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  1. #1
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    Question Replacing heatsink for first time, some questions.

    I'm preparing to replace the dreaded stock heatsink with something that doesn't suck
    I have some basic questions, and would appreciate the help.

    I have already picked out and ordered my new heatsink (CM Hyper 212+) . I'm expecting it in the morning. I've already done lots of research on how to do everything properly and I think i'm ready. My questions are based on all of the conflicting opinions on this subject.
    My main question is about applying thermal compound. I have found a set of videos online comparing various application methods using a clear piece of glass or plastic to simulate how the compound is spreading under pressure. http://youtu.be/EyXLu1Ms-q4
    http://youtu.be/ffK7L0Qj13Q
    I realize its old and cheesy and not the best way to show this, but still helpful.
    So based on what i saw i've settled with two methods that seem to actually work. I would like to know simply: Pea size OR Rice size?
    Also how much do i need to worry about filling in the gaps on the heat spreader of the CM Hyper 212+???

    Is it really that big a deal if i use q-tips to clean the old compound?
    I realize that there is a possibility of leaving lint behind, but if i pay attention and actually look before applying the new compound, what are the risks?
    Yes, i already have 90%+ isopropyl alcohol

    Thank you!

  2. #2
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    Re: Replacing heatsink for first time, some questions.

    Dig out an old pair of tighty whities from the back of the drawer and use it to clean the CPU. Don't use the striped side of course. If it is available use the plastic container that your CPU came in to hold it while cleaning. I will use a razor blade to "shave" down the thickness of the old compound before I take the alcohol to it. The razor also makes it easy to even out the new compound as well. You want it the thickness of a matchbook cover.
    John

  3. #3
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    Re: Replacing heatsink for first time, some questions.

    Personally, I never just apply a pea size or whatever size amount or do the line method. I just apply the thinnest possible layer I can throughout on the CPU and then just mount the cooler.

    You can experiment with so many methods but we're probably talking like less than a couple degrees difference from one method to the other.

    Be more concerned with using a higher quality thermal interface material.
    Good luck, newbie.

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  4. #4
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    Re: Replacing heatsink for first time, some questions.

    Thank you! It seems that I'm getting it on Monday
    The reason I've decided on those applications is that I'm worried about air pockets. Seeing that my heatsink will not be completely flat on the bottom like most, I'm more leaning towards letting the compound spread its self out to fill in the gaps on the heatsink.
    Worst comes to worst, I will have extra compound after I install the first time and do it again.
    I also do realize the temp difference is minimal, but I care a lot since this is my first build : )
    If you stand buy the spread method, i'll go ahead and try it.
    Thank you : )


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  5. #5
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    Re: Replacing heatsink for first time, some questions.

    There is a good chance the new heatsink will come with TIM already applied.

    I would just clean the CPU and go with the TIM already applied.

    If you have to apply paste I also recommend putting a pea sized drop in the middle of the CPU and apply the heat sink and let it spread the paste
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  6. #6
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    Re: Replacing heatsink for first time, some questions.

    Even though your build (case, fans, airflow, etc.) will be different from other people's setups, just Google reviews on the cooler or check other sources for the temperatures that you should potentially be getting and just account for +/- 5*C

    Even if it's the same processor and BIOS settings (clock speeds, voltages [even that varies by motherboard], etc.) at least if you are experiencing retarded high temps then you may have to re-apply from scratch, you put on too thick of a layer or the base of the cooler is not seated flat.

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  7. #7
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    Re: Replacing heatsink for first time, some questions.

    i just make sure there is a thin layer across the entire cpu....lately, when i take the heatsink off to replace a motherboard, i sometimes don,t even scrap it off, just reinstall it as long as there is thermal paste over the entire cpu....i know some will same i should scrape it off......i just watch the temps with hardmonitoring software and bios setup when i start it up..if temps are good...i am all done,,,every time i have done this....temps allways ok.

    i like coolermaster thermal compound,,,its not thick or sticky
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  8. #8
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    Re: Replacing heatsink for first time, some questions.

    ^ I really would replace it every time though.

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  9. #9
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    Re: Replacing heatsink for first time, some questions.

    I just finished! Thank you everybody for the input. I did clean the CPU first, im glad i got a new cooler because there were air pockets on my stock heatsink!
    I went with the pea method, and after some burn tests im feeling confident that i did i right.
    Although i did hit 80c running the IntelBurn Test on maximum stress level and " Extreme stress mode"
    (4.2GHz 38c idle 60c ish load)
    I'm thinking in a week or so i'm going to re-apply the thermal compound, after checking how the compound spread out from today. I'll post and update on like Monday.
    Thanks everybody


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  10. #10
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    Re: Replacing heatsink for first time, some questions.

    It also takes time for the paste to set and work at its optimal capacity.

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  11. #11
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    Re: Replacing heatsink for first time, some questions.

    I have the 212 evo. There are still gaps between the heatpipes on the base, although it's better than the non evo. I tried the line method, and then removed the heatsink, I wasn't impressed with the spread of the paste at all. So I did it over with my usual method of spreading a very thin layer over the entire 2500K using a sandwich baggie and my finger. Much better results. With the 2500K at 4.4Ghz, I have yet to hit 60c after running prime 95 for hours. Intel burn didn't get the temps above 55c.

    I'm using Arctic silver 3 I bought back in 2003. There has been no change in temps over the last week. I think the idea that it improves with time is a myth, I've never experienced it, with any paste.

  12. #12
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    Re: Replacing heatsink for first time, some questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by WilliamM2 View Post
    I have the 212 evo. There are still gaps between the heatpipes on the base, although it's better than the non evo. I tried the line method, and then removed the heatsink, I wasn't impressed with the spread of the paste at all. So I did it over with my usual method of spreading a very thin layer over the entire 2500K using a sandwich baggie and my finger. Much better results. With the 2500K at 4.4Ghz, I have yet to hit 60c after running prime 95 for hours. Intel burn didn't get the temps above 55c.

    I'm using Arctic silver 3 I bought back in 2003. There has been no change in temps over the last week. I think the idea that it improves with time is a myth, I've never experienced it, with any paste.
    I applied a tiny square centered on the heatspreader of the cpu with my EVO.....having not changed a HSF in YRS I opted for Artic Silver 5 as that was what I used on my Athlons, T_Birds and older AMD cpus.....

    I guess Artic Silver 5 has been surpassed by quite a few diff types, lol. But my results are ok I guess, probably could have done better with MX-4 compound.

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