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In which method to apply thermal paste? + PSU Confusion

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November 1, 2012 8:35:03 AM

Hello,
Except the power supply, I now already have my other components for my new gaming PC:
i5 3570
ASUS Sabertooth Z77
ASUS GTX660 TI-DC2-2GD5
NZXT Tempest EVO
G Skill Ripjaws X F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL
I am planning to buy Cool Laboratory Liquid Pro because I am impressed of its performance. Now my first question is how/in which method should I apply the thermal paste? I've come across many thermal paste websites, such as artic silver 5 which says for 3rd gen processors to apply in a line method. And cool labs video shows to spread it completely using an ear bud. I have seen that small dot and tiny dot and pea method also spreads well. BUT WHICH ONE OF THESE METHODS IS THE BEST?

Now my second question, I've ordered a Seasonic G esries 550 psu. But should I cancel it and order seasonic x-560? Will I get more performance by getting the x 560 or should I go with g 550? Please help, I'm confused about this. Both are 80plus gold certified. G series uses double ball bearing while x uses some sanyo dyoki single ball bearing and has more features. I am not also completely sure that x series has ocp, opp, scp, ovp, etc. but has more features than g series.

Best solution

a c 122 ) Power supply
November 1, 2012 9:01:47 AM

With the how to apply it question i don't think there is just one correct answer i have heard and seen all the different ways as well it depends on what paste your using It is recommended that you use the little dab in the center without spreading it technique on CPUs with an IHS. On everything else without an IHS (bare die, like a GPU or the picture above right) you should spread the paste out as thin as possible over the die.

Some people will put their hand in a plastic bag or latex gloves and spread the paste out so they don't contaminate it, then use some straight edge (usually a credit card) to get it nice and even. Others will just use the credit card straight away. You want the layer of paste as thin as possible; less than half a millimeter, almost translucent, is good.
If you decide to use a latex glove, make sure you get the powder-free ones. Getting the powder on the heatsink and mixed with the paste will degrade performance.

Another trick that some use is applying the thermal paste to the heatsink base, then wiping it off (not using cleaner, just a non-linty cloth). This assures that all the imperfections on the heatsink are filled as well.

Once you have the paste spread nice and even and as thin as you can get it; it's time to mount the heatsink. Be very careful when doing so, so that you don't have to do it twice. If you put it on, then take it off, you should re-apply the paste. You want to bring the heatsink onto the CPU as level as possible. If you angle it, it can disrupt the paste from spreading evenly.
Once your heatsink is properly mounted and the fan is connected you are ready to boot. It's not a bad idea to go into your BIOS or video card temperature-monitoring program to watch your temperatures for a few minutes. Just to make sure the paste was properly applied and that what ever part's paste you applied doesn't to get to hot.
As far as the power supply goes both are top of the line best of the best so i wouldn't worry about it to much hope this helps good luck!
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a b ) Power supply
November 1, 2012 2:13:15 PM

i just put a blob in the middle and let the heatsink apply pressure and spread itself out. more even contact that way

i can already see bad choices (overkill and better components for the price) of components but it will work fine.
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a b ) Power supply
November 1, 2012 3:11:12 PM

There is only one way to apply thermal paste to obtain the largest thermal path. It doesn't matter how or how much you initially apply to the heat spreader of the CPU. Once applied spread it out evenly and thinly with a credit card and remove the excess. Be sure to cover the entire heat spreader. That will insure the max thermal path. All the talk about "bubbles" is BS. If you put a dot in the middle and apply pressure it will spread out in a circular pattern and the corners of the heat spreader will not be included in the thermal path.

As for the PSU, IMHO you should use the highest wattage QUALITY PSU you can afford. Seasonic is the best but I suggest a 1050W like I just bought.
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a b ) Power supply
November 1, 2012 3:14:20 PM

ram1009 said:
There is only one way to apply thermal paste to obtain the largest thermal path. It doesn't matter how or how much you initially apply to the heat spreader of the CPU. Once applied spread it out evenly and thinly with a credit card and remove the excess. Be sure to cover the entire heat spreader. That will insure the max thermal path. All the talk about "bubbles" is BS. If you put a dot in the middle and apply pressure it will spread out in a circular pattern and the corners of the heat spreader will not be included in the thermal path.

As for the PSU, IMHO you should use the highest wattage QUALITY PSU you can afford. Seasonic is the best but I suggest a 1050W like I just bought.


someones being a troll. or is just stupid 1050w is for triple SLi/crossfire. which isnt possible on his build
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a c 122 ) Power supply
November 1, 2012 3:27:13 PM

TheBigTroll said:
someones being a troll. or is just stupid 1050w is for triple SLi/crossfire. which isnt possible on his build
+1 True that maybe not stupid though just not very experienced
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a b ) Power supply
November 1, 2012 3:42:02 PM

hes a veteran. he should be pretty good
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a b ) Power supply
November 1, 2012 3:43:07 PM

bigcyco1 said:
+1 True that maybe not stupid though just not very experienced



Excuse me, but I've been specifying power supplies probably for longer than you've been on the earth. Just because a PSU has enough wires for 3 GPUs doesn't mean it's the only thing it's good for. An oversize PSU is one of the best, easiest and cheapest ways to over design a computer. It's an insurance policy that almost everybody can afford. All you need is enough common sense to do it.
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a c 122 ) Power supply
November 1, 2012 3:54:53 PM

ram1009 said:
Excuse me, but I've been specifying power supplies probably for longer than you've been on the earth. Just because a PSU has enough wires for 3 GPUs doesn't mean it's the only thing it's good for. An oversize PSU is one of the best, easiest and cheapest ways to over design a computer. It's an insurance policy that almost everybody can afford. All you need is enough common sense to do it.
Really because i am 31 :o  Then you must be quite old my apologies
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November 1, 2012 3:57:42 PM

Neil12 said:
Hello,
Except the power supply, I now already have my other components for my new gaming PC:
i5 3570
ASUS Sabertooth Z77
ASUS GTX660 TI-DC2-2GD5
NZXT Tempest EVO
G Skill Ripjaws X F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL
I am planning to buy Cool Laboratory Liquid Pro because I am impressed of its performance. Now my first question is how/in which method should I apply the thermal paste? I've come across many thermal paste websites, such as artic silver 5 which says for 3rd gen processors to apply in a line method. And cool labs video shows to spread it completely using an ear bud. I have seen that small dot and tiny dot and pea method also spreads well. BUT WHICH ONE OF THESE METHODS IS THE BEST?

Now my second question, I've ordered a Seasonic G esries 550 psu. But should I cancel it and order seasonic x-560? Will I get more performance by getting the x 560 or should I go with g 550? Please help, I'm confused about this. Both are 80plus gold certified. G series uses double ball bearing while x uses some sanyo dyoki single ball bearing and has more features. I am not also completely sure that x series has ocp, opp, scp, ovp, etc. but has more features than g series.


There was an article somewhere where the article went out and tested the methods.
If i remember the results, the techniques didn't matter, except for the microdot which was waay too little(size of a printed period).

All the techniques cooled within a degree; it was just a matter of excess dripping over the edges.

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Seasonic/G550/11.htm...

says highly recommended. don't worry. I supposed it depends how much more is the x-series

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a c 83 ) Power supply
November 1, 2012 4:05:13 PM

I would say at MOST you want 2 x the average system load. in your power supply(within reason).

I mean my media center idles under 40 watts so I am not going to pop in a 800 watt power supply because the 300 watt power supply will waste less power(and make less heat) at those low loads.

The Ops system should be more then fine with either of those power supplies. They do NOT have a higher power consuming system.

For example,
2600K @ 4.4
Maximus IV Gene-z
2 x 8 Sticks of Gskill(ripjaws X) memory 1.5 volts
1 x 2TB drive + 3 SSD's
HD 5870(can take a good bit of power due to its age)
X-fi and a few fans.

With OCCT PSU load test gets me to 356 watts at the wall.
Idles is 70-80watts
Most games vary from 170-250

I am still going to say you can never have too much, but for the setup the OP wants, I think that the power supplies they have look at are both good enough.

As for the thermal paste. It is liquid metal so keep it away from anything that is aluminum or you may have a bad day. They say to apply a small dab and spread it with a cotton swab(lint free one).

It does seem to perform a good 2-3c better then some of the other top pastes, but I would keep any liquid meta away from aluminum. I am sticking with MX pastes as they work well :)  even Zalmans STG works god enough for me. I have used more AS5 can I can count.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHHI2Lk79cY

Hope this helps
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a b ) Power supply
November 2, 2012 12:12:31 AM

nukemaster said:
I would say at MOST you want 2 x the average system load. in your power supply(within reason).

I mean my media center idles under 40 watts so I am not going to pop in a 800 watt power supply because the 300 watt power supply will waste less power(and make less heat) at those low loads.

The Ops system should be more then fine with either of those power supplies. They do NOT have a higher power consuming system.

For example,
2600K @ 4.4
Maximus IV Gene-z
2 x 8 Sticks of Gskill(ripjaws X) memory 1.5 volts
1 x 2TB drive + 3 SSD's
HD 5870(can take a good bit of power due to its age)
X-fi and a few fans.

With OCCT PSU load test gets me to 356 watts at the wall.
Idles is 70-80watts
Most games vary from 170-250

I am still going to say you can never have too much, but for the setup the OP wants, I think that the power supplies they have look at are both good enough.

As for the thermal paste. It is liquid metal so keep it away from anything that is aluminum or you may have a bad day. They say to apply a small dab and spread it with a cotton swab(lint free one).

It does seem to perform a good 2-3c better then some of the other top pastes, but I would keep any liquid meta away from aluminum. I am sticking with MX pastes as they work well :)  even Zalmans STG works god enough for me. I have used more AS5 can I can count.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHHI2Lk79cY

Hope this helps

You people really should study more before you post. The load is what determines how much power is consumed,not the power supply. And what does it matter how much power is consumed at idle? Really people.
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a c 83 ) Power supply
November 2, 2012 12:40:52 AM

say what? Study more? Never hear of losses? I have a power supply that wastes 7 watts to make 1 watt. Yes that is VERY in inefficient. It is linear and not switching so creates more heat. What do you think 80+ is for? ohh right efficiency.

I give full MAX load numbers(and at the wall so the power supply is not even making THAT much DC).

Want max loads on the media center? 180 watts at the wall(i5 750 with 5770). Again, would I put a 1000 watt power supply on that? Never. Over the year of 24/7 operation that would actually cost MORE to run and make more heat.

I even agreed that you can no have TOO much, but at the same time, I had some old power supplies that actually buzzed when extremely underloaded.

The point I made was the OP will be more then fine with the power supply they picked AND gave info for the thermal compound(warning of its aluminum destroying potential and application)
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November 2, 2012 11:09:07 AM

I'll give the money, someone take ram1009 and visit a mental doctor. He needs serious help. He just got a 1050watt shock that effected his brain. Someone immediately. I I am planning to buy 550 watt psu does that mean I am going to SLI? NO. And that dosen't me me ma mean that if not sli, then I'll surely do cro crocrossfirexx. BA BU BUT I HAVE AN NVIDIA CARD. THIS CL cl CLEARELY MEANS NO SLI/CROSSFIREX. And about thermal paste, I'm confused again, as I don't have old credit card.
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a b ) Power supply
November 2, 2012 1:21:55 PM

Neil12 said:
I'll give the money, someone take ram1009 and visit a mental doctor. He needs serious help. He just got a 1050watt shock that effected his brain. Someone immediately. I I am planning to buy 550 watt psu does that mean I am going to SLI? NO. And that dosen't me me ma mean that if not sli, then I'll surely do cro crocrossfirexx. BA BU BUT I HAVE AN NVIDIA CARD. THIS CL cl CLEARELY MEANS NO SLI/CROSSFIREX. And about thermal paste, I'm confused again, as I don't have old credit card.



You won't need to worry about me responding to any more of your posts.
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a c 83 ) Power supply
November 2, 2012 2:13:21 PM

Neil12 said:
I'll give the money, someone take ram1009 and visit a mental doctor. He needs serious help. He just got a 1050watt shock that effected his brain. Someone immediately. I I am planning to buy 550 watt psu does that mean I am going to SLI? NO. And that dosen't me me ma mean that if not sli, then I'll surely do cro crocrossfirexx. BA BU BUT I HAVE AN NVIDIA CARD. THIS CL cl CLEARELY MEANS NO SLI/CROSSFIREX. And about thermal paste, I'm confused again, as I don't have old credit card.

They have a video of how to apply it. Liquid metal is much different then normal thermal pastes(just by its consistency). I would think a soft paint brush would apply it as well.

http://www.coollaboratory.com/en/products/liquid-pro/

The key for applying with a credit card is that it has a flat edge. any flat(straight) edge that you can get over the cpu will work. You want an even thin coat

Again, remember, No aluminum or it will be destroyed!!

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a b ) Power supply
November 2, 2012 5:11:10 PM

i wouldnt bother with the hassle of liquid metal compoiunds. just stick the regular paste that the cooler comes with. change it unless its totally crap
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a c 83 ) Power supply
November 2, 2012 5:19:54 PM

Neil12 said:
But in the cool lab website, it shows to apply using an ear cleaning bud stick http://l.yimg.com/ea/img/-/120322/ear_buds2_17mktvd-17m.... Then should I get liquid ultra? it can be applied using a brush but liquid pro has more awards.

It is because of how liquid metal flows. that q-tip(cotton swab) application is exactly how you apply it. make sure it is a lint free one.

This is in the Manual on the webside
Quote:
How to apply “Coollaboratory Liquid Pro”
Now you may apply a small amount of "Coollaboratory Liquid Pro" to the cooler surface's center. Do not use too much, you will be amazed at how little you need. To begin with, do not use more than a little drop. Remember that Liquid Metal's purpose is to fill tiny gaps, not to drip from the cooler. Now spread out the "Coollaboratory Liquid Pro" evenly across the cooler's surface from center to the sides. You may use a thin paint brush, a "Q-Tip" cotton swab or anything similar. Do not use your finger (greasy surface). Powder free rubber gloves may be used. Once done with this work, your cooler's surface should shine like a mirror.


I am all for using normal thermal paste as it is more easy to apply.

Credit card method.
Small drop method for IHS(heat spreader)
Drop and plastic baggie method

What heat sink are you getting anyway?

I agree with bigcyco1 MX4 works very well for me too.
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November 2, 2012 5:32:49 PM

Sorry ram1009. I'm very sorry, forgive me my respected mentor.
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November 2, 2012 5:35:19 PM

Wait a minute,, did I just hear that thermal paste comes with the processor box itself?
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a c 83 ) Power supply
November 2, 2012 5:36:47 PM

CPU's come with thermal past on the pre-applied heatsink already.

Most heatsinks come with past or pre-applied paste as well.

Best pre-applied I have had was the MX stuff(good temps and more even then my own application. It looked thick, but worked perfect) on some of the Arctic cooling products. No guessing, just clean the cpu or gpu and install.
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a c 122 ) Power supply
November 2, 2012 5:38:01 PM

Neil12 said:
Alright sorry, ram1009 was right, he is the best expert in tomshardware, he knows everything about power supply, gets angry too fast, I should also order a 1050w psu if I need it afterwards, bla..bla bla...now are you happy? I didn't want to conflict with you. In tomshardware, everyone is there to help and get help, not fight. Make sense, not war.
That doesn't sound sincere to me.I would just let it go.I think he was giving his opinion not claiming you needed a 1050W it was just not a valid recommendation for your build so no point in mentioning it ;) 
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November 2, 2012 5:47:39 PM

Then why do I need to buy thermal liquid metal?
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November 2, 2012 5:48:06 PM

Best answer selected by Neil12.
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a c 122 ) Power supply
November 2, 2012 6:00:41 PM

Neil12 said:
Then why do I need to buy thermal liquid metal?
Who told you that?The answer is you don't need to you can if you like but it's not a must. :) 
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a c 83 ) Power supply
November 2, 2012 7:46:05 PM

Neil12 said:
Then why do I need to buy thermal liquid metal?

Some users want every last degree :) 
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a c 122 ) Power supply
November 2, 2012 7:48:20 PM

nukemaster said:
Some users want every last degree :) 
+1 Like me :pt1cable:  :lol: 
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