Installing HSF

Hey everybody I'm looking at one of those Zalman 7700's I saw reviewed here at THG. I'm curious about the upgrade procedure. Currently I'm using a stock HSF on a 2.6Ghz P4Northwood that is mildly overclocked to 2.75. It runs fairly cool but the fan get loud when I run 3D games or benchmarks. I used the stock heat transfer pad when I installed the chip and HSF. I have some Arctic Silver 3 laying around from a long time ago and I'm wondering first, do I need to clean the CPU and what cleaning method is preferable; second, will arctic silver 3 offer sufficient heat transfer; third, is there any advantage to sanding/polishing the heatsink and/or processor; and fourth, will the Zalman offer more potential for overclocking (currently Windows won't load when I go over 2.8Ghz)
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More about installing
  1. NUMBER 1. (AND MOST IMPORTANTLY) DO NOT SAND THE CPU - They are factory finished to an exteemly high quality you will never improve on, only ruin.

    2. Sometimes lapping (Sanding) a heatsink can offer a better finish and thus better performance (Although minimal) but it is highly dependant on how well it is currently finished. Have a look and judge for yourself. I wouldn't really bother doing this unless it is absolutely terribly finished or you are an obessive kinda person.

    3. Yes you will need to clean all the gunk that the frag tape from the stock HSF leaves on the CPU. Acetone works very well (nail polish remover - although try to find a basic one without some of the other crap they put in). Bit of elbow grease and some nail polish remover and you should be shiny new in minutes.

    4. It should offer increased performance over the stock fan although I can't say exatcly how much just give it a go. Dunno if it will improve matters on your overclock... You may need more juice or better RAM, or you just may have reached a limit of something else???

    5. AS3 will be more than good enough for the job (I have taken a PIV 2.4Ghz Northwood to 2.9 with AS3). There are only a few thermal greases that are considered to be better and even they are only better by a tiny margin.



    <font color=blue>Its winter now... So how come my CPU temp is still </font color=blue><b><font color=red>55C</font color=red></b>
  2. Exactly how old is your AS3?
  3. One year maybe? Not too sure, it belongs to my roomate.

    Will Lacquer thinner work instead of acetone?

    Should I cover the entire P4 top surface with AS3?

    Should I use a heavy coat, or just enough so that I can't see the factory finish?

    Will AS3 short things out if it gets on anything?

    Thanks again for your help, Phil
  4. The artic silver website tells you a very detailed guide on how to apply it.

    <A HREF="" target="_new">AS3 Guide</A>

    I would avoid thinners. Yes you cover the entire surface. You apply a very tiny amount and spread it so that the entire surface is covered and enough so you can just no longer see the top surface of the processor. AS3 is not conductive but it has capacitive capabilities - I onve got some on a graphics card and it stopped working until I cleaned it off. It did not however break it. Still be mindful of where you get it!


    <font color=blue>Its winter now... So how come my CPU temp is still </font color=blue><b><font color=red>55C</font color=red></b>
  5. You don't need a thick layer, just a thin layer is fine... you don't want it squishing out and getting all over everything. It is just used to ensure good contact with your CPU, so it fills all the tiny little gaps, and imperfections on the CPU and HSF surfaces, you don't need alot.
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