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Best thermal paste application technique

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
http://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Thermal-Paste-Application-Techniques-170/

Not sure if this has been posted, but their conclusion was that the "X-shape" gave the best results. Have you guys found this to be true in your experience?

pic_disp.php?id=22016&width=800&height=800
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post #2 of 10
All of these applications don't mean a thing unless you follow the directions and give the heat sink a few twists as you are tightening it down. This will evenly distribute any of the above patterns if done properly.
post #3 of 10
Hmmm... that seems to go against most if not all other tests, and my own experience. A small pea sized blob or small line is generally the agreed upon method for small-medium sized CPU's.
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post #4 of 10
X is only valid for GPU because they dont use an heatspeader so the spreaded TIM makes the contact with the whole heatsink`s base to easily move the heat...when cpu`s heat is concentrated in the middle(die)

Look at this
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/thermal-paste-heat-sink-heat-spreader,3600-3.html

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/thermal-paste-heat-sink-heat-spreader,3600-6.html
Edited by PontiacGTX - 4/17/14 at 4:46pm
  
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post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
According to Puget's post, the single rice-sized dot in the middle did not lead to even coverage, which may be why it didn't perform as well as the X method:

Dot in the middle:


X-shape:


Overall performance:
pic_disp.php?id=22014&width=800&height=800
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post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by 996gt2 View Post

According to Puget's post, the single rice-sized dot in the middle did not lead to even coverage, which may be why it didn't perform as well as the X method:

Dot in the middle:



Overall performance:
pic_disp.php?id=22014&width=800&height=800
That wasnt the middle/center it is the middle upper part

And he used way too much tim which leads to higher temperatures,first he had to apply a pea sized drop in the mere center the die isnt located in the upper part of the pcb...
  
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post #7 of 10
Try your X method with arctic silver and see what happens
post #8 of 10
Look at the delta Temps in the bar chart and you will see that it really doesn't make any difference which method you use. The differences are insignificant from a performance and CPU health point of view! the only thing for certain is that you do need to apply TIM before mounting the heat sink.
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post #9 of 10
What is the most important is AMOUNT, and I would bet anything that even an enthusiasts forum like this, at least 3/4 of people are using a significant amount too much, and out of the last 1/4 most still have more than necessary and thus ideal.

This is the reason why "tinting", an application method that essentially involves "wet sanding" the contact points using the TIM (a quality, non-runny like AS5 nor too thick like Formula7, TIM as the "wet" medium and no sandpaper, just a perfectly clean zero lint hospital grade cloth).
The big benefit is that you are not substituting all the bits of actual metal-metal contact for metal-TIM-metal as is the case with all normal applicationttechniques, but instead you fill the voids with the TIM while allowing direct metal on metal contact where possible, which is the entire idea behind the stuff.

The proper amount if TIM, btw, for traditional methods is WAY less than you would think... Using pressure to spread, when you lift the cooler/block you should see a perfect circle that fits inside the IHS "Square", but the circle should stop just short of the edge of each side. You should be aable to see the IHS beneath the paste, and there should not be ANY "clumping".
   
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post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by nleksan View Post

This is the reason why "tinting", an application method that essentially involves "wet sanding" the contact points using the TIM (a quality, non-runny like AS5 nor too thick like Formula7, TIM as the "wet" medium and no sandpaper, just a perfectly clean zero lint hospital grade cloth).
The big benefit is that you are not substituting all the bits of actual metal-metal contact for metal-TIM-metal as is the case with all normal application techniques, but instead you fill the voids with the TIM while allowing direct metal on metal contact where possible, which is the entire idea behind the stuff.
Quite right, though I prefer to use my finger which is covered with a small plastic sandwich bag to get the same results. Of course if you use the Intel stock heat sink you don't have to worry about it as the TIM is already pre-applied for you (I use the stock cooler for office and HTPC builds where it works just fine).wink.gif
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