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Does too much Thermal Paste hurt?

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 
I'm asking the question because I had to swap motherboards, and I've got a Hyper212+ CPU cooler where when I had installed it, I really put a LOT of thermal paste. Thing is, when stressing the cpu under Prime95, I could easily get my temperatures up to the 45-55 C range. But now I've swapped to another motherboard, and there is less thermal paste, and the temperatures will not go above 26 C O_O I live in the tropics, so it's even more odd! Could my sensors be wrong on the new motherboard?! Or...I just realized this, could the energy saving features in the new motherboard have an effect on this, as its not running the cpu (AMD FX 4100) @ 100% speed, it's got it down to 3.3- 3.5 GHz. Still, I find these temperatures pretty darn good.
 
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post #2 of 39
Yes, too much TIM can greatly affect the temperatures on your cpu
post #3 of 39
You want as thin of a layer of thermal paste as you can get, while still covering the part of the heatspreader that hides the actual chip. You just want the TIM to fill those little microscopic holes in the metal on the heatspreader and heatsink.
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post #4 of 39
Yes. The purpose of thermal interface material is to simply fill in the gaps created between the metal-on-metal contact. If the two surfaces were magically 100% flush, you would be better off putting the two surfaces together because the metals are better conductors than the TIM.

When you use too much TIM, you are further reducing the contact between the two metals, which will actually worsen your temperatures.

Tl;dr: Yes, too much is bad.
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post #5 of 39
TIM only works if it is spread VERY thinly across the CPU. All it is for is to fill in the microscopic gaps on the surface of the cooler and heat-spreader (I think that's the proper name). Too much of it will act like an insulator of the heat. It's an art to get the amount of TIM used down to the perfect amount.
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post #6 of 39
TIM is supposed to fill the microscopics and imperfections from machining so the surfaces are even. Too much can do as much damage as not having any. Some TIM is conductive and if you use so much it spreads out on to the motherboard a circuit can bridge and fry your board or chip. Read the directions carefully and look through the forums here on how to apply the various brands.

Fill us in on what TIM you are using so the experts can link the application threads for you.
post #7 of 39
Thread Starter 
Boy do I feel stupid. Thanks guys. This could have been hampering my overclocking..right? I was constantly getting BSOD's above 4.1GHz and that's very rare on an FX 4100 as I've seen people get up to 4.3-4.6 easily.
 
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My first rig!
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Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
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post #8 of 39
short answer - YES!
post #9 of 39
Too much paste certainly does not help, however I really can't see your temps not going over 26 deg C under stress (when the machine has been on for a while). It does seem a little too good to be true. I think you may have sensor issues with your new motherboard. Are you reading this information directly from the BIOS? When stres testing try a few different types software to measure your CPU's temperature.
Edited by Sin100 - 1/2/12 at 6:29pm
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post #10 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by stryk3r1215 View Post

I'm asking the question because I had to swap motherboards, and I've got a Hyper212+ CPU cooler where when I had installed it, I really put a LOT of thermal paste. Thing is, when stressing the cpu under Prime95, I could easily get my temperatures up to the 45-55 C range. But now I've swapped to another motherboard, and there is less thermal paste, and the temperatures will not go above 26 C O_O I live in the tropics, so it's even more odd! Could my sensors be wrong on the new motherboard?! Or...I just realized this, could the energy saving features in the new motherboard have an effect on this, as its not running the cpu (AMD FX 4100) @ 100% speed, it's got it down to 3.3- 3.5 GHz. Still, I find these temperatures pretty darn good.

Yes, you only need enough to cover small dips in cpu/heatsink and if you are using a metalic paste such at AS5 when it oozes out onto the mob it can short it out, so be careful.
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