How to apply correctly the thermal paste on your processor

how to apply thermal paste

The thermal paste helps to enhance heat conductivity between the processor and the heat sink.

Applying the paste correctly is far more crucial than choosing the best thermal compound. It is critical to keep the processor in the optimum temperature range. Indeed, excessive temperature could have a significant impact on the processor.

How to apply thermal paste: step by step

  • If the processor or heat sink has been used before, be sure to remove any remains of thermal paste. It can be cleaned by using a piece of cloth, ideally with cotton wool dipped in alcohol.
  • Clean the contact surfaces of the processor and the heat sink well.
  • Once the surfaces are dry, install the processor.
  • Now apply a little thermal paste in a cross’s shape, as shown in the picture below. After that, spread a thin layer of thermal paste that covers the entire surface. More is not necessarily better!
how to apply thermal paste in cross shape
  • Place the heat sink in contact with the processor, press firmly but not excessively
  • Secure the heat sink to the plate.

How to know if you applied the thermal paste properly

It is essential to monitor your processor’s temperature at least the first few days, especially before overclocking it.

For this purpose, you can use free software like Everest. If the temperature remains between 50 – 60 ° C at all times or 65 °C in other models, this means that the thermal paste is doing its job well.

A cross or a dot? The secret of using thermal paste

It’s been a long debate about this topic: what is the best way to apply the paste in the shape of a cross? Make a vertical line? Or just a point?

The answer is simple:

  • If the contact surface between the processor and heat sink is round, then make a point.
  • If the surface is square, a cross is undoubtedly optimal since it allows the paste’s distribution evenly all over the entire surface.
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