Best way to apply Thermal paste?
Of course, this probably varies depending on the type of chip you have, the type of T.P. used, and the heatsink you have.
However, using a Golden Orb and a K6-2+, the best way I've found is a small dab of Artic Silver in the center of the heatsink. I've heard other people talk about using a razor to create a micro-layer of paste across the board--but this is what worked best for me.
Arctic Silver Thermal Compound
1. Even though Arctic Silver is specifically engineered for high electrical resistance, you should keep the compound away from processor, memory, and motherboard traces and pins. There is a possibility that dust or metal particles and/or shavings carried by the airflow inside the computer case could contaminate the compound and increase its electrical conductivity.
2. ONLY Arctic Silver should be between the processor core and the heatsink.
Remove any thermal pads or other interface material from the heatsink before applying the Arctic Silver.
3. Clean the mating surfaces completely with a low residual solvent (isopropyl alcohol will work) and a LINT FREE cloth. (i.e. lens cleaning cloth) If the heatsink surface has had thermal compound previously applied, the surface should be thoroughly scrubbed and cleaned with a quality degreaser (Available at automotive stores.) and then followed with the alcohol cleaning step. It is important to keep the surfaces free of foreign materials and NOT to touch the surfaces (a hair, piece of lint, and even dead skin cells can significantly affect the thermal interfaces performance, especially on modern small core CPUs as the surface area is already severely limited). In addition, oils from your fingers can adversely affect the performance by preventing the micronized silver fill from directly contacting the metal surface. (Finger prints can be as thick as 0.005")
4. Cup the syringe in the palm of your hand with the barrel between your middle and index finger as shown in the photo to the right. Slowly squeeze your hand shut until the compound begins to come out of the nozzle.
Apply the thermal compound to the SMALLER of the two mating surfaces in the appropriate thickness. The flatter the mating surfaces, the thinner the layer that is required. Properly lapped processors and heatsinks will only require a translucent haze on top of the core of the chip. Stock processors and/or heatsinks with normal surface irregularities or that are concave or convex will require a thicker layer to fill the resultant gaps.
DO NOT use your finger to apply or smooth the compound (skin cells, and oils again). A razor blade or the clean edge of a credit card can be used as the application tool. You may use whatever tool you choose as long as it is CLEAN and allows you to control the application area and thickness.
5. RECHECK to make sure no foreign contaminants are present on either surface, and assemble the two surfaces.
6. PRESS the two surfaces together ONLY. Minimize any "twisting" or lateral "sliding" in either plane in an attempt to mate the "peaks" of the surfaces together. When you twist or slide one surface against the other, "peaks" on one or both surfaces will travel over areas where two "valleys" should come to rest. The peaks will scrape away compound that is needed to fill the void between the valleys that will oppose each other when the surfaces are in their final position and cause small voids (air gaps). ANY air gap will significantly increase thermal resistance in an otherwise GOOD interface. If the thermal compound is properly made and of the proper consistency, direct non-sliding pressure vertical to the mating plane will be more than enough to insure that the surfaces "bottom out". Additionally, "sliding" the surfaces together may cause one surface to scratch/gouge the other possibly opening up a larger inter-surface gap which will increase thermal resistance.
7. Secure the thermal interface with the supplied clips or other hardware.
A finger with a little dab, smear it around making sure both surfaces are clean and dont put too much on...just enough to cover all surfaces....no rocket science involved. I have been smearing that stuff on transistors, ic's, etc. for years and I have seen some very messy jobs from the factory, which didnt seem to hurt anything. Just be sure to use it where there's a heatsink involved.
New Security Features Planned for Firefox 4
Another Laptop Theft Exposes 21K Patients' Data
Oracle Hits to Road to Pitch Data Center Plans
Microsoft Preps Array of Windows Patches
Microsoft Nears IE9 Beta With Final Preview
Simplified Analytics Improve CRM, BI Tools
Android Passes RIM as Top Mobile OS in 2Q
VMware Updates Hyperic System Management
File Monitoring Key to Enterprise Security
LinkedIn Snaps Up SaaS Player mSpoke