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Thread: CPU cleaning/TIM guide

  1. #1
    HEXUS webmaster Steve's Avatar
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    Post CPU cleaning/TIM guide

    By popular demand (the suggestion of one person) I thought I'd write this. Hey, it might even get stickied! (cough.)

    Recently a lot of people seem to want to be cleaning their CPU's, or want to know how to apply thermal interface materials. Well, here's what info I have to give...

    Firstly, if you have a heatsink that comes with one of those pads, I strongly recommend you don't install it with that on.

    A. They aren't as good as other thermal solutions.
    B. Once you use them - getting them off is hard!

    So, remove it - a razor blade is good for picking it off - just don't go taking chunks out of your HSF or CPU core. Isoprophyll alcohol and lint free cloths will help clean the rest off (and are also good for removing more liquidy TIM's or "thermal grease.")

    OK, so your CPU core and HSF are clean? Time for TIM application.

    I still use Arctic Silver 2 - I'm not paying for another tube of AS5 while I have half of this stuff left; it still does a very good job. There are lots of different TIM's out there - and plenty of reviews of them too.

    Now, the general idea is that the TIM is only there to ensure as perfect as possible a mating between the CPU core and HSF. If both CPU core and HSF were perfectly flat, there would be no need for a TIM.

    Being made of metal and all that - HSF's have lots of tiny imperfections in them. If you put a dot of whatever goop you've bought where the core will contact the HSF, then rub it into the HSF (not using your finger, it's all greasy and oily - don't want that getting in the way,) then you're helping "smooth out the imperfections."

    Now, put a dot of goop on the CPU core and using a credit card or similar implement, spread a very thin layer of it over the core - the thinner the better really, as long as you don't leave gaps. Make sure it's as smooth as possible - we don't want air pockets forming!

    Well, you can probably install the HSF now and be on your way - just don't go wiggling it about a great deal as you install it or you might mess up the lovely smooth TIM layer you've just painstakingly applied.

    Note that if you remove the HSF, technically you should reapply the TIM.

    I hope this helps people!


    Please be welcome to add your additional tricks and tips.

    Also, a far more in depth instruction set to mine can be found for Arctic Silver at:
    http://www.arcticsilver.com/arctic_s...structions.htm

    The principle applies to most TIM's of that nature.
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  2. #2
    Triple Ox
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    Nice guide *cough* sticky *cough*

  3. #3
    iMc
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    yeh sticky this bcus it gets asked at least every week or two! nice one kez
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