Are you building your own PC? That’s an amazing, intriguing process that all of us love to engage in. It has quite a few steps that we must closely follow, and each of them is very interesting.
However, if this is the first time you are building your PC you are bound to get worried in several places. You may feel stuck and confused here and there, mainly when it comes to ensuring cooling by mounting the cooler properly. We know what happens to overheated processors now, don’t we?
Without scaring you any further, we will just jump to the solutions. While mounting a PC, you will need thermal paste. This will close gaps and ensure proper transfer of heat. When properly applied, thermal paste improves performance drastically. We are here to help you with that.
Table of Contents
What is Thermal Paste?
Thermal paste or thermal interface material (TIM) is an agent or material that transfers heat. It is used to fill gaps between two metals. Remember, you may not be able to see these gaps, but they sure exist.
When left unattended, the gaps don’t allow proper absorption of heat, thereby affecting the performance. When we apply thermal paste, we solve this problem, and the cooler starts absorbing the heat seamlessly.
Are there Different types of Thermal Paste?
Yes, there are quite a few types of thermal paste, and you can pick one based on the two surfaces between which you want to close the gaps. We have ceramic-based paste, solid thermal pads, metal-based paste, etc.
The best thermal paste, according to our recommendations, would be metal-based paste. Buy anything composed of silver, gold, or copper. They are very common and effective.
How to Apply Thermal Paste?
There are quite a few methods of applying thermal paste. We must follow the process meticulously so that we don’t make mistakes. Here’s we discuss the most common method:
- Clean your processor gently and do not touch the gold parts as you do so.
- If you see that thermal paste was applied previously, you will need to remove it before you start. Use a soft tissue or dry cloth to do this.
- Once done, install the processor.
- The best way to apply thermal paste is by using a syringe because you will use very little. Direct application may not be advisable at all. Start application using the syringe from the center to the sides. Now, some of you might prefer a pillow pack instead. In this case, you will follow the instructions on the pack. Cut it along the dotted line and press it from the edge to apply the thermal paste.
- After application, you can install the heat sink or the cooler with ease and continue with the rest of the process.
How much Thermal Paste must I Apply?
It is quite easy to overdo application because we may not understand how much is too much. We always end up thinking we may need more. The thumb rule is to apply a small blob in the center, and that’s it. The heat will anyway spread the thermal paste.
Should I Reapply the Thermal Paste?
If you are reinstalling either the heat-sink or processor, you will need to reapply the paste. Otherwise, you can let it be.
Is it Okay to not Apply it at All?
We understand it may seem daunting, but we must never skip this step. The absence of thermal paste affects the performance drastically. That’s not all, we may face shut down issues and overheating.
Important things to Remember – Caution!
- You should never apply thermal paste over thermal paste. Get rid of the old paste and then apply more.
- You should never directly touch the thermal paste. You may end up transferring foreign particles to the paste, thereby compromising it completely. You shouldn’t touch the heat sink or chip directly either. Even fingerprints are dangerous!
- While removing solid or dried thermal paste, use only a spudger. Metal items should not be used in this process.
- A pea-sized blob of thermal paste is usually more than enough.
Where do I Buy Thermal Paste?
Thermal paste is quite easily available in the market. You can buy it from computer manufacturers too. We advise you to conduct proper research and choose the vendor carefully.
The process of applying thermal paste can be scary but once you understand the process, it is quite easy. We advise you to go slow and be careful through throughout and you will face no problems!