Heatsink compounds

Rodney Peters rpeters at pcug.org.au
Thu Jun 27 14:01:42 EST 2002

I recognize that this discussion thread was nominally closed off, but as an 
aspiring Athlon owner I'd like to explore a couple of points:

The heatsink compound which I use on Socket 7 type CPU is cheapo white stuff, 
which, I believe, contains Zinc Oxide (non electrically conductive).  I'd be 
wary of using conductive (silver) compound on Duron/Athlon, since the latter 
CPU have accessible bridging points on the surface of the package.  I believe 
that overclockers deliberately apply conductive pastes to selected bridges to 
alter clock multipliers etc.

The purpose of heatsink compound is to eliminate a thin film of air between 
the CPU & heatsink.  That was an issue with the large (not perfectly) flat 
CPU packages & heatsinks, but the Athlon/Duron have a relatively small, 
raised contact patch.  

Maybe AMD have a point - that heatsink compound is not needed - what practice 
do other Athlon/Duron owners follow ?


I just bought a AMD 1600+ to mount on an MSI 745 Chipset board.  I didn'
t read the frostytech web site and put heaps on.  I was having trouble
getting the motherboard to recognise the CPU as an "Athlon XP 1600+" so 
too the chip out to reseat it thinking that was the problem (which it
wasn't) and ended getting that silver goo all over my fingers and the
back of the CPU.  It is foul stuff and hard to clean up. 

Anyway, I haven't had any problems with with overheating and I used a
small dab in the centre that I just let get squashed out when the heat
sink/fan was fitted.

More information about the linux mailing list