how much arctic silver 5 is enough?

I've read all kinds of stuff on how much ac to use, but everyone says something different. i've read in the instructions for either the ac or my heatsink to put a thin line vertically, and then spread it out. i've heard to put a round dot in the center, and then just put the heatsink on top, i've heard to just do your best to spread out a very thin layer... but what is correct. What do you guys suggest. how much, how do you spread it out best... also, you guys know any tricks for getting core 2 duo to screw down real tight? i hate lga775 clamping system. or actually screwing system. my old s939 just clamped down evenly and that was the end of it. why they gotta make it so complicated? oh yea, also, whats the best way to clean your cpu/heatsink and how important is it to be perfectly clean. thanks for the suggestions.
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More about arctic silver enough
  1. as far as instructions, head on over to the articsilver website.

    it recommends that you put a thin line down the middle, going from the base of your cpu (the lining-triangle is at the bottom left) up. And when you are attaching your hsf, give it a SLIGHT twist, then lock it on.
  2. I use about half a long grain of white rice and when I cliped it down and removed it, it looked just like in the Instructions picture.
  3. There are many methods in applying thermal pastes and all of them are good, that is when you know how to do it properly. I used the center squeeze and twist method. But if you want the easy and sure method then here it is.

    http://img243.imageshack.us/img243/2175/maskingtapethemalpastembt2.th.png

    You can also lap the cooler surface and make about 1-2 celcius lower.

    Some good stuff for cleaning and preparing cpu and cooler surface. You can get them at Newegg.

    http://www.arcticsilver.com/arcticlean.htm
  4. To be honest, I think that application is overrated. I just try to get a thin layer on with the tube nozzle tip, using it to spread it around. Then when I put the heatsink on I just twist it and apply pressure. With heat and vibration, most tiny airbubbles will work their way out anyway. This is the "settling" they talk about. Even coverage is more important than smoothing it out, as it'll smooth on it's own. Too much is obviously bad, but too little is worse. Just try to get a good thin layer over the whole top of the heatsink and you'll be fine. Just check your temps.

    Here's a link to show you to place thermal sensors.

    www.extremeoverclocking.com/reviews/cases/super_flower_fan_master_3.html
  5. i totally agree with ryanmicah. the application thing is way overrated. first of all when i built my system i checked back here a few times a day looking for temp solutions. after installing, removing, cleaning, and everything for my computer in a bunch of different ways, i have found out that the thin layer is all that matters. i first tried the stock heatsink with its thermal paste already applied, then i tried the stock heatsink with AS5. i tried that with a grain of rice, twisting around before locking it on. i tried the spread method with a credit card, and i tried without cleaning with alcohol. all ways gave the exact same results. then i bought i big typhoon. first let me tell you that with my setup, i have to remove the motherboard and psu when putting into my lexa. so thats a pain in itself, not to mention testing all the different ways to install the freakin heatsink. with the typhoon i tried the grain of rice, the line up the cpu and the spread, i cleaned and didn't clean. for a total of 6 different installs with the typhoon. core temp gave me a 36-38 idle with any application of stock heatsink. i'm going 28-32 with typhoon right now. i didnt OC with the stock , but with the typhoon i went to 3.6 ghz and the load was at 62. i have the next 2 days off and just got back from drinking so sorry for the ranting and such but i'd thought i'd tell you what i know from trying stuff out. here's a link that probly wont interest you but you can see it for yourself.

    http://img120.imageshack.us/my.php?image=newscoredo7.jpg

    http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k1=9071622
  6. alright guys. i had the heatsink on with the compound that came preapplied to the heatsink. This is a ac freezer pro 7. I was getting about 52/70 in core temp. My system is overclocked from 2.1 to 3.0. I just applied the AC 5 by putting a small line vertically and then putting the heatsink on top. I took the heatsink off to take a look at the spread, and it covered the cpu perfectly without going over. My only concern is that I may have put a little too much. We'll see. Anyway, my idle temps are the same, but my load temps went from 70 to about 73. I hear that immediately after applying, your temps may spike a little until it settles in. I plan on running the system 24/7 for a week to do this. You think the spike is too much, or will it be fine in a week?

    PS this is all coretemp not speedfan. I prefer to keep the temps under 70, but as low as possible.
  7. Congratulations. You just did something completely unnecessary as the pre-applied Arctic Cooling MX-1 compound on the Freezer 7 Pro works just as good (better in many cases) on the Freezer Series as AS5 and just as good as AS5 with other heatsinks.

    What is the average temperature of the room the unit is in and what kind of airflow does the case have?
  8. well thanks for that. since i obviously screwed myself over on purpose. but the temps are pretty much the same so i'm not worried. i got my cpu running at 3.0 from 2.1 with no stability problems at all, and the temps are still fine, so i have nothing to complain about. i won't be needing a cpu faster then 3.0 for a while. hopefully at least. my biggest bottleneck is my vid card.
  9. Your idle temps still seem like they could be improved, but they're still acceptable.

    Temperatures have a lot to do with how warm/cool the room is that the unit is in. Especially air cooling. You should have 3 120mm fans, plus an 80mm with that Lian-Li so you should have more than adequate case airflow and I doubt you're using the shroud but if the room is hot you can only expect so much.

    I would suggest re-applying the AS5 one more time. You need to completely remove any old thermal paste from both the CPU and the heatsink. I use q-tips, but a lot of people suggest a coffee filter to use to wipe away the old stuff. I believe wusy uses rubbing alcohol followed by a little turpentine. Moisten the coffee filter or q-tip with the rubbing alcohol and start cleaning the heatsink and CPU off. Repeat with the turpentine.

    Thoroughly read the AS5 website instructions on how to apply the AS5 for your CPU. The instructions are different for C2D CPUs so make sure you read up on the right one. I would also read through the Freezer 7 Pro's instructions on properly mounting the heatsink to make sure it's seated correctly.
  10. thanks. i'll probably try that soon. the AC website, last time i checked, doesn't specificaly say anything about core2duo though. they have 4 kinda general processor pics as examples. i used the large dual core processor to base my instructions off of.
  11. If you put on a decent amount of compound (regardless of what kind you use, most included pastes today are pretty good), and you have good airflow in your case and a good heatsink with decent stock fan you should be fine as long as you're not OC'ing. A little too much thermal compound is better than too little. It doesn't matter if it squeezes out the sides of the die a bit, it's really not going anywhere, unless you way over applied it. Just make sure the heatsink is in good contact and that your temps are within normal range for the first couple of days and you'll be fine. Check your temps every now and then for the first few weeks (particularly in the first few days, and try some heavy gaming to test it) and then again about 8 months or so down the road. For testing, you can just use an application like the graphics demo's off of nVidia's website or something. I use the Nalu one cuz she's an f'n hot Mermaid. :-P Running this and doing a few other things can really tax your CPU and increase your temps to near max.

    http://www.nzone.com/object/nzone_downloads_nvidia.html

    Luna too is also a cute chic if you're into that sort of thing. :roll:
  12. Quote:
    Congratulations. You just did something completely unnecessary as the pre-applied Arctic Cooling MX-1 compound on the Freezer 7 Pro works just as good (better in many cases) on the Freezer Series as AS5 and just as good as AS5 with other heatsinks.


    agreed :lol:
  13. ok. so why is it better specifically with that heatsink? why would the ac 5 be not as good? can you buy more of it since you guys say its better or is it only what originally comes with the heatsink?
  14. Quote:
    ok. so why is it better specifically with that heatsink? why would the ac 5 be not as good? can you buy more of it since you guys say its better or is it only what originally comes with the heatsink


    no what we are saying is there isnt much if any difference.

    hell i have run a cpu and heatsink with no paste at all
    for oh around a year or so, (xp2800 bartoncore with 130nm)
    and have since oc,ed it to 2455mhz with the white radioshack paste.
    and stock cooler.

    it iis now and has been using as5 for 6 months.
    no difference from the white stuff.

    same on my s939 3700sandycore.
  15. the average temperature in my room is actually kinda high. during the day, its usually around 75 or 76. at night, its around 73. i have a big room with only one air vent, go figure. could that have a significant effect on my cpu temps, or is 76 not that big of a deal. 73 is average right?
  16. Well for starters, my 4200+ X2, A8N-32 SLI Deluxe system with my X1900 would heat your 73 degree room about 5 degrees hotter easily. I almost always get hot up here in my loft when that system is on and I'm just glad there's a window and that I'm a guy (shirt comes off). As far as not using thermal compound, I wouldn't recommend it, but with a CPU that doesn't put out a ton of heat it is possible. As long as heatsink is close to the source and the heat concentrates onto it where it can be quickly wisked off by fresh air, it IS possible to go without a heat transfer putty. Today's CPU's run pretty hot, especially dual cores. That said, I don't know what the temp range is for Core 2 Duo's, since I don't have one, don't care, and won't be buying one (I have 2 socket 939 computers, I'm waiting for quad core now). I do know that on my X2 the temp ceiling is about 70 degrees celsius and that sounds about right for the Core 2. AS5 is less viscous than previous versions of Arctic Silver so it stays where you put it instead of slowly seeping out the sides with vibration. It also contains finer silver, and I think perhaps more of it. (someone can clear me on this) Silver is a prime conductor of heat. However, other thermal compounds still do a fine job, such as the stuff you scraped off your heatsink. Today's compounds for the most part are all fine unless you're OCing or your stock fan happens to be crap. On more generic brand I'd say go ahead and throw on a compound you can be sure of, but if a name brand heatsink like Zalman or one of AMD's heatsinks comes with thermal paste I'd say go ahead and use it. Making sure you're using AS5 like some people probably do is more of a peace of mind thing, and wanting to be sure you've got the best stuff.

    73 sounds a bit warm to me, but maybe Conroes run hotter? How many and what size case fans do you have? If the air is being circulated inside of your case by that CPU fan instead of directed out; your internal case temp might be too high. A big 90 or 92mm fan or two can do wonders to keeping your mobo and CPU temps down.
  17. it has 3 120 mm fans and also i think a 80 or something up top to blow the hot air out the top. the side mounted fan on my hsf is pointed out the back and i have turned that system fan around so that it is an outtake and not bringing air in.
  18. Quote:
    A little too much thermal compound is better than too little.

    No, not really. Too much thermal compound will act as an insulator, which is what I suspect may be happening with JBS181818. That, and possibly the previous compound wasn't properly removed or the heatsink wasn't properly installed. All the thermal compound is supposed to do is fill in the microscopic valleys on the contact surfaces between the CPU spreader (or die) and the heatsink to ensure heat transfer. It doesn't require much to accomplish this.

    Quote:
    ok. so why is it better specifically with that heatsink? why would the ac 5 be not as good? can you buy more of it since you guys say its better or is it only what originally comes with the heatsink?

    Some reviews of the AC Freezer Series of heatsinks showed an actual decrease in performance (i.e. higher temps) when they switched to another compound on the Freezer Series. However, I suspect that a curing time would have helped the temps to stabilize and the new compound would perform similar to the pre-applied MX-1 paste on the Freezers. You can buy the MX-1 at Newegg as well as AS5. As noted earlier, the pre-applied stuff eliminates possible application screw-ups. Arctic Cooling knows what they're doing and I trust the amount of compound they apply to a heatsink over a lot of current posters on this forum (and certain review sites).

    @RyanMicah, the C2Ds are extremely efficient and run just as cool, if not cooler, than the Athlon64s (regardless of single core or dual core) which is why I was a little interested in his idle temps.
  19. The way I always do it is:

    Place a small amount of thermal compound on the processor itself (about the size of a grain of rice) and spread it with my debit card as thinly as possible. You could use other things obviously than a debit card but it was all that I had readily available.
  20. The important thing to understand is what you are trying to accomplish with the AS. If the chip and the cooler were perfectly flat, you wouldn't need any compound and you would have the best cooling possible. Unfortunately, there are imperfections in both so you need to fill those in with compound....kinda like filling a pothole in the road. What you are trying to achieve is full contact (no air) with as little compound as possible. How you get there is your decision (I like to lap the heatsink and as was mentioned use a "drop" of compound).
  21. Quote:
    A little too much thermal compound is better than too little. It doesn't matter if it squeezes out the sides of the die a bit, it's really not going anywhere, unless you way over applied it.

    It really does take just a tiny amount of thermal compound to enhance the transfer of heat between components. Too much compound, especially using some of the more viscous varieties, can in fact do more harm than good because it's not possible to squeeze out sufficient excess without a great deal of effort and drama.

    Don't take my word for it. Trash-pick yourself an old broken TV set, computer CRT monitor or CB radio, open it up, find the power transistors with heat sinks, remove the heat sinks and see how much compound was used.

    Just my 2c - keep the change.

    -Brad
  22. Thin it 5:1 with Odorless Mineral Spirits and apply it with an airbrush.

    or not.

    Seriously, I just smear it around with my fingertip and try to get it even.
  23. :D Well guys, I've only been building for about a year. I've read a zillion forums and so on though before I even attempted my BUILDS. When it comes to how much AS I apply, I go by how much thermal compound my stock AMD cooler came with. It had complete coverage and was a good mm or two thick. I just try to match that. So for you guys who say paper thin is best, I believe 3 sheets will do fine too. It will get squeezed out and thinned out with time and heat anyway - just like oil or grease gets thinner the hotter it is. (More viscous) It's like we were saying, we think it's overrated. My comps run pretty darn cool. I think case air flow and CPU heatsink fan airflow have more to do with temps than the exact amount of AS you use.

    I don't care if you are from Neo-Toyko or if you have 1729 posts, it won't act as an insulator for long. Plus AS5 has so much silver it's pretty good at conducting anyway. Just don't OC until you let your system run for a bit.

    Drama? It occurs naturally and can be smoothed with pressure and a slight twist of the heatsink.
  24. Quote:
    Seriously, I just smear it around with my fingertip and try to get it even.

    Skin oils = bad

    -Brad
  25. Woah. Moisture + electronics = bad. Better live in a bubble that has a built in dehumidifier and breath into a tube... Haha. You guys are overly-enthusiastic about your builds. I love my computer but I don't freak out over a fingerprint on my case. :-P A little finger oil never fried a CPU. But yeah, actually I don't use my finger to smear my compound. Compound is messy. :-D
  26. I put my hand inside a plastic and use my finger through the plastic to smear the lightest coating I can. If the paste squishes out the side when the heatsink is applied then I feel like I have wasted it.

    But I do have a couple of questions too:
    1: Is it true that silver thermal paste actually goes bad after a few months in the tube ?
    2: Should you recoat the cpu and heatsink at regular (say twice yearly) intervals ?

    :?:
  27. Quote:
    1: Is it true that silver thermal paste actually goes bad after a few months in the tube ?


    Absolutely! Send me your stale Artic Silver for proper disposal.

    All kidding aside, the pomp and ceremony some people attach to an activity as straightforward as smearing paste approaches the absurd.

    Yes, I have seen a processor burnt, but that was due to an air void in the application. If he had just swabbed the stuff around with his fingertip instead of whatever superstitious method he used, it would not have happened.
  28. Quote:
    :D Well guys, I've only been building for about a year. I've read a zillion forums and so on though before I even attempted my BUILDS. When it comes to how much AS I apply, I go by how much thermal compound my stock AMD cooler came with. It had complete coverage and was a good mm or two thick.

    We have a name for that. It's called a thermal pad. I'm sure in those "zillions" of forums you've read you came across it once or twice. I've been working on computers for over 10 years and have never seen an Intel or AMD OEM heatsink that had up to 2mm of thermal paste applied to it from the factory.

    Nobody's is really making a big deal about it, but the questions was asked and I gave the correct response.

    sweetpants, your method is correct for a CPU without a heatspreader.

    GavinLeigh, the plastic bag method is used with Arctic Silver Ceramique and AS3 IIRC. It's called tinning, you apply the paste to the heatsink, smear it around with a plastic bag and then wipe it off. You then apply the paste per the instructions for your CPU.
  29. It's ok if you don't know what a millimeter is. Nobody really expects you to. :-) While you're at maybe you should learn what a micron is.
  30. Yeah... a Micron is a company that fabricates memory chips right ? :lol:
  31. Quote:
    Yeah... a Micron is a company that fabricates memory chips right ?


    i thought a micron was stage lingo for mics are on :lol:
  32. Are you stupid, is that it? You just like being an ass?

    2mm = is slightly bigger than a 1/16 of an inch which just happens to be around the same thickness of a thermal pad.

    Ohhh, you meant Micrometers, but wait....isn't Micrometers designated by µm, and not mm?
  33. I'll assume you were talking about THIS

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal_pad

    kind of thermal pad, since you probably weren't admitting that applying a mm of thermal compound might just be ok as long as it doesn't squeeze out the sides too much and you're not OCing. (which is what I said)

    For those of you who, unlike Anoobis, aren't trying to look like genius's in a silly tech forum 24-7...

    Here's a quick link all about thermal pads and thermal compounds.

    http://www.antec.com/pdf/article/info_DIYArticle2.html

    Enjoy!
  34. Quote:
    2mm = is slightly bigger than a 1/16 of an inch which just happens to be around the same thickness of a thermal pad


    yeah the thermalpads for my video cards are atleast 2mm thick :D

    when i installed ny new x2 cpu, i put on probably that much as5 8O

    but it was late and i was a little tosty :lol:
  35. Yeah, AS5 is better because it stays put better. That's the whole selling point for it over other compounds.

    Here's what AMD says:

    http://www.amd.com/us-en/assets/content_type/DownloadableAssets/section5-high.wmv

    I have to wonder if that was made prior to AS5 though. Plus, thermal pads are a lot like AS5 anyway. Tacky tacky. 8)
  36. as5 is thicker but when it comes to any difference in cooling.
    its just marketing.

    i have seen no difference when compared to other thermalpaste.

    edit; oh when i said i put it on a little thick on my x2.
    i mean it, man it was actually really thick. 8O
  37. If you had left your post at about a mm thick, I wouldn't have said anything but 2mm is too much. I'm sorry if you don't like it, but your advice is just wrong and there are too many people on this forum that would take the information as gospel. My advice is per however the manufacturer states to apply it, which seems to be very hard for people on this forum to understand.
  38. Yep, heat transfers through still air underneath a heatsink almost as fast as it does AS5. The amount you use and the type aren't really all that critical. Good airflow is key. Anoobis you're kind of arguing a moot point...what we're all kind of saying is that you don't have to worry so much about it, just get some on there and CHECK TEMPS!
  39. Quote:
    The amount you use and the type aren't really all that critical. Good airflow is key.


    the amount used is more important than what kind is used.

    good airflow and ambient temps aslo make a difference.
  40. Quote:
    The amount you use and the type aren't really all that critical. Good airflow is key.


    the amount used is more important than what kind is used.

    good airflow and ambient temps aslo make a difference.

    Agreed. Anyway, to sum this ALL up...thin, even, complete coverage+good air flow to lower case temps is the best policy.
  41. Quote:
    Woah. Moisture + electronics = bad. Better live in a bubble that has a built in dehumidifier and breath into a tube... Haha. You guys are overly-enthusiastic about your builds. I love my computer but I don't freak out over a fingerprint on my case. :-P A little finger oil never fried a CPU. But yeah, actually I don't use my finger to smear my compound. Compound is messy. :-D

    The reason you don't want skin oils on the CPU is not because it might fry your CPU, it's because the oil interferes with thermal transfer. BTW, this happens to be an enthusiast community, so it's a GOOD thing when people are overly enthusiastic.
  42. Go clean your cleaning product bottles. And tell your doctor you need more meds for your OC disorder. Obsessive-Compulsive, but you can pretend it's an Over-Clocking Disorder.
  43. Quote:
    Go clean your cleaning product bottles. And tell your doctor you need more meds for your OC disorder. Obsessive-Compulsive, but you can pretend it's an Over-Clocking Disorder.

    Hilarious... you attack me because I'm beautiful eh? Haha.

    Seriously though: was that supposed to make me think? Was it supposed to make me feel bad? Was it a joke perhaps? Or just a bunch of meaningless BS?

    Give me something to go on here...
  44. Can't you just run with it? Or would that slop too many skin oils around on your computer? Oh dear, hang on...I think my case has a fingerprint.
  45. Quote:
    Can't you just run with it? Or would that slop too many skin oils around on your computer? Oh dear, hang on...I think my case has a fingerprint.

    Looks like we have a confirmed idiot on our hands here that goes by the name RyanMicah. Thanks for another completely moronic post that accomplishes nothing. :roll:
  46. Your name calling shows your lack of wit. GG.
  47. Use the whole tube !!!! what ever squishes out just scrape up with a spackling knife and use on some toast !!! heheh just kidding everytime I have used it I just put a small (realy small) blob in the center and just put the sink on letting it spread it out for me *shrugs* it seems to work rather well....
  48. Quote:
    And tell your doctor you need more meds for your OC disorder. Obsessive-Compulsive, but you can pretend it's an Over-Clocking Disorder.

    Ill borrow that for me sig haha
  49. Quote:
    Yep, heat transfers through still air underneath a heatsink almost as fast as it does AS5. ...!

    I think you'll find that dual-pane windows (with air between the panes) are made that way because the trapped air acts as insulation. If there really wasn't much difference in thermal conduction between air and your favorite thermal paste, CPU makers wouldn't use thermal compound on their included hsfs.

    It's always helpful to deal with facts. Let's start with thermal conductivity of some relevant substances:

    air: 0.024 W/m K
    silicone oil: 0.1 W/m K
    Radio Shack thermal grease: 0.735 W/m K
    AS5: ~8.9 W/m K
    silver, copper: ~400 W/m K

    So, even silicone oil is 4x better than air, while Radio Shack stuff is about 30x better than air, and AS5 is about 370x better than air.
    You'll note, however, that even AS5 is still about 45x worse than the CPU's copper heatspreader. That's why you don't want to apply too thick a layer of anything, even AS5.

    Heat transfer is inversely proportional to the thickness of the thermal compound, so doubling the thickness of the layer slows the heat transfer rate by half. The standard recommended thickness is 1/1000th of an inch. Let's see what happens if we goop it up and use a 1mm thickness instead. 1mm = 1/25.4 inch = 0.039 inches, or 39/1000ths of an inch. Looking at the conductivities listed above, 1mm of Radio Shack stuff would be worse than 0.001 inch of air! Even 1/5th of 1mm of AS5, and you're about down to the performance of 0.001 inch of Radio Shack stuff.

    Bottom line (as stated before): don't trap any air, and use as thin a layer of goop as practicable.

    Refs:
    http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/thermal-conductivity-d_429.html
    http://www.arcticsilver.com/as5.htm
    http://www.overclockers.com/articles662/

    It's not how much you read, but whether you read the right stuff. :wink:
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