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Best Thermal Paste Application Method on direct contact heatpipes?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I'm wondering what is the best method of applying thermal paste to direct-contact copper heatpipes? I have a heatsink without a flat base - it has 4 copper heatpipes with 3 aluminum bits/gaps in between.

I've read there are three methods of application:
1) Apply lines of thermal paste parallel to the heat pipes
2) Spread thermal paste along the aluminum gap (not sure if I add a drop in the center after this)
3) Apply a line of thermal paste parallel the aluminum bit/gap

I did method #1, but it seems like you have to apply a lot of thermal paste. They say you're suppose to use a rice-size drop of thermal paste for the dot application for flat heatsink bases, and I think I probably used 2 rice size amounts of thermal paste for my 4 TP lines. I have 4 heat pipes and 3 gaps, and was wondering if I should've done #3 and apply it to the gaps, or just do #2 and spread it among the gaps.

My current temps are ok - idle temps are 5-8'C warmer than what I expected, and load temps are a bit warm under mild OC, but that is likely due to my small mATX HTPC case.

I'm using a Haswell i5-4690k as my cpu.
Edited by Bluescreendeath - 10/3/16 at 11:43am
post #2 of 18
I used to fill the gaps with thermal paste, use a credit card to fill the gaps and remove the excess. Almost like your spackling holes in a wall...Then used the dot method or line method depending on the die.
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cakewalk_S View Post

I used to fill the gaps with thermal paste, use a credit card to fill the gaps and remove the excess. Almost like your spackling holes in a wall...Then used the dot method or line method depending on the die.
Thanks. After you fill in the gaps, do you still apply a dot or line to the heatpipes? If not and only apply TP to the gaps, how do you get thermal paste into the imperfects on the heatpipe? (heatpipes on mine looke rough/scratchy).

I'm using a Haswell i5-4690k as my cpu - I heard a line of TP on the CPU is the best method of application for Haswell i5s, but I can't do this since I'm using a HDT and have to apply TP to the heatsink and not CPU.

Are the temperature differences between the method worth reseating the heatsink? (I need to take out my motherboard to do this)
Edited by Bluescreendeath - 10/3/16 at 12:00pm
post #4 of 18
What cooler do you have?

I normally put a nice thin layer on each pipe so they have good metal to metal contact with TIM only filling the spaces the pipes do not make good contact.
post #5 of 18
For direct contact I spread, for flat surfaces I use dot.
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by doyll View Post

What cooler do you have?
I normally put a nice thin layer on each pipe so they have good metal to metal contact with TIM only filling the spaces the pipes do not make good contact.
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlighterPilot View Post

For direct contact I spread, for flat surfaces I use dot.

Cooler Master Gemin II M4 and scythe big shuriken. Scythe is supposed to perform better but it blocks my RAM slot...so I put in the M4.

It's interesting both of you say thin layer/spread instead of a line or dot. Doesn't the thin layer/spread method cause a problem with air bubbles? Or is that not an issue with HDT pipes?
post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cakewalk_S View Post

I used to fill the gaps with thermal paste, use a credit card to fill the gaps and remove the excess. Almost like your spackling holes in a wall...Then used the dot method or line method depending on the die.

This is what I used to do too. Then Cakewalk asked for his card back.
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluescreendeath View Post


Cooler Master Gemin II M4 and scythe big shuriken. Scythe is supposed to perform better but it blocks my RAM slot...so I put in the M4.

It's interesting both of you say thin layer/spread instead of a line or dot. Doesn't the thin layer/spread method cause a problem with air bubbles? Or is that not an issue with HDT pipes?
How about we reword this "Shuriken blocks RAM socket" to "RAM is too tall to fit under Shuriken". tongue.gif
At least that's my guess as to what the problem is. biggrin.gif

Too bad the Big Shuriken doesn't clear RAM.
The Big Shuriken is the better cooler. It is 5x double ended heatpipes versus 4x single ended heatpipes. That is 10 ends radiating heat into fins versus 4 ends.
Depends on what direct contact pipe cooler you have. Some have pipes flush with bottom of base, some pipes protruding slightly below base.

Some have heatpipes protruding slightly below aluminium base housing with only the heatpipes contacting the CPU, not the base housing them. This seems to work better. Thermalright Macho Direct base does this. The heatpipes are in direct contact with CPU while the aluminum base housing the heatpipes does not .. and does not transfer heat Only the heatpipes' directly contacting the CPU transfer heat. At at guess this is because of temperature expansion rate of aluminum versus copper .. aluminum expands much more than copper, and this might create a microscopic gap between heatpipes and CPU. This would mean heat transfer directly into pipe would be reduced and aluminum base has to move the heat instead.

The key is direct metal contact between CPU and base with TIM only filling space between the crystalline structure of metal and where metal does not contact metal. TIM transfers heat better than the air voids, it is not anywhere near as good as metal to metal wink.gif This is why as a general rule less TIM is better than more. Also thinner / easy flowing TIM is better then thick / stiff TIM .. because it spreads / pushes out and gives us metal to metal contact instead of a complete 'insulating' layer of TIM between CPU and cooler base.
post #9 of 18
No matter what type if cooler I do x falling short of the corners of the chip
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
So what you're saying is generally less is more, but in case of HDTs, because of the extra aluminum fillings, more would be good?

Maybe I should just switch back to the Scythe Big Shuriken 2 where I won't have this HDT problem (as it has a flat base) and just deal with the loss of a RAM slot?

I haven't done any comparisons yet. but I presume it'll be much better even if I screw up TIM application w/ too much or too little on the Scythe?
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