heatsink thermal pad question?

By kesler
Oct 26, 2006
  1. My cpu & heatsink came with the thermal pad. Do I need to add thermal paste or is the thermal pap all I need? Thank you Kirk
  2. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    Personally if it were mine, I`d clean off the thermal pad and use thermal paste instead.

    However, to answer your question, you shouldn`t add thermal paste if your going to use the thermal pad.

    Regards Howard :)
  3. cfitzarl

    cfitzarl TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,975   +9

    It should be fine, although don't count on having the coolest system with a generic heatsink.
  4. kesler

    kesler TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 54

    I believe it states use thermal paste on amd athlon64 even when it came with a pad. Any suggestions on a heatsink and fan. Its a amd athlon64 3200+ biostar 6100 m9 mobo, 256x2 duel channel ram, ultra 400w psu. On amd website it says spread about 5 rice size pieces on cpu. Do you spread it with your finger? Thanks
  5. dmill89

    dmill89 TS Guru Posts: 475

    You should never use thermal paste with a thermal pad. Doing so would put an extra barrier beween the heatsink and CPU and act as insulation rather than a thermal interface. Youn can either use the thermal pad by itself without thermal paste or scrape it off and only use thermal paste by itself but you can not use both a thermal pad and thermal paste together.

    Oh and you apply the thermal paste to the CPU in the thinnest layer possible thay still covers the entire CPU. An old credit card is exelent for spreading thermal paste as well as scrapeing the thermal pad off the stock heatsink.
  6. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,233   +234

    Good advise dmill89,
    I would use the pad if it was new, without anything else... I have removed heatsinks that were bad. If they had pad remains, I make sure the pad is completely removed and the surface cleaned before using thermal compound
  7. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,689   +395

    Use the pad for now just because its simpler and you won't have to buy paste. But keep in mind you really only have 1 shot at installing that heatsink using the pad. If you twist the heatsink any or screw up your first attempt for some reason your pad has likely gotten messed up and won't be any good.

    The pad comes off with isopropyl alcohol easily.
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