Do I need to buy thermal paste or not?

Ok I am totally new to this and searched around a bit and could not find an answer to this simple question. I am buying a AMD Athlon XP 2100+ Retail version for my new computer. The major question I have is, in the retail version, which includes heatsink and fan, does the heatshink have any sort of pre applied thermal paste on it or do I need to buy some myself? I also was wondering is it impossible to change to a different heatsink fan combo later if I start to explore overclocking?

While for now I will not mess with overclocking and could actually build a new computer down the road for just that, is it impossible to change the heatsink and fan later on or not? If it the retail does not come with any pre applied thermal paste what is a good brand to use? Thanks for any responses
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More about thermal paste
  1. Although not technically necessary, it is a good idea to use a quality thermal compound. The goo that you will get with your fan/hs is usually inferior. Arctic Silver III seems to be the choice of professionals. Antec also makes a pretty good product (which is what I use), but I doubt it's as good as ASIII. These compounds have finely ground silver in it which gets into the nooks and crannies of your heat sink allowing for greater heat distribution.

    Athlons tend to run pretty hot and even though you're not overclocking, any decrease in temperature will help.

    You can change your fan/hs at any time. Keep in mind that every time you change it you are putting the cpu at risk.

    To start press any key. Where's the "any" key? --Homer Simpson.
  2. Nope, your not planning to overclock so there isn't any point to buy ASIII. The retail heatsink will come with some kind of thermal paste or thermal pad. Now I am not saying this is better than ASIII, but if you don't need it why buy it. Besides if you want to overclock later your going to have to change the hsf anyways. The retail one doesn't really cut it. If you want to overclock later, your going to have to wipe the cpu with alcohol to get any residue on it off.
  3. The thermal pad on the heatsink will work ok, just don't plan on overcloacking with it. Since those heatsinks and the thermal pads on them are made by AMD, they should be approved.

    Knowledge is the key to understanding
  4. on the topic of hsf.. do u guys know if the thermalright slk-800 or 600 will fit a xp 1800 pal core?

    from what ive read the slk-800 is the best right now

  5. Yeah, it'll work... the AX-7 is a good (just a hair different from the SLK-800) 'sink as well. Just be careful, since both are big, and while they both have more sturdy mounting clips, it still would be a good idea to remove them if your system is going on a bumpy ride.

    Both need fans, if I remember correctly (that's how ThermalRight does it with the performance coolers). For the AX-7 I use a Mechatronics 80MM... which is a 53CFM fan with a pretty low sound level (around 35dB). I'd recommend that same for the SLK-800. My only beef with the SLK-800 (the reason I didn't get one) is that it only offers a 1-3C difference in core temps (that's with a Delta screamer... more tolerable fans and the difference shrinks), yet costs nearly twice the price of the AX-7.

    Up to you, though. Plycon is a good place to shop, and they have both 'sinks, ASIII, and the Mechatronics 80MM fan (bare wire, so you have to connect a four pin yourself (NOT three pin), or do what I did, and connect a four pin to the pos and neg wires, and a three pin to the tach wire).

    If you need much more cooling power than the AX-7 for overclocking, you should really consider watercooling then, since the only way to get noticeably better cooling is either a 200MM fan blowing 400CFM of air, or to move to liquid cooling. Beyond the AX-7/SLK-800, you need something more than air.

  6. On a similar note, would your recommend thermal paste for someone installing a Pentium 4 that they will probably not overclock. I understand that the Athlons run kind of hot, but didn't think it was as much of an issue with the P4. I'll probably be buying a retail version of 2.4 mhz with 533 bus.
  7. With the P4's it is an absolute waste of time if you are not planning to overclock.... the heatsink and pad are both more than enough for the 4's which run very cool in comparsion to an Athlon. I have even seen reports from many people who have successfully managed to overclock their processors with the retail sink and pad. Although when I have overclocked these chips I used ASIII.


    I can call you Betty, and Betty when you call me... You can call me Al
  8. yeah if it doesnt come with a pad and ur not going to OC, just run to ur local electronics store and pick up a tube of silicon based thermal grease for a buck.

    <font color=blue> If it ain't broke, don't fix it...tweak it.</font color=blue>
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