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Why do 95% of people spread the TIM? - Page 5

post #41 of 140
Grain of rice method for me, depending on where the cores are.

the heatsink will do the rest, provided you don't lift it off the cpu once you put it in place.
post #42 of 140
I've used many methods, but mainly spread it these days with a business card. Never really saw any real difference in tempuratures regardless of how I did it.
post #43 of 140
I do the grain of rice method, never had an issue.
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post #44 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by Warmonger View Post

It depends on the core layout of the processor, single core machines only need dot the size of a bb. For newer day processors there is more cores under the silicon so it needs to cover a greater area, people will tell you to put a pea sized dot on it, this is completely wrong. A pea is the same size as say a kernel of corn, that is way too much paste. With thermal compound the thinner the layer, the better it works. Its a filler to even the gap between the heatsink and the processor in areas where it may not be perfectly flat. The goal isn't to cover the entire top of the processor with thermal compound, the goal is to cover at least over the top of each core. If you can apply it so it just spreads out to the edges of the chip without squeezing out the sides then you know its applied properly. Rule of trade is to never lift the heatsink off the applied compound once its set into place. You may gently twist the heatsink back and forth and gently push down to get the compound to spread, but never lift. Once you start lifting you could be sucking in air creating hot pockets, or causing the paste to have a malformed surface which may also trap air. So to put it as it really is, the actual size of applied compound isn't a pea, but more along the lines of right in the middle of a pea and a bb. Remember after being heated this paste will spread a tiny bit more (nothing you will notice) as it settles before it burns in.
122

Simply put, because less is more. The thinner you spread it the better it works. The problem is the temperature difference is so miniscule, that its not even worth the time and mess to do. Besides the fact when you spread it like that, your vulnerable to hot pockets.
Edited by Warmonger - 5/8/12 at 2:10pm
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post #45 of 140
The best method depends on the placement of the cores under the Integrated Heat Sink (IHS) and the type of heatsink being used (HDT, round, sqaure, etc).

If it's a Heatpipe-direct-contact style heatsink then you definitely want to pre-TIM the heatsink to fill in the small gaps between the heatpipes and the mounting base. Usually what i do is put a small line on each pipe and then use the spread method to fill in the gaps (but ONLY the gaps, no TIM left on the surface of the pipes or base). Then i apply additional TIM to the cpu and place the pre-TIM'ed HDT on the CPU.

If it's a round heatsink then the pea-method (or dot method, a pea-sized amount is way too much) is by far the best. Just be sure you use the appropriate size dot so when it spreads it fills the entire heatsink.

If it's a square heatsink then core placement maters more than anything. You want to apply the TIM right under the cores as that's the area that matters most. For example, here's a i7-2600k
528
You can see the core is a long rectangle shape in the center, so using the vertical line-method (right along the center of the core) would be ideal here.

As another example, here's an old Pentium 4 single core cpu with the IHS removed:
259
Here you can see the core is a single perfect square in the center, so using a pea (or dot) method would be ideal.

Check this page for more information on TIM application method based on core placement.

Now to be perfectly honest, TIM application method is not that important. As long as you don't apply too much or too little and don't have huge air-bubble, the temperature difference is going to be only 1-2 degrees. With that being said, i think the spread method is a huge waste of time and resources. It's not better than the line/pea method and it takes WAY more time and WAY more TIM to do. It's also is extremely risky to use if you don't do it properly, as the chances of introducing a large air-bubble is much higher than with any other method.
Edited by SeanPoe - 5/8/12 at 2:32pm
post #46 of 140
^Since the IHS is collecting heat from the die---no matter what it's shape---you need your heatsink to make contact with every part of the IHS.




BTW... X method is the best. See, watch this guy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aU2_uP9S9Gg
Edited by samwiches - 5/8/12 at 2:44pm
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post #47 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by samwiches View Post

^Since the IHS is collecting heat from the die---no matter what it's shape---you need your heatsink to make contact with every part of the IHS.

The heatsink will still be making contact even if there's not a layer of TIM under it. You get better thermal conductivity by having a VERY thin layer of TIM, just enough to fill in the microscopic groves on the surface of the IHS and heatsink, and no more. So by using a line/dot method right under the core you are guaranteed to have no air-bubbles (which lead to hotspots) in the most critical area of the IHS. It also allows sufficient room for the TIM to spread out and form a very thin layer once it's heated up and 'burned in'. The risk of using the spread method without mechanical precision (like intel has in their factory) is you will have far too many air-bubbles and the layer will almost always be too thick. I'm not arguing that a perfect thin layer across the entire IHS isn't ideal, it's just not ideal when done by hand.
post #48 of 140
The thing everyone always overlooks is that (at least on Intels) the IHS is wayyyyy concave, and most heatsinks have a convex or irregular base in some way. The spread is not going to be perfect no matter how careful you are. I feel much better use slightly too much paste than possibly not enough, especially considering that we all mess around inside the case from time to time, bumping the cooler---I don't like the idea of a microscopic layer of paste being compromised by that.

What about a double rice grain method (smaller ones) like people do on direct heatpipe coolers? Maybe better coverage and less risk of air bubbles compared to an X.
Edited by samwiches - 5/8/12 at 3:00pm
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post #49 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by samwiches View Post

BTW... X method is the best. See, watch this guy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aU2_uP9S9Gg

I hope you're aren't serious. The guy makes so many mistakes in that video and abbsoletly butchers the spread technique anyways. Firstly, that is not "the X method," that's the spread method (the X method is where you make an X like he initially did, and then you set the heatsink directly on and allow the heatsink to spread the TIM). Secondly, when he was cleaning off the previous TIM off he didn't use an alcohol based cleaning solution, so all he did was remove the bulk but left a thin layer of the old TIM still. Third, he folded his cleaning cloth over and then used the area that was touching his fingers, so he just spread oil all over his IHS (doing a wonderful job so far, buddy!). Fourthly, he put way too much TIM and his spreading technique is horrible. That entire thing is covered in huge air-bubble and air-pockets and once the TIM heats up it will expand and spread over the sides of the IHS. And lastly, look at all the negative votes on that video, i'm not alone when i say, that guy has no idea what he's doing.
Edited by SeanPoe - 5/8/12 at 10:39pm
post #50 of 140
That video was only a joke. I don't spread, I just X. thumb.gif

As for the finger oils, come on. I'll do a test with dirty finger prints on my chip and it will be fine.
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