Details about applying thermal paste to CPU

Asked By 60 points N/A Posted on -


I would like to know the details about applying thermal paste to my CPU. When and for how long a period must the paste be applied? After how much interval, be the paste applied again? What effect will it have on the temperature and working of the CPU? Thanks.

Answered By 15 points N/A #148670

Details about applying thermal paste to CPU


Hi Avery,
The steps to apply the thermal paste to CPU are as follows:
1) Remove the old thermal paste from the processor and the heat sink
2) Use ArcticClean Thermal material remover to clean the thermal paste residue from the surface
3) Insert the CPU in the socket on the motherboard
4) Place a dot of the thermal paste on the center of the CPU
5) Press the cooler over the CPU and the paste evenly spreads over the surface
6) Lock the cooler and start packing the system
7) Start the CPU and the effect will be seen by the user

The Arctic Silver 5 is the best material to be used as thermal paste for CPU. The paste needs to be replaced after two years by the user.

Answered By 590495 points N/A #311427

Details about applying thermal paste to CPU


The thermal grease or thermal paste or thermal compound is a substance used to promote better heat conduction between two surfaces and is normally used between a microprocessor and a heatsink. Thermal paste is used because the top surface of most microprocessors is not perfectly flat. Several have microscopic grooves and others might even have a slight curve.

This imperfection produces air gaps between the heatsink and the processor which reduces the cooling performance of the heatsink. These air gaps are filled by applying a thin layer of thermal paste to the top of the processor and the base of the heatsink. There are two types of thermal paste: conductive and non-conductive. The conductive type includes silver, copper, and aluminum-based greases.

The non-conductive type includes silicone and zinc thermal greases. These are considered superior but must be used carefully or they can cause electrical shorts if applied to the microprocessor’s pins or the electrical pathways on the circuit board. When applying thermal paste, you don’t need to actually put it on both surfaces (processor and heatsink).

This is how you apply thermal paste
This is how you apply thermal paste

To properly apply it, just put one small drop or amount of thermal paste on the middle of the top surface of the processor. After that, you don’t need to spread the paste over the surface. Just put the heatsink on top of it and let it spread the paste underneath it. I’ve seen lots of processors where the thermal paste was spread all over the top surface.

This is wrong. Note: the thermal paste doesn’t reduce the temperature of the processor. Its role is to quickly pass the heat to the heatsink. If you want to know how long the paste should be applied or if you need to change it overtime, the answer is no unless you change the processor or you clean the top surface then you need to re-apply.

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