Heatsink compounds

Rasjid Wilcox rasjidw at openminddev.net
Thu Jun 27 20:03:09 EST 2002

On Thu, 27 Jun 2002 2:01 pm, Rodney Peters wrote:
> 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.

If electrical conductivity was a problem for something touching the core, then 
the heatsink itself (which is mostly metal) would surely be a problem.  Since 
it is not, then I don't think the heatsink compound will be.  That being 
said, I was careful to put the compound on the core only, and not the rest of 
the CPU.

> 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 ?

Well, after my review of what I could find on the web, I went with the 'smear' 
technique - putting a thin layer of heatsink compond on the core.  I cut up 
the lid of a takeaway container to use as a spatula.  So far everything seems 
just fine.


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