PC yesterday and I forgot to apply thermal paste between my CPU and CPU cooler.

Will this matter? Is it important to apply thermal paste?

More about : cpu apply thermal paste cpu cpu cooler

a c 291 à CPUs
August 2, 2012 9:55:49 PM

Was it the stock cooler or an aftermarket cooler?

If it was the stock cooler, the thermal paste was pre-applied (almost definitely), but if it's an aftermarket cooler, you DEFINITELY need to apply some paste.

And yes, it ABSOLUTELY matters. You HAVE to use thermal paste.
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August 2, 2012 9:57:47 PM

DJDeCiBeL said:
Was it the stock cooler or an aftermarket cooler?

If it was the stock cooler, the thermal paste was pre-applied (almost definitely), but if it's an aftermarket cooler, you DEFINITELY need to apply some paste.

And yes, it ABSOLUTELY matters. You HAVE to use thermal paste.


Stock cooler. I don't remember seeing Thermal Paste on it. It's an Intel i5 3570k if that helps.
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a c 291 à CPUs
August 2, 2012 10:00:10 PM

steve695 said:
Stock cooler. I don't remember seeing Thermal Paste on it. It's an Intel i5 3570k if that helps.


OK, yeah, it has the paste pre-applied then.

Should have looked something like this (not exactly because this cooler is slightly different, but the thermal paste would be the same).
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August 2, 2012 10:07:41 PM

Oh yeah I remember seeing that.

Was I meant to peel anything? If I take the CPU cooler off and put it back on will it effect it?

Thanks
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a c 291 à CPUs
August 2, 2012 10:10:39 PM

steve695 said:
Was I meant to peel anything? If I take the CPU cooler off and put it back on will it effect it?


You shouldn't have needed to peel anything off, no, but yes taking it off will mean that you have to completely clean everything off and start over with new paste. Removing and re-seating disturbs the paste and causes air bubbles which leads to much higher temps.
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August 2, 2012 10:13:15 PM

Oh ok.

Because I initially put the CPU cooler on facing the wrong way. It was only sitting like this for about 5 minutes until I turned it around.
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a c 291 à CPUs
August 2, 2012 10:15:11 PM

steve695 said:
Oh ok.

Because I initially put the CPU cooler on facing the wrong way. It was only sitting like this for about 5 minutes until I turned it around.


It's not ideal, but if you never turned the system on (gave the CPU a chance to heat up) before you repositioned it, it should be ok.

If you have higher than normal temps, that would be the first thing I would suspect though.
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August 2, 2012 10:16:06 PM

Yeah it was never turned on. Cool, thanks for the info!
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a c 291 à CPUs
August 2, 2012 10:16:08 PM

You're welcome. :)  And be sure to read the edit to my last post too.
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August 2, 2012 10:42:18 PM

Oh, noob question but how do I check temps and what is normal?
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a c 117 à CPUs
August 2, 2012 10:44:07 PM

Use core temp (google it, it should be the 1st link).

For stock?
40-50 idle
50-70 full load....
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Best solution

a c 291 à CPUs
August 2, 2012 10:48:12 PM

steve695 said:
Oh, noob question but how do I check temps and what is normal?


You can check the temps with any number of programs (you'll need to have Windows installed first, of course). A few that I recommend are HWMonitor, Core Temp and RealTemp.

There really isn't a one size fits all "normal" temp range because of the variables involved (room temp, case airflow, etc.), but in general, with the stock cooler on that CPU, you should idle from 35-45C, and full 100% stress test load should be around 60-70C (maybe a bit higher).
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August 3, 2012 3:21:41 AM

Best answer selected by steve695.
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August 3, 2012 3:22:03 AM

Thanks, all temperatures are fine.
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