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Thermal paste vs thermal pads w/ no mounting pressure

I'm prototyping a smart dashcam  that uses a phone motherboard. Would thermal paste/adhesive or a thermal pad be better solution considering the inadequate mounting pressure. It'll only be in a 3d printed case that holds the heatsink to the logic board.

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My guesstimate is to use a thermal pad that is slightly thicker than what you "need". I think that slight squeeze might help get better surface contact

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if there is nothing else holding the heatsink on, you need to use some form of thermal adhesive.

 

if there is something else holding the heatsink on, use whatever will make a good fill for the gap that is present, i'm assuming you're in a very low wattage category, so just a decent thermal pad will be fine.

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