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applying thermal cmpd to HSF question.

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Feb 12, 2001
Miami, FL
I am going to install a 1GHz 266 CPU and a HSF unit (undetermined as of yet). My question is this: I've read several methods of applying thermal compound and most people seem to agree that you just apply a small amount to the base of the HSF unit and thinly spread it out over the surface... BUT, are we talking about the complete bottom surface of the HSF or just where the CPU die touches the HSF? From what I can see, there are four rubber stoppers at each corner of the CPU surface which helps keep the HSF level on the CPU, right? Does the thermal compound supposed to cover those too? In other words, do you apply the thermal compound only in the center or the entire surface of the HSF?? Or do you get creative and put it in the areas except where the rubber stoppers are ? Sorry if this is a stupid question, but I'm just trying to get it right and not fry it...
Maybe I am wrong here but you put the thermal compound on the cpu core.
If you put it on the heatsink you might not get it lined up with the cpu core.
I put a very small amount of AS on the slug. Then I use a plastic bag round the end of my finger and spread it over the spu surface. Then I take a razor blade (ir a peice of steel which I lapped an end of to make it like a razor blade specifically for spreading) and make the coating really thin. Then I put the heatsink on and turn the fan off and run sandra or prime95 or something to heat it up for a few minutes and I'm done.
OK, ithink i understand, but what about the 4 rubber stoppers??? Are there any visual demos on how to do this correctly and effectively?
The four rubber pads on the CPU help distribute the pressure applied by the HSF evenly during mounting. Given the amount of force exerted by the retsiner clip and the softness of the pads, they don't do a whole lot afterwards, except maybe discourage the HSF from sliding about due to the friction of the rubber on the baseplate.

I have never seen a video or real in-depth explanation of the process, as it is somewhat implicit.

Using appropriate ESD handling precautions, you apply the thermal grease to the core orient it properly, press it firmly down into the zif socket and lock it in.
Orient the HSF properly and set it gently over top of the CPU, centering it as needed. Stabilize the HSF with a firm grip and engage the first clip to the lug. Maintaining the firm grip, engage the second clip to the other lug. Now you can relax your grip. Very gently, try rocking the HSF left/right/forward and back to get a sense as to whether it feels like it is sitting flatly on the core. Don't over do it. If it feels wobbly or looks canted, it is probably not on correctly. Let us know and someone can walk you through removal, inspection and re-seating. Plug in the fan and let 'er rip.

"Very gently, try rocking the HSF left/right/forward and back to get a sense as to whether it feels like it is sitting flatly on the core. Don't over do it."

Oooohhh... I would be very very careful since rocking motion is what usually cracks the core. Try avoiding heatsinks with badly designed clips such as chrome orb. If you're afraid to damage the CPU like I was the first time I built AMD machine, I would get non-conductive shim to protect the core. www.coolerguys.com sells great non-conductive shim and here's their instruction.