Like an automobile, your computer sometimes gets hot when you use it. Your PC fan will not solve the problem, however.
A thermal paste is one of the parts of your computer’s cooling system. It protects your PC’s motherboard from overheating.
The thermal paste will keep your CPU cooler cool for a long time, so there’s no need to worry about running out of it.
What kind of thermal paste lasts for how long? Thermals pastes have a lifespan of about three to five years under normal conditions.
Usage determines how much thermal paste lasts.
What is a thermal paste?
A thermal paste or thermal grease is a heat conductive chemical compound that is applied between a heat sink and the CPU (or whatever the heat source is).
The component that draws heat away from the computer processor by conduction is called a heat sink.
It’s a bit rough around the edges, having dents and bumps on its surface.
The tiny gaps and dents trap air, making heat transfer between the CPU and the heat sink inefficient.
Your processor cooler has a thermal paste that creates a solid point of contact between the heat sink and the heat source, preventing air from being trapped, thus creating a better seal and allowing the heat to be drawn off the CPU and dissipated efficiently.
What is a thermal paste made of?
Thermal pastes usually have a polymerizable liquid matrix with a large quantity of thermally conductive but electrically insulating fillers.
Typical material for the matrices are epoxies, urethanes, silicone greases, acrylics like solvent-based systems, pressure-sensitive adhesive tapes, or hot-melt adhesives.
The adhesives have various fillers. Aluminum oxide, zinc oxide, boron nitride, and aluminum nitride has been used more recently.
The metal oxides or nitrides act as the conducting materials, and the adhesives act as the carrying medium.
As a result, silver thermal pastes have a higher conductivity rating.
They are made of microscopic silver particles suspended in a silicone or ceramic medium.
It’s imperative that your computer work well, and we’ll help you avoid damage to the system with thermal pastes by making sure the paste flows and spreads evenly.
How often should I replace the thermal paste on the CPU?
It’s important to note that not all thermal pastes maintain the same level of effectiveness.
While most paint brands offer between two and three years of durability, higher-end paints can last up to seven years.
It’s a good idea to replace your laptop CPU every two or three years.
The life of your thermal paste will depend on how much it gets used.
How long does thermal paste last in the tube?
Whatever type of thermal paste you buy should have a shelf life that corresponds to the storage conditions you plan to use it in.
Most retail outlets will have a normal shelf life of 2 years, if the product is stored in a cool, dry place and out of direct sunlight with its cap properly covered.
If a thermal compound starts to look funny – it may be dried out, hard, flaky, cracked or broken. But that doesn’t mean it’s not usable!
How To Apply Thermal Paste – Step-By-Step
You can use the simplest application method. Apply a drop of ink or ink mixture on the surface of the printer.
To attach the heat sink to the processor, gently attach it to the processor plate, equally applying pressure on the four corners.
With the help of this guide, you will be able to ensure the thermal paste is spread evenly across the surface.
Apply a thin layer of thermal paste to your CPU heatsink.
I’ve tried both ways, and while applying the paste the other way worked better, I recommend you apply it both ways and see what works best for your processor.
There are lots of intricacies to applying the paste and the areas that span the processor’s cores.
This would require knowledge of where the cores are, so this isn’t for everyone.
If you’re still willing to try a more efficient thermal paste, follow the steps below:
Vertical Line – Apply the paste along the length of the CPU. It should be evenly spread.
If you want to use the Vertical Line method, these are the processors it will work for:
2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th Generation Intel® Core™ i3, i5, i7, and i7 Extreme with Metal Cap · Previous Generation Intel® Core™ i3, i5, i7, vPro, and Extreme with Metal Cap · Previous Generation Intel® Core™ 2 Duo with Metal Cap · Celeron® Dual Core with Metal Cap · Xeon® Series: 5500, 5200, 5100, 5000, 3500 and 3000 with Metal Cap · Xeon ® Series: E7:
For the Horizontal Method:
Core™ 2 Quad with Metal Cap · Core™ 2 Quad Extreme with Metal Cap · Pentium® Dual Core with Metal Cap · Pentium® D with Metal Cap · Xeon® Series: 7000, 5400, and 5300 with Metal Cap
For the Middle Dot method:
· Pentium® 4 Or Legacy Single Core with Metal Cap · Celeron® D or Legacy Single Core with Metal Cap · Xeon® Series: Legacy Core with Metal Cap
For the Surface Spread method:
· Any Intel® Mobile or Notebook CPU.
If your heat sink has thermal material or a thermal pad on it, then remove any existing thermal material or thermal pad before applying the new thermal compound.
There should be only the new paste between the CPU plate and the heat sink.
Do not use any petroleum-based cleaners or automotive degreasers on the base of the computer’s CPU, the heat sink, or any other surface.
Automotive oil is designed to not evaporate. It fills the microscopic dents and gaps in the metal, significantly reducing the effectiveness of any thermal compound that’s later applied.
How to remove old thermal paste
Thermal pads are mostly paraffin wax that melts once it gets hot.
The wax will fill the microscopic dents and gaps in the heatsink and the base of the CPU.
Therefore, to prevent permanent contamination of the heatsink and CPU plate, the thermal pad should be removed from the heatsink before turning ON the computer.
You shouldn’t use heat or hot water to remove the pad, as the heat could melt the wax into the heatsink.
Use the provided silicone pad, and be careful not to touch the back of the heat sink.
This tool has a plastic scraper that will protect the metal surface of the card printer’s thermal pad from scratches.
You can easily remove the remnants of the wax with isopropyl alcohol or carburetor cleaner, and you’ll want to use a lint-free cloth to remove the residue.
If you use a xylene-based cleaner, always follow up with a cleaning of alcohol-based isopropyl alcohol.
Protect your product from foreign objects and don’t touch the surface after using it, as foreign material can affect its thermal conduction performance.
Oils that are trapped between fingerprints can significantly impact the performance of a product like a phone case by preventing the thermal conducting material from contacting the metal surface directly. This reduces the overall thermal conductivity of the product.
Vertical Line method
Applying Thermal Compound:
Place the nozzle of the plunger pointing down the center of the CPU cap, and to the left, apply a 1 mm wide line of thermal paste approximately 3 mm from the borders on each side.
If your CPU has two, then there will be a line that crosses over the dual cores.
It is more effective to have the compound line over the cords of the processor than have it all over the surface of the plate from end to end as heat passes directly over the chords.
All the methods for attaching the heatsink are listed below.
Horizontal Line method
This guide will teach you how to properly place thermal paste onto your new processor. You’ll also learn how to make sure you’ve applied it at the right depth for your CPU.
The line crosses over the dual or quad cores of the processor line in the vertical method.
Middle Dot method
Apply the thermal paste in the middle of the CPU plate.
Apply about 5 cubic millimeters of thermal paste.
The dot of thermal paste is located above the center of the core(s) and works in the same way as the other methods.
Surface Spread method
Applying a blob of thermal paste to a corner of the CPU plate is a good way to start the process.
The size of the area you need to cover depends on the size of your plate.
For a small single-core CPU, use 1-2 uncooked grain of white rice; for a large single or multiple core CPU, use about 4-5 uncooked grains of white rice.
spread the thermal paste using a single edge razor blade as an application tool.
You can use any tool that is easy to use, works well and gives you control over the application area.
Flat surfaces require a thinner layer of thermal paste.
Processors from the manufacturer often have microscopic surface imperfections that will need at least 0.003″ of thickness to fill the microscopic gaps.
It is the same size as a letter sized sheet of paper, approximately six feet by eight feet.
A properly spread thermal pate would have a translucent haze.
Attaching the Heatsink:
You don’t have to spread the line to dissipate the thermal paste after using the methods described in the book. Except for the surface spread method.
Instead of getting angry about your noisy neighbor, you should get up from your couch, head down the hall, and lightly tap on their wall.
This would make sure that the paste is spread evenly without bubbles underneath.
Twist the heatsink sideways about one or two degrees to get it in position properly.
Some heatsinks can’t be rotated once attached. You need to disconnect it first.
Once you’re done, turn your computer on to check its functioning.