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Rbreb13

How to apply Thermal Compounds

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I use the Arctic Silver instructions with a little modification, thanks to Bob.

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I was just answering this type of question somewhere else and went to look at the AS instructions again. I still think they have too much on the core. I use a paper thin layer, you can see the stepping on the cpu when I am done. I also don't put it on the base. I may try it their way and see what temps I get.

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When I apply AS I get it even thinner than Paper. Almost translucent would be a good description. I then mount the HSF for 10 minutes or so. Then I remove the HSF and check for proper contact. Then if its satisfactory I spread the AS on the HSF around with Saran Wrap and work it into the surface and wipe off any real excess. Re-mount and Good to go!

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When I apply AS I get it even thinner than Paper. Almost translucent would be a good description. I then mount the HSF for 10 minutes or so. Then I remove the HSF and check for proper contact. Then if its satisfactory I spread the AS on the HSF around with Saran Wrap and work it into the surface and wipe off any real excess. Re-mount and Good to go!

When I apply AS it must be too thick. I never get good CPU temps but I can't read the stepping at all. I have made it translucent to the point where I could read the stepping BUT then my temp(s) got into the 60 degrees C + danger area :shock: :shock:

I never really have success with it, its all trial and error and its SUCH a pain in the ass to pull it off, put it on, etc.

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I really hate applying thermal compounds.. EXCEPT Nanotherm PCM+. That is the best thermal compound I have ever used! It spreads like blue water! :) It's performance is awesome too. And it wipes off in one swipe. :D

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After reading that little article from Artic Silver's website I learned a few things I was doing wrong:

1. using a cloth that isn't 100% lint free

2. using alcohol that probably isn't 99% pure isopropyl

3. probably putting too much, especially after I lapped my heatsink to a mirror finish (it says on the website if you have a mirror finish you really only need to applly a translucent haze!!!)

Oh well, you live and you learn.... then you get better performance.

Hah....

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Jim, I use a few modifications to the AS instructions. I don't use cloth, I use latex medical exam gloves. This allows you to feel the surface without getting it on your hands. I use acetone instead of alcohol. Acetone cleans better and is just as safe on the pcb. When I say thin, I mean thin. What I do is apply a little AS3 to a paper towel, put the tip of my glove covered finger in the paste, about the size of a pinhead. I then spread this on the core using my finger. Adhere the sink, like Rb said for about ten minutes and remove it. Check the bottom to see if you have it positioned right and getting good contact. Then place it back on.

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i've most likely been putting it on too thick.... but i've used the glove trick to (sort of) except that i don't keep medical gloves around.... i usualy find a new zip-lok bag and streach it over one finger and smear AS5 on....

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He said smear!>!>>!?!? lol, (inside joke... drelo) I just put enough to cover, don't use gloves, or anything like that. I don't usually pull off the sink either to make sure there is a good connection because I use enough to know that there will be contact, but not too much to know that I am hindering performance instead of helping it. Too much can be just as bad as too little.

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