Too much thermal paste...
Was not performing test or experiment, just kind of happened.
When installing the cooler for our CPU, most of us use a bead of thermal paste smaller than a pea and then apply the cooler and evenly cinch it down, hoping to spread the paste evenly. After the usual AIO install I noticed that my temps were pretty high compared to the 3600x stock cooler it ships with, that I used to get the system to boot.
A few days later I eventually got around to reinstalling the AIO as I was not liking the temps. Instead of using a small bead and crushing it, I used the same size bead, but spread it evenly with my finger to all four corners. I then took the AIO and reinstalled, but my temps were still higher than the stock cooler.
I took the pump/block back off the CPU and inspected. Wiped off the water block to check it's flatness. The waterblock on the Enermax Liqtech II 240 is as flat as a machine can make it. Seeing that the spread over the CPU looked even I decided to wipe off the waterblock and reinstall with the thin layer of paste left on the CPU.
Well, when I got the waterblock back on the CPU there was a significant temp drop. I can only contribute this to removal of 50% of the original paste spread over the CPU being removed, allowing for a thinner layer to move heat through faster.
So far all future thermal paste use, I will apply a slightly smaller bead, spread the bead with a finger, install waterblock and compress the paste; remove the waterblock and wiper clean, then reinstall the waterblock with what thermal paste is left on the CPU. This seems to be the proper amount of thermal paste?!
It's like I made a discovery that other people probably know about!
Thanks for reading!