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[FAQ] Thermal Grease


KevinN
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[FAQ] Thermal Grease

 

So what is Thermal Grease, and how does it really work?

 

OK so Thermal Grease is a product which consists of different heat conductive substances, which ends up as a sluggish paste. It consists of different substances depending on brand, but does always(I think) contain metal or even diamond. Its task is to fill whatever space there is between different metals. Metal against metal does not entirely seal, and does therefore need something fluent to seal it shut. If you were to skip the Thermal Grease, there would be air between the metals which conducts heat very bad compared to the Thermal Grease. Do note that the Thermal Grease can be used on other places then just between a CPU and a Heatsink. Pretty much everything that has a heat source and a heat spreader can use Thermal Grease. A lot of manufacturer have been starting to pre-apply the Thermal Grease which makes it much easier to handle for new people, thus preventing over heating problems. It may in some cases be less heat conductive then after marked Thermal Grease, but works if you don't want to apply it yourself. If you ever happen to remove the heatsink from the CPU, you have to clean it all of and apply new Thermal Grease.

 

Do I really need Thermal Grease?

In short, yeah. Without Thermal Grease, the lifetime of your components will reduce by a fair amount, or even melt.

 

How do I apply the Thermal Grease?

 

Step one: Begin by cleaning of whatever you are going to be applying the Thermal Grease on. Be very careful not to touch it with your fingers nor any other objects(other then when you are going to spread out the Thermal Grease). If you are going to remove the Thermal Grease, refer to the "How do I remove the Thermal Grease" section of this thread. It is very important that hair and dust stays of the Thermal Grease or the spot where it is going to be applied. You WILL experience a loss of heat conduction if that were to happen. Using a microfiber cloth is recommended!

 

Step two: Depending on what kind of Thermal Grease you are using, you are going to apply a different amount of Thermal Grease. The probably most used technique is the "rice corn". Apply Thermal Grease of the size and shape of a uncooked rice corn in the middle of CPU. If you happen to apply too much, it will have the opposite effect and make the conductivity worse. Too little, is actually better than too much. Note: Make sure you don't get any Thermal Grease outside the metal area, Thermal Grease does conduct electricity and might damage your components!

Step three: Lower the heatsink onto the CPU gently. Make sure it touch down with all four corners at the same time. Turn it just a little clock wise, and counter clock wise like one or two degrees to spread out the Thermal Grease. Do not lift the heatsink if you have put it onto the CPU. Air must not reach the Thermal Grease after you have put it onto the CPU, if that happens, you have to repeat all these three steps.

 

How do I remove the Thermal Grease?

Thermal Grease can be difficult to remove if you do it the wrong way. The best way is to get a couple of those cotton ear cleaners together with one of the following cleaning substances. Make sure it does not contain any oil! Following substances can be used.

 

Chemical acetone

Chemical gasoline

Technical alcohol

Red ethanol

Washer fluid

 

You can pretty much use anything that evaporates and doesn't leave anything on the surface.

Start by dipping your cotton ear cleaner in the cleaning substance, be careful not to get anything in your face or on your clothes. Also try to avoid skin contact, it may not be as dangerous, but should still be avoided. Then take your cotton ear cleaner and gently wipe it over the surface, try to get as much as possible with it. Repeat this step until everything is gone. When everything is gone, take a dry cotton ear cleaner and wipe it once again to get it all clean and shiny, and you are done!

 

Where can I purchase Thermal Grease?

 

The easiest way to get a hold of Thermal Grease is probably from your nearest computer store, and costs between like $5 and $20 depending on quality and what it contains.

 

Help! The Thermal Grease doesn't work as good as I thought?

 

Don't worry. Thermal Grease has to get kind of burnt in. After like 10-20 days of regular usage, you should get the optimal performance.

 

 

So yeah guys, that's it from me. Hopefully someone finds this useful! If you got any questions, do not hesitate to ask.

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A really nice written guide about thermal grease. Thanks for those easy to follow instructions. I have a feeling that I have to change thermal geese in my PC because it has been a year since I last put it. I love your instructions about the right thing to do when removing thermal grease. Many thanks really!

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A really nice written guide about thermal grease. Thanks for those easy to follow instructions. I have a feeling that I have to change thermal geese in my PC because it has been a year since I last put it. I love your instructions about the right thing to do when removing thermal grease. Many thanks really!

 

Glad you liked it! :)

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Awesome job!

 

I wish I would've had this a couple years ago. I had used thermal paste a few times and was pretty comfortable with it, but what I wasn't comfy with was removing it. I really wasn't sure what would be safe to use on it without ruining the part before being able to apply a new layer.

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Awesome job!

 

I wish I would've had this a couple years ago. I had used thermal paste a few times and was pretty comfortable with it, but what I wasn't comfy with was removing it. I really wasn't sure what would be safe to use on it without ruining the part before being able to apply a new layer.

 

A processor is more durable then most people think, As long as you don't bend the pins on the bottom. You can pretty much sink it into the bathtub and then dry it with a blow dryer. However, using the steps I mentioned in the thread is recommended. :P

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A processor is more durable then most people think, As long as you don't bend the pins on the bottom. You can pretty much sink it into the bathtub and then dry it with a blow dryer. However, using the steps I mentioned in the thread is recommended. :P

 

Yeah, I'm pretty sure that dunking it in the bathtub was the last thing on my mind to consider, haha. I was concerned about getting things wet in general, or worse yet, choosing the wrong chemical to help remove it...only to end up killing something else inside.

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Yeah, I'm pretty sure that dunking it in the bathtub was the last thing on my mind to consider, haha. I was concerned about getting things wet in general, or worse yet, choosing the wrong chemical to help remove it...only to end up killing something else inside.

 

Yeah well you don't have to worry! :) You are using those chemicals as they dry away really fast, and without leaving anything behind.

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