WATCH: How to Apply Thermal Paste – TechMikeNY
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WATCH: How to Apply Thermal Paste

WATCH: How to Apply Thermal Paste


This week, we're going back to basics with a video tutorial on an important step in building your own server: applying thermal paste! From proper heatsink removal techniques to our preferred application method, we've got you (and your processor) covered.

Note: this tutorial demonstrates thermal paste application on a 12th generation Dell server. To apply thermal paste onto a 14th gen server, you would need to follow a modified procedure to remove the heatsinks.

1. Start out by removing the heatsinks. 

Each heatsink has 4 pins to hold it in place. Take a screwdriver with a standard Phillips head and unscrew each one. 

Removing the heatsinks

2. Take some rubbing alcohol and a rag and clean the processors of debris and old thermal paste. (You don’t want to get gunk stuck in between the processor & the heat sink, and you also don’t want to mix old and new thermal paste.)

3. From here, you’re going to take your thermal paste of choice and apply a pea-sized amount of thermal paste to the center of the processor.

Pea-sized amount of thermal paste in center of processor.

There are different methods of applying thermal paste, but the pea-sized works best for us.

Alternative Thermal Paste Methods

4. Make sure that you do not apply too much thermal paste, as it can get underneath the processor and disrupt the contact between the CPU and the pins.


5. Once you see that everything is in place, place them back into their slots and screw them back in, going in a star-shaped pattern.

And now you’re all done. Happy cooling! What is your go-to method for applying thermal paste? What tutorials would you like to see next?

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