Reuse thermal compound?

Discussion in 'CPUs and Overclocking' started by TheNiceGuy, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. TheNiceGuy

    TheNiceGuy Golden Member

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    I'm replacing my MB with an identicle one. Can I reuse the thermal paste, just pull the CPU off and stick all together on the new MB?
     
  2. ch33zw1z

    ch33zw1z Lifer

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    If the paste doesn't get dirty with dust or anything then it will be fine. If it's dirty at all, best practice is to reapply.
     
  3. apoppin

    apoppin Lifer

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    You shouldn't have that much spread on your surfaces to reuse :p
    - apply it thinly!

    and i would personlly not reuse it; especially if it was "old" .. some paste tends to dry out .. and it is SO cheap, it is worth having an extra tube
    - watch your temps; if you don't OC is is probably not critical to reuse it
     
  4. Dodger1

    Dodger1 Member

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  5. aigomorla

    aigomorla Cases&Cooling Mod<br>PC Gaming Mod<br>Elite Member
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    ummm...

    no, reapply.

    Dont reuse.

    Each time you pull that sink off after its been used the tim had a cure time which u ate into.

    If it cured partially and you placed a new sink on top you will get micro bubble areas.

    So in short, no, always reapply after you pulled the sink off.
     
  6. TidusZ

    TidusZ Golden Member

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    Reusing TIM is like reusing old underwear, just wash it and start over.
     
  7. VirtualLarry

    VirtualLarry Lifer

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    I've re-used AMD heatpipe heatsinks that had the thermal paste pre-applied. There's usually a generous amount, and if I'm moving the same CPU+heatsink combo to another board, I don't bother to reapply as long as there is enough. (Edit: This is in cases in which I was just running the CPU at stock. If I planned big overclocks, I might re-apply just to be safe.)


    OTOH, if I was using an Intel heatsink with the pre-applied paste, or using AS5, I would always clean the surface and re-apply.
     
  8. BonzaiDuck

    BonzaiDuck Lifer

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    AS5 degrades over time, anyway.

    You can re-use diamond thermal paste, but I recommend applying a small amount of regular silicon-grease to it, because the commercial stuff dries out a bit.

    Frankly, I just wouldn't do it -- even with diamond paste. Better to clean it all with isopropyl and apply new paste.
     
  9. VirtualLarry

    VirtualLarry Lifer

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    Not nearly as fast as plain white paste/grease. That stuff dries out in like a year or two, and then it turns hard like a rock, and it's impossible to remove from the processor.

    OTOH, I've never had that problem with AS5.