Do I really need thermal paste?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Mike Schmitz, Nov 18, 2004.

  1. Mike Schmitz

    Mike Schmitz Stunt Coordinator

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    I watched the guys building my computer use thermal paste on the AMD XP 2200+ that went in my computer. I'm about to put in a 3200+ all buy myself, but the instructions that came wit hthe CPU don't discuss applying thermal paste at all. Also, at AMD's website, this page has a movie that says "thermal grease is only recommended for development, test and validation purposes."

    I'm not planning on overclocking. Should I apply the thermal paste anyway?
     
  2. Duane R

    Duane R Second Unit

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    I don't know if AMD uses thermal pads like Intel does, but if they don't, you need to put something between the heatsink and CPU for the purpose of heat transfer.
     
  3. Mike Fassler

    Mike Fassler Supporting Actor

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    dont use thermalpads unless you like high processor temps. use thermalpaste otherwise as soon as you powerup the pc *poof* goes yer proc without anything there. theres a reason they sell it, use it.
     
  4. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    You're kidding, right?!? Then why does every heatsink on the market come with thermalpads instead of thermalpaste, including the heatsinks that come with the processors (both AMD and Intel)? Thermalpaste is better at transferring heat, but both will work. It can even be argued that, if you're not overclocking, thermalpads are a better long-term solution (as stated on AMD's own website).
     
  5. brentl

    brentl Cinematographer

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    As stated thermal apds come on every AMD processor fan combo, and AMD warraties it that way.

    I'd guess AMD knows what they are talking aboot!

    Brent
     
  6. John Chow

    John Chow Second Unit

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    Thermal paste will definitely give you better heat transfer and is a better overall thermal solution. However, if AMD provides the cpus with thermalpads and warranties it as is, then it should be fine with standard PC designs. If you're trying to shove it in a notebook, or some smaller form factor desktop, then it's probably a good idea to use thermal paste as a precaution.
     
  7. Chris Bardon

    Chris Bardon Cinematographer

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    I've been running my p4 1.6 clocked at 2.1 GHz for the past couple of years with just the stock heatsink and no paste, and I haven't had a problem with it. I'd say you're probably safe without it, unless you're running extraordinarily hot for some reason.
     
  8. Mike Fassler

    Mike Fassler Supporting Actor

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    THATS CAUSE ITS AN INTEL,you cant do that with amd.
     
  9. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    *laugh* try that with one of the new Prescott Intels.. which compared to AMD's 64 bit line run almost twice as hot.. hell, they throttle themselves down due to heat! [​IMG]

    (see Tom's Hardware and elsewhere for reviews)
     
  10. Mike Schmitz

    Mike Schmitz Stunt Coordinator

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    Duane,
    I was going off the instructions for the 2200+ that I already have, so I ripped open the 3200+ packaging. The instructions read pretty much the same. To quote:
    So it looks like ther's a thermal pad there alright.

    Like I said before, I'm not going to overclock. Even though I'm stuck with a 32-bit CPU, I've never been a big fan of overclocking. And I've got a nice roomy tower, no small form factor box like John brought up. I'll drop it in tomorrow when I have time. After I get it up and running, I'll run the bench tests that I have in my LJ, then come back here and link to both the old and new bench tests. just in case anyone's interested. [​IMG]
     
  11. Mike Fassler

    Mike Fassler Supporting Actor

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    yeah I know, but he doesnt have a prescott cpu, he has a older Intel that doesnt care about heat much.
     
  12. brentl

    brentl Cinematographer

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    "So it looks like ther's a thermal pad there alright. "

    If I remember right the pad is a peach colour.

    Brent
     
  13. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    The stock thermal pads are supplied with everything that supports them, and they work well. If you're not going to overclock, they are fine. If you buy a second market fan, they will often come with thermal paste. Thermal paste performs better then a thermal pad, but is more difficult for the companies to distribute. The ammount of thermal paste to apply is about the size of a drop of rice. However, when AMD and Intel did distribute thermal paste, people would exhaust half of a damn tube and have a big gloopy mess on top of a CPU, or coat the entirety of an AMD CPU rather then just the core. (realize, the entire surface of the AMD XP chips didn't need to be covered, whereas Intel and AMD64s are provided with a thermal shield on top, so everything is covered -lightly-)

    Thermal pads guaranteed them no gloopy messes or dumb customer problems. (PEBCAC).
     
  14. Chris T. Kennedy

    Chris T. Kennedy Stunt Coordinator

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    Pad, paste, whatever - All it is a cushion for the heat transfer from the CPU core to the heatsink. In a perfect world, you would want the heatsink to touch 100% of the CPU core and displace the heat perfectly.

    Since it isn't a perfect world, we have pads and paste to help fill the microscopic areas that aren't in contact (CPU/Heatsink). You are at more of a risk not using one of the two, but if your CPU manufacturer says you don't have to - them you probably don't have to.
     
  15. Mike Schmitz

    Mike Schmitz Stunt Coordinator

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    Brent,
    There's an area under the heatsink that looks like a small square. It's whiteish in color, not peach. But the lever on the side of the heatsink has a green "handle" that the other heatsink, also from AMD, doesn't have. So I'm not too worried about the color change.
    I'm more worried about my next problem. I just opened up this computer, then unplugged the heatsink fan. Then I ran into a brick wall, face first.
    Exactly how do I remove the old heatsink? I tried pressing down and out on the metal lever on the side with a flat-head screwdriver, but that made everything a little more bendy than I was comfortable with. I might have been on the right track, but I wanted to double-check before I broke anything.
    Heh. Makes me wish there was a "release" button on heatsinks so you could take 'em of easier...
     
  16. brentl

    brentl Cinematographer

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    This should be helpful.

    Anymore questions just ask.

    Brent
    Don't forget to read the book tha comes with your CPU first!
     

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