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First post, by AppleSauce

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i opened an old p3 cpu which might be acting up , can you just chuck thermal paste on the bare die i haven't really done this before so figured id ask?

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Reply 1 of 2, by ODwilly

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Remove the thermal pad with IPA, make sure the cache chips make contact with the heatsink, small gap use thermal pads. Flush use paste. Repaste a well spread pea on the cpu die of non-conductive paste, add a 40mm fan or good case airflow and it'll work like new unless it's damaged or other issues 😀

Main pc: Asus ROG laptop. I7-6700HQ, GTX 960M 4gb, 16gb DDR4.
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Reply 2 of 2, by Cuttoon

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ODwilly wrote on 2022-04-18, 11:15:

Remove the thermal pad with IPA, make sure the cache chips make contact with the heatsink, small gap use thermal pads. Flush use paste. Repaste a well spread pea on the cpu die of non-conductive paste, add a 40mm fan or good case airflow and it'll work like new unless it's damaged or other issues 😀

That's pretty much the gist of it.

Considering the dust settled on the slot PCB, there should be enough room to apply it without the pad. Pads are easier (cheaper) to apply at the OEM's and one can alway compensate their shitty conductivity with an annoyingly loud fan, right?

The theory about thermal paste is that it conducts heat much better than air, but much worse than metal. Meaning, it is really only supposed to fill the microscopic gaps between two relatively smooth surfaces.
But as long as it does that, one should use as little as possible. So, one clean spread over the surface should suffice.

I'm used to setting down the heatsink at a little angle, contacting along one of the edges first. And then slowly tilting it down while slightly turning it a few degrees back and forth around the same (geometrical) axis as the fan's. That in order to allow any pocket of air to escape to the opposite side. (as well as surplus paste.)
If you ever open it again and there's one clean smudge of paste on the heatsink surface, without any gaps, you had done it right.

That even seems to be a 50 mm fan. If it's too loud, one definitely gets modern ones which are much quieter. Fans also do age, quite simply.

I like jumpers.