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How to Apply Arctic Cooling MX-4

I am trying Arctic Cooling's MX-4 TIM for the first time, but I can't find any instructions on how to apply it. Arctic Silver 5 for example, always had a tutorial for proper installation on various CPUs, but I can't find anything for MX-4 on the company's website. I have found several conflicting theories on various other forums, but nothing conclusive. What's best... BB/Rice Grain dot in the middle, line across the CPU cores, spread a thin(?) layer...? The processor in question for the moment is a Phenom II X4.
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  1. There are no set in stone application methods. I am curently using the BB/rice grain method which I feel (opinion here) is better than the spread method that I used to use. I think the best bet is what you are most comfortable with - if you're not in "experiment mode" that is.
  2. Best answer
    Hi :)

    In my shops we have used thin layer for over 20 years... works for us :)

    All the best Brett :)
  3. The small dot in the middle is what I swear by because it's what I've always done I've always had great results with it, but as you can see, it doesn't really matter what brand or type the paste is, you'll get a plethora of answers on how to apply it.
  4. clutchc said:
    I am trying Arctic Cooling's MX-4 TIM for the first time, but I can't find any instructions on how to apply it. Arctic Silver 5 for example, always had a tutorial for proper installation on various CPUs, but I can't find anything for MX-4 on the company's website. I have found several conflicting theories on various other forums, but nothing conclusive. What's best... BB/Rice Grain dot in the middle, line across the CPU cores, spread a thin(?) layer...? The processor in question for the moment is a Phenom II X4.

    Yep i agree with brett.. a thin layer is wot iv been using for about the last 15yrs.. had no problems..
  5. rayt160 said:
    Yep i agree with brett.. a thin layer is wot iv been using for about the last 15yrs.. had no problems..

    MX-4 hasn't been out for 15 years. It's only been out for a couple years.
  6. @DJDeCiBeL
    @C12Friedman
    I too am leaning towards the dot and letting the compression spread the TIM so as not to introduce air pockets between surfaces. I wonder if it would be a good idea to 'tin' the surfaces with MX-4 first like the AS-5 instructions suggests to do for it. Might eliminate some microscopic pores that could become air pockets.

    But the 'spread it' folks have a good argument too.
  7. I prefer the method of "tinting" the heatsink and then applying a line 80% across the surface of the CPU. You will be leaving about 2/10 of the line not touching the end of the CPU. I am horrible at typing.. let me get you a link!

    http://www.arcticsilver.com/pdf/appmeth/amd/ss/AMD_app_method_surface_spread_v1.1.pdf

    Laptop battery is going to die.. I didn't have time to read the whole article. I hope this helps!
  8. jkhoward said:
    I prefer the method of "tinting" the heatsink and then applying a line 80% across the surface of the CPU. You will be leaving about 2/10 of the line not touching the end of the CPU. I am horrible at typing.. let me get you a link!

    http://www.arcticsilver.com/pdf/appmeth/amd/ss/AMD_app_method_surface_spread_v1.1.pdf

    Laptop battery is going to die.. I didn't have time to read the whole article. I hope this helps!

    Thanks. Yeah, I'm all checked out on AS-5 and it's various methods. That's all I've used for years because it works so well. I just thought I'd try something new and couldn't find any manufacturer's instructions.
    But, I'm glad to hear your vote of confidence for tinning the surface first.
  9. clutchc said:
    Thanks. Yeah, I'm all checked out on AS-5 and it's various methods. That's all I've used for years because it works so well. I just thought I'd try something new and couldn't find any manufacturer's instructions.
    But, I'm glad to hear your vote of confidence for tinning the surface first.


    Here is a video that actually demonstrates this much better then I could via typing. the main reason you want to tint the heat sink is to fill up the gaps shown in the video.

    I have tinted the surface of the heat sink on some builds and some I have not because it can be messy. If you want the best cooling possible tint the heat sink! :pt1cable:
  10. What heatsink?
  11. lycros said:
    What heatsink?


    What are you referring too?
  12. I'd say a simple pea sized dot would work.

    AS5 works that way too, after all the paste just has to have contact between the CPU and heatsink base. Applicaton methods don't vary that much in terms performance, that is assuming if you use the same/near amount..
  13. OK. Dot/Grain O Rice* it is. Thanks for the input, friends.

    * (all my 'dots' end up looking like the grain of rice anyway.) :lol:
  14. I was wondering what heatsink he was using, but from the last post it appears to be the hyper 212 evo.

    http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=170&Itemid=1&limit=1&limitstart=5
  15. Follow up:
    I tried the BB, grain of rice, and thin layer techniques. They all resulted in exactly the same temps under a 1 hour Prime95 run @stock speed and again @ 3.7GHZ. And those temps weren't very good.
    I then went back to Arctic Silver 5. Temps are good again. Guess I'll stay with AS5.
  16. Best answer selected by clutchc.
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