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How to Apply Thermal Paste to CPU Heatsink


The most critical part of building your own computer is knowing how to install a CPU and how to apply thermal paste during installing a heat sink. The processor is the brain of your computer and is the most delicate part. It is easy to damage, even though most processors are designed so that they are almost impossible to install incorrectly.


How to Install a CPU and Heatsink

Installing a Processor is one of the most important steps in building a PC

The heat sink cools the processor and prevents it from frying. Cooling sinks are fastened to the top of the processor and sometimes come with an additional material called “thermal ointment”. This is a thin gel that adds another layer of cooling. Let’s take a look at the basic steps for installing the CPU and cooling sink.


1. Locate the CPU socket

Before you can install a CPU you need to find the CPU socket on the motherboard. This is a square socket with many holes. Lift the lever next to this socket so that you can install a processor to it.


Check the lubrication pattern in your CPU socket closely. Note that there is a diagonal corner were some holes appear to be missing. It may appear as a triangular pattern. It’s there to help you properly align the CPU to the CPU socket. Carefully grasp the processor to the sides and turn it over to examine the pins at the bottom.


Compare the alignment of your pins with the pattern in your socket and you will see that there is only one correct pattern for the alignment. Again, it is almost impossible to install the processor incorrectly unless you force it. Make sure the processor and socket are properly aligned before proceeding to the next step.


2. Mount the CPU

Once you are sure that the CPU pins and pinholes of the socket are properly adjusted, you can insert the processor into the socket. Again, be sure to use this diagonal pin pattern as your guide.


You may encounter some resistance while pressing down. This is a delicate procedure – and if you have never learned how to install a processor, you may think you are doing it incorrectly. 


However, learning how to install computer components is required for practice. The resistance is normal. Again, the socket design and pin patterns of the CPU are designed to fit perfectly.


Press down beyond the resistance point and then the CPU will slide smoothly into the socket. The processor may make a snap sound as it slides into the socket. When you are sure it is intact, lower the lever on the side of the socket to lock the processor in the socket.


Check if your specific brand of processor or cooling solution came with a protection board. If so, place it over the CPU as explained in your documentation.


3. Apply the Thermal Compound

How to apply thermal paste? Next comes the thermal compound. Some people choose to avoid this step altogether, while others who teach how to install a heat sink swear by it.


How to apply thermal paste and how much thermal paste to apply? A properly designed heatsink will usually ensure that you do not need a thermal compound. 


However, it does not hurt to be too safe, especially as the CPU speeds increase and generate more and more heat. Thermal paste can usually shave a few extra degrees of hot temperature off your CPU.


How to apply thermal paste to CPU? Apply the thermal adhesive to the processor areas that came in contact with the processor. Start by applying a little gel to the center of the processor and then gently spreading out. 


Do not apply too much thermal compound. A little drop will make you. Be sure to apply a thin, uniform layer of the gel to ensure full coverage on your processor.


4. Install the Heatsink

We are now learning how to install a heat sink. This is a very crucial step. If the heat sink is not installed properly it may come loose. Your processor will overheat and will be roasted in no time.


Before we explain how to install a heat sink, check if there is a separate heatsink from the unit. How much thermal paste is on the CPU? If so, you will need to connect the fan to the heatsink first before connecting the heat sink to the processor.


When ready, assemble the heat sink over your CPU according to the specifications of your manufacturer. The instructions will change. Some heat sinks are installed by requiring cranes to be compressed and connected to a metal hook on the motherboard. With another heatsink, you may need to knock out the entire unit on the motherboard.


No matter what the procedure, follow it closely and be very careful. If you need to use a screwdriver to install the heat sink, you can easily slip and damage your system components.

how to apply thermal paste to cpu


5. Install the Heatsink Fan Header and Configure BIOS

The final step in learning how to install the heat sink involves connecting the electrical conductors from the heat sink to their proper headers on the motherboard.


Locate the CPU fan header on the motherboard. Then connect the power cord from the heat sink to the fan header on the motherboard. There will be more than one title on the motherboard, so make sure you choose the right title. Choose the wrong one and your computer may get a power surge that will fry the CPU.


Check the documentation that came with your motherboard to properly locate the correct title. After installation, make sure it is securely positioned. | how much thermal paste to use.


Then, assuming the rest of your computer is properly installed, you can configure the BIOS. The BIOS will need to identify the type and speed of the installed computer processor. Again, the exact procedure will vary depending on the manufacturer; Check the documentation that came with your motherboard. | How to put thermal paste on the CPU.



Learning how to install computer components like a CPU and how to apply thermal paste in a cooling ball may seem like a daunting task to someone who has never done so. However, it is not as difficult as you think. Processors and coolers manufactured today are designed to fit well with a minimum of fuss.


You do not need much in the way of mechanical skill and the only tool you will need is a screwdriver. However, this is without a doubt the most gentle action you will take on your computer. Once you cross this hurdle, everything else will be a breeze.