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question on thermal compounds

Discussion in 'Overclocking & Cooling' started by imperialreign, Aug 30, 2007.

  1. imperialreign

    imperialreign New Member

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    I'm planning on replacing some coolers here in the very near future, and will prob go ahead and do some lap work while I've got things apart, but I'm wondering . . .

    what is the best way to remove a heatsink that has thermal paste applied to it? Not like thermal grease, but the harder stuff that holds the hsink in place like epoxy would . . .

    Also, do thermal pads seperate from the PCB easy, or might the use of a plastic card to gently pry them up be in order?


    Really sorry to be asking questions that I know have been flung around the net left and right, but damn if the tech industry hasn't changed a ton since I was last getting into the nitty-gritty with hardware years ago . . .
  2. erocker

    erocker Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Thermal pads should come off easily. If you are replacing something that is glued the only thing I can suggest is either using the hardware, immediately take it out and get the hs off, or you may want to try a hair dryer to heat up the adhesive.
  3. WarEagleAU

    WarEagleAU Bird of Prey

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    if its epoxied, good luck getting it off without breaking something.

    normal TIM will cure and become hard, but with small amounts of light pressure and twisting, you can work it free (JUST BE CAREFUL). Clean the area with the Artic Silver TIM cleaner and youll be good to go.
  4. imperialreign

    imperialreign New Member

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    what color is thermal epoxy, typically? Is it clearish like standard epoxy is?


    well, I guess this brings up another question - what, if any, solvents are safe to weaken the thermal compund to ease removal? I mean . . . I've got access to various solvents and what not at the shop, but I'd be fairly certain off the back automotive solvents are more than likely to harsh for PCB's, right?
  5. erocker

    erocker Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Use alchohol. What are you taking off exactly?
  6. imperialreign

    imperialreign New Member

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    well, I'll be removing the stock cooler from my X1950 and replacing that for starters - this is the component with the thermal pads. I had at one point removed the screws from the cooler when I first bought the card (curious to see what specific hardware was on it and whatnot), but the thermal pads didn't want to let go with me putting a little effort on it, so I left it alone then.

    The odd-ball, though, is on my sound card - I know, not many sound cards have heatsinks (this is actually the first one I've ever seen with one), but considering the various sound issues I sometimes randomly have with this friggin X-Fi, I wanted to lap the heatsink on the proc, then install a chipset fan over top of that. Fully loaded playing Doom3 or Quake4, using an IRgun, I've recorded that heatsink hitting almost 50C (with the side of the case removed, so I'm sure it's prob a couple degrees higher). I figure if Creative felt the audio processor needed a heatsink, it couldn't hurt to try and help it cool a little better . . . this is the heatsink, though, that looks like they made use of thermal paste.

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