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could too much thermal paste be applied?

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Mar 19, 2001
i was feeling around my comp one day after a nice 3 hour game of no one lives forever (very demanding) and i noticed that while the board on my asusv7700 was moderately hot the blorb i put on was rather cool to the touch.now, i tend to lap like a mad mofo on speed, not thinking that one could put too much . . .i remember i had put enough arctic silver (coldcpu.com shipped me 2 tubes of arc silver 2 , wasnt billed but for one so you know. . .) to create a suction that was enough to hold the blorb with out screws(i tried it out too. . .i set it between some books upside down for about an hour looked like it was kinda coming off. .. ). could this excessive use be enough to act like a blanket, preventing heat from reaching the hs? also, i did the same thing to the chipset hs&f on my mobo (there wasnt any so i thought why not). is this reckless behavior endangering my components? how much is too much?
Hmm. Nobody answered this? Once again, upchucking what I've read here, too much of a good thing (AS2) is too much of a good thing. The best thermal conductivity is direct contact. The purpose of AS and other gunks is to maximize the transfer of heat where surface irregularities prevent direct contact. That is, AS is better than air but not as good as direct contact.

So, if the AS is thick enough to actually prevent direct contact, it is a loser. Can that happen? Doesn't the pressure squeeze the excess out? I can see all sorts of physics and chemistries happening between the die and sink. I think it can prevent proper contact.

What is too thick? The thickness of two sheets of paper is ok, so I've read. Of course, I fried a 1.2 TB by not having proper contact with the HS, so use more than I did.
AS II should be applied as thin as possible. I use a piece of plastic, scrape up some artic silver on the edge of the plastic and gently drag it over the CPU core. The coating is very think and smooth.
I dunno how much you put on, but I think the answer to your question is yes, it can be bad to put too much on. I'm thinking that you really have to slop a lot on there for it to become a problem though.

[url="http://www.arcticsilver.com/arctic_silver_instructions.htm]Here [/url] is what artic silver says about it, straight from their website.
Paste? Yes and no.

Yes you can put too much on, if you use paste like ASII, which nobody can really answer if it's conductive or not. If it is conductive and you use too much, the AMD users might risk shorting out bridges and etc on the top of the chip. And if you put like a whole tube on there it will squish out onto your motherboard.

But, I'm assuming that you mean "too much" in a rational sense.

If so then no, you can't use too much. I'm not big on this thin amount. I have seen, in general, everyones opinion on "thin amount". I put 2-3 times more on. Why? Look at the pressure of most heatsink clip. Take into consideration that you have to move the heatsink around a little to get it on. You have just smeared your little amount to a "trace amount" which isn't enough. That is why I put on extra. If I put extra on, I can move the heatsink around without worrying about not having enough in the area needed, and with the clip and heatsink pressures of today, your going to squish out what you don't need anyways. The pressure will give you the perfect amount needed.

I believe that most overclockers don't use enough paste. I think that "too much" is better than "too little" if you don't go overboard and schmear a whole tube of it on there.

The point of thermal compound is to fill in imperfections in the heatsink and chip surfaces. Any more that what is necessary may cause problems. The heat is being transferred so the less it has to pass through the better the transfer is. AS is not electrically conductive, but it is capacitive. This means does not carry a charge, but it can hold a slight charge. If it does hold a charge then that charge can interfere with the circuits around it. The less AS there is the less the charge it could hold is. I also remember the fine print that I read when I bought my processor said that if thermal compound was allowed anywhere on the processor except the die then the warrantee was void. I suspect this is intended for conductive compounds in case they were allowed to touch the bridges.
absolutely, you want to use a thin layer so that you get an even application. Artic Silver's instructions apply to really and goop you would put on.
I like to think of thermal paste as microscopic polyfiller. This is because it basically turns the contact between your cpu/hsf into a perfectly flat surface.

This is why you dont need that much thermal paste in between the contact.
I try to go more for a "film" look rather than a "layer." Soap scum comes to mind.. go figure. Just enough so that I can tell it's there, but not so much that I can't see the die.

Clicked 'post' too early....
Whenever I go thin... I'll probably test the application maybe 3 or so times until I feel confident I've got a nice rectangle on my HS. Remember, the goop isn't a great conductor when compared to a continous conductive metal surface, but it beats air pockets.
Missing corners or a hole in the middle usually means:
1) Uneven application
2) HSF needs lapping