Do you have to remove/reapply thermal paste to the CPU, cooler

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware, Devices and Accessories' started by Gariscus, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. Gariscus
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    Gariscus Former Team Cyclops Mod

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    ...if you are simply changing the motherboard?
     
  2. cobleman

    cobleman GBAtemp Maniac

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    As a rule you should yes. To seat the heat sink properly on the CPU.
     
  3. mercluke

    mercluke ‮҉

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    you don't have to but i'd recommend doing so if you have separated the cpu and the heat sink while swapping out the mobo

    edit: bbcode phail :x
     
  4. Originality

    Originality Chibi-neko

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    When the thermal paste sets, it creates a near perfect layer of contact between the two surfaces. When you break that, the layer of contact will be uneven and several air bubbles will turn up. Each flaw in the thermal paste reduces the effectiveness of the HSF (Heatsink Fan), and increase the working temperature environment of the CPU. Worst case - the CPU will fry.

    It's highly advised to clean both the CPU surface and the HSF surface and apply fresh thermal paste any time you take off the HSF (whether it's to change the motherboard, CPU or HSF, or even just to rotate the HSF 90 degrees).
     
  5. twiztidsinz

    twiztidsinz Taiju Yamada Fan

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    I use to be a big believer in the whole 'get the best thermal paste you can' ideology, but now... Meh.

    Not to contradict everyone as thermal paste's job is to facilitate the transfer of heat from the hot CPU to the cool copper of the HSF, but... When my PSU died and I had to remove my gigantic Tuniq Tower HSF to remove and replace it, the thermal paste was all dried up and flaky.
    Currently my HSF is connected directly to the CPU and held into place with 'tension screws' (long screws with big springs that keep a relatively even tension across the whole bracket) and it's cooling just as good as when it was first put on with brand new Arctic Silver thermal paste.

    If you're going to be concerned about thermal paste (which is NOT a bad thing!), then I think you should also be concerned about replacing it every few years as well.


    I'll clarify my point to avoid any confusion:
    By all means use thermal paste, I cannot see it doing any harm. But I will not be all that concerned with it anymore as from my experience the HSF plays a bigger role.
     
  6. Originality

    Originality Chibi-neko

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    Most thermal pastes are ceramic based - they're supposed to be dry (once it sets - triggered by heat), and only flake if you take the HSF off and break the "seal" (the term comes from a comparisson with wax seals).
     
  7. twiztidsinz

    twiztidsinz Taiju Yamada Fan

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    Meh... I'm not explaining it correctly, but it was worse than it should be.
    Some of it was as it should have been and that came off cleanly, it had more 'cohesion' to it. But the majority of it was all just falling apart and crumbly and fell off the HSF. I really can't explain it.
     
  8. Originality

    Originality Chibi-neko

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    Crumbling... is not supposed to happen... it's a sign that the thermal paste was degrading. No idea what can cause that though.
     
  9. shadowkillerdrag

    shadowkillerdrag GBAtemp Regular

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    how does the thermal paste go flaky o.o how long was it since your last thermal paste lol