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Old 02-17-2009, 12:46 AM   #1
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thermal paste

I have been toying with getting a new motherboard. If I do, will I need to put new thermal paste on the processor (I would not be replacing it) when I move it to the new board? I haven't had to do it before, because my then-new processor had its own thermal paste. (Or its fan did, I forget.)
Old 02-17-2009, 01:06 AM   #2
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If the heatsink came with a thermal pad attached to it, then you won't need any thermal paste. If it doesn't have this pad you will want to apply some paste. I recommend Arctic Silver 5 if you need paste.
Old 02-17-2009, 01:18 AM   #3
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You need enough thermal paste to make a good, even contact seal between the cpu and the heatsink. You might be able to get away with using whatever's left over from your old install if there's enough of it, but I really wouldn't recommend it. It's probably safer to apply a new layer.

I recommend ditching the white gunk most heatsinks come with and getting some of the really good silver paste that has better thermoconductivity. It can make a real difference, especially with modern hot-running cpus. (I seem to remember that thermal paste needs a few days or weeks to "cure" for best efficiency in any case.)

If you're really serious about cooling, you might think about getting one of the top-end heatsinks. silentpcreview has a good list of recommended heatsinks. I bought a couple of really nice Scythe coolers for my machines and they're much cooler and quieter than the basic ones most people use. They're bigger and more expensive, but it's well worth it.
Old 02-17-2009, 02:04 AM   #4
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I don't know if I need to bother upgrading, really. The times I've looked at my CPU temperature, it's stayed below 30 C. And I've got the CPU fan, the cooler fan (although it's often useless, because my various problems with this computer have me keeping it open because I'm working on it all the time), and the manufacturer's heatsink. But anyway, I'll get more thermal paste if I get another motherboard.

Last edited by newbiesforever; 02-17-2009 at 02:12 AM.
Old 02-17-2009, 04:39 AM   #5
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You need to replace the paste every time you remove or un-stick the pieces. The paste changes its properties with time and can no longer stick to new surfaces. So, you have to remove it with something like 100% isopropanol and then put some new paste on. I would recommend any paste that contains silver, just buy a tube and it will last you a long time. The white silicon paste is cheap and crappy and doesn't last.
Old 02-17-2009, 01:02 PM   #6
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Gotcha. Silver (nitrate, whatever it is) was the only thermal paste I'd heard of anyway.
Old 02-18-2009, 07:57 AM   #7
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Agreed with H_TexMex_H. Replace the paste each time.

On the fan, your comment about it being useless ... Unplug your fan and see how quickly your processor heats up. Typically only takes a couple of minutes for the system to overheat, in my experiences. That little cheap $10 fan does a lot.

Edit ... I just reread your post and realized you are talking about the case fan, and not the CPU fan. Oops!

Last edited by SlowCoder; 02-18-2009 at 07:59 AM.


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