Originally Posted by patonb
What cpu/cooler did you get... link would be best.
Most, 95%, come with a pre applied compound, so you'll be fine. If its an oem fan/heatsink it won't be the top quality TIM, but decent enough to run a stock setup.
Oh its highly nessesary... It makes the thermal connection between the cpu and the heatsink. Without it, the cpu will over heat.
Well put, thats one of the most important parts. Sometimes in comes as Thermal grease pad which looks like a glob of melted refrigerator magnet with wax paper over it. To apply it all you need to do is peel the wax paper and stick heatsink to the processor and tighten it down BUT MAKE SURE TO REMOVE THE WAX PAPER
If its not preapplied you most likely you have a syringe with the compound in it. To apply it, all you need to do is spread a rice grain sized strip on the top flat part of the processor and move the heatsink around in circles on the processor so that it covers the entire surface of the top part of the processor. Don't get any of the compound on the pins of the processor (Although they have non-electrical conducting thermal compound out there, its better to be safe than sorry). It is also important that once you start spreading the thermal compound to not separate the heatsink from the processor, this will cause imperfections when you apply the heatsink again leaving areas where there is no contact.
There are several videos on You Tube that show how to apply thermal compound if you need to know. Good luck!