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Find out how to take away thermal paste and re-apply it

(Pocket-lint) – There could be a number of explanation why it’s essential take away the thermal paste out of your CPU. Maybe you are seeking to improve it to maneuver to a more recent mannequin or are merely wanting to vary your CPU cooler for higher efficiency.

In case your gaming PC is working a bit scorching then altering the cooler or simply changing the thermal paste might be sufficient to carry the temps down a contact and enhance issues. 

Fortunately it is simple sufficient to do with out a lot problem. 

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What’s thermal paste?


For those who aren’t conscious already, thermal paste is a conductive materials that sits between the CPU and the cooler/heatsink in your motherboard. There are tiny microscopic pores on these metals that sit collectively and people gaps can result in poor warmth switch that may trigger your CPU to run scorching. 


Thermal paste fills these gaps and ensures higher contact between the 2 surfaces permitting for enhanced warmth dissipation and improved cooling. 

If you take away the cooler out of your CPU you will doubtless see some gray materials on the floor of your CPU and on the heatsink of the cooler. Over time this thermal paste can turn out to be crusty and fewer environment friendly. If it wasn’t utilized correctly within the first place then there may additionally be areas of the CPU that are not successfully lined.

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Ideally, the whole floor of the CPU must have a skinny coating of thermal paste to make sure good contact and conductivity. So it pays to take away and reapply. 

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Find out how to take away thermal paste and clear your CPU

When the CPU cooler is eliminated you may then go about cleansing the paste off. Hopefully, this goes with out saying however do not attempt any of this with the machine plugged in or turned on. 

We additionally advocate utilizing both an anti-static wrist strap or ESD grounding mat to ensure you’re properly grounded and not likely to accidentally fry any components while trying to complete this process. 

In order to clean your CPU and remove the thermal paste from it you’ll need either a microfiber cloth and rubbing alcohol or dedicated wipes. 

We find these wipes easiest to use as they’re simply ready to go with the right amount of alcohol and can be used to quickly and easily remove the thermal paste from both your CPU and cooler. 

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You’ll also need some new thermal paste to replace what you’ve removed – whether you’re re-using the same cooler or using a new one. Though some coolers come with thermal paste pre-applied, in which case you’ll be fine. 

Follow these steps to get started:

  1. Attach the anti-static strap to yourself and to an earthing point
  2. Unscrew the CPU cooler/heatsink and detach any cables that might get in the way.
  3. Set the screws aside and carefully pull the cooler off.
  4. Use the thermal paste wipes to remove all the paste you can
  5. Repeat this process with the cooler/heatsink

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Apply new thermal paste

If you’re just cleaning the thermal paste off your CPU in order to replace it with fresh paste then now is the time to do that.

Applying thermal paste is a fine art that people on the internet love to argue about. 

It’s recommended that you apply a pea-sized amount in the middle, but it also needs to be enough paste that when you apply the heatsink the entire surface is covered.

On the other hand, too much thermal paste will negatively impact cooling performance. So it’s a careful balance.  Pop some on, then seat the cooler down in place. It pays to take it off again and look at the coverage. If you’re happy with it you can then re-seat it and attach it with the thumb screws. 

Writing by Adrian Willings.

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