So you’ve got lately determined to peel again your CPU cooler and have a look at the thermally-conductive paste, or what’s left of it, caught beneath. You courageous PC builder, you. And now you need it gone.
Because you is likely to be studying this with a telephone in a single hand and a messy CPU within the different, I will lower to the chase: The simplest strategy to clear up outdated thermal paste is a paper towel.
Now some might say that near-infinitesimally small fibres from the paper towel will follow the warmth spreader and forestall sufficient cooling, however as long as you are not rubbing the paper towel to tatters, you may in all probability be simply advantageous. We do it on a regular basis at PC Gamer towers once we’re switching chips and have by no means run into any bother.
That mentioned, once we actually need to guarantee a very clear contact level, for thermal testing, we use a microfibre material to take away all of the gunk with the minimal likelihood of leaving anything behind. And once we actually need to go the additional mile, we use a CPU cleansing resolution or wipe.
The one we use at PC Gamer is known as ArctiClean, and it is available in two elements. One half clears away the outdated thermal paste, and the opposite “purifies” the floor. Primarily you give the warmth spreader a superb spring cleansing. A microfibre material additionally works nicely right here.
Higher secure than sorry
The important thing to any CPU cleansing, particularly as soon as faraway from the motherboard, is to carry solely it by the perimeters and keep away from touching any of the contact pads or pins on the underside of the chip.
It is fairly unlikely you may do any harm to your chip being even reasonably cautious about it, particularly on the subject of CPUs with pads slightly than pins, equivalent to Intel’s (and AMD’s upcoming Zen 4 chips). But it surely pays to take issues a little bit slower once you’re coping with costly and delicate PC elements.