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2/21/2015 HowtoApplyThermalPaste:12Steps(withPictures)wikiHow

HowtoApplyThermalPaste
ThreeParts: PreparingtheSurface ApplyingThermalPastetoCircularbasedCoolers
ApplyingThermalPastetoSquarebasedCoolers

Heatmanagementisimportanttoconsiderwhenconstructingormaintaining
yourcomputer.Toomuchheatcanspelldeathforyoursensitivecomponents,
andifyoureoverclockingitsevenmoreofanissue.Knowinghowtoapply
thermalpastecorrectlyisoneofthefoundationsofpropercomputercooling.
Followthisguidetolearnhow.

Part1of3:PreparingtheSurface

1 Choosetheproperthermalpaste.Mostofthebasicthermalgreasecompounds
containsiliconeandzincoxide,whilemoreexpensivecompoundscontain
excellentheatconductorssuchassilverorceramic.Theadvantagetothesilveror
ceramicthermalgreaseisthatyouwillhaveamoreefficientheattransmission.
However,thebasicthermalgreasewillsufficientlyfittheneedsofmostpeople.
Ifyouareplanningonoverclockingyourcomputer,trytogetthermalpaste
comprisedmainlyofsilver,copper,andgold.Thesearethemostconducive
metalsthatthermalpastecanbemadeof.

2 CleantheCPUandheatsinksurfaces.Wipethesurfacelightlywithacottonball
orcottonswabdampenedwithisopropylalcohol.Thehigherthepercentageof
alcoholthebetter.70percentisgoodbut90percentisbetterifitcanbefound.[1]

3 Sandtheheatsinkandprocessorsurfacesifnecessary.Ideally,thetwo
touchingsurfaceswillbeperfectlyflat,whichwouldcompletelyeliminatetheneed
forthermalpaste.Ifyourheatsinkbaseisrough,youcanwetsanditdownandpolishit
tomakeitsmoother.Thisisntalwaysnecessary,unlessyouareaimingfortheultimate
coolingperformance.
Thermalpasteisdesignedtofillinthegapsandimperfectionsonthesurfaces
thatyouarejoining.Sincemodernproductiontechniquescannotmakesurfaces
withoutimperfections,thermalpastewillalwaysbenecessary.

Part2of3:ApplyingThermalPastetoCircularbasedCoolers

1 Placeatinydropofthermalpastetothecenterofthecoolerbase.Thebead
ofpasteshouldbesmallerthanaBBoragrainofrice.Ifyouvereadthatitshould
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bepeasized,thatisfartoomuchpaste,andyouwillendupwithpasteonyour
motherboard.[2]
Thereisnoneedtospreadthepasteforcircularcoolers,asthepressureof
beingappliedwillspreaditevenlyacrossthesurface.

2 Attachtheheatsinktotheprocessor.Installtheheatsinkwithevenpressure
fromallsides,andthebeadthatyouplacedonthesurfacewillspreadoverthe
entirecontactsurface.Thiswillcreateathin,evenlayerthatwillfillanygapsbutavoid
excessbuildup.
Asheatisapplied,thepastewillbecomethinnerandspreadmoretowardsthe
edges.Thisiswhyusingasmallamountofpasteisimportant,asalittlegoesa
longway.

3 Avoidremovingtheheatsinkafterinstallingit.Itcanbedifficulttocheckifyour
pastehasbeenappliedcorrectly.Ifyoubreakthesealthatiscreatedwhenyou
installtheheatsink,youwillneedtorestarttheprocess,firstcleaningofftheoldpaste
andthenreapplyingit.

4 Reconnectthefantothemotherboard.TheCPUfanwireshouldbepluggedin
theCPUfansocketbecauseitmostlyhasthePWMfunctionwhichallowsthe
computertoadjustthefanspeedautomaticallywithoutchangingvoltage.

5 Bootthesystem.Checkthatthefanisspinning.EntertheBIOSbypressingF1or
DelkeyduringPOST.Checkifthetemperatureisnormal,CPUtemperature
shouldbebelow40degreeCelsiuswhenidle,sameforGPU.

Part3of3:ApplyingThermalPastetoSquarebasedCoolers

1 Applypastetothebaseofthecooler.Applyingpastetoasquarecoolerisabit
morechallengingthanaroundone,becausesimplyplacingadotandapplying
pressurewillnotresultinfullcoverage.Therearevaryingapproachesthatpeopleclaim
allegiancesto,sowellcoverafewofthemorepopularones:
ThelinesmethodPlacetwothinlinesofthermalcompoundonthebaseofthe
cooler.Thelinesshouldbeparallelandspacedsothattheyareeachplaceda
thirdofthewidthoftheprocessor.Thelinesthemselvesshouldalsobeabouta
thirdoftheprocessorswidthinlength.
ThecrossmethodThisisverysimilartothepreviousmethod,butthelines
arecrossedinanXpatterninsteadofparallel.Thelengthandthicknessofthe
linesshouldbethesameasthepreviousmethod.
ThespreadmethodThisisoneofthemostpopularandeffectivemethods,
buttakesalittlemoreeffort.Placeasmallamountofthermalpasteontothe
baseofthecooler.Usingaplasticfingerprotectororaplasticbag,useyour

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fingertospreadthepasteevenlyacrossthesurface.Makesuretocoverthe
entiresurfacethatwillbeincontactwiththeprocessor,andensurethatyoudo
notapplythepastetoothin.Inmostcases,thepasteshouldbarelyhidethe
metalunderneath.[3]

2 Installtheheatsink.Ifyouareusingeitherofthelinemethods,applyeven
pressuretotheheatsinkasyouinstallittoensurethatthepastecoverstheentire
surface.Ifyouareusingthespreadmethod,youMUSTinstalltheheatsinkataslight
angletopreventbubblesfromforming.Thisisbecausethepasteisusuallyspreadtoo
thintocompensateforbubblesafterpressureisapplied.

3 Reconnectthefantothemotherboard.TheCPUfanwireshouldbepluggedin
theCPUfansocketbecauseitmostlyhasthePWMfunctionwhichallowsthe
computertoadjustthefanspeedautomaticallywithoutchangingvoltage.

4 Bootthesystemaltogether.Checkthatthefanisspinning.EntertheBIOSby
pressingF1orDelkeyduringPOST.Checkifthetemperatureisnormal,CPU
temperatureshouldbebelow40degreeCelsiuswhenidle,sameforGPU.

Wecouldreallyuseyourhelp!

Canyoutellusabout Canyoutellusabout Canyoutellusabout Canyoutellusabout


reference hardwood heatrashes? grilling
requests? floors? zucchini?

Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes No

Tips

Aftercleaningthesurfacewithalcohol,donottouchthesurfacewith
yourbarefinger.Yourfingerhasitsownoilsthatwilldamagethe
surfaceandharmthecoolers.
Keepinmind,oftentimesthethermalpastehaswhatisreferredtoas
a"burninperiod"inwhichthepastegetsmoreefficientandcontinues
tolowerthetemperatures.Sometimes,thisperiodisveryshortbut
oftentimesitcouldbeaslongas200hours.
Iflatexglovesareusedtospreadthethermalpasteacrossthe
designatedsurface,makesuretheyarethepowderfreetype.If

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powderandthermalpastecombine,theheatsinkwillbedegraded
severely.
Thinthermalpasteisidealwhilethickthermalpastedecreasetheheat
transferringrate.Thermalpasteisforfillingthegapbetweenthechip
andtheheatsink,alsothetinyupanddownonthem.

Warnings

Usingoilbasedcleanerstocleanyoursurfaceswillruinyourcoolers
performance.Theywillprematurelyandpermanentlyfillthespacesthe
thermalpasteisintendedto,notallowingthepastetodoitsjob.Ifthe
oilbasedcleanerisusedandthermalpasteisplacedontopofit,the
coolerswillneverworkefficiently.

SourcesandCitations

1.
http://www.maximumpc.com/article/howtos/howto_install_cpu_and_app
ly_thermal_paste
2. http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/25623329blobspread
applyingthermalpaste
3. http://archive.benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?
option=com_content&task=view&id=170&Itemid=1&limit=1&limitstart=4

ArticleInfo

Categories:HardwareMaintenanceandRepair

Inotherlanguages:

Espaol:Cmoaplicarpastatrmica,:,:
,Portugus:ComoAplicarPastaTrmica,Italiano:ComeApplicarela
PastaTermica,Franais:Commentappliquerdelaptethermique,Bahasa
Indonesia:MengoleskanPastaTermal

Thankstoallauthorsforcreatingapagethathasbeenread280,098times.

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