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I just got a E5504 processor and intel heatsink. In the paper it do not show anything about if I should apply cooling paste before installing the heat sink? Is this something we used to do in the past? or should i just apply some anyhow even though its not shown in the catalog?

There was nothing coming with the boxed processor, but i have some from the past.

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

As i recall, most OEM heatsinks come with a thermal pad, and that should usually be sufficient. Some heatsinks come with thermal paste with a plastic covering which may need to be removed.

IF there's already a thermal solution, DO NOT use that at the same time as your own thermal paste. I'd suggest using whatever the heatsink comes with first (its probably good enough) and switching over to thermal paste only if its insufficient - which i doubt, unless you intend to do something silly like overclock a server.

EDIT: for reference, the thermal paste application on intel heatsinks looks like this

enter image description here

It'll spread out when applied and should be sufficient for most needs.

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on my heat sink, theres theses 3 lines of something that looks like metal, is this the thermal pad you mention? –  s093294 Jun 23 '12 at 1:44
    
A picture would help. Most of what i've seen has a single large copper core, fins around that and a white pad as a thermal interface. –  Journeyman Geek Jun 23 '12 at 1:46
    
ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51rA3pzm5LL._SL500_AA300_.jpg This is the heat sink - at the bottom of it theres 3 small lines, 5x20 mm of something alittle darker than the other metal, maybe 1mm thick. I think its thermal paste but not sure –  s093294 Jun 23 '12 at 1:50
    
Edited in an image of the thermal paste application on a stock intel heatsink. –  Journeyman Geek Jun 23 '12 at 1:53
    
Thanks, that is what i am seeing. Thanks –  s093294 Jun 23 '12 at 1:56
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