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Thermal Interface: Pad Or Paste

A Comparison of 34 Coolers for the AMD Athlon XP
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In order to reduce the thermal interface resistance between the CPU die and the surface of the heat sink, either thermal pads or paste are used as so-called thermal interface material (TIM).

Application of the predominantly pre-assembled pads is quite simple to figure out: remove the protective film, assemble cooler, turn on your PC, and that's it. The downsides of the pads are that they can only be used once, and when upgrading your processor, cleaning the contact surface is not all that easy.

For this reason, those who regularly change the CPU should opt for thermal paste instead of a pad.

Thermal conductivity of various thermal pastes.

When using thermal paste, you should take care that you do not apply it too thickly. The paste should only expel the air (λ = 0.035 W/mK) from the interface between the cooler and the die. As a rule, an amount equal in size to two or three grains of rice is usually quite sufficient. Using more generally does more harm than good. After all, the thermal conductivity of your standard paste is usually two powers of ten less than that of the cooling material. As practical tests of the various pastes have shown, the die temperature can be reduced by up to three or four degrees Celsius using a high-quality thermal paste.

Summary
  1. 34 Alternatives To The AMD Boxed Cooler
  2. Theory: The Optimum Cooler
  3. Thermal Interface: Pad Or Paste
  4. Measure Like The Professionals: Measuring Temperature At The Die
  5. The Coolers In Depth
  6. MF018-021
  7. AVC Co. Ltd.: 112C81 And Z6M330 Frost
  8. AVC Z6M330
  9. Coolermaster CP5-7JD1B-0L & HAC-V81-X-Dream
  10. Variable Cooling Capacity: Coolermaster HAC-V81 X-Dream
  11. Cooljag JVC652A
  12. Fanner: Spire Cu King II (5E070B1H3G) & Falcon Rock (5F271B1M3)
  13. Athlon XP Under The Rock: Falcon Rock (5F271B1M3)
  14. Global Win Technology: Cooling Towers CAK4-86, CAK4-88T & TAK58
  15. Large, Heavy And Temperature-Regulated: CAK4-88T
  16. As Quiet As A Whisper And Simple To Mount: TAK58
  17. Inconspicuous But Effective: Neng Tyi's KNO2 And KNO1
  18. Lighter, Smaller And Weaker: KN01
  19. Pentalpha APSK0168-B, APSK0181-C & APSK0181-L
  20. The Performer: APSK0181-C
  21. The Quiet One: APSK0181-L
  22. Springspread/ Neolec Vento III & Unique2800
  23. Installation Guide In The Lid: Unique2800
  24. A German Quality Product: EKL 20704101059
  25. Variable Cooler Monster For Overclockers: Swiftech MCX462-U
  26. Very Loud And Very Powerful: MCX462-U+VANTEC Tornado
  27. Easy Upgrading: Taisol CGK760098 & CGK760172
  28. Good Performance And As Quiet As A Whisper: CGK760098
  29. New-Age Volcanoes: Thermaltake Volcano 9 & Volcano 7+
  30. Manual Or Automatic: Volcano 9+
  31. Battle Of The Titans: TTC-CU5 TB & TTC-D5T(F/CU35)
  32. Good Cooling Performance But Loud: TTC-D5T
  33. Unusually Bad But Extremely Quiet: TTC-D5 TB
  34. Innovative And Very Well-Performing: Vantec Aeroflow VA4-C7040
  35. Brand-New: Molex 37256-0005
  36. Regulated Or Not: Four Tiger Electronics
  37. Heavier, Quieter And With Better Cooling Performance: Miprocool II
  38. Lighter, Smaller, But With More Cooling Power: SDC38130BC
  39. Heavy But Zippy: Dragonfly-P2B
  40. Noisy Or Quiet: From 38 To 73 DB(A)
  41. Technical Data: 34 Coolers In Comparison
  42. Conclusion: Not Much Innovation In The Cooler Market
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