thermal grease issue (pic included)

By MaRkJr ยท 11 replies
Dec 17, 2003
  1. well this is my first time using thermal grease on a cpu, on my others i just used the pad on the heatsink... i scraped the pad off of my heatsink and put thermal grease on my cpu. but i had no idea how bad the stuff liked to smear. so my cpu has thermal grease kind of smeared all over the top of it now.


    will rubbing alcohol remove the thermal grease from the green area of my chip? i noticed there is a light coating over some of the bridges, rubbing alcohol should be able to remove the thermal grease from that area allowing my cpu to safely run, shouldnt it?

    Thanks in advance!

    btw, I bought an asus a7n8x-x motherboard monday, it's arriving at my house today, so i wanted to make sure my cpu was cleaned up properly before installing it into my new motherboard. the asus motherboard is to replace my ECS k7s5a pro motherboard (which turned out to have fried my 1ghz amd thunderbird cpu, it wasnt me that caused it after all).
  2. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,512

    Yes, using alcohol will remove the thermal paste without a problem... Just make sure it's a "clean" alcohol, and not something oily like White Spirit..

    Use a Q-Tip or something similar to do it, as there is no need to drench the entire chip in alcohol... (And it'll make it easier to get the paste away from the bridges...)

    A small other point, as long as you clean the bridges, you don't have to clean the rest, as that's just ceramics... But it's allways nicer to have a clean chip, as less dust will attach itself to it....
  3. MaRkJr

    MaRkJr TS Rookie Topic Starter

    ok thank you!

    by the way, the chip didnt seem to be ceramic, or is it just a different type of ceramic than the thunderbird chips?

    anyway, thanks again for your help!
  4. BobTheGreat

    BobTheGreat TS Rookie

    actually since thermal paste isn't suppesd to be conductive will it really matter other then for looks (which does matter)?
  5. Scol

    Scol TS Rookie Posts: 88

    Though its not SUPPOSED to be conductive, its still advisable to clean it up in the rare case that there may be something caught in it that IS conductive. Better safe than sorry when it comes to your core, though for the most part, it'll just be aesthetics...
  6. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,512

    Scol is quite correct...

    If it's across the bridge points, dust might accumulate and make it conductive...
    And the past isn't usually made to hamper transfer of electricity...

    Oh, and some of the Silver pastes out there sometimes has a bit too much silver in them, making them conductive, even if it isn't supposed to be...
  7. Tarkus

    Tarkus TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 621

    I still say a little dish soap rubbed around and rinsed off under the tap with warm water is the best method. :)
  8. MaRkJr

    MaRkJr TS Rookie Topic Starter

    ok i used some rubbing alcohol on my cpu and it cleaned up perfect! although i noticed a dark area around the core of the cpu on top of the chip... i'm not sure if that's something to worry about though. on the bottom of the chip it doesnt have a dark tint, so i'm assuming the cpu is fine.

    thanks again for all of your help!

  9. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,512

    Don't worry about the discolourations around the core... most of my chips has it, even if I have yet to do anything with it... As long as you don't see anything that looks like a lot of shiny threads, you're safe...

    Tarkus> Using soap isn't a too good of a solution, as it leaves residues which might hamper the thermal transfer... The reason alcohol is good, is that it evaporates, and thus doesn't leave anything behind...
  10. MaRkJr

    MaRkJr TS Rookie Topic Starter

    ok good, cause when i first got the processor the dark area around the core wasnt there until after i had tried it in my ECS motherboard (which at the time that motherboard was fried, and i didnt know).
  11. Steg

    Steg TS Rookie Posts: 269

    yeh alcohol is great - but white spirit worked fine for me - the 'fine' stuff leaves no residue at all - cleans paste/pads off great

  12. BrownPaper

    BrownPaper TS Rookie Posts: 407

    the thermal grease may not be conductive but some types of thermal grease has a very small chance of being capacitive.
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