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Cooling How to apply the damn thermal paste

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by dragontail, 4 May 2011.

  1. dragontail

    dragontail 5bet Bluffer

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    So I bought a Noctua NH-D14 cooler (see image) for a Core i5 2500K. It came with Noctua's own HT-H1 thermal paste. Since this paste received some good reviews I decided to stick with it instead of Arctic Silver 5.

    [​IMG]

    The thing is, the paste is really thick and difficult to spread. To begin with, I tried using BT's own method to spread the paste on the CPU. This involves using cling film and spreading with a finger. Alas, this method didn't work too well as the paste simply stuck to the cling film and refused to spread well on the CPU. I've tried rotating my finger under the cling film - that didn't work either. Result: CPU idles at 48*C.

    Since the HSF doesn't "rotate install", when I simply inject a grain sized blob of the paste (without spreading) and install the HSF, the paste doesn't spread at all and the CPU idles at 50*C.

    So getting a little puzzled and after using TIM cleaner for the nth time, it's time to ask those wiser than myself! Got any suggestions?
     
  2. Ferrero94

    Ferrero94 What's a Dremel?

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    Hmm, try the X method if needsby D:
     
  3. sk8ter646

    sk8ter646 Minimodder

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    i have found in the past for really thick TIMs a credit card can work to spread it out thinly, also try sticking the tube in a bowl of hot water to try and warm it up abit may help increase the viscosity.
     
  4. dragontail

    dragontail 5bet Bluffer

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    Interesting, haven't heard of this before. How to do this exactly?
    Clever. I'll try this next time, will post results.

    Keep the suggestions coming :clap:
     
  5. Ronaldo 9

    Ronaldo 9 Minimodder

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    I just put a pea sized blob in the middle of the CPU. It works perfectly for me and I think you should give it a go.
     
  6. bdigital

    bdigital Is re-building his PC again

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    Large grain of rice work really nicely for me, you dont need too much tim.
     
  7. TaRkA DaHl

    TaRkA DaHl Modder

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    How are you getting these idle temps?

    In bios or windows?

    As in bios speestep doesn't work so it will sit at 3.3Ghz ish all the time, making 50 degrees seem normal.

    Also, the X method involves making an X out of the TIM on the CPU.

    Personally, I use a blob in the centre and just swivel the cooler a little before locking down.
     
  8. thetrashcanman

    thetrashcanman Angel headed hipsters

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    if you crank on enough pressure with the screws (you need to do them as tight as you can) you can get plenty of pressure on and a small pea sized blob (grain of rice) in the center should spread out well, either that or theres something wrong with the cooler.
     
  9. Bloody_Pete

    Bloody_Pete Technophile

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    I put a smaller blob in the center abd 4 blobs round the outside, one in each corner :)

    I find with a big blob in the center it's always too thick in the middle, and a small blob never reaches the corners.
     
  10. Throbbi

    Throbbi What's a Dremel?

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    Personally i use a blob and it's always served me well, so long as you get the right amount lol. Although i'm tempted to try the X after the video since it offers better coverage to the corners. The only real thing i can see from various methods is that you do not spread, it creates air pockets.

    I do think the video would be better with a piece of acrylic which can be mounted using the HSF fittings for a true representation of how TIM spreads under the pressure of the HSF mounting.
     
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  11. Bloody_Pete

    Bloody_Pete Technophile

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    And what that video wont show is how the heating of the CPU helps...
     
  12. Cus_de_Sparta65

    Cus_de_Sparta65 "There is no dremel"

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    It is only a matter of time before some clever clogs invents a little piece of equiptment that helps you apply a perfect application of thermal paste every time! You know like those "Bricky Buddie" or what ever they are called that helps you put your cement on the bricks neatly when doing DIY jobs around the home :D You see them advertised on the shopping channels thru the night

    Someone could make a killing with this great idea :dremel: so 10% goes to me if anyone on here makes one OK! ;):D
     
  13. slothy89

    slothy89 MicroModder

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    This is a little overkill... If you were to take the IHS (Integrated Heat Spreader) off an Intel or even AMD CPU, you would notice that the actual Processor core is only about 10-15mm square/rectanglular.

    Here is a semi-stylised "x-ray-ish" view of an i7 970: (the rainbow bit is the core)
    [​IMG]

    The rest of the CPU is just PCB to fit all the Socket Pins on. (Hint: the hole in the middle of a 1155/6 or 1366 socket is roughly the size of the CPU Core)

    It is the core that gives off the heat, and is concentrated in the center of the CPUs IHS. The amount of spread shown in the snapshot of the above YouTube video is enough to be fully effective.

    Remember the TIM is only there to fill in the pits and scratches between Cooler and CPU, not to be a complete extra layer. If you put too much TIM on it will act as an insulator more than a conductor. A pea sized blob is almost too much, a rice grain or marginally bigger is better. You would be surprised how far it spreads once you fully tighten the cooler, and run the CPU for a bit to heat it up.

    If you are checking the temp of the CPU in the UEFI/BIOS as stated above, temps at 45-50*C is acceptable. I had my i7 2600K booted for the first time yesterday, and I had the same thought, but once into Windows it idles around 28-34*C. 100% Prime load reaches only 58*C. (Room temp is ~18-20*C)
     
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  14. CrazyTeeka

    CrazyTeeka The Crazy Geek

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    When I installed my Coolmaster V8, I used a pea sized amount of the paste and actually use a just washed finger so theres no oils etc present, then carefully spread it over top of cpu as thinly as it will go, then placed HSF on and bolted it all down, temps instantly went to 18C to 20C for me.

    Some may think using a finger is a little crazy but thats what I do. :D
     
  15. oatey4519

    oatey4519 can't be arsed...

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  16. Fizzban

    Fizzban Man of Many Typos

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    Isn't there already a bazillion threads on this?
     
  17. dragontail

    dragontail 5bet Bluffer

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    Update: That video was very useful Throbbi, thanks for that.

    I warmed up the TIM using the hot water trick (thanks sk8ter646), then tried using the rice/pea trick again (but using way less TIM as suggested). UEFI reported 42*C, so this was a clear improvement. Curiosity got the better of me and I then tried the "X" method (as mentioned by a couple of you). This yielded 39*C so I stuck with that.

    As touched on by slothy89 and TaRkA DaHl, it seems that UEFI reporting higher temps than expected is a common issue with P67. I kept the PC running in the UEFI for an hour and the heatsink wasn't even hot to touch so I'll have to accept this is the best solution for now (until Windows/CoreTemp).

    Big thanks to everyone who contributed, your advice was very helpful. Appreciate it folks :thumb:
     
  18. slothy89

    slothy89 MicroModder

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    the high idle temps aren't so much an "issue" with the chipset, it's just that Intel's Speedstep doesn't kick in until the OS is booted. So in the UEFI the CPU is idling at the full x34 multiplier, or whatever it is. Once into Windows/Linux it drops to x16 (1.6GHz) so is able to idle much cooler.
    I think my CPU still idles at 42ish in UEFI now after a few weeks use, but it's now running at 4.5GHz so technically it's running cooler due to the extra voltage and clockspeed :D
    Thx 4 rep too dragontail
     
  19. WhiteKnight226

    WhiteKnight226 Minimodder

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    My 2500k also idles at about 41-42c in UEFI and around 30-32c in windows(stock speed). I have a CM Hyper 212 Plus with AS5 and I used the pea drop method. So if you are also getting the same results as the rest of us(which seems to be the normal for the 2500k), I think you are good now.
     
  20. Leedstights

    Leedstights What's a Dremel?

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    The 'pea' sized blob in the centre of the cpu is in my opinion the best way. A friend of mine recently fitted a new heatsink and fan on an AMD Cpu which used the 'clip' method ( a steel clip spans the base of the cooler and connects either side of the CPU to the m\board and then tightens down with a screw either side). The cooler was an arctic cooling model.

    The pc worked for about 5 minutes and shut itself down, making a single 'click' noise. This baffled me as everything looked fine.

    The problem was that even though he had applied thermal paste properly, then seated the cooler to the cpu, that when he tightened the screws down, they 'met' other scews beneath them and effectively raised the cooler away from the cpu, which tripped some safety device as the cpu overheated and closed down the pc, just thought worth a mention.
     

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