Thermal paste on PC CPU heatsink

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exxos
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Thermal paste on PC CPU heatsink

Post by exxos »

May seem a strange question..

I used thermal paste on my PC CPU heatsink, though it only lasted 6 months, and had to keep redoing it. I then changed to the artic silver paste which was much better, but still only lasted a year. So currently my PC is running neat max temp even though its not doing anything. So I have to reapply the paste again.

Now last time I tried thermal pads, will never dry out, maybe not as good as paste but would save me taking my PC to bit every 6 months. Though the strange thing is, when I tried pads my PC would not boot up. Would not even try. I messed around for ages, even tried more pads, making contact for sure, still nothing. I messed around most of the afternoon as thought I had killed my motherboard. So went out brought a new one, put my pc all back together, still nothing. So scratching my head for a while decided to put the paste back on, and behold my pc came on.. So I wiped off the paste put the pads on, no boot again, put the paste on, booted up, etc etc for about 30 times.

Now this was about 2 years ago, I actually concluded that there is a little man which pops out of the CPU and checked to see if there is paste or not on the cpu.

I have a AMD3200 XP CPU running, and will only come on then paste on the chip, if I remember right it will boot up with no heatsink, only paste, but if you wipe the past off it does not boot. This makes no sence at all. The PC would boot up, or at least try to until the CPU overheated which would be a few seconds at least. Though pressing the ON button, it does not even try, put a blob of paste on the CPU, it boots up.

But when you put thermal pads on, PC does not even try, hence I conclude a little man gets out of the cpu to check there is paste on it before the pc is allowed to turn on.

Has anyone else had this problem ? I am tired of using paste and want to use pads, but I cant get my pc to boot up with pads :(
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Post by Desty »

That's pretty mysterious... maybe the paste has some magnetic field effect which allows the chip to boot :P
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Post by exxos »

Desty wrote:That's pretty mysterious... maybe the paste has some magnetic field effect which allows the chip to boot :P
your not kidding, better than my theory of it.

looks at a random image on google for the cpu
http://techreport.com/reviews/2003q2/at ... 0-top2.jpg

notice a small kind of square bit in the bottom right corner of the contact area in the center ? I wonder if thats some kind of sensor to detect if there is paste there or not. Its the only conclusion I can come to.

AFAIK no electronics can "know" if its got paste or a pad. So I really don't know. I will have to take my CPU off and redo it again probably this week. Hoepfully I wont have to take the motherboard out again :?

Will try pads again, I can't remember 100% if just putting thermal paste on by itself works, if it does, then I may make a video of all this showing it, cos its just so darn impossible that I think it has to be videod!
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Post by exxos »

http://www.xtremetek.com/info/index.php?id=14

interesting article, phase change material it is then!
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Post by PaulB »

I have the same cpu as you Athlon XP3200. I bought the cpu new which came with the official AMD heatsink and fan in a sealed box. The official heatsink uses a pad and I've never had any probs with the cpu getting too hot. Although every 6 months or so I remove the heatsink and fan to clean the dust out from it as the build up of dust prevents the air from getting to it. No idea why yours won't even start when using a pad though. That's strange.
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Post by exxos »

Are you sure its a pad ? normally its grey or white paste applied on a heatsink, never seen any with a actual pad..

my cpu is running at 51deg, normally it locks up about 52deg, granted its a bit warmer thee last few days, but even so idle it used to be like 38deg, maybe 42 on hot days..
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Post by PaulB »

It sure looked like a pad when I put it on. Oblong and light grey in colour. When I've removed it to clean it the cpu has left an impression in it.
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Post by exxos »

was any of the grey on the cpu itself ? the trouble is with the paste it drys out, goes like putty, thats the problem with it. I think Artic silver works better as it has silver particles in it, so in effect less actual paste, so lasts longer. Still, I never really liked paste. :roll: Will get some of that thermal sheet and hopefully that will be the end of it all then.
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Post by PaulB »

Don't really remember to be honest but I don't think any of the grey was on the cpu. I do remember touching a corner of the pad and it was slightly tacky.
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Post by Grunaki »

It could be an earthing problem/insulation fault. What if you provided a seperate earth to the pad you were using? Might be worth a try.
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Post by exxos »

PaulB wrote:Don't really remember to be honest but I don't think any of the grey was on the cpu. I do remember touching a corner of the pad and it was slightly tacky.
Its probably paste, when its new its nice and soft, but I checked a heatsink here just, that had paste on it, its just gone dry and brittle, could say tacky. If it was a pad then it would not stick at all. There are like a cloth type thing with silicon injected into it kinda thing. looks like a small cloth sheet too. Well the grey silicon ones do.

Its the problem with paste, it drys out, goes lumpy, goes brittle, dry, cracks up, all kinds of problems, I hate the stuff. I think a lot of it is like what that link said, thermal cycling.. will get some sheet ordered soon.
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Post by exxos »

Grunaki wrote:It could be an earthing problem/insulation fault. What if you provided a seperate earth to the pad you were using? Might be worth a try.
I did wonder about that kinda thing. Though the heatsink itself is isolated via nylon bolts screwed to the motherboard. The heatsink could make contact to the metal of the CPU, though with paste there its hard to say, with a pad it wouldn't. Though saying that you can get conductive pads also, though didnt have any at the time.
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Post by sniperstorm »

the paste should not wear out. I never have changed my artic silver, dual core amd x2 running at 40c right now.
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Post by techie_alison »

I have an Atari ST.

But seriously, have had problems similar to this before and with AMD processors. I now have them set and configured by a local one-man computer shop. He sets up the motherboard, seats the processor, paste, and heatsink, and then bench tests in the case I supply. I used to build PCs but just gave up. I get a guarantee with it too as I don't interfere with the MB/Proc/Mem/heatsink.

It's easier to just pay someone who does it 6-days a week (not PC-World!!!!).
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Post by sniperstorm »

also if you have a amd or new intel, for example amd as cool and quiet, what that does is turns the volts back on the cpu when your not using it for heavy stuff then clocks it back to its highest speeds when you need it. This keeps the cpu cool. I also use zalman fans for my cpus, they work great.
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Post by exxos »

sniperstorm wrote:the paste should not wear out. I never have changed my artic silver, dual core amd x2 running at 40c right now.
I get all the strange problems! Though 6 every 6 months I have to redo the paste, my pc is on about 15 hours a day, gets turned on off every day, so maybe the paste just cant take it. the artic silver lasted 12months at least. Had the same problem repairing amplifiers for years also, paste drys out, output transistors overheat and go pop. I also dislike pads as they sometimes rip and short the transistor out on the heatsink. technology sux 8O :D :roll:
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Re: Thermal paste on PC CPU heatsink

Post by Sarek »

exxos wrote:Has anyone else had this problem ? I am tired of using paste and want to use pads, but I cant get my pc to boot up with pads :(
There may be several problems. Lateral thinking is the order of the day here I think... Hmmm...

The pads mean that the cpu is held tighter to the cpu socket. Maybe it's a bad connection with one of the pins.

1. Try reshaping the cpu clip with pliers to recreate the greater pressure on the chip that you get with the pads.

2. Grease/paste on the pins is a possibility for bad connection. Try cleaning the pins.

3. Could also be a microfracture on the mobo or a cpu solder joint which is open circuit when there is less stress on the cpu socket.
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Post by exxos »

It could be bad connection due to pressure, the pads would be a fraction larger than paste. Though I also changed the motherboard. When I redid the CPU with pads and it did not boot, I tried a lot of times. I brought anew motherboard and still the same problem. It would seem unlikely it would be a bad contact. Though maybe there is a problem that too much pressure on the CPU causing it to malfunction. Could be the CPU itself and like you said, maybe it is just too much pressure on it.
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