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Is there a "correct" way to apply thermal paste to my cpu and heatsink

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I've looked up a few videos and they show some spreading it around and then attaching the heatsink, but some apply the thermal paste and then directly add the heatsink.

Which way is better and are there even better ways?
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post #2 of 19
This question pops up at least once a week. There are a few effective ways, and you really can't go wrong with any of them.

Me, personally, I like the "dot method." That is, just a grain of rice-sized dot in the middle of the CPU. No spreading required.
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post #3 of 19
I just put a blob in the middle and spread it around with that paddle pop stick it comes with , seems to do the job
post #4 of 19
What kind of heatsink is it?
Diff styles use different application methods on occasion.
HDT coolers for example, Ive found the Xmethod to be the best.
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
it is the COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus
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post #6 of 19
Best way is to apply it and then lift up the heatsink to check how the TIM spread. Then adjust the amount of TIM you use so that the CPU is covered in a thin layer. With your CPU I would go with the X method.
Edited by mdatmo - 4/8/11 at 6:21am
 
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post #7 of 19
I prefer placing a pea-sized blob in the centre of the CPU and then put the heatsink on top, pressing down quite a bit. This forces the thermal compound to spread over the entire CPU's surface. If you go overboard with the blob size, it doesn't matter as long as the thermal compound is non-electrically conductive (it usually is). Once you have applied pressure for a minute or so, do not twist or remove the heatsink, just mount it on to the socket brace and you're done. If you twist or remove the heatsink, it introduces air bubbles into the seal, making it less effective for heat conduction. The same problem tends to occur when you pre-spread it and then mount the heatsink, hence why I don't like that method (nor do I like bothering to have to evenly spread it out myself when physics can do it for me).

This method is especially good for highly viscous thermal compounds such as the one I use - IC Diamond 7 Carat.
    
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post #8 of 19
Another supporter of the dot method here. No issues so far.
post #9 of 19
I've always evenly spread it out.
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post #10 of 19

Watch these and learn.

Don't spread it your self, it traps air. Apply some amount that comes with experience, and let the cooler spread it. You want to maximize the area covered, for best heat conduction across the surface.

And don't make the mistake I did once of applying some, seating the cooler, then taking it off to check, then re-seating the cooler, it leaves trapped air.

If you need to do that, best to clean the chip/cooler, and apply some new amount that you can judge better.



Edited by Mit Namso - 4/8/11 at 6:17am
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