What thermal pad? If you mean the thermal pads on the memory chips I never removed those. If you mean on the GPU itself, there was no pads, just paste. Just curious, as I have no intention of returning the PC. But thanks for the info. I still have no idea why mine seems to run hotter then a lot of other 590 owners. Same voltage as everyone else, same speed. Thats why I repasted it. I thought maybe it was the AW case but guess not.