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Is it worth reapplying TIM to chipset/vreg heatsinks?

1650 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  koda
I was wondering about this... I saw it brought up on another forum by someone else, but there wasn't really a clear answer given. I'm going to be picking up an EVGA E760 Classified board... airflow won't really be great in my case, and I was thinking about reseating all of the motherboard's heatsinks with OCZ Freeze Extreme. I'm up in the air about this though, I really don't want to risk damaging anything.

So I guess to put it into more specific questions:

1) Is there much potential to damage the board, or to reapply the TIM incorrectly?

2) Would going through this process for each of the board's heatsinks actually lower their respective temperatures?

3) What would the exact method be for applying thermal compound to, say, a vreg heatsink? The NB/SB seem pretty straight forward, just the same as I'd do for the CPU, but I'm not sure about a couple of these other ones. For precise reference I've taken a few screenshots of what these look like, removed, on this board. The first image is the vreg, and I'm not sure what the second/third are, but I had to break that one up into two pictures to show the heatsink and what it covers up:

So would I just clean all of that gunk off and spread a solid line of thermal compound across the heatsink? Or would I just want to put little dots on each surface area of the little chips it will be resting on? Can it hurt anything if it goes all over and makes contact with the PCB around this area? What's the proper way to re-mount these?

Sorry if these questions suck. I just want to make sure I've done my homework so I don't mess anything up once I get underway. I really appreciate the help.
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I got a little thermal paste where it shouldn't have been and my board sparked (also own a Classified). The TIM literally burned up and created a visible flame.

I would avoid putting any where it shouldn't be! (although you likely won't set anything ablaze like I did)

Oh... also I don't think it's really needed, but it should help temps. Best way to help temps though is to put a fan on both the heatsink and the mosfet heatsink.
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Wow, a flame? Heh, well, that doesn't really ease my mind.

On the bottom of the heatsinks in those pictures though, it looks like the stock paste is all over the place, not just over where it contacts the chips.

Originally Posted by NoodleGTS
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Best way to help temps though is to put a fan on both the heatsink and the mosfet heatsink.

^As the wise man says^

Coming from expirience i gained from removing the heatpads from the heatsinks i'd have to say they use heatpads for a reason when multiple chips/ect are being cooled by the same heatsink, i found that the multiple little chips on the mobo are all at different levels of height, the pads help to soak up the uneveness of the chips.
When i removed the pads and applied thermal paste i then removed the heatsink to find that some of my parts not even making contact with the heatsink.
But this is my expirience and it could be different for you and others, would hate to see you have a mess on your hands though
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Ah-ha.. thanks, yeah, I guess it didn't really register in my mind that that was a pad... maybe I should just leave those ones alone.
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