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Question: Applying thermal compound

Last response: in CPUs
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May 9, 2005 1:31:34 AM

I am building my first computer from scratch and I have a question about mounting the heatsink and fan to the CPU. I've read a few guides, including a great one here on Tom's Hardware, but I'm not completely sure how to apply the thermal compound.

My CPU is an AMD Athlon 64 3000 socket-754, with AMD heatsink & fan. (My motherboard is an ASUS K8V SE-Deluxe VIA K8T800 AMD64 Skt754.)

Do I smear a small amount of the thermal compound over the entire top metallic area of the CPU, then put the heatsink on? Do I just place a small rice grain size blob of thermal compound on the top and then put the heatsink on? Do I just put the thermal compund on the base of the heatsink, and not on the CPU?

Hopefully someone can help me! :) 
May 9, 2005 1:38:29 AM

I apply a BB size amount and smear it to a thin layer with a CC on the CPU only.

<pre><font color=red>°¤o,¸¸¸,o¤°`°¤o \\// o¤°`°¤o,¸¸¸,o¤°
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May 9, 2005 2:06:31 AM

My A64 2800+ socket 754 stock heatsink came pre-greased and all i had to do was remove a thin platic piece and apply carefully.

If it is your first time doing this you should be able to do this as well. Read the instructions you get in the box. They are very simple and you shouldn't have to apply anything with the box kit.

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May 9, 2005 2:50:54 AM

I've read the instructions in the box but they are very simplistic, they only show pictures. It doesn't say anything about applying thermal compound but everything I've read says it needs some... However, I haven't removed the plastic from the bottom of the heatsink so I suppose it could have thermal compound on it already?

Anyone else had a boxed set of an A64 socket 754 CPU + heatsink + fan from AMD, and had the base of the heatsink pre-prepared?
May 9, 2005 3:16:48 AM

Last week I built myself an AMD 3000+ socket 939 computer. I also used the stock heatsink+fan. The heatsink that came with the CPU had the thermal grease already on it, and it was also covered with a plastic piece (just like yours).

So basically, what I am saying is: remove the plastic and install the heatsink. Don't be adraid. The instructions just mention the thermal compound only if you want to use a different one instead, like the Arctic Silver.

Oh and btw, read the Asus Mobo manual for installing the CPU, its much better and more descriptive.

Enjoy your new computer!
May 9, 2005 3:26:45 AM

I bought some Arctic Silver but I'll keep it for later and stick with the stuff already on the heatsink, and I'll check out the instructions in the motherboard manual :) 

This is awesome, that's the answer I was looking for - thanks ofer987, and everyone else for their quick answers. This was the only thing I wasn't sure of, now I have no more stress and I can build it! :) 
May 9, 2005 3:30:36 AM

Don't stick more compound on top of the factory compound on the heatsink. Pull the tape off and seat the heatsink on top of the CPU. This should be fine unless you are going to do some serious overclocking and would need all the thermal advantage you could get. In that case you wouldn't be using a stock Heatsink/fan anyway. That said, the socket 754 3000's run fairly cool anyway and would be good for a 10% O/C with the stock fan. Put it together, give it a couple of hours use to cure the compound and enjoy.

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May 9, 2005 3:53:49 AM

If your using stock HS, you can leave the plastic in place, kinda like a status symbol related to keeping the tags on clothing accesories, plus it increases the resale value.

<pre><font color=red>°¤o,¸¸¸,o¤°`°¤o \\// o¤°`°¤o,¸¸¸,o¤°
And the sign says "You got to have a membership card to get inside" Huh
So I got me a pen and paper And I made up my own little sign</pre><p></font color=red>
May 9, 2005 5:35:04 AM

NO. What are you on. Plastic has no thermal conduction. Leaving the plastic on is the dumbest idea anyone ever brought to this forum.
May 9, 2005 10:28:13 AM

As with most status symbols with tags, you only can use it once anyway, then it is toast anywho. Keep it fresh!

<pre><font color=red>°¤o,¸¸¸,o¤°`°¤o \\// o¤°`°¤o,¸¸¸,o¤°
And the sign says "You got to have a membership card to get inside" Huh
So I got me a pen and paper And I made up my own little sign</pre><p></font color=red>
May 9, 2005 12:11:54 PM

The AMD 3000+ 754 comes with a THERMAL PAD on the included heat sink (I just put one together for my son).

AMD believes in thermal pads unless you plan on removing the heatsink on a regular basis.

Just remove the plastic layer on the thermal pad and install the heatsink.

NEVER, NEVER use thermal compound on top of a thermal pad! If you prefer thermal compound, you must remove the thermal pad first, then clean (and sand) the surface before using the thermal compound.

On the 3000+, the stock fan as it is should be adequate for your use.

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May 9, 2005 10:58:07 PM

Thanks jlbigguy, I looked at the heatsink closely when I got home and it has some sort of grey fibrous material on it - now thanks to you I know that's a thermal pad :)  Doesn't seem to be any plastic over the thermal pad though, because it has its own hard plastic cover that encloses the whole heatsink.

I guess this makes it really easy! I just sit it on top of the CPU and clamp it down and I'm good to go!
May 9, 2005 11:51:55 PM

That's all there is to it!

Good luck with your new system.

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