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Never Leave Pre-Applied Thermal Paste on your CPU! [READ_ME]

Aleksbgbg

Ok so, yesterday I built a brand-new PC - my first time ever (specs in description).

 

I left the stock cooler with the pre-applied paste on, unaware of my horrible mistake.

 

At this point, I wasn't doing much apart from installing windows and some programs, but the temps were as high as 80oduring installation!

 

I thought that the fan was simply not spinning fast enough, so I set it to max speed in BIOS, however the temperature maintained 80 during some other installations.

 

Many people advised me to change the thermal paste, so one day later (today), I did so.

 

Here is a before & after:

CPU temps:

Stock Paste: 102oC on GTAV  benchmarks (default graphics settings, 100% fan speed), 50oC idle (50% fan speed)

Generic Silicone:  56oC on GTAV benchmarks (highest setting, 100% fan speed), 27oC idle (25% fan speed)

 

This is using generic silicone thermal paste, any old paste on the market. Imagine if I had used Arctic MX-4 ....

 

Bottom line: Just don't do it! I don't know how much I've damaged my CPU in one day, but 100 degrees is too much (safe is 85). Pre-applied paste is dried up and not very effective, increase your CPU's lifespan by changing immediately.

||| Drakon (Desktop Build) |||

|| CPU: 3800X || Cooler: Kraken X63 || Motherboard: B450 Aorus M || Memory: HyperX DDR4-3200MHz 16G ||

|| Storage: 512GB 970 Pro + 500GB 850 EVO + 250GB 850 EVO + 1TB HDD + 2TB HDD || Graphics Card: RX 5700 XT Red Devil || Case: Thermaltake Core V21 || PSU: XFX XTR 750W 80+Gold || 

 

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Well everyone should do it...now you know too!

The more you know.....

Edit - Lel.... Everyone saying that the cooler wasn't mounted properly which is the case mostly but I always have found a 5 to 10 degree delta by changing the paste to a good one

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Ok so, yesterday I built a brand-new PC - my first time ever (specs in description).

 

I left the stock cooler with the pre-applied paste on, unaware of my horrible mistake.

 

At this point, I wasn't doing much apart from installing windows and some programs, but the temps were as high as 80oduring installation!

 

I thought that the fan was simply not spinning fast enough, so I set it to max speed in BIOS, however the temperature maintained 80 during some other installations.

 

Many people advised me to change the thermal paste, so one day later (today), I did so.

 

Here is a before & after:

CPU temps:

Stock Paste: 102oC on GTAV  benchmarks (default graphics settings, 100% fan speed), 50oC idle (50% fan speed)

Generic Silicone:  56oC on GTAV benchmarks (highest setting, 100% fan speed), 27oC idle (25% fan speed)

 

This is using generic silicone thermal paste, any old paste on the market. Imagine if I had used Arctic MX-4 ....

 

Bottom line: Just don't do it! I don't know how much I've damaged my CPU in one day, but 100 degrees is too much (safe is 85). Pre-applied paste is dried up and not very effective, increase your CPU's lifespan by changing immediately.

Are you sure that it was the fault of the stock thermal paste and that you just didn't have the cooler seated correctly? I'm not saying you're incompetent or anything, but I've used stock paste many times and never had an issue, and I've seen many first time builders have thermal issues and the cause was a poor cooler mount. That being said, depending on how long the stock cooler has been sitting on a warehouse shelf, yes the paste could have started to dry out, but that is something you should always check before installing a new cooler.

END OF LINE

-- Project Deep Freeze Build Log --

Quote me so that I always know when you reply, feel free to snip if the quote is long. May your FPS be high and your temperatures low.

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Stock paste for me has always been fine...unless you're trying to use a stock intel HS with a sandy bridge i5 (2300) which idles at 50c and 84c underload...re-seated it 5 times and same story...rest in peace the amount of mx-4 and AS5 thermal paste wasted...but it was eventually solved with an  Arctic 11LP cooler :D (bearing in mind this is a server which meant temps were more important...)

Looking at my signature are we now? Well too bad there's nothing here...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What? As I said, there seriously is nothing here :) 

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Are you sure that it was the fault of the stock thermal paste and that you just didn't have the cooler seated correctly? I'm not saying you're incompetent or anything, but I've used stock paste many times and never had an issue, and I've seen many first time builders have thermal issues and the cause was a poor cooler mount. That being said, depending on how long the stock cooler has been sitting on a warehouse shelf, yes the paste could have started to dry out, but that is something you should always check before installing a new cooler.

My stock cooler unmounted itself on one of the arms and I got thermal throttling and stuff. Popped it back on, got 'normal' temperatures again.

This definitely wasn't the thermal paste.

Sig under construction.

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i agree with everybody here. it probably wasnt mounted properly.

 

that being said, youre still right, i always suggest not using the stock thermal paste, especially if you're going to be overclocking. it can save you anywhere between 5-10 degrees, in some cases, even more. 

 

but 50 degrees wasnt the thermal paste, even if it was mostly dried up. that just wasnt connected properly

How do Reavers clean their spears?

|Specs in profile|

The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again.

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I doubt people would have ANY issues with any amd and intel stock thermal paste....Unless you are overclocking 

Don't call me a nerd, it makes me look slightly smarter than you

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Are you sure that it was the fault of the stock thermal paste and that you just didn't have the cooler seated correctly? I'm not saying you're incompetent or anything, but I've used stock paste many times and never had an issue, and I've seen many first time builders have thermal issues and the cause was a poor cooler mount. That being said, depending on how long the stock cooler has been sitting on a warehouse shelf, yes the paste could have started to dry out, but that is something you should always check before installing a new cooler.

 

Maybe, I'm not sure and can never be.

||| Drakon (Desktop Build) |||

|| CPU: 3800X || Cooler: Kraken X63 || Motherboard: B450 Aorus M || Memory: HyperX DDR4-3200MHz 16G ||

|| Storage: 512GB 970 Pro + 500GB 850 EVO + 250GB 850 EVO + 1TB HDD + 2TB HDD || Graphics Card: RX 5700 XT Red Devil || Case: Thermaltake Core V21 || PSU: XFX XTR 750W 80+Gold || 

 

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Maybe, I'm not sure and can never be.

One way to check is to take of the cooler and remount it without applying new thermal paste. Reusing thermal paste doesn't affect the cooler's performance outside the margin for error so you don't have to worry about that. (Linus has tested this personally and confirms that it isn't an issue.) If you remount the cooler with the same thermal paste and notice lower temps, then it was a mounting issue. If the temps don't change and applying new thermal paste solves the issue, then it's safe to say that it was the thermal paste. Obviously you can't test this since you already replaced the thermal paste, but just keep it in mind for the future. :)

END OF LINE

-- Project Deep Freeze Build Log --

Quote me so that I always know when you reply, feel free to snip if the quote is long. May your FPS be high and your temperatures low.

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My stock cooler unmounted itself on one of the arms and I got thermal throttling and stuff. Popped it back on, got 'normal' temperatures again.

This definitely wasn't the thermal paste.

Yeah, the issue happens more often than most people think, and people seem to make a big deal out of it, which I don't get. It's not like a bad cooler mount means you are a total failure as a PC builder, it just means you need to adjust it a little. I guarantee that everyone that builds computers will have a bad cooler mount at some point, even Linus has had it. It's just part of working on computers.

END OF LINE

-- Project Deep Freeze Build Log --

Quote me so that I always know when you reply, feel free to snip if the quote is long. May your FPS be high and your temperatures low.

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I agree with others here.. IMO it wasn't on correctly.

 

In my experience the higher quality stuff lasts a bit longer as it doesn't go off as quick at normal and especially overclocked temperatures.

Personally never seen any real difference between pastes of various qualities and correct me if i'm wrong but the reason for the paste it to maximise the contact between the cooler and cpu faces and fill in all the tiny scratches and ensure no microscopic air gaps (poor at transferring heat) that forms tiny hot spots on the CPU.

 

So for your temps id guess a large air gap, either the cooler wasn't on properly  or you potentially scraped some off and formed an area with no paste and poor contact either way same result.

Too much paste can also be bad as you simply end up with a thick layer of paste that's not as good at transferring heat as the meal of the heat sink, the idea is to get the heat to the cooler heat sink as efficiently as possible. So ultimately you need an even thin layer of just enough paste as the paste is simply better than an air gap but not as good as metal.

Ideally you would have perfect metal to metal contacts and you wouldn't need the paste :) which is why people used to polish (lap) their heat sinks so they could minimise the paste... not sure why this isn't done anymore (better manufacturing of the heat sinks contact surface or perhaps better heat transfer of modern Pastes ?)

 

Plenty of guides on how much paste you need online and I think LTT have a video also...

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Are you sure that it was the fault of the stock thermal paste and that you just didn't have the cooler seated correctly? I'm not saying you're incompetent or anything, but I've used stock paste many times and never had an issue, and I've seen many first time builders have thermal issues and the cause was a poor cooler mount. That being said, depending on how long the stock cooler has been sitting on a warehouse shelf, yes the paste could have started to dry out, but that is something you should always check before installing a new cooler.

Yeah, this.

 

To get that sort of disparity in results would all but mean the stock paste was actually blocking the flow of heat.  So it had either dried to dust, or the cooler was not fully/properly seated (hardly an unheard of situation with the push-pin type mounting system.

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