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Howdy,


I'm sure that I should probably post this question somewhere else, but I am too used to this forum and figured someone could chime in.


I am about to upgrade the cpu on my main computer to a Phenom II and put the current processor (Athlon II) from that computer into my htpc. Is there something special I should do with the thermal paste on my currently installed heatsink/fan (stock) and processor? Can I just uninstall the existing Athlon cpu with heatsink/fan and then install them into the htpc without scrapping off the old thermal paste? Is it advised that I start with a new layer of thermal past?


Thanks in advance for your help,

Troy
 

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Definitely separate the CPU and heatsink and remove the old crusty layer of thermal paste. I doubt you could move both together without having them come apart anyway. Might as well start fresh with a new even layer.
 

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Or you could stop at your local Target pharmacy and pick up some 91% isopropyl alcohol. It does a great job of cleaning off the old heat sink compound without leaving any residue. I actually prefer 99% ispropyl alcohol but you usually have to special order it. Target stocks the 91% in most of their stores and it only costs about $3.00 for a bottle. It's great stuff for removing adhesive residue, too. Cleaners like Goof-Off contain benzene and other carcinogens that are best to avoid altogether.
 

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I have to replace processors and heatsinks quite often at work. All I use is a paper towel and some thermal paste. Slowly rub the old paste off with a paper towel keep turning the towel to a clean section until everything is removed. Next you can use isopropyl alcohol to clean even more but there will no noticeable temperature difference if you don't. When you apply thermal paste use it sparingly it only needs enough for an even coat when the heatsink is installed. To make sure you have applied the proper amount do a trial run install everything as you would then pull the heatsink. You should see even contact on both the heatsink and processor with a very small ridge of excess thermal paste.
 

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I use an alcohol swab, removes it very well. Be careful removing the old heat sink, I had one stuck on real good and it pulled the cpu from the socket. I had to pry the cpu from the heat sink, but it worked OK.
 

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In a pinch the other day I used that hand sanitizer stuff with alcohol. Even better than rubbing alcohol because it didn't run all over the place.


Will definitely use it again. I would like to patent it.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin
In a pinch the other day I used that hand sanitizer stuff with alcohol. Even better than rubbing alcohol because it didn't run all over the place.


Will definitely use it again. I would like to patent it.
I'm not sure I'd want to use that stuff, but to each his own. You only need to moisten a paper towel with the alcohol, not bathe the CPU in it. Otherwise, it shouldn't run anywhere.
If possible, it's also best to use a lint-free wipe of some kind so it doesn't leave minuscule bits of the wipe behind.


FWIW, I write technical manuals for a living for all sorts of electronics. One of the most commonly used cleaning products that are specified is 99% isopropyl alcohol, although it's usually a MIL-spec version. It does a great job of cleaning and evaporates with absolutely no residue left behind. The idea behind cleaning the old thermal compound off the CPU is to get a clean surface for bonding the heat sink using fresh thermal paste. The cleaner you get it, the better the heat transfer.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by robn1 /forum/post/20844494


I use an alcohol swab, removes it very well. Be careful removing the old heat sink, I had one stuck on real good and it pulled the cpu from the socket. I had to pry the cpu from the heat sink, but it worked OK.

This used to happen quite often with 478 processors once you notice it's stuck you just have to go with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin /forum/post/20845848


Who said I bathed it? I used just a dab --- same as you would with alcohol.


Worked great. Basically the same stuff as rubbing alcohol.

Hand sanitizer uses additives to turn it to a gel then additional compounds are added for moisturizing. It's going to leave behind quite a bit of residue.
 

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I didn't have any hand sanitizer available when I previously posted so I couldn't comment about what else might have been included as part of the ingredients. I checked the label on some we have at our office and it only lists 62% ethyl alcohol as the active ingredient. There are clearly other compounds incorporated into the mix but I'm not exactly sure what they are. I would make the same asumptions that ChairTwo made regarding the moisturizing elements and some sort of glycerin compound to make it into a gel, neither of which I'd be wanting to coat my CPU with.
 
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