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Is thermal paste important?

Now I am planing to upgrade the CPU of my early 2006 iMac. I am buying all the tools that are needed during the upgrade. But the thing that I don't understand the management of the thermal paste!

I have no idea how is applied where it is needed to apply, and I cannot find it on "Installing iMac Intel 20" EMC 2105 and 2118 Logic Board" if it is needed when I do change the socketed processor

thanks

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Thermal paste is hugely important. Whenever you separate a heat sink from a processor, you must replace the thermal paste with brand new paste. We have a guide for applying thermal paste, and we sell Arctic Silver, an industry favorite.

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and I need to separate the heat sink from the processor to replace it with the new one right?

ok thank you, now I go and add it to my shopping list :)

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Do you need to separate them to replace the processor, yes. Any time you separate the heat sink and processor, you must apply new thermal paste.

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Thermal paste eventually dries up and fails. When it loses its viscosity it can big problem leaving huge gaps in between your cpu and heatsink.

AMD recommends you use pads over paste. Thickness varies for example thin pads are used in notebooks. However if you frequently remove your heatsink you should use thermal paste on laptop or desktop.

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and in iMac what apple use for the CPU heatsink, the paste or the pads?

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@ joleisa Both work. Thermal pads are not as efficient at removing heat. AMD processors are designed to work on low energy and give off less heat than Intel processors. Here is a video explaing some of the differences between pads vs compound: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Pn4A8vYS... @ angryprobes The thinner the pad/material between the chip and the heatsink, the more efficient the heat transfer of a given material. You want to avoid thick pads. Please investigate heatsink lapping and why it is done to reduce chip temperatures by people overclocking their chips. I believe it will help you understand thermal transfer better.

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You should use thermal pads since thermal paste is meant for temporary use. It can be tricky on laptops since pads are pretty thick. You dont want a pregnant notebook.

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we are taking about iMac here, not any laptop. On every other guide is talking always about the paste. Are you sure that I should use pads?

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Thermal paste is not for temporary use. In fact, many computer manufacturers choose to use thermal paste for their builds - desk top & laptop - Apple, Dell, HP, etc.... all use paste, not thermal pads. I've been building computers for 20 years, I've always used thermal paste in my builds. All the computers I've custom built in the last 7 years are still running, a couple of them have had power supplies, hard drives or capacitors changed out - thermal paste has never been changed. I know this because the owners of those machines are still my customers and come to me for all their computer repairs.

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BS Thermal Paste needs to be supplied to rough surfaces to allow heat transfer. In the Imac the rough surface is that copper mess of tubes. The actual processor is smooth like glass and should need none. But, as it is in direct contact with the rough copper, it has to be there. The connectors to the x1600 need to be solid as well.

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I think you need to re-read your physics books ;-} If fact a rough surface offers a greater surface area than a smooth surface as such it can offer more transfer than a smooth surface. While you raise a good point if you have two very smooth surfaces (i.e. two glass plates) and then applying pressure you can remove air between them creating a uniform bond one would think heat would transfer better, sorry to say it won't. Lets look at this from a visible stand point, looking though this sandwich you will see the gap of the two surfaces even though the air is thought to be removed. Now do the same experiment with a drop of water or oil this time you can't see the gap of the two glass plates. This is exactly the same with thermal paste as it both fills the voids of the uneven surfaces and microscopic gaps to the transfer is complete as possible.

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joleisa will be eternally grateful.
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