How do I apply thermal paste?

By Jawshh
Dec 1, 2011
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  1. Hey,

    I have a Xigmatek HDT-SD964 cooler and a Phenom II x6 1055T. I'm moving the CPU into another mobo and I believe I will replace the thermal paste. I usually put some thermal paste on the heatsink and spread in into a square with a credit card but this usually uses up the whole tube of paste. So, I'd really love to save a lot of thermal paste!

    According to , as little as a grain of uncooked rice is much better.

    Is that right? How should I do it? I mean, I have 6 cores and I don't know if the paste will cover up all of them cores. Or, should they even cover up the cores!?

    Btw, the base of my heatsink isn't really flat because of the exposed heat pipes!
  2. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,713   +3,691

    It has been mentioned spreading the compound before applying the heatsink can cause bubbles which will block the transfer of heat. By placing a small dot in the middle and allowing the heatsink mounting pressure to spread the compound will minimize any chances of bubbles.
  3. Jawshh

    Jawshh TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 392

    Ok man, thanks! I'll give that a try!
  4. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    The best method for a exposed heatpipe cooler is to put a little TIM (thermal paste) on the heatsink base and use the credit card method to "fill in" the gaps between the copper heatpipes and the heatsink block they are embedded in. Blade away any excess. THEN use the method that cliffordcooley has posted - small dot of TIM centrally on the CPU heatspreader, then use the heatsinks weight and securing tension to spread out the TIM.

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