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Old 07-21-2009, 02:39 AM   #1
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Default Question about new computer build

I am building my first computer and I am wondering if I get an after market cpu heat sink and fan do I need or have to use thermal compound? A friend at work says he built computers for a while and has never used any.

I just want to know if it is necessary?
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Old 07-21-2009, 03:21 AM   #2
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Default Re: Question about new computer build

Well if you're going to overclock, you definitely need an aftermarket cooler
If not, then I don't recommend it

As for the thermal paste, most heat sinks that come with the processor have some already applied or the company gives you some cheap kind.

I would recommend buying some of your own regardless of whether you get your own aftermarket cooler or not.

I personally use MX-2
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Old 07-21-2009, 03:37 AM   #3
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Default Re: Question about new computer build

Even if I did not overclock it why wouldn't you recommend it? I thought the cooler the better and with some games couldn't it run hotter then you'd like?
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Old 07-21-2009, 10:20 AM   #4
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Default Re: Question about new computer build

No, I do not recommend any aftermarket thermal paste. The difference between the stock paste that the stock coolers come with and paste such as MX-2 (which is great stuff, though..I use it) or other well-liked paste, is very minimal...like maybe 2-5*C difference. That's why an aftermarket HSF and TIM (thermal paste) are only cost effective (worth your money) on a rig you are OCing.

Bottom-line: You'll be fine with the stock HSF and TIM.
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Old 07-21-2009, 10:26 AM   #5
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Default Re: Question about new computer build

Unless he wants the aftermarket for looks? Or future overclock?

You must have thermal paste even if you don't OC. It makes a BIG difference. It helps in taking heat away from the CPU to the heatsink/fan. Your friend needs to apply thermal paste/grease. MX-2 is good, so is Arctic Silver 5, and shoot, Zalmans stock paste that came with my CNPS9900 was good!!!
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Old 07-21-2009, 11:39 AM   #6
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Default Re: Question about new computer build

Quote:
Unless he wants the aftermarket for looks? Or future overclock?
Different story.

Quote:
You must have thermal paste even if you don't OC.
Yes, but only if it doesn't come pre-applied to the HSF. I have yet to see one like this, unless he's buying an OEM CPU with no HSF, and therefore no TIM.

Quote:
It makes a BIG difference. It helps in taking heat away from the CPU to the heatsink/fan.
Sure it does, but really only when you are OCing, or if you are running at full load 24/7. Otherwise, the stock stuff is fine. Like I said, there's a very minimal difference.

Quote:
Your friend needs to apply thermal paste/grease.
Again, only if it's not on the HSF already, which is highly unlikely.

Quote:
MX-2 is good, so is Arctic Silver 5
I recommend MX-2 over Arctic Silver for any beginner, or even advanced, computer builder because AS5 requires a curing time. You'll get almost instant results with MX-2, but again, this only for OC or high load situations.

Quote:
Zalmans stock paste that came with my CNPS9900 was good!!!
Like I said, minimal difference between all types of TIMs made for computer HSFs. They are all manufactured to do the same thing; buffer the heat between the CPU and the HSF in the very minute cracks of the CPU and HSF metal contact plates.
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