removing theremal grease

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by dew, Jun 28, 2006.

  1. dew

    dew Banned

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    im watercooling my computer today and i was wondering whats the best way to clean off the thermal grease on the cpu?and then whats the best way to apply it
     
  2. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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    Arctic Silver's website has the best walkthrough for this.

    http://www.arcticsilver.com/arctic_silver_instructions.htm

    For the grease, I use Goof-Off which has xylene in it.
     
  3. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    don't use goof-off, it leaves a residue that will hinder cooling performance. If you're water cooling, then every little bit helps.

    99% Isopropyl Alcohol is what you should use.

    As for applying thermal compound. I disagree with that link. For the Athlon XP/P3 it's fine... but for chips with heat spreaders (P4, A64, etc) I do not agree. You should not use a small dot. Apply properly with a thin, even layer. Heat spreaders are there for a reason -- maximize thermal contact with the heat sink.
     
  4. dew

    dew Banned

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    if ive only had thermal grease on there for a few months can i just leave it on there and add alittle more?
     
  5. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    no. Always re-apply.
     
  6. dew

    dew Banned

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    So should I just use like a paper towel or a cotton ball to take it off? It's only a thin layer
     
  7. dew

    dew Banned

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    nvm i got it all of with a cotton ball
     
  8. Wolf68k

    Wolf68k OT Supporter

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    I use a lint free cloth and rubbing alcohol to remove it.
     
  9. JaJae

    JaJae New Member

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    use alcohol anyway, even if you think you got it all off.
     
  10. PrinzII

    PrinzII New Member

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    I have to agree. Rubbing alcohol if nothing else but denatured alcohol works better.
     
  11. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    You also need to check the heat spreader very closely to make sure that there isn't a lip along the edge of the heat spreader that could prevent the heatsink from contacting properly. I had this happen once with a P4, and when I sanded the heat spreader (on 900-grit automotive paint sandpaper, mind you) and reinstalled the CPU, the operating temperature dropped by ten degrees Celsius.

    I use a multi-step method to clean thermal grease: first, I use mineral spirits (a.k.a. turpentine), then I use a water-based degreaser (like 409) to remove the turpentine residue, then I use an alcohol pad to remove the degreaser residue. Trying to use alcohol directly to remove thermal grease takes a lot longer, because the grease is oil-based. That said, Goof-Off is a stronger solvent than is necessary, and using it runs the risk of damaging plastic components on the CPU carrier.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2006
  12. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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    Gee. I guess those silly tech guys at Arctic Silver don't know what they are talking about then.


    "Clean the mating surfaces completely with a low residual solvent (High-purity isopropyl alcohol or acetone will work) and a LINT FREE cloth. (i.e. lens cleaning cloth) If another thermal compound has previously been applied to the heatsink, the mounting surface should be thoroughly scrubbed and cleaned with a xylene based cleaner, (Goof Off and some carburetor cleaners) acetone, mineral spirits, or 99% pure isopropyl alcohol. It is important to keep the surfaces free of foreign materials and NOT to touch the surfaces (a hair, piece of lint, and even dead skin cells can significantly affect the thermal interfaces performance, especially on modern small core CPUs as the surface area is already severely limited). In addition, oils from your fingers can adversely affect the performance by preventing the micronized silver fill from directly contacting the metal surface. (Fingerprints can be as thick as 0.005") "
     
  13. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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    As far as the dot of paste goes, I agree with you. Thermal paste is a dialectric for a reason. And I don't like the chance of conductive metal on conductive metal.
    Besides it's not so hard to use a fine edge scraper and pull a thin layer across the cpu.
     
  14. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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    Not if you're careful. I pour a few drops at a time into the lid from the can of Goof-off. Then I dip a Q-Tip into the lid and start very carefully cleaning.
    I use as many Q-tips as it takes to get it looking spotless.
     
  15. kingtoad

    kingtoad OT Supporter

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  16. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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