Thermal compound on new heat sinks

blakerwry

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Oct 12, 2002
Messages
4,203
Location
Kansas City, USA
Website
justblake.com
Does anybody use that thermal compound that is included with new heatsinks?

You know the one covered by tape that is supposed to be phase change heat transfer compound but just seemes to resemble Bondo (Auto body filler)

I have never used that gunk before... though I have sure had the pleasure of trying to clean it off... But I just bought my first retail processor with heat sink and decided to give it a go.

I hope it works out well, if not I'll once again have the pleasure of trying to remove that gunk (after it's hardened) and replacing it with thermal grease.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
21,858
Location
I am omnipresent
It works reasonably well, but I usually scrape it off and use artic silver instead. Pull the heat sink off and look at that pad sometime, though. The black and brown edges around where your CPU goes just don't inspire confidence.
 

Tannin

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Messages
4,448
Location
Huon Valley, Tasmania
Website
www.redhill.net.au
AMD do not recommend or support using thermal grease. They say that grease is good for short-term testing usage, but that it dries out and looses its conductive properties over time, so that for production purposes, you should always use phase-change pads or thermal tape.(Kristi and I did our "Gold Certification" course the other week. This was a well-stressed point made during it.)

On the other hand, the pads don't transfer anything like as much heat as good quality grease (such as Arctic Silver), and don't even measure up to the cheap white gunk you get free with some HSFs. Arctic Silver usualy drops the CPU temperature by 3 to 5 degrees.

The upshot is that, having considered all the points of view, our policy is now to use the pads on low-temp CPUs where temperature problems are not even on the radar (Duron 850s, for example), but we continue to use Arctic Silver on all our higher-temp parts (Athlon 2000s, Thunderbird 1200s, and the like). We now, however, have a policy that we remove the HSF and inspect the thermal paste on machines that come in for servicing if they are 12 months old or more.
 

James

Storage is cool
Joined
Jan 24, 2002
Messages
844
Location
Sydney, Australia
I was intrigued by the Intel P4 CPUs - you get effectively a thin piece of metal coated in black thermal transfer conpound. Because I wasn't familiar with it I tore it off and used grease, but perhaps it's good. Any thoughts/experience anyone?
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
21,858
Location
I am omnipresent
One of my students told me he had a warranty claim on a Tbird 1.33GHz because he returned it with thermal grease on it instead of the pad. If that's the case, I've been buying retail CPUs for no good reason.

Did you gold certification course talk about that?
 

Buck

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Feb 22, 2002
Messages
4,514
Location
Blurry.
Website
www.hlmcompany.com
Tannin said:
AMD do not recommend or support using thermal grease. They say that grease is good for short-term testing usage, but that it dries out and looses its conductive properties over time, so that for production purposes, you should always use phase-change pads or thermal tape.

Ah, that is why my AMD approved Coolermaster HSF combos come with black tape. The result has been average, even on XP 2000+ CPUs. I usually run 48 hours of g@h to help burn-in that tape.
 

Tannin

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Messages
4,448
Location
Huon Valley, Tasmania
Website
www.redhill.net.au
The thin metal thingo was something Cyrix did very early on in the life of their 6x86 when it was still subject to heat problems. You got the metal thingo in its little thermal-grease-filled plastic bag (you took it out of the bag first, of course), and a really loud little high-RPM fan. The fans were very good quality: most of them are still running after all these years.

AMD, as a rule, only reject warranty claims if there is evidence of physical damage, Mercutio. You can't use a pad twice, so it is perfectly reasonable to have to use thermal grease as a replacement if you've had to remove the HSF for any reason. Tell your friend to get back to them and push harder: it's not their policy to reject claims like that.I'd want to know the real reason. (And yes, that was discussed at the course.)
 

Buck

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Feb 22, 2002
Messages
4,514
Location
Blurry.
Website
www.hlmcompany.com
Tannin said:
Nothing fancy, Buck. Just the AMD Gold Certification. I have some paper that proves I know how to unwrap an AMD retail-packaged CPU without blunting the chainsaw now.

Sounds quaint. Is this an online class?
 

Tannin

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Messages
4,448
Location
Huon Valley, Tasmania
Website
www.redhill.net.au
No, you can get the Bronze and the Silver on-line. The Bronze is something everyone here would pass without having to learn anything at all. (It proves you can spell "AMD" and that you know an Athlon is not a Pentium.)

The Silver is on-line too and it took me maybe twenty minutes to look up stuff like which Mobile Athlons are available (as if I care about mobile Athlons - I get whatever CPU IBM happen to have decided to put into the Thinkpad I ordered.

The Gold you have to do in the flesh. Your Authorised AMD Distributor should be able at arrange it for you next time there is one on. (It's worth doing.) They tour around. Here in Oz, they are run by the Chief Technical Officer and they have one in each capital city two or three times a year.
 

NRG = mc²

Storage is cool
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Messages
901
One of my students told me he had a warranty claim on a Tbird 1.33GHz because he returned it with thermal grease on it instead of the pad. If that's the case, I've been buying retail CPUs for no good reason.

Hah, a friend of mine who's pretty much clueless bought an XP2000 and didn't use any grease on it. The heatsink he used did have a thermal pad on it though.

A month later it died and he took it back to the shop. They told him they couldn't replace it because he didn't use grease on it (after asking) and as he didn't know better he didn't say that the HSF had a thermal pad on it - even though physically the CPU was fine. No cracks, no black burns or anything, it could have been brand new.

So I just took it from him, put some grease on it, stuck it in a little resealable bag and took it back myself, they replaced it without second thought.

<sigh>
 

NRG = mc²

Storage is cool
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Messages
901
Tony, I can't seem to find the page regarding the certifications on AMD's site - I tried searching too but nothing. Can you point me to that direction please,

Thanks
 

Tannin

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Messages
4,448
Location
Huon Valley, Tasmania
Website
www.redhill.net.au
Funny you should ask that at this particular moment, Will. Having had my attention redirected to this thread by your ridiculous RMA story (the facts being ridiculous, I mean, not your recounting of them), I though that a direct link would be handy and went looking for one, to no avail. I suspect that it is explained deeper into the AMD reseller section: I've seen it on-line before, of course, but can't find it now. Not being able to remember my reseller password, I think I'm stuck! Sign up as a reseller and all will be made clear. I think.
 
Top