Upgrading processor - question about heatsink and thermal grease

By jledoux ยท 13 replies
Dec 23, 2005
  1. I'm upgrading my computer from a 1.5Ghz Pentium 4 to a 2.2 Ghz, but since I've never done this before, I have a couple of questions.

    First, a question about the heatsink mechanism. I purchased a 2.2 Ghz processor via ebay and it came with a stock intel heatsink and fan. The retention mechanism on this thing looks different (and possibly incompatible with) than what is used with my current heatsink and fan, but since I've never done this before I could be wrong. My current heat sink and fan has two silver metal clips on either side that appear to keep it clamped down. The new heatsink has a plastic frame or cage around the heatsink, with four vertical 'legs' or 'prongs' that look like they need to be clipped into a base that is designed for them, but I'm not sure my motherboard currently has such a base.

    Are there different retention mechanisms that are used for pentium 4? And if so, what is the solution to my problem - should I get a different heatsink that uses the metal clips that my current heat sink uses? Or do I need to change the retention mechanism on my motherboard? Or is the new heatsink probably compatible with my current setup? Can I use my old heatsink to cool my new processor, or is it likely not sufficent?

    My motherboard is a D845HV (intel), and it uses an mPGA-478 socket. The processor I have is a 2.2 Ghz 478 intel pentium 4.

    I can attach some images of the old and new assemblies if that will help.

    My second question is about the use of a thermal pad versus grease. My heatsink has a thermal pad - is that adequate? Do I just clamp the heatsink and fan to the processor without doing anything with the processor, or do I need to do something else to ensure adequate cooling? I have arctic silver ceramique - should I use that instead? The instructions say to remove the thermal pad, clean the mounting surfaces with isopropanol (99%), and apply the ceramique to the heat sink and processor. Is this a better way to go?

  2. Mtyson8

    Mtyson8 TS Rookie

    See, a NEW pentium 4 has to come with its own heatsink, and new grease. But there is no way for intel to know what clips you currently have. I would use you current heatsink and fan, as its already a proper fit to your motherboard. Also, by removing the old processor, you'll lose some of the grease under youre current heatsink, so you may want to carefully take off the new pad under the new metal heatsink and lay it between the old sink and new processor. It will be sufficient.

    Also, i have a Dell Dimension. I had a 2.6 GHz with HT. I aquired a used 3.0GHz with HT of another PC. All I did wad remove the clips, undo the heatsink, unstick it from the 2.6, remove the 2.6 with brown lever on mounting device, added the 3.0, and put heatsink back on, with no other grease. Surely if you have a new kit, its even better for you!!

    PUTALE TS Rookie Posts: 126

    are you sure that you are getting the same socket cpu? there are few sockets for the pentium 4 chips.

    now as for yoru heatsink questin, you can actually use your existing heatsink with your cpu if that does not fit. Post a picture as it will be easier to visualize what you are talking about.

    You do need to clean the thermalpad off every time you take the cpu apart from the system. You don't need to have AC5 but since you took the cpu off the system, you do have to reapply the thermal compound and since AC5 is good, use it.
  4. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    thermal grease is far better than a thermal pad.
    I highly recommend Arctic silver.
  5. Arcanum

    Arcanum TS Rookie Posts: 181

    Yes, the new CPU is compatible - it's the some socket type + it's supported by it's chipset - no problems there.

    Remove the pad, thermal grease, as stated above, is far more effective - get Arctic Silver 5 - remove the pad, clean the surface of the heatsink, insert the CPU into socket, apply AS5, mount heatsink.
  6. jledoux

    jledoux TS Rookie Topic Starter

    CPU stuck to heatsink

    The 'computer gods' are giving me quite an initiation during my first attempt to replace a processor. Based on everyone's advice, I decided to use my old heatsink and fan and go ahead and replace my old processor. When I removed the heatsink and fan, guess what was attached to it? The processor. I've tried putting some drops of goof off at the base of the processor (got this idea off the web), and then try tapping it off; this had not worked, and the CPU is still stuck to the heatsink.

    The good news is the new processor does appear to be the correct kind. I purchased a heatsink and fan with removable retention clips that should work with my current setup, unlike the 'standard intel assembly' that came with my processor.

    I guess I have two questions now: 1) is the fact that I pulled out the processor without first raising the lever a concern? The old processor didn't appear to be damaged. 2) Everyone is in agreement that thermal grease is the way to go - I have arctic silver ceramique, not arctic silver 5, however; is this a big deal, or should I go ahead and use ceramique? My guess is that ceramique should work just fine, but just thought I'd ask. 3) Finally, any ideas on how to remove the stuck cpu? Did gateway glue it to the heatsink or something?
  7. Otmakus

    Otmakus TS Rookie Posts: 51

    I once had the same experience with a P4 1,8 GHz socket 478, the CPU got stuck to the heatsink when i removed the heatsink to clean it from dirt. I managed to forcefully remove the processor from the heatsink and I too worried the processor had been damaged because it was removed without raising the lever.

    Then after cleaning the heatsink, I applied some thermal grease and installed the CPU to the mobo again, and it worked well, so my guess is your processor is fine too.

    I think this is caused by the thermal pad having the effect of glueing the processor to the heatsink. So I guess it's better to use thermal grease than thermal pad afterall.

    Anything from arctic silver is far better than a thermal pad, just be sure to apply it correctly.

    I forget how I managed to remove the processor from the heatsink. I remember I tried to remove it with a screwdriver, but it didn't work, I think I removed it forcefully by hand, just be careful and don't ever touch the pins, I once managed to bend one of the processor's pins, and in the process of unbending it with a plyer, I broke it. After freaking out, I noticed that it was the ground pin and the processor still works to this day, but it sure was a heart stopping experient.
  8. jledoux

    jledoux TS Rookie Topic Starter

    All is well

    Thanks Octmakus and everyone else. My story ends well. The new processor, and new heatsink and fan assembly all works; I used arctic silver ceramique and my 2.2 Ghz runs cooler than my 1.5 Ghz ran (it had a thermal pad). Best of all, apparently my incident with pulling out the old processor without lifting the lever did not damage anything. Whew! Thanks again for your help everyone.
  9. Arcanum

    Arcanum TS Rookie Posts: 181

    Glad that we could help and to hear everything went well :)
  10. PUTALE

    PUTALE TS Rookie Posts: 126

    good to hear. for a moment I was worried that your cpu migth have problem:).
  11. Merc14

    Merc14 TS Rookie Posts: 171

    To unstick that CPU grab a blow dryer and heat up the pad and CPU. When i gets pliable carefully pael it off with your fingers if possible or a thin blade if necessary.
  12. jledoux

    jledoux TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The blow dryer method worked - thanks! Now I don't know what to do with the processor (1.5 Ghz pentium 4, 478, 400 mhz); I guess I could sell it, but how do I know it still works, after all of this?
  13. Mtyson8

    Mtyson8 TS Rookie

    Remove your new 2.2Ghz, with the new grease and everything and try again the 1.5 to see if it works....


    ......Just kidding. I didnt really think you wanted to do that all over again!!!!!
  14. jledoux

    jledoux TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ha ha! :) I definitely don't want to press my luck!
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