View Full Version : How Much Thermal Paste?

November 17th, 2007, 10:38 PM

November 17th, 2007, 10:42 PM
Just a very thin film of paste. Because of the pressure of the mounted heatsink, it'll be forced out over the chip's side if too much is applied. That can be dangerous as certain types and brands of thermal paste are conductive. Conductive as in electrical, not just thermal.

November 17th, 2007, 10:48 PM
You should have as little thermal paste as possible. The thermal paste is designed to increase the thermal conductivity but it only works if it's a very thin layer. It's supposed to fill up the small bumps and dents in the metal of the heatsink and chip. When I apply thermal paste I use a razor blade or a credit card to swipe it off.

November 17th, 2007, 10:51 PM
too much paste is worse then not enough.with too much paste it can act as a thermal insulator rather then a thermal conductor which is what oyu want

January 25th, 2008, 02:23 AM

Depressed Man
January 25th, 2008, 03:08 AM
Depends on how you define thin. When I use to overclock alot I was often told at Extremeoverclocking to use about put a tiny squeeze (a dollop I guess) onto some type of credit card and spread it with it. Though that's also subjective.

January 25th, 2008, 03:14 AM
Just a small bead and spread it evenly across the chip. The thinner it is, the more heat can be passed to the Heatsink.

January 25th, 2008, 03:23 AM
There was a nice case where some apple laptops overheated really much. The cause: way too much paste.

January 25th, 2008, 03:27 AM
grrr... this is too confiusing, cant they make stips that have the right amount already thinned out?

January 25th, 2008, 03:28 AM

Zack McCool
January 25th, 2008, 03:30 AM
It is possible that you have used too little. You don't want loads. You want enough that it fully contacts both the processor and the heatsink surface, without any excess.

January 25th, 2008, 03:41 AM
yeah, i hear what you are all saying. The image is what i found. I put small bead onto the chip and spread it evenly. It has made it worse. It's pretty easy to get at and i have a load of grease left. I'll slap loads on next.

Then something is wrong with your hardware. You only need a thin layer.

January 25th, 2008, 03:48 AM

January 25th, 2008, 03:51 AM
Get yourself one of these (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835109125).

January 25th, 2008, 03:56 AM

January 25th, 2008, 05:05 AM
i put a small drop in the centre of my cpu and clamped on the heatsink as evenly as possible, excess was squeezed out around all edges and was just wiped away, Ive never spread it with anything.

i was also told long ago that thermal grease is garbage and always use a good thermal paste

January 25th, 2008, 06:42 AM
Exposed core CPU's like AMD socket A need a small amount about the size of a grain of rice placed in the centre then apply the heatsink.
This spreads the paste evenly and drives out the air.
Spreading the paste out then fitting the heatsink can trap air which is not good.
A CPU with heatshield requires a blob the size of a pea.
As for excess paste spread, this is only a problem if an electrically conductive paste is used.

GPU's and Nortbridge coolers require more paste because the standard of manufacture of the GPU and Northbridge coolers is lower and more paste may be required to plug any gaps.