30 June 2011

A tip on how to possibly prolong the life of and increase the performance of your CPU

I was talking with some fellow techies today, and we where talking about maintenance or refurbishment of PCs. I raised a point about thermal creep, and thermal failure, and why I liked to, on a PC of a few years age, or one used a lot. (such as a server that is going 24/7) that I liked to pull the heatsink and CPU as part of the routine maintenance or refurbishment. 

The for it originally was I noticed that the heat-sink would seem to be improperly seated and that the thermal paste was always brown and dried up. So I'd pull em, clean the CPU die and the sink surface, put on some fresh stuff and than make sure it was seated properly when I re-installed.

I've personally noticed that on computer's where I did this, they seemed to have less CPU failures and a little better performance.

I guess it makes some sense. The thermal paste does more then just transfer heat, it also acts as seat of sorts for the two surfaces, smoothing out the imperfections in the surface of each to assure a close mated bond. That close bond is ESSENTIAL to heat transfer.

So after a bit, when that heat grease dries up, you don't have the close bond any more.I'd also suppose that fresh thermal paste is a better conductor of heat then old, dried up stuff.

As we all know, a cool CPU will last longer and give better performance than an overheated one will.

I know it's a little of a pain to pull the CPU out. (or more so, to remount the heat sink) But in my opinion, it is worth it. Thermal paste is not that expensive, so be generous with it and coat the CPU die nicely.

One warning: Where the heat sink mounts directly to the CPU socket with a steel clip on plastic nibs, be careful not to shear the plastic nibs off. But with that the only caution, I do highly recommend that re-pasting your of your chip every now and then.
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A tip on how to possibly prolong the life of and increase the performance of your CPU by DD-49 network is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at network-computer-info.blogspot.com.

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