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Windows 7: Thermal paste on motherboard pins!!!!

24 Jul 2012   #1
aman113

Windows 7 64bit
 
 
Thermal paste on motherboard pins!!!!

Hi, I just got my new parts for my build yesterday and today while putting everything together I couldn't get the heatsink on the CPU properly so I took it off to reseat it only to find that there was some thermal paste on the motherboard socket.
So I was trying to clean it and in the process it got smudged on some of the motherboard pins where the CPU is placed.

I don't know if I am lucky or not but the thermal paste is non conductive so i left it as it is in case I bent any pins making it even worse. So right now I have been using the system for over 2 hours without any problems and its is working flawlessly. However I am worried if there may be future problems but the reason i bought non conductive thermal paste was for incidents such as this. So if any you guys can give your opinion on this matter I would really appreciate it.


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24 Jul 2012   #2
OldMX

Microsoft Windows 10 Professional
 
 

Get some alcohol and an old tooth brush, wet the brush and start brushing softly till the paste is gone.
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24 Jul 2012   #3
bobkn

Windows 7 Pro X64 SP1
 
 

I'd be more worried about damaging the LGA pins than any ill effects of some dielectric goop.

IMHO, leave it.
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24 Jul 2012   #4
essenbe

Windows 7 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Pro X64/Linux Mint
 
 

In my opinion bobkn is correct. If it were mine, I would leave it alone. It is not worth the risk of bending pins. I believe the old addage of 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it' applies here.
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25 Jul 2012   #5
TVeblen

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

Sorry to butt in and disagree, but I must point out that most thermal compound is not electrically conductive (not a good conductor anyway). Particularly the cheap, silicone based stuff, but even Arctic Silver:
Not Electrically Conductive:
Arctic Silver 5 was formulated to conduct heat, not electricity.
(While much safer than electrically conductive silver and copper greases, Arctic Silver 5 should be kept away from electrical traces, pins, and leads. While it is not electrically conductive, the compound is very slightly capacitive and could potentially cause problems if it bridges two close-proximity electrical paths.)
Arctic Silver Incorporated - Céramique 2
So even if you are using the expensive electrically conductive stuff the potential for short circuiting the processor with it is large.

I recommend (very carefully) removing the paste as suggested above before you transfer any from the processor into the motherboard socket.
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25 Jul 2012   #6
bobkn

Windows 7 Pro X64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TVeblen View Post
So even if you are using the expensive electrically conductive stuff the potential for short circuiting the processor with it is large.
I'm trying to decipher this, without success.

Most thermal compounds don't use conductive components. The cheap stuff is silicone oil plus zinc oxide.

If aman113 is using Arctic Silver or one of its clones, maybe the risk in cleaning it would be justified.

If it's a purely dielectric compound (like Arctic Silver Ceramique), don't bother. The Arctic Silver web pages only warn about "bridging" for the silver-based stuff.
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25 Jul 2012   #7
ankur850

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit
 
 

not good idea
thermal paste is good for cpu and gpu chips
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25 Jul 2012   #8
aman113

Windows 7 64bit
 
 

I am using Arctic MX3 which is non conductive and this one of the reason I bought this type of thermal paste in case something this happened so yh thx for your opinion I am just going to leave it as I see no problems and the PC has been working fine now for a day.
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25 Jul 2012   #9
bobkn

Windows 7 Pro X64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by aman113 View Post
I am using Arctic MX3 which is non conductive and this one of the reason I bought this type of thermal paste in case something this happened so yh thx for your opinion I am just going to leave it as I see no problems and the PC has been working fine now for a day.
Wise, IMHO.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jul 2012   #10
TVeblen

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bobkn View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TVeblen View Post
So even if you are using the expensive electrically conductive stuff the potential for short circuiting the processor with it is large.
I'm trying to decipher this, without success.

Most thermal compounds don't use conductive components. The cheap stuff is silicone oil plus zinc oxide.

If aman113 is using Arctic Silver or one of its clones, maybe the risk in cleaning it would be justified.

If it's a purely dielectric compound (like Arctic Silver Ceramique), don't bother. The Arctic Silver web pages only warn about "bridging" for the silver-based stuff.
There are two potential problems that can be caused by thermal paste on the pins of the processor.
  • If the thermal paste is non-conductive it can interfere with the electrical connection from the pin to it's socket.
  • If the thermal paste is electrically conductive then it could bridge the gap between two pins and result in a short circuit (in the classical sense - meaning the electricity does not follow it's intended circuit path.)
Neither problem needs to result in fireworks. More likely it will result in random errata.


I would clean the paste off the pins before I would install the processor in my computer. My logic is simple (like my mind):
  • No one would ever recommend applying thermal paste to the pins.
  • So if you got some on the pins it should be cleaned off.
Cleaning electronic parts with a toothbrush is a time tested method. It will not damage the pins unless you press so hard that the plastic handle is pushing into the pins (don't do that).


For the OP: if you have installed the processor already and it is working fine then forget about it. It's done. It works. Leave it alone.
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 Thermal paste on motherboard pins!!!!




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