Thermal compound

Can anyone tell me what is the best way to apply thermal compound to the CPU. I've seen a couple videos, some just put a pea sized amount in the center of CPU and apply the cooler unit on top and let it spread itself over the CPU. Another video where a person was spreading it out over the CPU with an applicator leaving about an eight of an inch to the edge left uncovered so the stuff doesn't get onto the pins I assume. Any thoughts?
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  1. Everyone will have a different answer for this, but I've always used the first method you mentioned (pea sized dot in the center of the CPU heatspreader), and it's always worked wonderfully for me.
  2. Best answer
    There are different ideal methods for HDT (Heatpipe Direct Touch, those ones with the pipes visible on the base) and smooth-bottomed coolers. Here's a test article:
    HDT is on the next page.
  3. Quote:
    I always spread it out evenly across the heatspreader. Never failed me.

    Exactly what I mean, lol. Different answers...
  4. I put a pea sized dot in the middle and then I tighten the heatsink on the CPU. Then I undo it and check for coverage. If the entire surface is not covered I then add more paste and re-tighten and re-check. When the entire surface is covered you know you have a thin layer that gives complete coverage when the heatsink is installed.
  5. Best answer selected by ssamps.
  6. Thanks for the help!
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CPUs Thermal Compound Video