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  • Best technique for applying thermal paste?

    Had a quick browse couldn't find a similar thread, so thought I'd post one!

    What do you think is the most effective way to apply paste? I don't think I've ever got it done to a standard that I was happy with!

    I know lots of people recommend using a thin strip, then a razor blade to apply the paste.. first time I tried this I pretty much carved my CPU open

    I usually just use a small blob of artic silver, and smudge the paste evenly with my finger and a plastic bag.. which I know can't be good!

  • #2
    I just add a splodge on to the cpu, spread it around slightly with a cutout from a plastic wrapping then just splodge on the heatsink. At the end of the day as long as you apply the right amount it will spread evenly once you put the heatsink on.
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    • #3
      A small blob and mount the heatsink, always works for me, tried different methods and none seem to be better than others.

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      • #4
        A petit pois sized blob, or a line about the size of a grain of rice in the middle of the CPU and then put the heatsink on and let the weight and pressure of that spread the paste, IMO do not spread it using a card or finger in a plastic bag etc as this can lead to air bubbles which will affect temps.
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        • #5
          Originally posted by scrivz69 View Post
          A small blob and mount the heatsink, always works for me, tried different methods and none seem to be better than others.
          Wish that was the case for me!

          What paste do you use?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by danielefc View Post
            I usually just use a small blob of artic silver, and smudge the paste evenly with my finger and a plastic bag.. which I know can't be good!
            I'm not sure its a TERRIBLE idea... In fact the credit card/finger/bag method used to be the actual instructions given by Arctic Silver themselves on how to get the best results. I used to do it all the time, and as long as it was done well, I quite often got better results than just letting the weight spread it.

            Imo, its best to just try a few ways and see what you get the best results with. I think the weight/pressure way is probably the best as an all around good instruction, but you aren't totally guaranteed to be able to cover every bit of the CPU - but it will definitely do a good enough job. Spreading it out is also fine as you'll be sure to cover the whole surface, but only if you have the time to make sure there are ZERO air bubbles - which a lot of people don't have time to do, and why the pressure method works very well. Its fairly foolproof.

            Just make sure you don't put too much on, as that can be just as bad as putting on too little! Imo, the amount you put on and the stuff you use is far more critical than the method used to apply it in a lot of cases



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            • #7
              Originally posted by Pepp77 View Post
              A petit pois sized blob, or a line about the size of a grain of rice in the middle of the CPU and then put the heatsink on and let the weight and pressure of that spread the paste, IMO do not spread it using a card or finger in a plastic bag etc as this can lead to air bubbles which will affect temps.
              Yeah I'm aware of that, just never found a better way to do it though.. using the heatsink to spread the paste never works for me, when I've tested it and removed the heatsink weeks later, the paste is thicker in the middle with big gaps at the edges.

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              • #8
                Thermal paste is about quality not quantity.

                Only need a small amount and spread it evenly with a credit card or a business card and that does me fine
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jacksb4 View Post
                  Thermal paste is about quality not quantity.

                  Only need a small amount and spread it evenly with a credit card or a business card and that does me fine
                  Do you spread it using the edges of the credit card, wouldn't that create streaks? Or do you mean flatten/smudge the paste with the flat surface of a credit card etc

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                  • #10
                    No, use the whole flat of the card. Use the thinner part

                    Spread it around, smoothly and evenly making sure to get a consistent thickness and then seat the cooler
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                    • #11
                      I've used the blob in the middle method for a while and not had an issue, it doesn't need to cover the entire cpu heatspreader as the heat will be mostly concentrated in the center where the cpu die is anyway.

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                      • #12
                        With all the cores on newer heatsinks, the whole of the cpu needs to be covered in order to keep all of the core coolest as possible. #
                        I put an adequate amount in the middle and then use the cpu cooler to spead it around evenly...

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Maestrro View Post
                          With all the cores on newer heatsinks, the whole of the cpu needs to be covered in order to keep all of the core coolest as possible. #
                          I put an adequate amount in the middle and then use the cpu cooler to spead it around evenly...
                          How can you be certain the paste is spread around evenly though if its mounted to your motherboard?

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                          • #14
                            I think he means move it around with the cooler, then check it, then attach the cooler
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by danielefc View Post
                              How can you be certain the paste is spread around evenly though if its mounted to your motherboard?
                              Sure after you have spread the paste around a little, take off the cpu cooler and then you can check for certain to be sure that the paste is spread evenly.

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