Originally Posted by lhuser
I don't like the premade pads. I've had heard bad stories about them, and I dealt with one. The pad actually chocked the CPU to transfer heat and was heating up quite bad (50C idle). Removed the pad and put some thermal paste and it was down to 36C, which osunds normal for a Prescott CPU.
not teaching you to suck eggs or anything, but it's a bit obvious when you think about it...
metal to metal conducts the best heat.
the only reason that you're using thermal paste is to fill in any tiny air gaps in the metal to metal contact made by the machining process. if you have one of those really think gummy pads that manufacturers seem to insist on putting onto heat sinks then you're getting a less efficient thermal transfer than you'd get if you applied a thermal paste yourself. (in a sparing fashion allowing the paste to do it's job of creating a better surface for the metal to metal contact which will allow for the most heat transfer).