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Why do 95% of people spread the TIM?

post #1 of 140
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MANY people (if not all) who make videos on how to setup a system spread their thermal paste on their CPUs/GPUs/chipset,etc. Isn't it bad to spread it since it creates air bubbles? Why do they do it then? Or is it just an urban legend? Isn't it just better to put pea/rice grains? I'm confused... can someone help me out?

Thanks
Edited by HopeUTKN - 5/8/12 at 12:51pm
post #2 of 140
I've always used the credit card method on both CPUs and GPUs and the temperatures I get are great.

I end up wasting paste this way, because I start with more paste and then spread it with the credit card and the excess is removed by the card, but this way I get to know exactly how the paste is spread and have control over the thinness of the film.

Other methods work well too, you just have to have experience with the ratio of how big the TIM drop you need in relation to the heatsink area, so it all comes down do personal preference really.
 
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post #3 of 140
yup its all personal preference and if you feel comfortable with spreading it then do so. I use the rice grain method myself and I've always seen the same temps even when using a thin line or X method.
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post #4 of 140
It think it all depends on what your doing it on.

For example those air bubbles created by spreading it on something like my cpu, the 3930k would probably make a big difference (in comparison to other cpus) since the amount of surface area this thing has and the amount of heat it puts out.

Just a theory though. In all honesty for the majority of the time I don't think it makes too much of a difference. Maybe affects factors like longevity? idk.
Edited by Outlawed - 5/8/12 at 10:57am
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post #5 of 140
Ask the question of how much and what method and you will get a thousand answers.

I make a decent sized X and call it good.

You can't think of it as covering the whole surface though. It's purpose is to fill in the gaps from tiny surface variations between the block and CPU.

I just tell people find something that works for you and do it.
    
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post #6 of 140
Usually I will use a credit card to spread the rice sized ball around a bit, but not too much, just enough to sort of direct the spread when the cooler gets placed.

With my 3820 though I did spread it out a bit more because the chip is just so large, I wanted to make sure it spread evenly. I've never had a problem with air bubbles though, when you spread it out I always make sure its really thin. Besides, if you have enough tim that you can spread it out all over the surface to the edges then you probably have too much in the first place.
Edited by james_ant - 5/8/12 at 10:59am
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post #7 of 140
This video pretty much settled it for me:





Pea mothod it is for me. I would say spreading it is probably the worst method of them all! Air bubbles!....... Air bubbles everywhere!
Edited by Jokah - 5/8/12 at 11:02am
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post #8 of 140
I have used both methods, I like spreading it out very thinly because it reduces the amount of excess paste or if there isn't enough with the rice grain method, it really does not matter.

Someone mentioned an x method, I do not think that method is very effective when applying thermalpaste though.
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post #9 of 140
There is no 'one' correct way of doing it. I personally just put a little amount roughly in the centre of the IHS and just mount the waterblock whilst applying lots or pressure.

I think my method is a good method, but there are so many different methods out there to say which one is the best. There is no perfect method really.
post #10 of 140
they should apply it intel way; but most try to better the technique.beats me if one way is better then the other!but i suspect intel tested a lot prior to adopt this way
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