Thermal Paste Question

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In Runtime
Ok I have read a lot of guides online about replacing a HSF (My Zalman is being delivered in a few hours) but I have one question.

Might be common sense but im a little confused. I have 91% Isopropyl Alcohol and a lint free cloth to take the old thermal paste off from my stock fan.. but my question is.. Do I take the CPU out first? Like am I suppose to just hold the CPU in my hand and rub the stuff off? or should I put it back in the original foam container thing?

I assume when I put on the AS5 it will be in the mobo, I just put on the line and put on the HSF, but I just want to make sure I know everything right before I do it.

Thanks, sorry to seem like an idiot.. :p


Grandfather of Techist, , ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Staff member
You don't have to take out the CPU unless you are sloppy. ;)

Seriously, wipe off what you can from the CPU. Then put some alcohol on the cloth and clean it, and repeat two or three more times to make sure you get any residue. Clean the HSF, too, unless it has a pad you want to use.

Cleaning a CPU is easier on the board... at least to me it is.


In Runtime
A little off topic but I don't want to start a new thread...

How hard is it to change the HSF on a graphics card? (as oppose to changing a CPU HSF)

If it's not too difficult I may get a zalman VGA HSF to replace the stock on my 7950gt..

Any thoughts?


Fully Optimized
First, Zalmans don't come with pre-put paste. And changing HSF on a VGA shouldn't be too just follow instructions.


Daemon Poster
Those are heat dissipaters for the memory modules, they can get pretty hot just like the GPU itself, so they also need to be cooled. That's why all the new high end cards have huge coolers.


In Runtime
Ahh I see thanks.

Zalman was insanely tricky to install >< My mobo wouldn't allow me to install the bracket the way it was suppose to be, so I had to rotate everything 90 degrees and it BARELY fits in my case. The latch clip thinggy is basically hitting the bottom of the power supply.. thats how tight it was fitting the mobo back in.

Other than that I am pretty happy with the results. I dropped 10-15c on both idle and load. Still not as low as I was expecting, but it's a lot better than stock. Plus it looks a lot cooler haha.

I went from 50ish idle 65 load to about 40idle 50ish load. Still not exactly sure why its so much higher than everyone else it seems.
CPU Voltage is set at 1.325v, seems higher than some but my BIOS says that is default stock voltage so who knows..
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