Forum Thread

When installing stock Intel cooler, should I wipe the thermal paste it comes with?

stubbornboy 2,277 366 March 17, 2012 at 03:56 PM
Last time I did, I didn't wipe the thermal paste that he heatsink already had applied on its face

. I just added the MX2 paste that I bought separately onto the CPU and spread it and mounted the heatsink on top. temps were in the forties at idle.

Edit: I shd have mentioned this earlier. I sold that computer. Now I am again building a new one.

This time around, I want to do it right. So should I juust wipe the thermal paste that is on the surface of the heatsink and then apply MX2 on the CPU andd mount it?

Or just forget MX2 and mount the heatsink as it is since it already came with the thermal paste on the surface?

On a different note - I also have Hyper 212+ with me. But the youtube video if installation scared me away. So gonna go with stock since I am not over clocking anyways

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#2
If you are going to apply a different thermal paste, you need to remove the existing thermal paste. Use a lint-free cloth (an old t-shirt works fine) and rubbing alcohol.
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#3
why do you need to add an extra thermal grease?
too much grease is really bad.
original grease should be fine.
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#4
nothing wrong with running in the 40s. Why don't you try running with the stock paste and if temps get too hot for your taste, remove cooler, wipe the paste, and apply arctic silver or something good?
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#5
91% rubbing alcohol (or Goo Gone, works better, but takes longer to completely dry) + coffee filters to clean it, sandwich bag over your forefinger to spread it.
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#6
Quote from dude2000 View Post :
why do you need to add an extra thermal grease?
too much grease is really bad.
original grease should be fine.
I mean I don't want to add extra paste. Its juts that all instructional videos and articles say put a pea size drop on CPU and then just mount the heatsink and let it spread by itself.

In my case stock heatsink came with paste pre-applied. So I was confused - not sure if I shd keep it like that and not apply anything on CPU or wipe it and apply new paste on CPU as shown on youtube etc.
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#7
oops sorry guys. I sold the first computer.
The question I am asking refers to the new one I am building today. Edited OP to reflect that
Its just that this time I want to do it the right way. So my question boils down to this -

The Intel stock heatsink already comes with thermal paste applied on the surface. So shd I

1) just place it on CPU (w/o applying any paste to CPU) and count on the pre applied paste (on heatsink) to spread

2) Apply some mx2 to CPU and then mount the heatsink on the CPU w/o wiping the pre applied pase on the heatsink

3) Wipe the stuff that comes pre applied on the heatsink and then apply mx2 on CPU and mount the heatsink
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#8
Quote from stubbornboy View Post :
I mean I don't want to add extra paste. Its juts that all instructional videos and articles say put a pea size drop on CPU and then just mount the heatsink and let it spread by itself.

In my case stock heatsink came with paste pre-applied. So I was confused - not sure if I shd keep it like that and not apply anything on CPU or wipe it and apply new paste on CPU as shown on youtube etc.
Just use the the stuff on there. Though if the newer I series oem coolers are anything like the i920 ish then get an after market cooler. On my 920 it uses these push pin system and the cpu kept falling off.
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#9
Quote from stubbornboy View Post :
In my case stock heatsink came with paste pre-applied. So I was confused - not sure if I shd keep it like that and not apply anything on CPU or wipe it and apply new paste on CPU as shown on youtube etc.
It will only make a difference of a few degrees. Given you're not overclocking, it is unlikely to be worth the effort to replace the thermal paste.
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#10
Quote from mrbobhcrhs View Post :
Just use the the stuff on there. Though if the newer I series oem coolers are anything like the i920 ish then get an after market cooler. On my 920 it uses these push pin system and the cpu kept falling off.
You have to push in the pins until you can turn them. It's a little awkward (and the included instructions leave something to be desired), but it's not that hard.
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#11
Quote from Aluvus View Post :
You have to push in the pins until you can turn them. It's a little awkward (and the included instructions leave something to be desired), but it's not that hard.
I know and I know a few that still got knocked loose. Personally I got a Noctua and glad I did.
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#12
Is intel really still using the plastic push-pin to secure their stock heatsink? When I installed mine back in 2008, one of the pinf got stuck and didn't go all the way in and the heatsink was not sitting correctly but I didn't notice. I was wondering why the CPU idle temp is always at high 50s (and it's a celeron E1200 on LGA775). The aftermarket one I bought was from Lenovo with the screws and metal backplate which kept the CPU idle temp. lower than the motherboard temp (~32C).

The thermal paste has one and only one purpose: fill in the micro cracks of the surface from both CPU and the heatsink (and therefore maximize the heat transfer efficiency). I use minimal paste by applying a thin layer on the CPU and then use a credit card to spread it evenly and get as much paste off until I can see the color from the CPU heat spreader cover, not the paste. Then I put the heatsink on and give it a couple of pressed-twist to make better contact before I secure everything.
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#13
I have my i5 on the stock cooler and paste. It's perfectly fine at stock clocks, and even for 4-500 MHz over stock. Until I get a SD on an aftermarket cooler, I don't want to overclock it since I don't want to hear the fan kick up.
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#14
Since everyone's suggesting it, Is there any ill effect of keeping old thermal paste on there, and just slapping the new cooler on the CPU? I know too much is bad, but would the old dried out and cracked one mess anything up?
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#15
Quote from lotssatire View Post :
Since everyone's suggesting it, Is there any ill effect of keeping old thermal paste on there, and just slapping the new cooler on the CPU? I know too much is bad, but would the old dried out and cracked one mess anything up?
Yes. You won't get a smooth, consistent level of paste and you'll end up with air bubbles. That said, I've done it on laptops with no ill effects. Just monitor it if you do it and be aware that you may need to crack it open and replace the TIM.
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