Stock Cooler and Thermal Compound

=HS= Rhys

Feb 24, 2007
Just wondering as im going to fit a new motherboard and i want to use the same processor and heat sink. Would i need to remove the thermal compound to do this? Or could i get away with leaving the thermal on the cpu and just putting the cooler straight back on?
most of us here would probably clean the sink and reapply, but with a stock cooler and stock compound i'm not sure it would really make that much of a difference.

couldn't hurt, and doesn't take more than a couple minutes either way.
i would clean the heatsink and cpu and reapply a better compound like artic silver 5. regardless if you're using the stock heatsink you will more than likely see improvements by using a better thermal compound.
to be perfectly honest, ive never actually cleaned compound off a cpu as i normally just buy oem cpu's with a big ass cooler that normally have a thermal pad installed...
I know how to apply compound...but dont really know how to remove thermal compound/pad.
How would i go about removing the stock amd thermal pad from the cpu and heatsink safely?
Find some 90% isopropyl alcohol. Use a lint-free cloth (coffee filter is a good substitute). Use a plastic straight edge to scrape off the "old" TIM. Scrape in the direction of the "grain" of the heatsink. Once most of the TIM is scraped off, use the alcohol/lint-free cloth to clean the rest of the TIM off.

Here's more detailed instructions. Substitute the Arctic brand cleaner with 90% isopropyl alcohol found at your local drug store (or even Target).

If you re-use the old TIM, you won't get good contact between the HSF and the CPU. The Thermal Interface Material is supposed to be thin enough to fill in any gaps between the HSF and CPU. The only way to get a good seal is to start with fresh TIM. Instructions for applying the TIM is also found on the arctic silver website... so check those out, too... as they have been recently updated.