Quote: Originally Posted by mjf
I've only done this a few times myself and read a bit about it. I think some grey are probably ok as long you don't have lint type particles on the surface. In Australia Dick Smith used to sell ISO PRO which is 99.7% pure isopropyl alcohol which is what I use. I think in the US drug stores sell high purity isopropyl alcohol and it's quite cheap. I wouldn't use tissues or absorbent paper towels. The coffee filter paper is great.
The way I see it is the clean surface which when magnified is a jagged surface. The Artic Silver people recommend that once the surface is clean you apply a very light smear to the surface then wipe off as much as possible without the cleaning fluid. This fills in the "valleys". Then apply thin lines over the core positions. Heat will then spead it. The objective is to get the thinnest layer between all parts of the CPU top case and the heat sink. Too much thermal paste increases the thermal resistance. As I say this is my view and putting on great mounds of the stuff is counter productive.
Now I think about MJF what about those cloths one can get for cleaning spectacles they are like a silky based type material and always leave my specs crystal as, and there are some ones that have a rubbery feel about them too and I couldn't agree more with the amount you put on - I found those plastic artists spatulas are the bees knees as they come in all shapes and sizes and not expensive either.
I usually spread real thin on the cooler (stock ones) and just a real thin layer on the heatsink with a tiny dot in the centre where the cooler will be, cos I really dislike that mess you have to clean off some off them a they must back the ruck up and pump it. Same goes for NB and adaptor heatsimks if you can get to them eh?