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Why we have to apply thermal paste?

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True Techie
Why we have to apply thermal paste on the processor inspite of having good cooling fan?Is it a must?


Cyborg Agent
I sense you want a very basic answer to your question.
Though the contacting surfaces of the heatsink and processor are made as flat as possible, there will nevertheless be imperfections. when you lock the heatsink over the processor, these imperfections turn into pockets holding air. Since air is a poorer conductor of heat than the copper surfaces,
1. You reduce the total amount of heat transferred from the processor to the heat sink.
2. You create spots of heat and cold which is bad.

So, u need some filler conducting material. The best material to use is, ofcourse, liquid copper/aluminium. But because of the slight impracticablity involved in the handling of liquid metals, we use special heat conducting pastes called thermal pastes.


siriusb, thank u for the answer. Thermal paste is a must but still it is seem that many of them neglect it n run their processor without it.


Cyborg Agent
On the subject of liquid metals. i was just wondering why has someone not thought of mercury as a heat sink conducting material. Apart from the toxicity and cost (to a lesser extent) is there any other drawback? well i dont think so. But still never seen a pure mercury heat transfer setup. Any idea on this guys?


Cyborg Agent
An interesting intellectual exercise, Pradeep, but probably not very practicable.

1. I'm not sure about the thermal properties of Mercury. It may actually have poorer thermal conductivity than a good thermal paste. Does anyone have hard data on this ?

2. Controlling the overflow could pose problems, at least for widespread general use. Any excess Hg droplets could cause a short-circuit or form an amalgam with other materials on the processor or motherboard.


In the zone
does thermal paste come with the amd athlon 64 2800+/3000+ if not can i by it from ne computer guy or is it rare???? how does it come ??? and wats the cost ???? how is it applied???? the guy from who im buying my computer parts sats there'z a sticker which is stuck on the processor and the heatsink and fan sits on the top of it !!!! is thhis true???? plz supply me with this innfo !!!!

thanx in Advance !!!!

Cheers !!!!


Cyborg Agent
Yes, the processors you mentioned come with thermal paste, but rather on the bundled heatsink (HS) and not on the processor.

The paste comes as a square patch on the bottom of the HS. It comes protected by a transparent plastic cover which is stuck on to the HS with sticky tape. You just have to remove the cover before fitting the HS-fan assembly on top of the processor.


In the zone
thanx now im relieved !!!!

Hey iv bought a Intex cabinet !!! i have set up the motherboard and everythig but im stuck with the Connectors of the cabinet which r for the power switch and reset switch, etc !!! I read the manual Says wat goes where but it even says (-)&(+) how do i nw ats(-)&wats (+)???? i have a ASUS K8n-e deluxe !!! INTEX Power is the model Name its the Biggest available !!! 3 xtra fans can b added 5 Harddisks 4 Optical drives Etc !!! it can b called a Tower(In fact bigger then all tower cabinets) Server Cabinet !!!!!

Thanx in advance !!!

Cheers !!!


Cyborg Agent
There are standard colours for the front panel connection wires, and the wires come in pairs.

1. For each pair except the cabinet speaker, the white wire is the negative (-). The other wire is the positive (+).
Power LED -- green
IDE LED -- red
Power switch -- blue
Reset switch -- orange
Cabinet speaker -- red and black

2. You have to connect the wires for the two LEDs correctly, i.e., for the power-on indicator light and the IDE access indicator light. If you connect them in reverse, they will not light up but it won't damage anything.

3. For the Power and Reset switches and for the cabinet speaker, the polarity does not really matter. They will work just as well even if you connect them in reverse.
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