Can Thermal Paste Damage Motherboard?

What Is Thermal Paste?

Thermal paste, also called thermal compound, is a heat transfer medium that effectively enhances the conductivity between computer hardware components and their cooling elements. Thermal Paste (thermo-compounds) is a substance that is used to fill in the gaps between heat conducting surfaces. Thermal paste has high thermal conductivity, meaning it can transfer thermal energy from one object to another much more easily than air.

thermal paste damage the motherboard

Purpose of Thermal Paste:

The purpose of using thermal compounds is to increase the heat transfer rate and the total amount of heat transferred as well as reduce your CPU’s core temperature by keeping it cooler.

The main use of thermal paste or thermal compound is to maximize the performance of case fans on computers where these are used for air-cooling. The thermal paste helps in reducing turbulence and friction created by the moving blades that result in constant airflow which keeps computer parts cool even under load conditions.

Benefits Of Thermal Compound:

Thermal compound improves the actual performance of case fans while preventing overheating of hardware components such as memory chips, processors, and motherboards that may lead to permanent damage if left unchecked. This has become an increasingly important issue with today’s high-end personal computers which will not function properly if they are allowed to overheat.

Thermal Paste On Motherboard

Why do I need thermal paste or thermal compound?

without thermal pastes and compounds, your computer will run much hotter than it should, which may lead to early hardware failure due to overheating. All desktop and laptop computers have a built-in heat sink with air cooling fans that pull in fresh cool air from the front side vents of the case through small holes on the bottom of the chassis.

Air is drawn up through these tiny vent openings where it passes directly over a copper heat pipe that carries the generated heat away from the CPU (central processing unit) chip heatsink/fan assembly. The heated air leaves via a rear-mounted exit hole in addition to passing upward through another hole between the motherboard and case.

Once out of the computer case, heat sink compound or thermal paste is applied to the topside of both CPU chip and heatsink fan assembly as well as both surfaces of small strips attached to memory (RAM) chips on motherboards. The chipset of a motherboard also needs thermal paste or thermal compound for effective heat dissipation because it generates considerable amounts of heat under load conditions.

Tips to Applying Thermal Paste

Effects Of Thermal Paste:

You may be experiencing effects of over-applying thermal paste such as slower fan speeds or increased heat in your case because the extra layer (thermal pad) is creating resistance, which would cause the fans to run slower because they are working harder trying to pump air through all that extra material or your CPU could simply be running hotter because some of the thermal paste was scraped away and you now have areas on both surfaces without any sort of contact between them.

Thermal paste in between the processor and heat sink transfers the thermal energy from the processor to the heat sink. Unfortunately, some users use a bit too much which causes the thermal paste to squeeze out of place and get squeezed under other components on the motherboard like memory modules or even the PCIe x16 slots. If this happens, when you turn on your computer, it will start up but freeze after a while of normal operation.

To solve this problem, replace your thermal compound with a new one or have someone clean off whatever is blocking your CPU and try again. It is also recommended that if you are going to do any overclocking with an Intel Processor that you use Arctic Silver 5 as it has higher performance than most generic compounds can offer at a much lower cost.

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