As Tweeted by @momomo_us, Noctua has unveiled the first thermal paste application recommendation we've seen to date for AMD's new Ryzen 7000 CPUs - and its associated 'octopus'-shaped IHS. For Ryzen 7000, Noctua recommends a single dot at the middle, spanning 3 to 4 mm for proper coverage of the entire IHS--and that is it.
The dot application is nothing new, and is arguably the most popular application technique to this day. But for Noctua, this is a drastic change from the five dot pattern it recommends with the similarly sized AM4 CPUs - where you put four little dots at the four corners of the IHS, and one large dot in the middle.
For cooler compatibility, AMD purposefully built AM5 around the same dimensions as AM4, so its interesting to see Noctua recommending different thermal paste applications for both sockets. In fact, Noctua specifically addresses AM5 as a smaller "CPU Size" compared to AM4, which is the reasoning behind the thermal paste application differences.
However, Noctua might be correct in choosing to go with a dot pattern for AM5. Ryzen 7000 is equipped with a very unique IHS design we've never seen before, featuring an octopus shape, with eight slots cut out of the IHS to make room for capacitors on the CPU's PCB. All of AMD's older designs featured a perfectly linear box design for the IHS, like what we see on AM4.
The cutouts, noticeably reduce Ryzen 7000's IHS surface area, and this is probably the reason why Noctua changed its thermal paste recommendation from AM4's five dot pattern to just a single dot. The single dot still works on AM4 and similarly sized sockets anyways, so there's no doubt it will work great with AM5.
The question that now remains is whether or not the edges of the IHS that extend beyond the cut-outs need to be covered by thermal paste at all, or if it won't make a difference. Unfortunately we don't have that answer right now, but it shouldn't be absolutely necessary if Noctua's application method is anything to go buy.
We will be interested to see what AMD's official recommendation will be, and what we find in our own testing. But, we'll have to wait until Ryzen 7000 launches in September to see what the results will be like. So stay tuned!