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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. perplekks45

    perplekks45 LIKE AN ANIMAL!

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    I have to agree with Gremlin about the article seemingly having no real end. It just seems like you wanted to publish a multi-part article but forgot to mention that in this part.

    The article itself was quite interesting though I have to say the topic isn't the most thrilling. Funny how people start bashing eachother['s methods] here. :)
     
  2. D B

    D B What's a Dremel?

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    I can understand how improperly spreading TIM could trap air (IE if TIM is thicker on outside edges, grooves, etc.)
    I don't know how much air would be trapped. You can't see with your eye the imperfections on the surface that trap air that your using TIM to fill in the first place, so

    I think next time I'll go with the pea size dollop and spread it a bit, 1/4" to 1/2" (6mm to 12mm) square or so
     
  3. D B

    D B What's a Dremel?

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    ops, sorry about that double post, for some reason it did not show up at first
     
  4. WildThing

    WildThing Minimodder

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    Interesting read. There do seem to be a number of different opinions amongst everyone here. Last time I applied TIM I think I used too much, probably double the amount recommended in the article. So next time I will be a bit less liberal with the paste lol.

    One thing I'm curious about though, do you really need to use a branded TIM cleaner? I've used white spirit previously, is that bad?
     
  5. Brulath

    Brulath What's a Dremel?

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    I don't understand why people are arguing that the manual spreading method is optimal, especially in the face of that overclockers article that cpemma linked and previous experiences. The people that attach the heatsink, twist then remove it in order to check the material has spread correctly confound me even further - you've just created two surfaces of bumpy liquid that're going to catch pockets of air when you press them down again.

    Those two processes - prespreading and manually checking - are bound to create small pockets of air in the centre of the heatspreader, though the former can be reduced by better application it'd never be eliminated. If you stop and think about how liquid can trap air bubbles when the air isn't given a chance to escape (imperfections in application + air pockets in the imperfections of the heatsink will remain trapped, no?) it doesn't make sense to do anything other than what the manufacturers currently recommend; the rice/pea method. That is unless I'm completely failing to understand some physics that would force that air out from the centre and fill in the path it makes as it leaves, but if that occurred, people wouldn't care about how you applied the thermal material at all as there'd be no chance of air existing in any setup.

    The majority of the heat on the CPU comes from the centre and you're going to want to have zero air pockets there, right? The pea method, as shown in the instructions provided with ArcticSilver5 (and probably others, I don't use anything else), prevents air pockets occurring in the centre or anywhere near it by forcing the air out as the TIM expands radially (and as no compound was pre-applied there's no pockets of it to prevent the air from escaping).

    If you're awesome at applying TIM through past experiences and your method works well for you that's fantastic and you're more than welcome to do what you like or feel is best (whether it is or not is something we'll leave to the experts), but why would you write an article telling a beginner to apply the TIM in a way that's proven to be less effective; at least when applied poorly (which a beginner is highly likely to do). It's not like the manufacturers recommend a particular method on a whim, people buying their product are likely to notice heat differences so they're going to tell you the best method for applying it.

    Meh, it just seems silly to get a beginner to do things the old, and apparently less effective, way. Why I care is beyond my comprehension.
     
  6. Pygo

    Pygo Rick Relixed

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    Xtrafresh likes this.
  7. Javerh

    Javerh Topiary Golem

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    Interesting read, but I have to agree with Brulah.

    As a side note, Akasa TIM cleaner and Articlean 1 are both basically lemon oil. Articlean 2 is ethylene. Check your suppliers, you may get them cheaper elsewhere.
     
  8. Tim S

    Tim S OG

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    Note that we use none of the techniques in that article and, moreover, we appear to use less TIM than even the most frugal of the application methods in that article.
     
  9. B1GBUD

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

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  10. Pygo

    Pygo Rick Relixed

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    Ya... been working like that for years.
    maybe later today I'll try cleaning it up, post a few pics of the cleanup process and some temps. old and new.
     
  11. Undercloacker

    Undercloacker AirFlow

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    Does that even work? :S
     
  12. Xtrafresh

    Xtrafresh It never hurts to help

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    OMG i just pissed myself :hehe:
    This is just epic! :rock:

    It also demonstrates how little the difference is between all these methods, and how rediculous these guys with their "nanotube compounds" are. Soon there will be another company selling us nanotube re-alignment kits, and we'll be writing articles and discussing the best methods of using them to make that last 0,05 degree difference, so we can up our CPU by 0.1 Hertz :lol:

    Seriously though, getting it at least marginally right is important for beginning system builders, and for that, this article gives some good advice. It's a method that's sure to work, and easy to do, with little chance for serious error. Not to mention you solved Pygo's problem! :thumb:
     
  13. NysoO

    NysoO Handcrafted

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    OKAY guys, I may have been a bit harsch by saying that the method they are using in this article is "faulthy" (which basically means wrong, someone who evidently didn't understand that). But this is the old method of applying TIM. And as I said, and have been backup up by, air might get trapped between the heatsink and cpu. This is ultimately just common sence. Also, you don't need the TIM to be covered over every single mm^2 on the HS because the corners of the HS don't really help cooling the chip. Having the tim perfectly "vacuumed" between the HS and heatsink will give you a little, say very little, temp drop.
     
  14. ksiryx

    ksiryx What's a Dremel?

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    Nice article, but I think this is not a proper method, though. I think the manual-spreading method described in this article causes the following problems.

    1. Even though the grease spreads evenly by careful scraping ON THE SURFACE OF IHS, It will not spread evenly if one mount a heatsink because of poor surface(microscopically) condition of the heatsink base. According to bit-tech, they recommended that only the amount of a grain of rice is appropriate. When you try this, it means that the thickness of grease will be only tens of micrometer (if you have a doubt, then calculate it with proper dimension). This thickness will not be sufficient to compensate and fill in any possible cracks, which may be deep up to 0.1 milimeter, on the base of the heatsink unless heatsink are produced in the finest quality. As a result, air can be trapped in which the grease can't fill.


    2. Evenness of grease will be screwed up after you mount the heatsink. The technique that Bit-tech has introduced is somewhat idealized and abstract. The reality is that you cannot avoid any little movements and slides between the two surfaces when you mount the heatsink. In this sense, manually spreading method loses its advantages. Microscopically, some parts of grease will be slightly amassed due to this movements and this spoils the evenness of grease.
     
  15. ksiryx

    ksiryx What's a Dremel?

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    I hope, in the next time, Bit-tech can publish a better article which completes the stage of heatsink installation. Only meaningful is that the method containing both this procedure and applying TIM. Without describing how to mount it, the whole article written in this time is nothing but a mere method how to evenly spread MIT BEFORE INSTALL THE HEATSINK. Nothing is meaningful more or less than that. Hence, we cannot say spreading MIT in this way is effective.
     
  16. Krikkit

    Krikkit All glory to the hypnotoad! Super Moderator

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    You can't avoid having small deviations in the thickness of the compound throughout, but having a decent spread before you start is better than just leaving it in a big lump in the centre.

    It's always an idealized scenario with these kinds of things, because in an ideal world your CPU would come with a heatsink on it already.

    As for fitting instructions, anything beyond the obvious manufacturer's recommendations would be immensely hard to write about over different sockets etc. Be realistic. :p
     
  17. capnPedro

    capnPedro Hacker. Maker. Engineer.

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    Although less is more with TIM, I've found a very roughly milled block will perform better with a little extra TIM.

    Just personal experience, mind.
     
  18. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    I'm just following the laws of physics. The greater the area of contact between two surfaces, the greater the thermal transfer between them will be. Therefore ensuring the entire surface has a coating of the stuff at an appropriate thickness BEFORE you apply the heatsink has got to be better than applying a blob and HOPING it covers the entire surface AFTER you apply the heatsink. Think about it. You can either apply a grain of rice sized blob and hope the heatsink pressure spreads it evenly, or you can apply the same size blob and make sure it covers the entire surface manually before you apply the heatsink. The absolute worse that can happen is there will be no difference whatsoever... the best that can happen is you will get better heat transfer.



    I challenge anyone to argue with that logic.

    I couldn't give a monkey's what arctic silver say.

    Like you say.. the majority will be directly over the chip, yes... the majority.. not all. Ensuring the entire heat spreader is coated will ensure ALL of the heat is transferred, especially as many third party HFS have a surface as large, or larger than the chip.

    Again... challenge the logic if you must.
     
    Last edited: 16 Feb 2009
  19. LeMaltor

    LeMaltor >^_^

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    I've always spread it about on the CPU and heatsink, never had a problem with temps.
     
  20. ksiryx

    ksiryx What's a Dremel?

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    hm... no one can deny this fact. :)

    Right. However, virtually nobody has problems with the temperature by doing whatever methods they'd like to do. What we should pay attention is that the differences in tiny scales. Of course, not many user would concern this but the problem is that this article deals as like this methods is a recommended one, though nobody can sure it worths such recommendation.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 16 Feb 2009
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