Applying Thermal Paste/Grease/Compound Properly to Prevent CPU Overheating [How To]

By Shekhar Sahu on

21 May, 2013  at 12:42 AM

Filed Under: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

CPU Overheating Apply best Thermal paste on Heat Sink & how to Prevent CPU Overheating windows 8 BIOS launch  arctic silver vs thermal compound paste sink cooler 
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Does your system shut down or restart automatically because of CPU overheating? Or you find reduction in the performance of your system. If you just formatted your system but the machine couldn't gain speed significantly. Then that's too because of CPU overheating. CPU overheating can be caused by poor chip design, poor heat sink, poor fan, adverse ambient/room temperatures, CPU usage etc. In all it's about heat dissipation. Too much heat can cause your systems to crash and it decreases the life of your expensive tiny chip. The optimum CPU temperature is between 20 degrees to 60 degrees, any rise in temperature above 65 or 70 degrees would be dangerous. In this tutorial we would be discussing about some ways to keep your CPU cooler, and especially how to properly apply a suitable Thermal Grease/Compound/Gel/Paste on CPU and Heat Sink.







You have to take care of your hardware otherwise you might heat up the CPU to death. There are various methods you can follow each of them :



  Open Cabinet :

If you have seen some gamers or geeks around you would find they(we) keep the cabinet opened. So more heat will dissipate from the hardware. It is observed that about 10 degree centigrade reduction of CPU is possible by opening the cabinet. But this is not advised if you have kids in home, who can accidentally touch the running components.


  Cleaning The Heat Sink :

The heat sinks are usually made of Copper & Aluminum together due to their high thermal conductivity. Sinks need to be cleaned quite often to keep up the heat dissipation power of them.


  A Powerful Cooler Fan & Heat Sink :

The bundled fan & heat sink with PC, Mac, CPU, PS3, PS2, XBox or other devices is not so powerful. They are tested in the cool environment and not for heavy tasks. If you can invest for an expensive fan & heat sink like water cooled or nitrogen cooled sinks or other liquid coolers ,then go for it. Also make sure of their size, so they easily fit on the motherboard with other hardwares.


Note>> If you can't afford to buy a powerful fan, you can also use an external table fan to cool the system.



Underclocking :

Reducing the number of cycles of processor may reduce the heating of CPU but will also result in reduction of performance. This may be done as temporarily only.


Changing Old Thermal Paste/Grease/Compound/Gel :

If you ask users about the need of Thermal Grease (Thermal Prozessor Paste) it is more likely that 9 out of 10 will respond "NO". This is because they don't know anything about it, or perhaps heard it for the first time from you ;)

Thermal grease also called as thermal compound, thermal gel, thermal paste, sink compound, thermal prezessor paste etc, is a compound containing metal/conducting particles used to increase the contact between CPU & Heat sink. This compound is highly conducting. Actually Thermal Grease is used because the surfaces of CPU and Heat sink are not smooth and there remains air packet in between them. Which result in very high thermal resistivity. By applying the thermal compound properly you can overcome the problem of thermal resistivity and double up the heat dissipation power of the sink. We will now discuss this in detail.





There are various Thermal Compounds available in the market but  Arctic Silver Thermal Compound is best for both Intel & AMD processors. It should be noted that AMD strictly recommends the use Shin Etsu G 749 Thermal Compound only. Using compounds other than this will void the warranty :( This is what AMD makes us unhappy. If your CPU warranty has ended you are lucky and we recommend you to use Silver Arctic Thermal Grease only.




Components Required

These components can be bought from your local computer hardware vendors. Don't buy Thermal Compounds online because often fake compounds are sold with name of popular ones.

1) Cotton or Soft Cloth for cleaning
2) Alcohol Cleaner
3) Silver Arctic Thermal Compound or Shin Etsu G 749 or any other (not recommended) available for $0.5 to $5
4) Anti Static Hand Strips (optional)




Before we start I advice you to use ant static hand strips to avoid any damage to hardware components from the body static charges (optional). Follow these steps carefully and at any point you find difficulty feel free to comment here.


1)  Detach the power cable of fan and then the heat sink from the motherboard carefully by turning the 4 keys.

CPU Overheating-Apply Thermal Grease on Heat Sink & CPU to Prevent CPU Overheating windows 8 BIOS launch silver arctic thermal compound paste gel sink cooler hardware 
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CPU Overheating-Apply Thermal Grease on Heat Sink & CPU to Prevent CPU Overheating windows 8 BIOS launch silver arctic thermal compound paste gel sink cooler hardware 
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2)  If you haven't cleaned the fan and heat sink for long time, it would look more dusty than mine shown in the photo above. You can also detach the fan from heat sink further on and wash it thoroughly.

CPU Overheating-Apply Thermal Grease on Heat Sink & thermal paste ps2 ps3 xbox  
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3)  Now remove the CPU from the socket carefully. You would find the previously applied thermal compound hardened on both heat sink and the Processor. This must be removed and cleaned properly. Here you have to use any soft cloth and 90% cleaning alcohol to remove the thermal compound. Make sure no dirt is remained. Don't apply too much pressure on the CPU, or you harm it.

CPU Overheating-Apply Thermal prozessor Paste on Heat Sink & CPU to Prevent CPU Overheating windows 8 BIOS launch silver arctic thermal compound paste gel sink cooler hardware 
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4)  After cleaning take the Thermal Compound (Silver Arctic for Intel & Shin Etsu G 749 for AMD) and open the seal, apply on top of the heat sink. Use a razor blade or a piece of plastic to evenly spread the gel on the surface. Make sure it doesn't get out of the boundary or will short circuit the hardware.

CPU Overheating-Apply Thermal Grease on Heat Sink & CPU to Prevent CPU Overheating windows 8 BIOS launch silver arctic thermal compound paste gel sink cooler hardware 
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CPU Overheating-Apply Thermal Grease on Heat Sink & CPU to Prevent CPU Overheating windows 8 BIOS launch silver arctic thermal compound paste gel sink cooler hardware 
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5)  Now put the CPU on the socket (before applying) and apply some thermal paste in the center. Do not apply too much of the thermal paste. Applying too much thermal paste may cause the paste to spread out of the CPU, into the motherboard. Which can cause a short circuit and permanent damage of the device.


CPU Overheating-Apply Thermal Grease on Heat Sink & CPU to Prevent CPU Overheating windows 8 BIOS launch silver arctic thermal compound paste gel sink cooler hardware 
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CPU Overheating-Apply Thermal Grease on Heat Sink & CPU to Prevent CPU Overheating windows 8 BIOS launch silver arctic thermal compound paste gel sink cooler hardware 
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6)  White the compound is fresh, install the heat sink & fan on the CPU so the paste gets set properly. Connect the power cable and start the computer.

CPU Overheating-Apply Thermal Grease on Heat Sink & CPU to Prevent CPU Overheating windows 8 BIOS launch silver arctic thermal compound paste gel sink cooler hardware 
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7)  To test the current temperature you may either use one of many softwares available or directly from BIOS (Basic I/O System). To check correct temperature from BIOS, first run some applications you normally use then restart your computer and enter in BIOS. Now you can see that the temperature has halved than the previous over heating temperature.

CPU Overheating-Apply Thermal Grease on Heat Sink & CPU to Prevent CPU Overheating windows 8 BIOS launch silver arctic thermal compound paste gel sink cooler hardware 
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Now this is the perfect season (winter) and thermal compound applied, for overclocking the system :D
Enjoy!

What do you say? Did if reduce your CPU temperature? Is there any point you would like to add? Then please comment below.


Shekhar Sahu




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3 comments for this post

Great and very knowledgeable tutorial.. keep it up :)

Posted on November 3, 2010 at 2:08 AM  

@Amandeep Singh
Glad that you liked it, keep reading ('',)

Posted on November 3, 2010 at 3:08 PM  

@Amandeep Singh
Glad that you liked it, keep reading ('',)

Posted on November 28, 2010 at 3:33 PM  

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