What is thermal paste? What is it for and how to change it? | Seletronic
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What is thermal paste? What is it for and how to change it?

Understand what thermal paste is, its importance in computing, and how to apply or change thermal paste

- 4 min de leitura
What is thermal paste? What is it for and how to change it?
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Thermal paste is a paste that acts as a heat transferor between a component of an electronic system and a heat sink, very commonly used in computing to transfer the heat generated by the processor for the heatsink that is cooled by a fan which we call a cooler, or by another type of cooler such as water coolers.

thermal paste is especially important in the computer, as without it the processor would not be able to exchange heat with the heatsink in long enough to keep the system at the ideal temperature, which would otherwise result in the processor burning out. However, modern motherboards have protection against excessive heat that can disarm the computer by cutting off the power to protect the system from heating excessive, but as this system can fail, there is nothing better than keeping the computer at the correct temperature, and for this we need to use the necessary components for cooling.

Another hardware where it is also important to change the thermal paste are the video cards, where the graphics chip also produces a lot of heat and depends on a cooling system identical to that of the processor.

Thermal pastes are available on the market in several brands and at different prices, ranging from R$5.00 to prices higher than R$300.00, due to the quality or brand of the product. It is normally white or silver in color, but with the popularity of silver, companies have invested in other colors, such as gold-colored thermal paste.

How to know if a thermal paste is good

The efficiency of thermal paste is calculated in the international system of units (SI), using the unit of measurement of thermal conductivity, which is the watt per meter-kelvin, which can have the following symbols:

  • W/(m·K),
  • W·m-1·K-1
  • W/m/K

The higher the given number of watts per meter-kelvin, the better the efficiency of the thermal paste in conducting heat. So a thermal paste with 14.3w/mk is better than one with 12w/mk.

When should I change the processor thermal paste?

You should change the thermal paste preventively whenever you notice that your processor is showing an unexplained high temperature. It is recommended that the thermal paste be changed at least once a year, but some people, as a precaution, prefer to change it at least once every 6 months. Even if you use quality thermal paste, which according to manufacturers can last for up to 5 years, the ideal would be to change the paste at least once a year. There is no specific rule, but just a time commonly evaluated and disseminated in many hardware communities.

How to apply or change thermal paste?

Changing or applying thermal paste is so simple that anyone, even if they are not a technician, can do it. But to avoid any doubts about changing the thermal paste, see the step we did on how to change the paste. Do the following:

  • Remove the cooler and thoroughly clean all traces of the old paste.Clean up all traces of the old processor folder.
  • Apply an amount the size of a bean.Placing the new folder.
  • It is not necessary to spread, but if you want to do this, use a small spatula.If spreading, use a spatula
  • Put the cooler in place.Cooler in place with applied paste.

Why is it not necessary to spread?

Normally it is not necessary to spread the thermal paste, because when the cooler heatsink is placed in place, the pressure between it and the processor is responsible for spreading the thermal paste evenly, and sufficiently if the paste is placed exactly in the center. of the processor. However, as most thermal paste manufacturers recommend that it be spread with a small spatula, we leave an image corresponding to this procedure as a reference.

Marcus é o fundador da Seletronic. Além disso, é programador, e editor no site. Ama ajudar as pessoas a resolverem problemas com tecnologia, por isso criou esse site. Segundo ele: "A tecnologia foi feita para facilitar a vida das pessoas, então devemos ensinar a usá-la". Apesar de respirar tecnologia, ama plantas, animais exóticos e cozinhar.
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