• Welcome to Overclockers Forums! Join us to reply in threads, receive reduced ads, and to customize your site experience!

Heatsink/CPU Cleaning

Overclockers is supported by our readers. When you click a link to make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn More.

Captain Newbie

Senior Django-loving Member
As if the name didn't give it away, I'm a complete n00b when it comes to cooling, overclocking, and so forth.

I have been running my AthlonXP 3000+ for a good deal of time with it's stock heatsink and stock transfer material. In a few days, my Volcano heatsink will arrive from ThermalTake. I purchased some Artctic Silver-5 thermal compound as well.

My questions of you (I know that these are covered on the AS and ThermalTake websites, but these are vague in themselves):

1) What is the best, safest way to remove the wax-based junk from the CPU core before applying the new thermal transfer material? How pure does the isopropyl alcohol AS/TT reccomend need to be?
2) Will the Volcano 11+ heatsink fit well on an Asus A7N8X deluxe board? (I know this is like closing the gate after the barn animals have escaped... but?)
3) Anything else I should know about?

Thanks in advance.
 

mattmolson

Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2003
Location
toronto canada
welcome captain!
1)your fingernail,credit card or some other flat edged non-abrasive thing.70%alcohol at least.
2)i'm pretty sure the hsf will fit but chech thier site to conform
3) go to artic siver's site to get complete intallation instructions
should be good to go with that i think
 

Thornbrand

Registered
Joined
Oct 6, 2003
The article 9mm points too refers to Acetone or Xylene based solvents, both good options. Just to throw out my two cents worth, I've had excellent results everytime with Goof Off, a Xylene based solvent (not to be confused with Goo Gone!), which can be bought at Walmart for like four bucks a bottle.

Usually just a couple drops of Goof Off and a gentle scrubing with a low-lint cloth will take the wax right off, then I follow up with a scrubbing of Isopropyl Alcohol to clean the mating surfaces just before installation. As far as the purity of alcohol, the purer the better. I've been fortunate enough to get a bottle of 99.9% from a local manufacturer in town, but you can often find 80-90% at various retail stores if you look around.

Matt and 9mm pretty much covered your other concerns, and I just wanted to chime in as well and wish you luck. Also, if you can't find a lint free cloth, coffee filters work ok in a pinch, though lens cleaning cloth is, indeed, probably the best deal.

Good luck Captain, and welcome aboard. :)
 

9mmCensor

Disabled
Joined
Oct 23, 2003
Location
Banned Camp
Can you give me the UPC number (found on the bottle), I want to check that product out and need a UPC to read the MSDS. I want to know what is in that stuff.

Thanks
 

Thornbrand

Registered
Joined
Oct 6, 2003
Sure thing 9mm...

Manufacturer is:

Lilly Industries, Inc
Specialty Business Unit
Grand Rapids, MI 49512
1-800-GOOF-OFF

UPC:

2349400006

Contains:

Xylene (1330-20-7)
Methyl Carbitol (111-77-3)
Surfactant (9016-45-9)

I tried looking it up myself, but can't find a vendor or product specific MSDS file, if you have better luck in that regards let me know...I'm curious as well. Looking up Xylene and Methyl Carbitol was certainly easy enough, man...you wouldn't want to swallow or huff this stuff, that's for sure.

This stuff's always worked great for me, but if you find anything interesting, let me know 9.
 

9mmCensor

Disabled
Joined
Oct 23, 2003
Location
Banned Camp
The link to the MSDS was from the www.goof-off.com website and is found here

But UPC's are 12 digits long.

Thanks for that, but there should be 2 more numbers (start and end mabey?).

I am interested because Goo Gone has a Citrus product (oil?) in it that would hamper heat transfer and want to make sure that ins't the case here.
 

Thornbrand

Registered
Joined
Oct 6, 2003
Ayep...missed the first and last digit :p

0 23494 00006 6

That would explain why I couldn't find a product specific MSDS file for it, heh.

No citrus oils or anything of the sort in it. Though they do make a product like that ("GoofOff2" or "Goof Off Citrus Goo Remover"), which I didn't even know until you posted the link to their site, thanks btw.

That's why I said "(not to be confused with Goo Gone!)" it does indeed have a Citrus element (oil?...I'm not sure myself), which would not be suitable for our application at all.

The back of the can does caution that the product may damage plastics, vinyls, fiberglass and oxidized metals, and to test in an "inconspicuous area" first. I always clean up the mating surfaces with Isopropyl Alcohol, as a final cleaning just to make sure, and have not had any trouble with it yet. Very effective cleaner IMO.
 

9mmCensor

Disabled
Joined
Oct 23, 2003
Location
Banned Camp
Cool it sounds good.

Even thought there are extra ingrediants in there than might not be good.

And you say it may oxidize metals, so dont using it on your heatsink.
 

Thornbrand

Registered
Joined
Oct 6, 2003
No, it won't oxidize metals, but it may damage oxidized metals. There are basicly two more ingredients, besides the Xylene base. It does contain ethyl benzene, which can react to oxidizing agents, so you might not want to use it on a heavily oxidized heatsink. I've used it on both copper and aluminum heat sinks though with no noticable effects. I'd actually be more concerned with its reaction to plastics then anything.

There are other options as well, mineral spirits and acetone both seem suitable to me. Acetone reacts in a similar fashion to certain oxidizing agents. In fact, many solvents react to oxidizing agents, which is why I think it's important to do a final cleaning with pure Isopropyl Alcohol, regardless of what solvent is used.

Nail polish removers are often acetone based, but contain scents and oils to avoid skin irritation and are not recommended. Certain soaps should be avoided for the same reason. It's generally a good idea to avoid any solvent with any type of oils (incidently, I do believe many Citrus based products probably are oils 9mm, maybe that's why they're often not recommended as well??? Really not sure on that).

The important thing, Captain, which I'm sure all would agree, is that the two mating surfaces be as clean as possible. If you run into gunk that Isopropyl Alcohol just won't take off or cut through, you may be inclined to use a solvent. What ever you are comfortable working with, get the surfaces as clean as possible for the best results. The cleaner the surfaces are, the better they will mate up, even on a microscopic level, and the better the heat transfer will be between them. Hopefully the lower your cpu temp will be :)
 

9mmCensor

Disabled
Joined
Oct 23, 2003
Location
Banned Camp
Thornbrand said:
No, it won't oxidize metals, but it may damage oxidized metals.
My bad.

But the MSDS (or whatever) does say there are other ingrediants in it, but does not list them as they are "trade secrets".