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

Quick help need! Do I need to re-apply tim after I left fingerprint on heatsink

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


New Member
Nov 2, 2016
While install Corsair H60 AIO liquid coolor to Core i7 6700k cpu. I accidently touched the bottom of the water pump and left a fingerprint on the pre-applied thermal compound. I also noticed I chipped/scratched off several tiny blocks of the thermal compound on the heatsink. Please see picture here. The water pump hasn't touched the CPU's IHS yet so CPU there is no residue on the CPU. Do I need to wipe the heatsink clean completely and re-apply thermal compound on CPU ? or I can just contiune installation with current condition?
My goal is to run CPU cool and quiet for 5~7 years without ever needing to re-open the case after installation (which I do not enjoy to do). I haven't decided if I will overclock 6700k yet although I have asrock Z170 mITX board, ripjaw v 2x16GB 2400MHz DDR4, MSI GTX 1070 Gaming X 8G, Samsung 950 Pro 256GB M.2 PCIe x4 and 4x512GB 2.5" 850 Evo SSD @ raid 5 and corsair sfx 600w psu.
My main concern is there will be some air gaps in the affected spots between the CPU and pump/heatsink. But I also saw videos on youtube that the thermal compound will spreadout evenly after applying force during the mounting process. That's why I halfed my installation until I received some advices from experts. I don't have extra thermal compound on hand right now. Thanks!!!


  • tim.jpg
    517.1 KB · Views: 173
It will soften after heating and the pressure of the mount will spread it. To be absolutely technical, the oils from your fingers probably shouldn't be in the TIM. To be realistic, I would mount the pump/plate and button that puppy up. :thup:
I wouldn't be caught dead using the factory TIM on that AIO, personally.
It's likely the same stuff that was on my h100i and it worked fine on my FX for a couple years, at least. Temps were good even when I overvolted the snot out of it. Didn't get any more MHz, but temps were good. LOL
The compound on the h60/80/100 coolers was developed by Dow Corning just for corsair, and is suppose to perform just as well as Shin Etsu.
The compound on the h60/80/100 coolers was developed by Dow Corning just for corsair, and is suppose to perform just as well as Shin Etsu.

Good to know. I've since changed the TIM in my old rig when rebuilding it for my daughter (Antec Formula 7) and have seen no improvement in temps.
Only reason I don't like that gray stuff is if you don't get it placed right, it's a bear to readjust. I just clean that off and put Type 44 paste from GC Electronics or any other paste will do that's good quality.
I think it depends on the viscosity of the TIM. I wouldn't hesitate to just clamp her back down without redoing the TIM if the TIM was something that spread well. I'd just give it a twist or two and bolt her down. But the factory stuff is a very, very thin layer and I'm not sure if it will fill back in well.