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Thermal paste question

Old 02-25-05, 10:15 PM
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Thermal paste question

My buddy was building a system from scratch and had to return his motherboard. He bought the AMD 64 3500+ with the retail heatsink and fan. The "thermal paste" that comes stock doesn't require any work. Before you place the heatsink over the processor, you simply take off the thin strip of protection off the paste.

Now, since we had to send his motherboard back, we had to remove his CPU and the heatsink/fan as well.

Should we apply a new layer of thermal paste to his CPU? A bit of it did get smeared, and I'm not entirely sure how he has kept his heatsink since we detached it from the mobo.

Best Buy had some for like 10 dollars, and although it wasn't Arctic Silver which I've heard so much about but then again, if we need it we don't have to wait for shipping.

Anyone have any good advice? Buy more paste and reapply, or should he be fine simply replacing the heatsink/fan?

Thanks ahead of time!

Last edited by Corvin; 02-25-05 at 11:07 PM.
Old 02-25-05, 10:18 PM
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You cannot reuse thermal tape type paste.

You have to completely remove the old paste from both the CPU and the heatsink with something like acetone and replace it with new paste.

I would recommend doing it right and either ordering AS (for like $5 at SVC) or looking for it locally. I wouldn't go with the Best Buy Antec stuff I've seen, but if you're in a hurry and they have AS for $10 it's not so bad.
Old 02-25-05, 11:14 PM
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Remove the paste from the heatsink and CPU and clean it. Acetone or high-purity (90%+) isopropyl alcohol work well. Use a lint free cloth to do the cleaning. (Tissue paper, like what you use when wrapping gifts, works well. Don't use colored paper, though)

I agree with X. If you're gonna do it, might as well get Arctic Silver 5.
Old 02-26-05, 12:22 AM
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Do any chains carry AS5? CompUSA, maybe?
Old 02-26-05, 12:45 AM
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CompUSA I know does but they charge $10 for 1.5 oz. It's way cheaper online. Best Buy might.

Be careful when you buy it, though. I bought some a year ago and when I got home I realized it was Arctic Silver 3. Not that big of a deal except they still charged $10 for it. If you're going to pay that much make sure you are getting the most current product. If you can wait a week, I'd order it online. You can get twice as much for half the price.
Old 02-26-05, 01:51 AM
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It's not really cheaper online. For some reason, all the places that sell this kind of stuff charges you around $5 for shipping. If you have a Fry's, they sometimes stock it. It may seem more expensive, but when you add in shipping, it won't save you much, plus you don't have to wait.
Old 02-26-05, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by hahn
It's not really cheaper online. For some reason, all the places that sell this kind of stuff charges you around $5 for shipping. If you have a Fry's, they sometimes stock it. It may seem more expensive, but when you add in shipping, it won't save you much, plus you don't have to wait.
True. You can pick it up at a local CompUSA for like $12 with tax. Newegg has it for $7.50, but charges $5 for shipping.
Old 02-26-05, 10:37 AM
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Cool guys. Thanks a lot of the help.
Old 02-26-05, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by hahn
It's not really cheaper online. For some reason, all the places that sell this kind of stuff charges you around $5 for shipping.
It is cheaper online and that's why I said SVC which has free shipping.

http://store.yahoo.com/svcompucycle/as5-3g.html

You could look at AS's Céramique as well which will run you $4 shipped.

http://search.store.yahoo.com/cgi-bi...=arctic+silver
Old 02-26-05, 11:43 PM
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Originally Posted by X
It is cheaper online and that's why I said SVC which has free shipping.

http://store.yahoo.com/svcompucycle/as5-3g.html

You could look at AS's Céramique as well which will run you $4 shipped.

http://search.store.yahoo.com/cgi-bi...=arctic+silver
Oh well. Good to know. Next century when I run out of my 12 g tube, I'll know where to go. If they still exist.
Old 02-27-05, 01:49 AM
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I've used SVC a few times and recommend them. Good prices and when they charge shipping on it is virutally (and maybe actually) at cost.

Also, I like to use an old credit (type) card to spread the compound, since it's plastic you don't have to worry about scratching anything. And personally, I wouldn't follow the AS instructions to apply a layer to the heatsink bottom and then rub it off (to fill the micorgaps), as it doesn't provide much of a gain and it wastes more compound than you acutally use on the CPU. But then again you'll probably loose the tube before you use the rest of it.
Old 02-27-05, 12:23 PM
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to clean off the tape, as noted above, isopropyl alcohol (99%) works great -- use a q-tip to apply it and scrub. it evaporates almost immediately.

i also use AS5 -- either the credit card trick or a digit wrapped in saran wrap has worked well for me. one tube will last forever (or at least for me through 2 or 3 cpu HS applications, a NB replacement HS application, two video card HS replacements -- i do not think i have even made a dent in my tube).

kms
Old 02-27-05, 08:24 PM
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What happens if you don't clean the old paste off with acetone/alcohol? WHat if you just wipe it off with a paper towel?
Old 02-27-05, 08:32 PM
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That's not optimal and will almost certainly result in higher core temperatures. Probably not too many degrees, but the amount of cooling gained by careful cleaning is worth it.
Old 02-27-05, 11:03 PM
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X is nailing this all right on the head.

I've used Arctic Silver 5 on every system I've built for the past 2 years...worth every penny.

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