Thermal paste fills microscopic gaps between the component (CPU and GPU) and heatsink. It helps transfer the heat from the CPU or GPU to the heatsink. But overtime the thermal paste dries up and become ineffective so it is a good practice to change or re-apply the thermal paste. Dust also affects the temperature of the CPU and GPU by blocking the air from the fan to the heatsink, so regular cleaning helps your card to perform like brand new.
What You Need
- Isopropyl Alcohol
- Small paint brush
- Screw drivers
- Thermal paste
1. Remove the components that blocks your way to remove the CPU heatsink (graphics card, RAM modules). Disconnect power cables for CPU and motherboard. Also disconnect the CPU fan header from the motherboard.
2. Remove the CPU heatsink. How to remove the CPU heatsink varies on what CPU model you have. Look for the CPU manual for specific instructions.
3. Remove the old thermal paste by wiping it in circular motion inward using the cloth. Put isopropyl alcohol on the cloth if the old thermal paste is dried up and hard to wipe. Do it both on CPU and heatsink.
4. Clean the heatsink and the fan using the small paint brush and cloth. Do not use the same cloth you used to remove the thermal paste.
5. Remove the dusts around the cpu using the paint brush.
6. Apply a pea sized shape thermal paste on the cpu. No need to use the spatula to spread the thermal paste, the heatsink will spread it once you put back the heatsink.
7. Assemble the fan heatsink and put it back onto the motherboard. Plug-in the cpu and motherboard power header.
1. Remove the screws on the back of the graphics card.
2. Carefully separate the heatsink and the card. Also disconnect the fan header from the card.
3. Wipe the old thermal paste on the GPU chip and heatsink using the cloth with isopropyl alcohol.
4. Remove the dusts and remaining thermal paste by using the paint brush.
5. Unscrew the fan from the heatsink. Use the paint brush and another cloth to remove the dusts from the heatsink, fan and cover. You can also use blower if you have one.
6. Put a pea sized shape on the GPU chip.
7. Reassemble the heatsink fan and the cover, connect the fan header to the card, and finally screw back the heatsink.
Now you have your processor and graphics card all cleaned up and should perform like brand new again.