Using a thermal paste on the CPU Surface

A thermal paste is undoubtedly so important in any PC build, because of its significant role in cooling down the generated temperature from CPU. First, insert the CPU into its socket on your motherboard. This will create a thin, even layer that will fill any gaps but avoid excess build up. Metal-on-metal contact is the best and even without TIM there’s enough contact for the heatsink to work, it just won’t be at peak efficiency. Next, squeeze out a dot of thermal paste directly onto the center of your CPU. As heat is applied, the paste will become thinner and spread more towards the edges.

The right computer thermal paste

Yes, TIM is essential to optimum operation of the heatsink and as a result there’s no point in rushing this, but to all of you who think the CPU will melt without any TIM really need to read up on what it does and how it works – too much TIM, after all, acts as an insulator because it reduces metal-on-metal contact. Adding a computer, heat sink and CPU paste to your system can remarkably decrease the emission of heat out of the surface. Your dot should be about the size of a BB (as in, what BB guns shoot), or a little smaller than a pea. This is why using a small amount of paste is important, as a little goes a long way. I actually just checked and judging by the reviews of my Zalman CPU cooler, it does come with thermal paste. Next, take your cooler and press it straight down onto the CPU so that the thermal paste spreads evenly in all directions.

a heat sink needs a good thermal paste

Avoid removing the heat sink after installing it. If I just went ahead and used that now, could I simply scrape some of it off and put down my better paste once it gets here? If you feel comfortable doing it, you can use a very very slight rubbing motion as you press down on the cooler to help spread the paste better. It can be difficult to check if your paste has been applied correctly. I have an i7 2600 on Asus P8H67-M LE motherboard.

PC components that use thermal paste

Ideally, you’re now finished. If you break the seal that is created when you install the heat sink, you will need to restart the process, first cleaning off the old paste and then reapplying it. It’s a stock build, maybe 4-5 months old. You simply lock your cooler down (using whatever mechanism yours comes with) and then move on. Reconnect the fan to the motherboard.

My motherboard failed 10 days back, and I got a warranty replacement. However, if you’re afraid the thermal paste didn’t get spread properly, you can give it a quick look by lifting the cooler back up, twisting slightly to break the vacuum seal that may have formed. The CPU fan wire should be plugged in the CPU fan socket because it mostly has the PWM function which allows the computer to adjust the fan speed automatically without changing voltage. The computer processor generates heat once a task is assigned to it and it starts processing it. After getting my system back, on a whim, I ran Prime95 and checked temperatures. If you’ve got too much paste on the CPU, you can wipe up the excess from around the edges, and if you’ve got too little, you can add some more.

CPU thermal paste helps decrease the generated temperature

Heat sink usage

Boot the system. I’m glad I did, because the processor seems to be overheating! Of course, if you somehow totally screwed it up, you can always clean everything up and try again. Check that the fan is spinning. Idle is alright at 37-40 C, but when I run P95, temperatures rise sharply to 60+ and continue rising.
Note that we don’t recommend doing this more than once—every time you lift up the cooler, you risk adding more air bubbles into the thermal paste, which will lower you coolers efficiency. The heat sink can be well used once it’s chosen right for the corresponding CPU. Enter the BIOS by pressing F1 or Del key during POST. Within a minute or two, I’m seeing 90 across all four cores (Tj max is 98). I have a suspicion that this is because there is too much thermal paste. Don’t let yourself get too worried about that, though—unless you’re doing some real overclocking, it isn’t going to make or break your system. Check if the temperature is normal, CPU temperature should be below 40 degree Celsius when idle, same for GPU.
I assume the engineer who replaced the motherboard just dabbed on more thermal paste without removing the existing one. And that’s about it. Apply paste to the base of the cooler. So it runs okay without load, but under load, heat dissipation isn’t as quick as it should be. Good luck with your build!


Applying paste to a square cooler is a bit more challenging than a round one, because simply placing a dot and applying pressure will not result in full coverage. I don’t want to give it back to the service center, so I’d like to do this myself. There are varying approaches that people claim allegiances to, so we’ll cover a few of the more popular ones. There is normally a sufficient layer of thermal paste at the bottom of the CPU out of the box and you shouldn’t have to add more. The lines method – Place two thin lines of thermal compound on the base of the cooler.