How to apply thermal paste

Table of contents:

How to apply thermal paste
How to apply thermal paste
Anonim

Consideration must be given to proper cooling of the computer when assembling and using the computer. Too much heat can damage sensitive components and create big problems when overclocking your computer. One of the foundations of computer cooling is the correct application of thermal paste. Read this article to find out how to do this.

Steps

Method 1 of 3: Surface Preparation

Apply Thermal Paste Step 1
Apply Thermal Paste Step 1

Step 1. Select thermal grease

Most thermal pastes contain silicone and zinc oxide, while more expensive thermal pastes have excellent heat conductors such as silver or ceramic. The advantage of silver or ceramic thermal paste is that you will have more efficient heat transfer. However, a simple thermal paste will satisfy the needs of most users.

If you are planning to overclock your computer, buy thermal grease that contains silver, copper, and gold. We are talking about the most heat-conducting metals, with the use of which thermal paste is made

Apply Thermal Paste Step 2
Apply Thermal Paste Step 2

Step 2. Clean the processor and heat sink surface

Wipe the surface with a cotton swab moistened with an alcohol solution. The higher the alcohol percentage, the better. 70% is good, but 90% is best.

Apply Thermal Paste Step 3
Apply Thermal Paste Step 3

Step 3. Sand the surfaces if necessary

Ideally, the two mating surfaces (processor and heatsink) should be completely smooth, which would completely eliminate the need for thermal grease. However, it is not. Therefore, sand the base of the radiator with sandpaper to make it more smooth. But if you do not strive to get maximum cooling, then you can not do this.

Thermal paste is intended for filling irregularities on the surfaces to be joined. Since modern manufacturing technologies cannot make surfaces without irregularities, thermal paste will always be needed

Method 2 of 3: Apply Thermal Paste to Round Base Radiators

Apply Thermal Paste Step 4
Apply Thermal Paste Step 4

Step 1. Apply a tiny drop of thermal paste to the center of the heatsink base

The ball of pasta should be smaller than a grain of rice. If you read that the ball should be about the size of a "pea" (that is, too much paste), then eventually the paste may end up on the motherboard.

There is no need to spread the paste on a radiator with a round base, as under pressure it will evenly distribute itself over the entire surface

Apply Thermal Paste Step 5
Apply Thermal Paste Step 5

Step 2. Install the heatsink onto the processor

Install the heatsink by evenly pressing on it from all sides, and thus the paste is evenly distributed (smeared) over the contact surface. This will create a thin, even layer that fills in any irregularities, but also avoids excess thermal paste.

Under the influence of heat, the layer of thermal paste becomes thinner and spreads closer to the edge. This is why it is so important to apply a small amount of paste in the center of the radiator

Apply Thermal Paste Step 6
Apply Thermal Paste Step 6

Step 3. Do not disconnect the radiator after installing it

You may want to do this to make sure the paste is evenly distributed. However, in this way you will break the contact between the two surfaces and you will have to repeat the process again, starting with cleaning the surfaces of thermal paste.

Apply Thermal Paste Step 7
Apply Thermal Paste Step 7

Step 4. Connect the cooler

Connect the power supply of the cooler to the motherboard (CPU cooler connector), which will allow the computer to automatically adjust the rotational speed of the cooler without changing the voltage.

Apply Thermal Paste Step 8
Apply Thermal Paste Step 8

Step 5. Boot the system

Make sure the cooler is spinning. Enter BIOS by pressing F1 or Del key during system boot. Make sure the temperature is normal: CPU temperature should be below 40 degrees Celsius in standby mode; the same for the video card (GPU).

Method 3 of 3: Apply Thermal Paste to Square Base Radiators

Apply Thermal Paste Step 9
Apply Thermal Paste Step 9

Step 1. Apply the paste to the base of the radiator

Applying paste to such a radiator is a little more complicated than for a radiator with a round base, because simply applying a drop and subsequent pressure will not result in an even distribution (smearing). There are various methods on how to do this:

  • Line method. Apply two thin lines of thermal paste to the base of the heatsink. The lines should be perpendicular, and in length and width should be one third of the surface of the base.
  • Cross method. This is very similar to the previous method, but the lines intersect in an "X" instead of a perpendicular intersection. The length and thickness of the lines should be the same as in the previous method.
  • Distribution method. This is one of the most popular and effective methods, but it will take more effort. Apply a small amount of thermal paste to the base of the heatsink. Using your finger, spread (spread) the paste evenly over the entire surface. Make sure the entire surface of the radiator base is covered. Thus, the paste should barely cover the metal of the radiator base.
Apply Thermal Paste Step 10
Apply Thermal Paste Step 10

Step 2. Install the radiator

If you have applied thermal paste using any of the "line" methods, press evenly on the heatsink from all sides, and thus the paste is evenly distributed (smeared) over the contact surface. If you have used the “spreading” method, install the cooler at a slight angle to prevent bubbles. This is because the paste is usually spread too thinly to avoid blistering when pressed.

Apply Thermal Paste Step 11
Apply Thermal Paste Step 11

Step 3. Connect the cooler

Connect the power supply of the cooler to the motherboard (CPU cooler connector), which will allow the computer to automatically adjust the rotational speed of the cooler without changing the voltage.

Apply Thermal Paste Step 12
Apply Thermal Paste Step 12

Step 4. Boot the system

Make sure the cooler is spinning. Enter BIOS by pressing F1 or Del key during system boot. Make sure the temperature is normal: CPU temperature should be below 40 degrees Celsius in standby mode; the same for the video card (GPU).

Advice

  • After cleaning surfaces with alcohol, do not touch them with your fingers. Fingers will leave greasy marks, which will affect the heat transfer quality.
  • Keep in mind that the pasta usually has a lifespan, during which the pasta is most effective and is good at lowering temperatures. This period is often 200 hours.
  • If you are using latex gloves to spread the paste, make sure there is no powder on the surface. If the powder gets on the thermal paste, the quality of heat transfer will deteriorate.
  • A thin layer of thermal paste is ideal, while a thick layer will reduce the rate of heat transfer.

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