|MICRO CENTER: COMPUTERS & ELECTRONICS|
Installing and Replacing Heat Sinks
One cause of intermittent system problems can be from improper heat sink installation or inadequate cooling of the CPU. Many CPU cooling assemblies now ship with thermal phase change compound applied to the heat sink. A protective label or paper covering is placed over the compound to avoid contamination or damage to the surface of the material. This label must be removed before the initial installation of the heat sink.
Phase change compound changes from
a solid putty-like consistency to a liquid as heat
is applied or during normal operation of the processor.
In the liquid state, the material can flow and fill
small gaps that may exist between the surface of the
processor and the heat sink. Once the heat is removed,
(such as when the system is powered down,) the phase
change compound reverts back to its solid form. If
the heat sink is removed, the material may tear, leaving
gaps where no compound can conduct heat away from the
CPU. For this reason, phase change thermal compound
cannot be reused. If the seal between the CPU and the
heat sink has been broken, the compound should be completely
removed and replaced with thermal transfer compound
before reattaching the heat sink.
Apply a thin layer of heat compound directly to the CPU. Avoid using too much that the extra would be forced out around the processor, and block air flow to the surface.
|© Micro Electronics, Inc.|