In this article, we are not going to tell you how to apply thermal paste or what techniques there are (for this we have other tutorials), and in any case after all, each person has their own technique. What we’re going to tell you is, in case you didn’t know, that AMD and Intel processors have a slightly different IHS, and therefore you need to apply thermal paste differently in processors than one. brand or another. .
Why is it necessary to use thermal grease between processors and heat sinks?
As you probably already know, perfectly flat surfaces don’t exist, and even on surfaces like an IHS, this is something that can be seen, many times, with the naked eye. For example, here’s what an AMD Ryzen processor looks like under a microscope, zooming in just a bit.
You can easily see that the surface is far from completely smooth and the exact same thing happens in Intel processors.
With the contact area of the heat sinks it is exactly the same, there are certain protrusions, ridges and valleys that make the surface not completely flat. This means that when we place the heatsink above the IHS of the processor, the contact is not total and therefore the heat transfer from one to the other cannot be produced efficiently.
This is the reason why it is necessary to use thermal paste, since as its name suggests it is a “paste” which will go through all these “valleys” both from the IHS of the CPUs and heatsinks to fill these gaps. , and since they have high thermal conductivity, it will make the heat transfer from processor to heatsink much more efficient.
However, you should also know that its conductivity is worse than that of metal, and therefore the thinner the layer of thermal paste that we put, the better the heat transfer will be since the materials of the IHS and the radiator will be more close to each of them.
Intel and AMD processors have a different shape
Now comes the crux of this article, and that is, as we told you at the beginning, the technique of applying thermal paste in Intel and AMD processors should be different since their IHSs are different. Besides the fact that in both cases we find those peaks and valleys that we talked about in the previous section, and obviously the size is different, there is a recurring “problem” in both brands and that is the AMD processors have a convex shape, whereas Intel processors are concave.
This means that, for example, when mounting an AMD processor and putting on the heat sink, when we press it is easy that if we put too much thermal paste, it will be “ejected” from the sides , which does not happen in Intel processors because it remains accumulated in the center.
This means that when we mount an AMD processor we have to apply a very thin layer of thermal paste, but with special emphasis on the outer perimeter, as this is where there will be a greater contact distance between the IHS and processor. On the contrary, if we mount an Intel processor, we will have to influence more in the central area, because this is where there is a valley that will not come into contact with the heatsink not quite good.
And, if we apply a very thin homogeneous layer, what happens when we analyze the heat of the IHS is as follows:
On the left of the image above, we have an AMD Ryzen processor, and you can see that there is more heat in the middle area. This is because the contact with the heat sink is much better and therefore the heat transfer is also much better. To the right of the image we have the same with an Intel processor, where it is very clear that the best heat transfer occurs at the outer perimeter, indicating that this is the area where the contact is the best. In fact, in the case of the Intel processor, you can see that the middle area can cause serious temperature issues because there is hardly any heat transfer.
In short, you have to keep in mind that the IHS of AMD processors is convex, while Intel processors have concave IHS, so you have to apply thermal paste differently since, as we showed in the picture heat from above, with a thin even layer, you can have problems.