1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Hardware How TIM Works & How To Apply It Correctly

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

  1. Jojii

    Jojii hardware freak

    Joined:
    12 Dec 2007
    Posts:
    122
    Likes Received:
    1
    1. Use a carburator degreaser spray from your local auto shop.
    2. Select preferred TIM based on your trusted reviewers on the internets.
    3. ...
    4. Profit
     
  2. Dreaming

    Dreaming What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    31 Jan 2007
    Posts:
    589
    Likes Received:
    7
    I disagree... I'm sure spreading it thin works fine but I have an artic cooling freezer 7 pro cooling my oc'd c2d to 30*C right now... applied with the drop of TIM + apply heatsink method.

    Thing is... you said above you've always done it the way by spreading it with your finger, so how do you know the clamping method doesn't work? It obviously works for some (myself included). I don't know the merits of the finger spreading method :p but I think it is trying to be too anal over a little task in my eyes. As long as the TIM is there, and there isn't a stupid amount, then it will work. The best application in the world will be within 4-5*C of the shoddiest application, so there's no need to get stressed about it ;). (think in perspective, that's the same as a hot day vs a cold day lol)
     
    Last edited: 16 Feb 2009
  3. WaCkInAtOR

    WaCkInAtOR Evil Monkey

    Joined:
    20 Nov 2008
    Posts:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Great article, the way I have done it in the past was to put 5 really small dots, one in the center and four just out from the center towards the corners, on the cpu and rub the heatsink against it in a circular motion to evenly cover both surfaces.
     
  4. kenco_uk

    kenco_uk I unsuccessfully then tried again

    Joined:
    28 Nov 2003
    Posts:
    9,696
    Likes Received:
    308
    I can only hope I put enough tim on:

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Slaymate

    Slaymate bit-tech Slayer

    Joined:
    15 Feb 2009
    Posts:
    112
    Likes Received:
    6
    It all depends on the type of TIM used. Some TIM's just won't spread and you have to use the clamping method. But if your willing to go the extra mile on those hard to spread TIM's try this. Put the tube of TIM in a sealed ziplock bag and let it soak in HOT water for 5 minutes. The TIM should spread if it's going to :D
     
  6. Sebbo

    Sebbo What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    28 May 2006
    Posts:
    200
    Likes Received:
    0
    Talk about the HSF surface being concave/convex started and a thought occurred to me:
    Using the "blob and clamp" method would likely fill those gaps as the heatsink is clamped down, and the TIM forced towards the edges. Pre-spreading would still force the TIM into the gaps, but to a much lesser extent, and in the case of a concave HSF base (ie. the curve is inwards) would likely result in air being trapped (unless you've spread the TIM a little thickly, or spread it on the HSF base as well).
    As far as performance testing, why would the tests necessarily have to be CPU based? surely there would be some way of having a heating element on one side of a piece of metal, another piece that can be used to read temperatures and TIM in between. in this case, higher temperatures would be suggesting the best thermal transfer. This way, you simply replace the metal being used (using pieces cut from the one sheet for all the tests should ensure that the pieces have the same thermal transfer properties)
     
  7. D B

    D B What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    11 Apr 2004
    Posts:
    318
    Likes Received:
    1
  8. warriorpoet

    warriorpoet What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    2 Nov 2008
    Posts:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Food for thought:

    Since going to the "two grains of rice" method on IHS covered heatsinks, not only have my temps improved, but the resulting layer of TIM has been much thinner and more consistent than I could ever achieve with the razor/ finger/ credit card method.

    Folks, the heat generating die is in the center of the IHS, not at the edges. You are cooling the die, not the heatspreader. Look at the stock Intel cooler. What do you see? a center mounted slug with NO contact at the outer IHS edges. Look at the design of current-gen waterblocks. What do you see? Bowed bases, stepped bases and round bases to increase pressure and reduce the thickness of the TIM layer, improving thermal efficiency where it counts- the CENTER of the IHS (over the die). Do you really think companies marketing to guys running $400+ cooling systems are doing it wrong?

    Food for thought: the vertical edges of the heatspreder do NOT compress. What you are doing with any decent mounting apparatus at the center of the IHS (over the die) is creating pressure to:
    1. compress the IHS (by extension the internal and external TIM layers),thereby reducing distance between die and the heatsink
    2. cooling that which generates heat- the die.

    Metal is a much better heat conductor than any TIM. You want as little TIM as you can manage, not as much as is possible.

    This article is state-of-the industry-2002 stuff; it has very little bearing on today's cutting edge cooling methods.
     
  9. Denithor

    Denithor What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    4 Dec 2008
    Posts:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    You beat me to it - I was going to say exactly the same thing. Manufacturer of the most recognized TIM on the planet versus a blog? Hmm...nope, no contest there, I'm sticking to their directions (which I've been following for nearly 15 years with zero problems).
     
  10. KayDat

    KayDat What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    20 Nov 2006
    Posts:
    86
    Likes Received:
    0
    That might sound like common sense...this article certainly shows that the author thought along the same lines. "More paste covering the IHS must be better right?" Well, while tests like the one I linked to before simply test for total TIM coverage, the most absolute thing to do is to do temperature tests. And that's what Madshimps did back in 2007. While CPUs and Heatsinks might have changed since then, Laws of Physics don't. And the graphs show a good 5°C difference in the least. I used to fall under the spread-TIM group, but since I read that article, I just use the rice-grain/clamp method.
     
  11. NYC84

    NYC84 What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    17 Feb 2009
    Posts:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
  12. PopcornMachine

    PopcornMachine Snacker

    Joined:
    12 Jul 2008
    Posts:
    21
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thanks for the article.

    When I first started using 3rd party heat sinks, about 6 months ago, I was using way too much. Once I realized that, I looked at the method Arctic Silver recommend since I'm using the Arctic Silver 5. That is, a horizonal line for Quads and vertical line for Duos.

    Now I'm wondering if that's still too much, but things seem to be working OK.
     
  13. serial_

    serial_ What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    11 Oct 2005
    Posts:
    231
    Likes Received:
    1
    Ok first off to all the assholes complaining about this article: I myself have built several systems, done some basic to mid-level modding, and consider myself a knowledgeable person. However i've never really been sure on the best way to apply TIM. I know that less is more and that you practically can't have too little, the danger is too much.

    But like many people who built their systems in late '06 I snagged one of those nifty LGA775 Pentium 4 HT's with a Prescott core. Now these things will fry more than eggs. They'll pan-roast pork tenderloin in a pinch.

    I've had to settle with seeing 50C idle after trying a copper cooler from scythe, arctic silver, ceramic ****, damn near anything and i've been through several applications of TIM on the goddamn thing. I read the article and it made sense, as I always wondered why one of the brands of TIM i bought came with a credit card labeled "Compound spreader"

    I tried the method out, and I used to see as high as 65C load (which is still within intel's specs for this chip), and after 30 minutes of pvp in WoW and some headshots in CS:S as well as an arena match or two in Guild Wars, I'm seeing 53C load. A difference of 12C just from switching up my application method.

    So I am a convert to the saran-wrapped finger as opposed to the rice-grain and clamp method. It might make a bigger difference to me because the bottom of my hs isn't mirror smooth. I spread it evenly across the cpu die and due to the shite state of affairs that is my hs base, i used what little of the TIM was still clinging to the saran wrap on the copper base, an extremely thin layer, but that way i know the "little holes" were filled in.

    a drop in 10C idle 12C load makes a convert out of me. Finally my prescott isn't so ****ing hot.
     
  14. Xir

    Xir Modder

    Joined:
    26 Apr 2006
    Posts:
    5,373
    Likes Received:
    107
    :hehe:

    And I thought we'd discussed all of this to Effin death in the late nineties... :D

    There used to be reviews (with Temp.measurements) of Arctic Silver (1...not 5) vs. pad vs. some silicone stuff. Should be around the Internet somewhere...look for a 2001 Timeframe ::brrr:

    Xir
     
  15. Xir

    Xir Modder

    Joined:
    26 Apr 2006
    Posts:
    5,373
    Likes Received:
    107
    This "imported" article isn't really bad…but we're not the target audience. It just doesn't live up to the standards the "enthusiast" level reader expects.
    Oh it does a fine, reassuring job for people that have never placed a heatsink themselves. (oohoohooh…I'm a big modder now, I've replaced my stock cooler with an aftermarket one!) And to be honest, this is how many here (I guess) began down the "enthusiast" path. And before you know it, you're looking at rotary tools that never interested you before. :dremel:

    Nevertheless this article isn't up to your usual level, and if this is a peek of the future coming out of your accuisition by dennis…Brrr! :duh:

    Xir
     
  16. Teemax

    Teemax What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    17 Feb 2009
    Posts:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Common sense tells me that the "rice grain in the middle" method is much more effective than spreading the TIM by hand.

    Yes, spreading the TIM by hand WILL generally result in a larger coverage area than the rice grain method.
    However, it's also guaranteed to create many air pockets due to the uneven surface of the spread TIM.

    While with the rice grain, the TIM is forced out to by pressure between 2 metal plates, clearing the air pockets at the same time. It might have less contact area than spreading TIM by hand, but it should cover the vital area: the core(s).

    Personally I've always used the grain rice method, and my CPUs got pretty good temp so far.
     
  17. Pookeyhead

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

    Joined:
    30 Jan 2004
    Posts:
    10,936
    Likes Received:
    529

    Because I just rebuilt my old rig for my wife, and to be frank, I couldn't be bothered taking all the same precautions I normally do, as it wasn't intended to be overclocked, or used heavily. I simply applied a small line of arctic silver about the width of a grain of rice and perhaps 10mm long, then applied the HSF. Later, because of something else unrelated, I had to remove it again, only to find that it was covering only half the chip. Besides, I say "I've always done it that way".. when really, what I should have typed was "I've been doing it that way for ages". Obviously, in the beginning, I did use the recommended method of putting a blob there and letting the pressure sort it out.

    The problem, as I see it, arises from the pressure applied. The socket 939 clips on my wife's HSF were clearly just not cutting it.

    I still maintain that it makes little practical difference. Perhaps pre-spreading may introduce some bubbles, maybe not... but is that any worse than having 30% of the chip with nothing on it? Remember, where there is no compound, there's probably also no contact between chip and HSF.

    In all honesty, I can't say that I've noticed any difference in temps either way, but at least I have the piece of mind from knowing it's covered. The only way you can be sure the other way is to remove it and check, and then if you re-apply it you have air bubbles AND uneven coverage.... you end up getting in that situation where you become paranoid if the fridge light goes out when you close the door :).. if you know what I mean.
     
  18. mmorgue

    mmorgue What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    16 Feb 2005
    Posts:
    386
    Likes Received:
    0
    After cleaning the heatsink contact side, I often apply a small amount of TIM and using the finger and plastic bag, work it in so that hopefully any microscopic defects or holes are filled. I then wipe the majority of that TIM off using a clean cloth so it's clean - apart from the filling of the crevices/small defects, etc.

    I then do the small rice sized blob on the chip and apply the heat sink and clamp done. Always been great for me. Done this for years...
     
  19. Player-x

    Player-x What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    21 Jan 2008
    Posts:
    23
    Likes Received:
    1
    I use basically the same method as in the article for years whit these different's.

    1. I use half a grain drop but on both the CPU and the cooler
    2. after spreading it around i try to remove as mouths as possible whit my finger (whipping the plastic bag on my finger on a cloth)
    (golden rule whit TIM is, that less is more)
    3. after installation i move the cooler around as far as it will go whit out forcing it for a bout 5~10min (twisting and sliding)

    This would give me 2~3c lower temp then using the method as in the article
    (I did do some testing whit H2O on a old OC rig before i installed the H2O set on my main system)
     
    Last edited: 17 Feb 2009
  20. OhPlease

    OhPlease What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    17 Feb 2009
    Posts:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    I will keep this as simple as possible. Thermal compound or thermal interface material only starts to do it's thing when in the presence of heat.

    1. Put a drop ( or a line or a squiggle - it makes no difference ) in the middle of the surface you want to cool, be it cpu, chipset, mosfet e.t.c and then clamp the heatsink in place on top of the tim.

    2. fire up the equipment and marvel in awe at how the paste forces itself into all the 'nooks and crannies' aided by the heat and pressure between the two surfaces.

    3. Do not waste your time rubbing it around with a credit card, spatula, small woodland creature, plastic bag on the end of your finger, toes or other protuberance, because it isn't helping :)

    4. And this is important. DO NOT USE ELECTRICALLY CONDUCTIVE MATERIAL AS TIM! ESPECIALLY NOT WHEN 'THERMAL PUMP OUT' MAY SPREAD IT ALL OVER YOUR SHINY NEW MOTHERBOARD WHEN THINGS HEAT UP!!

    Apologies for the caps but, wow, just wow!
     
Tags: Add Tags

Share This Page