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Ryzen 3rd gen thermal paste application questions

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My 3900X arrives next week and I've been hearing from multiple people that the classic "pea-sized dot" method in the middle no longer applies to 3rd gen Ryzens?

Looking at the dies, to me, it looks like it shouldn't matter:




Do I just apply a little bit large pea-sized dot than on my i7-8700, mount the cooler and forget about it? Or is that completely the wrong thing to do on third gen Ryzen? I heard the edges of the IHS heat up considerably on this gen.
 
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to be honest there is no need to make it more complicated than it really is. You could probably draw a weener with the paste right in the middle of the chip and be just fine. alternatively if you really want to take a subjective look at it you can try each method when you get the chip and monitor the results. Personally i apply roughly a pea sized drop like you said and then i spread it evenly across the entire chip with a plastic applicator. When you remove the cooler and look at the chip/socket/and the base of the heat pipe that should tell you all need to know really. Different strokes for different folks though (as always)
 
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My 3900X arrives next week and I've been hearing from multiple people that the classic "pea-sized dot" method in the middle no longer applies to 3rd gen Ryzens?

Looking at the dies, to me, it looks like it shouldn't matter:




Do I just apply a little bit large pea-sized dot than on my i7-8700, mount the cooler and forget about it? Or is that completely the wrong thing to do on third gen Ryzen? I heard the edges of the IHS heat up considerably on this gen.
A pea sized amount is still adequate IMO, or you could use the spatula spread method if you wanted to be certain, try both and post up your results, but I'm sure there would be little/no difference

You could probably draw a weener with the paste right in the middle of the chip and be just fine
This got me dead, well done :clap: :roll:
 
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I've decided to go with putting 5 dots of MX-4, one in the middle and 4 around it but not too close to the edges. Now hopefully I won't have to spin my cooler 360 degrees in order to take it off the next time I need to.

I'm still up to discussion.
 
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A pea sized amount is still adequate IMO, or you could use the spatula spread method if you wanted to be certain, try both and post up your results, but I'm sure there would be little/no difference


This got me dead, well done :clap: :roll:
Did you miss the "different strokes for different folks" pun to accompany it? :roll:
 
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Did you miss the "different strokes for different folks" pun to accompany it? :roll:
You have to be from the UK with that sense of humour?

I've decided to go with putting 5 dots of MX-4, one in the middle and 4 around it but not too close to the edges. Now hopefully I won't have to spin my cooler 360 degrees in order to take it off the next time I need to.

I'm still up to discussion.
Do it, see what temps you get, you should be fine, btw what cooler do you have for that beastly CPU?
 
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Do it, see what temps you get, you should be fine, btw what cooler do you have for that beastly CPU?
NH-D15 chromax black. Sitting beside my desk along with three Noctua NF-A14 chromax fans, because the Ryzen & mobo aren't here yet.
 
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no xman, New york.

Well have fun with your new build anyway fleetwire! I'm sure you will and I'm sure you will love your 3900x as well :rockout:
 
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I don't pay attention to any of those suggestions. Here's what I do and I have never had any problems.

First, thoroughly clean the mating surfaces. I use 91 - 93% isopropyl alcohol and a cotton pad. The typical 73% isopropyl alcohol can leave a film.

Then I snip off the end of a Q-Tip (cotton swab), and bend about 1/2 inch of that end over to form a little hockey stick applicator.

Then I apply a small dab of TIM (thermal interface material) to the CPU IHS and use my little applicator stick to spread the TIM evenly over the IHS, like spreading icing on a cake. I make sure the layer of TIM is as thin as possible while achieving full coverage. It is much easier to add a little more TIM than to remove excess. So start with a small amount.

Remember, the TIM only needs to fill the microscopic pits and valleys in the mating surfaces to keep insulating air out. Any excess TIM is in the way and counterproductive to the most efficient transfer of heat.
 
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Sorry but spreading is not something I'll ever do.

I decided to go with this method:



Good enough.
 
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Sorry but spreading is not something I'll ever do.
Why?

Please note my spreading method is not something I just concocted out of mid air. Check the link in my sig to determine if I might have some qualifications on this subject. And the 4th line in my sig to see if I take heat seriously. Then note the "spreading tool" that comes with some of the better TIMs - like this one or this one or here too. Yes, bending the end of a plastic Q-Tip to make a spreader was my idea but it came from the the special spreading tool (similar to those shown) we used in tech school where we were formally taught about TIMs and the proper cooling of heat sensitive devices.

Spreading ensures thorough, even coverage and uniform thickness (important!) AND THERMAL PROTECTION across the entire surface, starting the instant the computer is powered on the very first time after application. While your method might be "good enough", it obviously does not provide uniform thickness. There are two ridges with lots of bare space. Your method depends on applied pressure from the heatsink mounting mechanism to distribute the TIM. But obviously again, that distribution will not be across the entire surface, nor will it be immediate. It takes time for the maximum spread to occur.

A CPU can easily go from cool to overheated in just a few clock-cycles. And the 3900x, for example, has at least 3.8 Billion clock cycles in just 1 second! Wouldn't you want the most efficient and thorough coverage starting with the first instant you power on? I sure do.

Remember, even with the world's most efficient TIM, the most efficient transfer of heat (which is what we want) occurs with direct metal-to-metal contact. The TIM need only fill the imperfections, the microscopic pits and valleys in those mating surfaces - to push out insulating air. So any excess TIM is in the way of that desired heat transfer process. Two "ridges" of TIM, or a big "dab" or "grains of rice" do not cover the most surface area or provide uniform thickness.

In the end, if your temps are fine, then your two ridges method is "good enough" and I would not pull the cooler just to redo your application. But for future applications, I would definitely recommend spreading the TIM out as thin and as thoroughly as possible so you have an "even" thickness of TIM between the mating surfaces, and no ridges that may allow insulating air to get trapped in there.
 
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Sorry but spreading is not something I'll ever do.

I decided to go with this method:



Good enough.
I'm confused. And I still think you are taking this too seriously. "speading is not something I will ever do" Seems like a very odd and closed minded point of view from someone who started a thread about various ways to apply paste, no? You do realize that the paste is going to spread regardless, right?
 
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I'm confused. And I still think you are taking this too seriously. "speading is not something I will ever do" Seems like a very odd and closed minded point of view from someone who started a thread about various ways to apply paste, no? You do realize that the paste is going to spread regardless, right?
I realize, I just don't like doing it. Should've mentioned to not suggest spreading in the original post.

I've been recommended to just place two lines, one over the CCX dies and one over the I/O chip, to get maximum pressure directly over the area where heat is produced. This seems good to me and I don't trust myself with spreading anything over a $450 chip, conductive or not. I was barely able to install my current cooler anyway.
 
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you will get better at installing and removing the cooler and what not with time, that's no big deal. I would encourage you if you are genuinely curious from a performance aspect of things to try try as much combinations as possible. then and only then would it be fair for you to decide what works best. Like i said before though, i really don't think it makes much difference at the end of the day though. It would be much more beneficial for you if you are worried about temperatures to focus on air flow,cooling solution as a whole, or thermal paste choice all rather than thermal paste application. that is just my opinion
 
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try as much combinations as possible
Yeah that's why I decided to ditch the pea sized method and try the two lines this time.

As for the case ventilation, mine has a mesh front, three NF-A14 case fans and soon a NH-D15 cooler with two 140mm fans on it, and I clean dust filters and the insides of my case regularly. I'm not at all worried about airflow.
 
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to get maximum pressure directly over the area where heat is produced.
Its not about achieving maximum "pressure". I hope you carefully read my last post. I spent some to time to carefully write it.

Remember, that heat shield is also a heat spreader. It distributes the heat from the die so you need to extract the heat from the whole spreader. And again, any excess TIM is in the way!

and I don't trust myself with spreading anything over a $450 chip
Okay, I understand this but you need to get over it! Seriously!

First, there is a MUCH GREATER RISK of damage to the CPU just by you touching and mounting the CPU. So you posed a much greater risk when you took the CPU out of the box and mounted it. You risked damaging a pin or pad through physical abuse or accident. You risked zapping it with ESD (static discharge from your fingers). And there is a MUCH GREATER RISK of damage to the CPU (and/or socket) when you mounted the cooler because, if done wrong, can result on uneven distribution of pressure.

Note that once mounted in (and grounded through) the socket, the potential for ESD damage is almost nonexistent.

In other words, you already did the hard and risky stuff. If you trust yourself there, the rest is a piece of cake! :)

I recommend you practice to build up your confidence. If you have an old CPU and motherboard, practice there. If no spare, use a piece of aluminum foil or any flat, hard surface.

***

Nice video TrashZone. I would say to notice how much time it takes to get full coverage. I also noticed he had to press and wiggle that piece of glass/plastic pretty hard, and even pressed in different places to distribute the TIM. Not sure that represents how everyone mounts the cooler.

And again, a CPU can go from cool to overheated in just a few clock cycles. I personally want full protection starting with the instant I power on.
 
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I feel like just not bothering anymore

pea sized dot it is, who cares that 25% of it wont be covered
 
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Hi,
I've always swirled the cpu block as much as it can with all four mounts started so this is normal to me
Some do it after running and getting the timm heated up a little
As for pressing the glass you have to take into consideration mounting pressure can not be done on a piece of glass unless you drill four holes in it :)

The issue with spreading it can leave lots of air trapped which is obvious in the video but i have had prety good results spreading hydronaut.
 
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Wow. Okay. As you noted, it is your $450 chip. Good luck.
 
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There are several tests online demonstrating that as long as you use a decent thermal paste it just doesn’t matter the way you put it.
 
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