What Paste Application Method do You Use in 2020?

What Paste Application Method do You Use in 2020?

  • Pea sized ball in center

    Votes: 56 36.8%
  • X accross heatspreader or die

    Votes: 20 13.2%
  • Spread evenly (credit card, or other straight edge)

    Votes: 44 28.9%
  • Spread evenly (using finger wearing gloves)

    Votes: 11 7.2%
  • other

    Votes: 9 5.9%
  • Grain of rice

    Votes: 12 7.9%

  • Total voters
    152

cyberguyz

Gawd
Joined
Aug 28, 2014
Messages
715
IMO it depends on the Threadripper generation for me. 1000, 2000 series 4 small bars around where the cores contact the spreader + a lentil-sized dot in the middle.
With the 3000 series I've changed it up a bit by putting on a really thin layer across the whole heatspreader then following up with small dots where I visualize the chiplets are a lentil-sized dot goes in the center where the IO chip is. So cart this has worked well for me in both cases.
 

SmokeRngs

[H]ard|DCer of the Month - April 2008
Joined
Aug 9, 2001
Messages
16,155
I just replaced the Wraith Spire heatsink with a Coolermaster 212 EVO. I used a razorblade to spread the thermal goop in a very thin layer on the bottom of the heatsink. This is the first time I've used that method but it appears to have worked quite well. When I installed the Wraith Spire it was plopped on using the thermal goop it came with on the heatsink. My previous last heatsink installations were Socket 775 with Q6600s and in that case I did two small rice sized lines; each one about 1/3 of the way across the heatspreader and that always worked well for me.
 

J.C.

Weaksauce
Joined
Mar 2, 2007
Messages
78
This is a silly poll, there is nothing about 2020 that changes thermal paste application.
 

lobstar

Weaksauce
Joined
Nov 24, 2004
Messages
81
i kinda thought the same thing on one try.....i figured any excess just goes off the side (no biggie) with barely any force my hole cpu pulled out the board when redoing it a year latter. Guess where all the excess goes if the cpu accidentally pulls out? when the pins where on the board it was one thing...but not now lol.....NEVER AGAIN
I don't think you understand. The waste comes from rubbing a bunch on and then off. When applying to both surfaces for the final application you basically scrape off almost everything. You're going for an absolute minimal amount. If any presses out the sides you did it wrong because you didn't squeegee off the excess paste.
 

primetime

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Aug 17, 2005
Messages
6,587
I don't think you understand. The waste comes from rubbing a bunch on and then off. When applying to both surfaces for the final application you basically scrape off almost everything. You're going for an absolute minimal amount. If any presses out the sides you did it wrong because you didn't squeegee off the excess paste.
ok well in that case...that does sound good and honestly IF i use paste again i may try it that way. The base on my current cooler i think is more suited for pads but im always thinking of getting a high end AIO setup
 

freeagentt

Weaksauce
Joined
Dec 5, 2018
Messages
117
If you are running warm with air, and you have a good cooler, chances are an aio isn’t going to help.
 

Repo79

Weaksauce
Joined
Nov 30, 2019
Messages
69
i pre spread mine then sit the block down and see what she looks like
 

HAL_404

Gawd
Joined
Dec 16, 2018
Messages
961
I tried the pea-size dab and it's kind of hit or miss regarding total coverage ALL the time so I went to spreading with finger and since then anytime I've dismounted my cooler(s) the paste had completely covered the lid and with a minimal layer of paste
 

TheHig

Gawd
Joined
Apr 9, 2016
Messages
631
Went back to the finger spread with Ryzen 3000 and have had consistent results doing that. At the end of the day its whatever method you personally can pull of that gets it done right?
 

kamikazi

Gawd
Joined
Jan 19, 2006
Messages
571
The best seating resulting in the best temps and performance I got out of my 3900x was a blob in the middle. Here's a link to another one of my posts showing what it looked like when I removed the cooler. 3900x thermal compound and seating That said, I may try another method with my 3950x when I put the water block on it.

My thoughts are that any given method on any given day may result in the best results assuming that you don't use too much TIM. It all comes down to what is the easiest method that results in the most consistent application that works. If you just put a blob down there, I'll bet from blob to blob, the actual volume of compound you're putting on there varies by a significant percentage. If you spread it very thin, you can probably be a little more consistent.
 
Last edited:

cyclone3d

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Messages
13,506
I do an asterisks type application. Then install the heatsink, remove and see if it made complete coverage. If not, then I add tiny dots where it didn't squish out to.
 

AIM9x

Weaksauce
Joined
Feb 8, 2011
Messages
84
I've been using the spread method on every pc I've built ever since the late 90s. I'm the kind of person where if I put down a peasized dot, I have to pull it up to check, and then I've already failed. I've used plastic gift cards and I've used gloved fingers and I don't think it matters which.
 

kamikazi

Gawd
Joined
Jan 19, 2006
Messages
571
The best seating resulting in the best temps and performance I got out of my 3900x was a blob in the middle. Here's a link to another one of my posts showing what it looked like when I removed the cooler. 3900x thermal compound and seating That said, I may try another method with my 3950x when I put the water block on it.

My thoughts are that any given method on any given day may result in the best results assuming that you don't use too much TIM. It all comes down to what is the easiest method that results in the most consistent application that works. If you just put a blob down there, I'll bet from blob to blob, the actual volume of compound you're putting on there varies by a significant percentage. If you spread it very thin, you can probably be a little more consistent.
I finally mounted my waterblock and decided to try the credit card method with kryonaut. I used a hair dryer to warm it up, then I spread it with one of those fake Amex cards they used to send in the mail. I held the card at a very low, almost flat angle. It took a while as there are some burrs on the edge of the card that kind of gouge the paste.
20200407_005845-1.jpg

I think it came out well, very thin. I could feel the water block floating a little when I wiggled it during installation. I'm leak testing now.
 

kennyluu87

Weaksauce
Joined
Mar 4, 2020
Messages
73
I've used the rice grain size for most CPU and haven't seen any cooling difference from spreaded. The only one that I would spread or use multiple grain size spot are the threadripper.
 

freeagentt

Weaksauce
Joined
Dec 5, 2018
Messages
117
Since I'm rolling with Intel, I put a line down the center of the cores, slap my cooler on it, give it a titty twister and then give her the clamps. She loves it.
 

doyll

Kyle's Thermocouple is HOT
Joined
Feb 4, 2012
Messages
1,200
Amount and application depends on size of CPU die/chip under IHS. I use enough TIM to spread into a print just a little bigger than CPU chip. For smaller chips this is grain of rice size and for bigger ones up to small pea size. Keep in mind IHS is not really a heat spreader, but a load spreader to keep cooler bases from pushing down farther in center of IHS than edges and thus damaging the 1000+ contacts between mobo and CPU. Maximum pressure is stopped by edges of IHS onto edges of CPU socket. IHS is too thin to spread heat more than a few mm at most.
 

THRESHIN

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 29, 2002
Messages
3,120
Not sure what has been done in recent years, but last article I read on different application methods came to the conclusion that it didn't really matter provided that once you have your heatsink mounted there's a thin layer under it.

I've always used the spreading method and it's done me well.
 

TheSlySyl

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 30, 2018
Messages
395
I prefer the spread method, doesn't leave anything to chance. Even though I know the chance of any other method not having full die coverage is super low.
 

Hakaba

Gawd
Joined
Jul 22, 2013
Messages
699
Other: A dot in between chiplets and I/O die, it sure if it really helps though.
 

freeagentt

Weaksauce
Joined
Dec 5, 2018
Messages
117
Im with GN Steve. I like to make sure all of the pins get covered too. Its like the bathtub in Constantine, it lubricates the transition.
 

tool_462

n00b
Joined
Oct 14, 2008
Messages
39
I still spread, intentionally leaving it a little thicker in the middle. After using Kryonaut on a couple Threadripper builds I realized we'll soon be buying TIM in caulk gun sized tubes to keep up with IHS sizes in the future.
 

d3athf1sh

Gawd
Joined
Dec 16, 2015
Messages
623
depends on cpu. for ryzen the grain of rice / bb / dot in middle is no longer valid.
 

Epos7

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 31, 2015
Messages
404
Started with the grain of rice in the center, but never got good coverage that way. Now I just try to spread it somewhat evenly. Been using Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut which is impossible to spread in a thin film, so I try to have little blobs of it evenly spaced around the CPU.
 

ZzBloopzZ

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 18, 2004
Messages
1,316
Thanks! I am building a 3700x rig tomorrow, first time AMD since Athlon XP days. Going to try X method.

depends on cpu. for ryzen the grain of rice / bb / dot in middle is no longer valid.
I’m sorry but what a terrible video. Look how sloppy he puts the thermal paste and writes a note to do it better, he could have easily done it better since he already did it over 100 times to show the viewer how to do it right. I’d take this video as a grain of salt, or crumbs for the pigeons? Lmao
 

d3athf1sh

Gawd
Joined
Dec 16, 2015
Messages
623
Thanks! I am building a 3700x rig tomorrow, first time AMD since Athlon XP days. Going to try X method.

I’m sorry but what a terrible video. Look how sloppy he puts the thermal paste and writes a note to do it better, he could have easily done it better since he already did it over 100 times to show the viewer how to do it right. I’d take this video as a grain of salt, or crumbs for the pigeons? Lmao
that article you linked is close to ten years old. and i linked that video because he shows you how the dies are placed on Ryzen and the reason the dot method wasn't netting repeatale results. (because some of the cores weren't getting completely covered)
 

UltraTaco

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 21, 2020
Messages
449
Taco just did gtx460 nt too long ago. Did a little drop in the middle, applied pressure and removed to see how it looks. Blob spread out fairly well, so taco cleaned it off and redit application. Temps are fine.
 

oldmanbal

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 27, 2010
Messages
2,193
that makes perfect sense to me....but in my case its impossible to apply paste correctly. I guess im kind of hoping the pad squeezes in the center and allows the entire hole heat spreader to make at least better contact. Lesson learned i should have stayed with thermalright brand of coolers:(
you've piqued my interest, any pics of your rig?
 
Top