Trouble installing HSF

Gallstaff

Established Member
I'm having trouble deciding what to do with this hsf. I didnt buy any thermal compound but on the bottom of this hsf there is a little patch that is grey. I dont know if I take this little patch off of it and underneith there is thermal stuff or what. The patch is on the bottom of the hsf and it's covering the middle of a copper circle. What do I do with this? Do I take it off or leave it on or apply thermal paste to the processo rand put it on with the grey patch on or what?

EDIT: W00t 2500'th post!
 

Curtis

Established Member
The patch of grey stuff is usually referred to as "thermal tape". The installation manual is a little vague about what should be on the bottom of the heatsink, but on the stock heatsink for a 2500+ I recently installed, I left it on. If you upgrade to a better heatsink, this stuff leaves a bit of a mess so it might be more ideal for you to replace it with regular paste if this is an option for you.

With the stock HSF on, you should be getting about 32-35 degrees when idling.
 

ExCyber

Staff member
It's called a "thermal pad", which is some type of materials science wizardry that comes preinsalled on virtually all mass-produced heatsinks designed for socketed Athlons. You're not supposed to mix it with thermal compound; it does the job of the thermal compound itself. Incidentally, don't reuse the thermal pad; i.e. don't remove and reinstall the processor (well, after it's been turned on) without replacing the thermal pad with a new pad or thermal paste. It doesn't work quite right unless it stays in the same place after it initially "melts" (learned that one the hard way). As for the mess it leaves behind, I found that an old credit card and a bit of determination gets the bulk of it off, and RadioShack's* general-purpose electronics cleaner (Cat. no. 64-4345) got rid of the rest. The stuff comes out fast and is quite nasty though, so be careful if you decide to use it.

* Just in the interest of full disclosure, I suppose I should mention that these guys employ me.
 

ExCyber

Staff member
Right. Some of them come with plastic tabs over them to protect them from contamination, but I think some manufacturers are now relying on the tray for that.
 

Gallstaff

Established Member
Ok this is bugging the crap out of me I can not mount this. Do you guys know of any good detailed instructions on the internet for mounting a hsf cause I just do not see how this is supposed to go on or anything and again, the instructions lick ass.
 

ExCyber

Staff member
Recommended reading for anyone new to Athlon HSF installation. Doing this wrong can result in cracking your Athlon's die (i.e. the important bit), though it sounds like you're being careful enough to not run into that problem.

To get an idea (read the document linked above, this is just an overview and I could have omitted something important) generally this is how it goes:

- Note that exactly ZERO of these steps involve pushing down on the HSF itself. See statement about die-cracking above.

- Orient it so that the cutout on the HSF lines up with the "Socket 462" heading on the socket

- Tilt the HSF slightly to get the clip on the other side (the one without the slotted extension) under the mounting hook on the socket. No pressure should be involved in doing this, the clip should just slide under

- Lay it down on top of the CPU, making sure it's straight and that the HSF doesn't come into contact with the socket.

- Use a flat-head screwdriver or similar tool to press the other side of the clip (the one with the slot extension; do NOT do this with a screwdriver unless the slot's there or you'll probably kill your mainboard, and use a size that won't slip out of the slot) onto its hook.

- Double-check everything to make sure it's lined up and securely attached. The die should come into contact with the thermal pad, the heatsink should be in contact with all four spacers, and the heatsink should not come into contact with the socket. The heatsink should be parallel to the CPU.
 

Gallstaff

Established Member
Neargghh!!!! I cant do it!!

Do you guys know of like a video tutorial of someone doing it. I need help!
 
aside from the fact that thermal pads tend to suck ass and thermal compound is many times more effective, if you can't figure out how to install a cpu cooler, DON'T DO IT. you got a damn good chance of destroying the CPU die. get someone else to do it.
 

Gallstaff

Established Member
Well i think I got it the thing is i push the clip down at the bottom of the processor and at the other end i gotta like force it down with a screwdriver and i just know that it wont friggen go that far I can feel it stressing with every push. Am I doint it right or does pushing down that other end really require tha tmuch force?
 

mtxblau

Mid Boss
The first thing I'd do is get a damned shim before you continue messing with it.

No, it doesn't require all that much force. Are you sure the cpu is in the zif socket properly?
 

mtxblau

Mid Boss
A shim.

Pictures (of your situation) may be helpful.

Edit: Just to clarify, you have a retaining latch that clips onto little tabs on each side of the processor, and you can't get the other end to attach?
 
actually I recommend against shims.. have seen CPUs being fried from misaligned shims.

plus, it will not save a CPU from being crushed by a bad HSF install.

HSF installs are simple.. attach the 'hooks' to one side of the CPU socket (make absolutely sure the HSF is the right way around.. there's a notch that has to point to the higher part of the CPU socket), then push the other side down and towards the socket to secure it. if you apply force on just one side or have it badly aligned, you can crush the die of the CPU. even the tiniest bit chipped off will result in a dead CPU.
 
Try these videos for installation. Also I would highly recommend you scrape off the damn thermal pad and go buy some Arctic Silver 3 thermal paste. That will be a much better alternative to the pad. If you do end up just using the thermal pad MAKE SURE YOU TAKE THE PLASTIC TAPE OFF OFF IT!!!!
 

Scared0o0Rabbit

Established Member
Your first one is always scary. I remember my first one was a couple years ago on an athlon 700 mhz lol. Since then I've done it atleast a dozen times. athlon 2500's are cheap enough now that it won't be the end of the world if you screw it up, but exercise caution. Btw, you'll probably find that hte hsf isn't adequate if you use a lot of cpu intensive programs, however, apparently using a non-stock amd hsf voids your warranty.
 

Curtis

Established Member
Gotta be careful with the Arctic Silver though - it's conductive and you can kill your CPU with it. The stock HSF will cool the CPU adequately under all circumstances (unless you live in the tropics, or an oven), but don't expect miracle temperatures.

With a stock HSF I was getting 35 degrees idling. I recently upgraded to a Zalman 7000A-AlCu HSF and now I'm getting as low as 23 degrees.
 

ExCyber

Staff member
With a stock HSF I was getting 35 degrees idling. I recently upgraded to a Zalman 7000A-AlCu HSF and now I'm getting as low as 23 degrees.

Those temperatures are quite nice; certainly beating mine with a stock HSF+thermal compound on an XP 1800+. What's the ambient temperature of the room?
 

Curtis

Established Member
To be honest, I've no idea. Though to get 23 degrees, I'd say the room was "cool" - maybe 18 or 19 degrees. I also have a couple of low speed panaflo's in the case; again I couldn't be more specific - maybe running at 8 or 9v. I'm just using the stock thermal paste that came with the Zalman and I'm not over/underclocking or undervolting.
 

Scared0o0Rabbit

Established Member
You should feel lucky. Out here in california, I'm managing idle at 47C on several pc's I take care of. That's all with very expensive heatsink on each and a 4800rpm 80mm fan on them. Quite frankly, I've been seeing temps of around 60C+ with a stock hsf on a 2100+... just swapped it out with something better and managed to drop the temp down to 49C idle (with the fan turned down low). Quite frankly... If you live any place that ever has temperatures over 95 degrees fahrenheit... and/or you intend to run any heavy cpu applications, I'd put a better HSF on there than a stock one.
 
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