What Paste Application Method do You Use in 2020?

What Paste Application Method do You Use in 2020?

  • Pea sized ball in center

    Votes: 77 36.5%
  • X accross heatspreader or die

    Votes: 33 15.6%
  • Spread evenly (credit card, or other straight edge)

    Votes: 60 28.4%
  • Spread evenly (using finger wearing gloves)

    Votes: 15 7.1%
  • other

    Votes: 12 5.7%
  • Grain of rice

    Votes: 14 6.6%

  • Total voters
    211

Falkentyne

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 19, 2000
Messages
1,749
Huh. I had Kryonaut in my last build for 3 years without replacing it and never noticed any temperature increases.

I never said or implied that you would have problems with Kryonaut.
Just many people do, when the heatsink fit is less than perfect.
 

Repo79

Weaksauce
Joined
Nov 30, 2019
Messages
111
I have some Kingpin paste i got on amazon for cheap, have more then i will need but it was worth the price at the time
 
Joined
Apr 16, 2018
Messages
966
I have some Kingpin paste i got on amazon for cheap, have more then i will need but it was worth the price at the time
Ive been meaning to give it a try but keep forgetting to move it into my cart from saved. Its supposed to be solid.
 

Repo79

Weaksauce
Joined
Nov 30, 2019
Messages
111
It seems to do a good job, i dont do any serious over clocking but for 20.00 for the huge tube was a easy buying choice
 

Jinxycat

n00b
Joined
Jan 9, 2021
Messages
17
Do you have before/afters from different methods? What is the temperature drop during load that can be expected for good pasting or repasting on CPUs and GPUs?
 

daglesj

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
May 7, 2005
Messages
5,367
What freaks me out is when I see YouTubers using a q-tip to spread the paste leaving cotton fibres in the paste which for that purpose....noooo. Why not just sprinkle a few pubes into it too.
 

matt167

Gawd
Joined
Dec 18, 2016
Messages
975
I gifted my brother my W3690, 12gb of ram and my GTX 1060 6gb for christmas.. I offered to install the parts but he said he could do it.. He complained about CPU temps. I realised he used about 1/2 of a tube of AS5 and never cleaned the cooler off.. I checked the temps and they are actually manageable but OMG he claims to know how to work on computers. I'm not going to try to clean the mess as I fear the paste might get into pins, and I now have no paste left.. Computer still runs, and it's just a 1366 box living out it's days
 

mnewxcv

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Mar 4, 2007
Messages
8,428
I gifted my brother my W3690, 12gb of ram and my GTX 1060 6gb for christmas.. I offered to install the parts but he said he could do it.. He complained about CPU temps. I realised he used about 1/2 of a tube of AS5 and never cleaned the cooler off.. I checked the temps and they are actually manageable but OMG he claims to know how to work on computers. I'm not going to try to clean the mess as I fear the paste might get into pins, and I now have no paste left.. Computer still runs, and it's just a 1366 box living out it's days
Anyone can throw a computer together, but applying thermal paste is an art. I remember my first build, I literally used tooth paste because I didn't have thermal paste and didn't know where to get it.
 

Jinxycat

n00b
Joined
Jan 9, 2021
Messages
17
Anyone can throw a computer together, but applying thermal paste is an art. I remember my first build, I literally used tooth paste because I didn't have thermal paste and didn't know where to get it.
What was the result?
 

professional loser

Weaksauce
Joined
Mar 22, 2018
Messages
99
I have brand-new tubes of Noctua NT-H1 paste (came with the cooler) and Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut. Which should I use? And which method to spread on 5950x? The Kryonaut came with a spatula to spread all over, I assume. Someone online said go for British flag method, apply a thin + and
then a thin X? What did you do for your 5950x?

This method looks interesting too.

original.jpg

If the Kryonaut gives better temps, but ages badly compared to Noctual NT-H1 then I rather use Noctua.

Kryonaut uses a special structure, which halts the drying out process at temperatures of up to 80° Celsius.

Well 5950X will definitely hit 80°c during rendering so I think i will go with Noctua NT-H1, unless I spend another $20 and get NT-H2 for 1-3°c better performance?

 
Last edited:
Joined
Mar 29, 2012
Messages
780
I usually just use a single line in the center and let it spread out from there, and it usually works for me. Even when I take the cooler back off, I usually find it spread enough.
 

UltraTaco

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 21, 2020
Messages
241
Taco is afraid British flag, while being patriotic, might introduce tiny air pockets once you set the cooler. When you start squishing, that area in the center looks especially dangerous. The dot might be safest.
 

JSHamlet234

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 9, 2021
Messages
132
I used the blob in the middle method for 20 years, but one day recently I was out of paste and didn't realize it, so I scraped the remnants of 3 different tubes (of different brands) and had to spread it really thin. After 20 minutes of struggling, I managed to evenly cover the entire IHS. The layer was so thin that it was slightly translucent. Temps were the best I ever had on that CPU by about 3-4 degrees.
 

doyll

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 4, 2012
Messages
1,356
I suspect reason JSHamlet234 got best temps with last super thin spread is because TIM was filling microscopic voids, not forming a layer between CPU IHS and cooler base. TIM is not supposed to form a layer between CPU IHS and cooler base / waterblock. It is supposed to fill microscopic voids in metal surfaces. The more metal to metal contact / less metal to TIM to metal contact the greater the heat transfer.

Potential problem of super thin layer of TIM application is if cooler base surface doesn't match IHS well there may be areas where there is no contact .. so less heat transfer and higher temps. These same areas may have air bubbles trapped in them, then the heating / cooling cycle of expansion / contraction can 'pump' TIM out giving even less heat transfer
 

robijito123

Weaksauce
Joined
Feb 2, 2021
Messages
125
It is supposed to fill microscopic voids in metal surfaces. The more metal to metal contact / less metal to TIM to metal contact the greater the heat transfer.

Potential problem of super thin layer of TIM application is if cooler base surface doesn't match IHS well there may be areas where there is no contact .. so less heat transfer and higher temps. These same areas may have air bubbles trapped in them, then the heating / cooling cycle of expansion / contraction can 'pump' TIM out giving even less heat transfer
This, and if this is a system I plan to keep in play for a long time I try to do a test mount and do a visual inspection of how this looks (I know would need a microscope, but you can get a decent idea of what is happening).
 

professional loser

Weaksauce
Joined
Mar 22, 2018
Messages
99
So on my 5950x I applied a thin layer, should have stopped then, but, to make it even thinner I went over it again with the credit card. This resulted in raking effect lol Then I applied small pea in the middle and called it a day.
My PBO enabled CPU temp with Noctua NH-D15 are between 39C to 82 C (82 when all cores are 100% maxed out).
 

doyll

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 4, 2012
Messages
1,356
I've had very good luck over the years using "pea" application, but instead of pea size it's grain of rice size. Used to center the dry grain of rice size, now I offset cooked grain of rice size to match chip placement under IHS. This seems to work well with new AMD chips. Important is to have just enough TIM placed proper so it presses out into a print that covers all of chips under IHS. Rest of IHS surface is the size it is so it's vertical edges are just outside of CPU pin area / motherboard socket area so pressure on IHS can't push down on and warp CPU PCB thus pushing the hundreds of contact connections between mobo and CPU chips too far into socket connections and damaging those hundreds of connections.
 

Domingo

Fully [H]
Joined
Jul 30, 2004
Messages
19,311
I used to use the thin/spread method with Intel chips. When I swapped over to AMD, I find that makes a colossal mess when installing my AIO cooler on top of it. Paste literally seemed to get all over everything when getting the cooler seated. I ended up cleaning everything off (quite the task) and going with the blob in the middle approach. Temps were actually better with the blob method and it was way less messy. Going to stick with that moving forward.
 

doyll

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 4, 2012
Messages
1,356
I used to use the thin/spread method with Intel chips. When I swapped over to AMD, I find that makes a colossal mess when installing my AIO cooler on top of it. Paste literally seemed to get all over everything when getting the cooler seated. I ended up cleaning everything off (quite the task) and going with the blob in the middle approach. Temps were actually better with the blob method and it was way less messy. Going to stick with that moving forward.
I'm guessing TIM was squishing out the edges? That's a good indication of having too much TIM on IHS. ;)
I do agree .. blob, pea dob, rice dob makes less of a mess.
 

Domingo

Fully [H]
Joined
Jul 30, 2004
Messages
19,311
I'm guessing TIM was squishing out the edges? That's a good indication of having too much TIM on IHS. ;)
I do agree .. blob, pea dob, rice dob makes less of a mess.

Not really even squishing out of the edges. I think it's because my AOI cooler has those two latch hooks and you have to move it around to get both to latch. I'd hook it to the top one, but have to move it around a bit to get that lower latch. It's not shockingly easy to get 'em both on the first try and it wouldn't let me just seat it and then fasten the hooks. All that movement made a super thin layer go everywhere. With my Intel setups, they use the 4 screws - so you just press it down flat and then screw it in second. No shifting around trying to get the latches to hook.
 

evhvis

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 12, 2021
Messages
130
Mostly use very thin spread. It gives me the least excess paste while covering the entire IHS. Pea size didn't work great on AMD as the IHS is square and it will leave quite a bit of excess on the middle of the CPU edges if you want full IHS coverage. I haven't seen any difference in temps between a large excess and just enough to leave a thin film with a tiny bit squeezed out to the side, as long as the mounting mechanism for the cooler is good and the entire IHS is covered. After a few thermal cycles there is only a thin film between the CPU and the cooler, temps are about the same, only difference is in how messy it is and how temps are on the first few runs. Thermal cycles makes the paste more liquid and makes the pressure from the cooler squeeze out the last excess.
 
Last edited:

Nobu

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jun 7, 2007
Messages
5,921
Not really even squishing out of the edges. I think it's because my AOI cooler has those two latch hooks and you have to move it around to get both to latch. I'd hook it to the top one, but have to move it around a bit to get that lower latch. It's not shockingly easy to get 'em both on the first try and it wouldn't let me just seat it and then fasten the hooks. All that movement made a super thin layer go everywhere. With my Intel setups, they use the 4 screws - so you just press it down flat and then screw it in second. No shifting around trying to get the latches to hook.
Yeah, those latches can be a bear. If you don't do it just right, it's darn near impossible. Occassionally I do it right and it just slips on both sides and latches in place with no effort and I'm left scratching my head, wondering what I did differently...
 

doyll

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 4, 2012
Messages
1,356
Not really even squishing out of the edges. I think it's because my AOI cooler has those two latch hooks and you have to move it around to get both to latch. I'd hook it to the top one, but have to move it around a bit to get that lower latch. It's not shockingly easy to get 'em both on the first try and it wouldn't let me just seat it and then fasten the hooks. All that movement made a super thin layer go everywhere. With my Intel setups, they use the 4 screws - so you just press it down flat and then screw it in second. No shifting around trying to get the latches to hook.
Indeed, I forget how poorly some mounting systems work.

Like Nobu said, once in a great while they will line-up and latch nicely, but most of the time.....
 

chameleoneel

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
Messages
4,213
Extreme overclocker der8auer has done a couple of videos on the subject. And his determination is that spreading or an X are the best for coverage. He shows this using a plexiglass plate.

He also says air bubbles aren't a thing. Basically, you are heating up a soft substance. The air will escape and the gaps will close.
 
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