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Hardware Tips & Tricks

CPU : How to professionally apply CPU Thermal Paste

In this Video I will show how-to properly apply CPU Thermal Paste to the Central Processing Unit of a Computer. There are a few requirements needed before beginning, they are : An old Credit Card, a pair of Scissors, 91% Alcohol, a lint-free Cloth and Brush, some latex Gloves, Cotton Swabs )Q-Tips) and CPU Thermal Grease.

Take an old unused Credit Card and cut a strip approximately 1/2" wide the length of the Card. Do not use any part of the Card that isn't completely flat. Then take the cut Strip and cut-off 1" of that. Make two small cuts on either Side of the Piece cut from the Strip approximately 1/4" from one End. Now, fold the Piece at a 90 degree angle making a small Handle. The Piece should look like the Letter "L" laying down on the long Part. This will be used to actually apply the CPU Thermal Paste to the top of the CPU. Do not apply Thermal Paste to the CPU Cooler, as the Surface Area is generally larger than the Top of the CPU and will result in an over-use of Thermal Compound.

Now acquire two or three Cotton Swabs with plastic Applicators (Sticks). These will be used for two different Operations. One, to clean-up any excess Thermal Paste after application. Secondly, to make a Scrapper to remove excess Thermal Paste from the previously made Applicator and put it back on the CPU for spreading. (…see Video for Instructions)

Put-on the latex Gloves and using the Alcohol and a lint-free Cloth, clean both the top of the CPU and the bottom of the CPU Heat Sink (Cooler). If a lint-free Brush is available use it to ensure there are no foreign objects on either Surface.

Next, apply a very small amount of CPU Thermal Grease to the center of the CPU. Do not use too much. As a matter of Fact, use too little. It's always easier to add more than to remove excess. Using the Applicator spread the Thermal Paste from the Center to the outside of the CPU. Using even pressure on the Applicator and keep the Applicator as flat as possible while doing so.

Clean any excess Paste away from the Edges of the CPU. The Thermal Paste should be on the Top of the CPU only and spread as thin as possible. Once the Thermal Paste is applied satisfactorily, seat the Cooling Block down on the CPU and very gently wiggle it in-place. Do not wiggle it wildly as that may produce flashing. (flow of grease over the edges and away from the top of the CPU) Tighten the Bolts in an alternating Pattern and with a couple of Turns each at a time.

Turn the Computer on and go into the BIOS. Note the CPU Temperature. Make sure to let it run for a few Minutes to get an accurate Temperature Reading. Then, go to the CPU Manufacturer's Website and down-load the Data Sheet for the particular CPU and make sure it is operating below the maximum Operating Temperature.

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