Questions about cpu chip fans + paste

Trying to soak up all the knowledge I can before I start thinking about building my own comp or if I want to get the store to put it together (leaning towards putting it together myself)

A good friend of mine built his last computer and it went successfully (was his first build too, I helped him a little just to get some experience).. The only trouble we ran into the whole time was attaching the damn fan onto the CPU! I can't remember what fan it was, but I know his cpu was a t-bird 1.4ghz.. I imagine the fan was a thermaltake 5 or some such thing. Now I was wondering, when you're buying a fan do you need to worry about which fans are ment for which chips? or are fans universal (p4/amd)? Also.. when we tried to attach his we could NOT get the damn metal clip to reach down far enough on one side.. using a set of plyers to bend it out helped a little.. in the end he got it snapped on with his brother's help, through some miracle. After all that work he dared not take off the fan and so there is no thermal paste in between his cpu and fan, just the pad thing, and his comp runs fine thus far.. (bout 3months, no OC'ing) I'm a bit more worried about having some good thermal paste and a good fan though, because I might decide to tinker with some overclocking in the future, ya never know.. and low cpu heat is always good right?

Sooo.. my question is: Are fans always extremely difficult to attach? my biggest concern is if I buy some arctic silver or something (seems to be a general consenus thats the best) that I will apply the stuff to the chip and not be able to snap the fan on.. and end up smudging it all over the place or just having it dry up on me if I cant get the thing on. Are there any tricks to getting a fan on? Can you recommend any good fans? (right now im debating between the thermaltake 6cu, 6cu+, and thermaltake 7 with that speed monitoring function).. From what I gather about the paste, its best to just use a credit card and smooth out an extremely thin layer on the cpu, is that right?
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  1. well most fans are not universal, usually one set of fans fits SocketA systems (Athlon, Duron, AthlonXP) and PIII systems.
    while a different set of fans are needed for P4 systems.
    The best ones to go for are the pure copper ones, if you really need a cool CPU get a beefy 6800 rpm fan too.

    I would always reccommend adding thermal paste to the die of the CPU before adding the heatsink...always

    I built my first PC recently and I fitted a cheap fan to my AthlonXP 1900+ and it was extremely difficult to fit on. I upgraded the fan to a rather more expensive one, except this one fitted on with ease due to a different system of locking on. not to mention my cpu is not 10-15 degrees colder :)
  2. When you put the new heat sink and fan on, and took the old one off, how difficult was it to take it off? Did you have any problems separating the old hsf and the cpu? Also, did you leave the cpu in the socket, or did you take out the hsf while it was still connected to the cpu?
  3. well i have to tell you that removing the old heatsink off was VERY VERY difficult, because i had to use a lot of pressure, but at the same time not damage the MB or CPU. it took a while.

    installing the new Heat Sink was easy though. I left the CPU in the socket at all times.
  4. Personally speaking, I removed my GlobalWin WBK38 (with original thermal pad) with very little effort. I had to remove the heatsink before I could remove the CPU from the socket, as the lever was covered by the heatsink.

    Slowly scraped (without ever touching the heatsink or core) off the larger bits of the pad from the heatsink and around the CPU core with a screwdriver and used 99% isopropanol (isopropyl alcohol) with Q-tips to clean off the rest - it takes a while and you have to scrub a bit, but it comes off.

    With the pad, my Athlon XP 1800+ was remaining remarkably cool (it was running at 1640 MHz - I was experimenting at overclocking =P) at 38 deg C - that was at a full load for 15 minutes (the max the freeware burn-in test supported).

    From what I saw, the thermal pads worked pretty well. I've heard that the new ones are almost as good as Arctic Silver. Can't vouch for the validity of that (haven't tried AS yet).

    Anyway, best of luck with whatever you decide to do!
  5. Quote:
    Are fans always extremely difficult to attach?

    The strength of the connectors has to do with the weight of the better heatsinks - copper weighs a lot. I have found that most modern heatsinks (other than orbs and post mounts) have a special slot and/or groove in them, specifically designed to fit a medium-small standard screwdriver. Being careful to place the blade of the screwdriver into the appropriate slot - usually by passing it between the fins of the heatsink, only a moderate amount of pressure is required to engage or disengage the clip(s).
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