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QOTW: How do you apply thermal paste?

by Parm Mann on 16 August 2019, 16:31

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I'm not going to name names (that would be cruel), but there's a bloke in the office who insists on spreading thermal paste with an old credit card.

To be fair, he tends to achieve a fairly even layer, but it has sparked plenty of discussion on how it ought to be done. Some prefer to place one blob in the middle for the contact plate to disperse, another takes the approach of one medium blob in the centre surrounded by four smaller dots in each corner, and we have even had it suggested that drawing an X is what works best.

What's for certain is that the application process, plus the type of paste, can have a distinct impact on performance. Good cooling relies on decent paste, so for this week's question we're asking: how do you apply yours? Let us know using the comments facility below.



HEXUS Forums :: 56 Comments

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A central blob and let the surfaces find their own levels. That would also (hopefully) dispel any air bubbles.
I pour it all into the socket for the best thermals. But for real, so far I haven't needed to apply thermal paste. I've just used the stock paste on 2 stock coolers and 2 aftermarket coolers that was preapplied.
Put a pea on, done. OR, I recently bought one of those graphite pads for my r5 3600. Idles better now than it did with the paste (40 instead of 46) cooler was torqued the same. doesn't go past 65 in games.
Re-built 3 PCs in the past couple of days - basically central blob, then some on the outside - with the pressure the coolers have on the IHS, I doubt there would be any air bubbles left.

Though, my R5 3600 does idle at 47 degrees :undecided
Probably the only video on thermal paste you need to watch:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hNgFNH7zhQ