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Hardware How TIM Works & How To Apply It Correctly

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Tim S, 16 Feb 2009.

  1. mclintox

    mclintox Eat cheese!

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    "A whole article and we come down to a faulthy method of applying TIM" Faulthy????
     
  2. djDEATH

    djDEATH Habari gani?

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    lmao, nice work SIG

    I actually see what you're saying though, that IF we know that a CPU and heatsink are gonna be there permanently, is it in fact more beneficial to bond them together permanently? I like this idea, only thing stopping me tryng it myself is that i don't know that my CPU won't be upgraded again, or used in a newer system in the future.

    I am however, going to take delivery of a new tri-core 8750 black edition today or tomorrow, and have ordered some arctic silver 5 to apply to it, so i will give this method of finger in bag a try. Last time i used a piece of cardboard (may even have been a cinema ricket as mentioned above, particular type of shiny sturdy card those - good for roaches too).

    I'm pretty sure that inadequate contact with my Scythe Mine is what has prevented my Athlon X2 from going any higher than it did on the stock cooler. I'm hoping that the same HSF will be enough to take my 8750X3 to 3.0Ghz, fingers crossed. Will pay more attention to the silver compound this time.
     
  3. [PUNK] crompers

    [PUNK] crompers Dremedial

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    nice athlon FX there!!
     
  4. Jipa

    Jipa Avoiding the "I guess.." since 2004

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    nvrmind.
     
  5. cpemma

    cpemma Ecky thump

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    Those idiots at Arctic Silver are doing it all wrong then? I'd sooner listen to them than some stupid kid writing a magazine article. ;)

    I've tried the 'buttered' v 'line & press' methods on my fairly heavily overclocked E2180, 'line' wins by a small margin. There's another tech site that showed the coverage after various application methods; letting the sink pressure spread the compound worked fine.
     
  6. mystvearn

    mystvearn any-may

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    Nice article.

    You forgot lapping the heatsink, or is that in another feature? Lapping till you get mirror shine. That will take you hours compared to putting the TIM.
    A plastic is suggested to cover the finger. But I read an article more than 5 years back, says that I should use a Credit card or some flat surface and nicely spread the material. Imagine making flat surface with cement :p
     
  7. Xtrafresh

    Xtrafresh It never hurts to help

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    I have a suggestion.

    Maybe you can get a stong piece of thick Lexan (or any other clear material) to use as a stand-in for your CPU. That way you can apply the thermal paste and heatsink, and look at the resulting spread from the bottom. I can understand that temperature comparisons are impossible for practical reasons, but with this method a visual comparison will be possible. That would add the "proof" that people are missing from the article at this point.
     
  8. cpemma

    cpemma Ecky thump

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    As done at the link I just posted? :p
     
    Last edited: 16 Feb 2009
  9. Combatus

    Combatus Bit-tech Modding + hardware reviews Staff Super Moderator

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    @Pookeyhead

    Yep i've seen the dodgy spread that the "clamp and twist" method recommended by manufacturers often gives. IMHO it harks back to the days of the exposed core and isn't well suited for the area cooling (as opposed to spot cooling with exposed cores) we deal with today. It's mess free (which is why they recommend it me thinks...) but spreading it yourself will even it out and work the TIM into the CPU IHS before hand and you're garanteed to cover the entire IHS. Then even if there are some uneven thicknesses, the pressure from the HSF will sort them out just like it does for clamping and twisting. Done right, I believe it results in a thinner more evn spread. I've always got much better results using the plastic bag over finger method, often 5 degrees or more with more even temps over numerous cores.

    Credit cards are okay but given that the IHS is rarely flat, I've always found they flex and don't spread it around too well and to get decent coverage, you'll usually end up using too much TIM (and have a TIM caked wallet).
     
  10. Veles

    Veles DUR HUR

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    Or you're just following the advice of Arctic Silver, since they you know, make the stuff, I would imagine they know their stuff.

    My CPU hasn't burnt out yet, if you think about it, the majority of the heat would be directly over the chip, the periphery of the heat spreader which wouldn't get covered would be at a much lower temperature than the centre unless the heat spreader is crazy efficient.
     
  11. D B

    D B What's a Dremel?

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    I can understand the comment about spreading TIM first trapping air .. if you spread it improperly (IE have the outside edges of TIM thicker than the center, or groves, lines, etc.) you could trap air pockets ... how big they are I do not know, but you can't see with your eye the pockets that your using TIM to fill in the first place.

    I think I'll try a combination ... use a pea size dollop and spread it so it's 1/4" (6mm) square
     
  12. Xir

    Xir Modder

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    The CPU surface (or heatspreader surface) and the cooler surface (be it aluminum, or copper or whatever) will have different expansion rates when heating up.
    Bonding them could cause the brittler one to crack.

    This is also what causes the cited "pumping out" of TIM.

    :D Xir
     
  13. Matticus

    Matticus ...

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    My oh my!

    All the fuss about how to apply TIM.

    Just apply it how you want, its your cpu/heatsink if it works for you then who cares.

    I personally use the blob 'n' clamp method, but I give it a few mounts and twists just to make sure. But if I wasn't using ceramique I would probably give it a spread myself.

    The method that AS say to use is arguably the easiest and "safest" method, it works and is easy for muggles to do but that doesn't mean it is the best way. If you imagine the pressure required to properly spread evenly, I would guess that it would be far more than the cpu/motherboard would comfortably like to deal with. But then if the heatsink was slightly concave or convex then a pre spread may miss out gaps that a good push wouldn't.

    Oh and who are the people who wrote this? Sorry I don't recognise the names. I jumped to the comments after a brief look over, I was slightly surprised to see so many comments, now I see why.
     
  14. Xtrafresh

    Xtrafresh It never hurts to help

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    Yep indeed, but insted of just using two sheets of glass, you could put mounting holes in Lexan and actually mount a heatsink to make things less messy and more realistic.
    It appears they are Dennis Staff members. I'm a bit confused myself. I thought the Dennis takeover would just have financial implications, but now the team changes too. Not to be overly critical and personal, but i hope you guys are going down the right road...
     
  15. Cupboard

    Cupboard I'm not a modder.

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    How much do you actually need the TIM round the edges of the heat spreader? The processing cores are still at its centre, so that is where most of the heat will be produden and therefore where the most thermal contact needs to be.

    if you don't have TIM round the edges, the pressure will be higher in the middle so a better contact will be formed that way too.
     
  16. kenco_uk

    kenco_uk I unsuccessfully then tried again

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    Good idea, but what if the ihs isn't very even? (Which is quite often the case)
     
  17. B1GBUD

    B1GBUD ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Accidentally Funny

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    Why not just produce a CPU which has a choice of integrated heatsinks, one for air and the other for water... just a though, I'm sure to get shot down in flames though!
     
  18. Xtrafresh

    Xtrafresh It never hurts to help

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    This works perfectly in theory, but in practice the implementation would probably be crappy. Think of integrated graphics (i typo'd craphics :hehe:) when you wonder what happens when intel starts doing other things then producing chips.

    They can't even seem to build an IHS that isn't either terribly concave or terribly convex!
     
  19. Skiddywinks

    Skiddywinks Minimodder

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    I have always spread it out using the method mentioned in this article, and i have always had great temps and zero problems.

    I even remove the heatsink (or, in my own computer's case, waterblocks) after mounting, and see a perfect spread. I have never tried a razor blade, so can not comment on that, but the clingfilm/sandwhich bag/no powder glove etc method works very well.
     
  20. Tim S

    Tim S OG

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    Looks like they've applied far too much paste. Even the amount of paste in #4 is more than we've used for the method described in our article which I guess is represented the closest by method #1. However, the difference is that we're not using a razor blade or credit card. :)
     
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