Hello folks, stop me if you've heard this before, but changing a CPU is hard if you have no prior experience in doing it. Thought it would be something easy, just pop the old one out, pop the new on in, ladder some thermal paste on it, put the cooler on and BANG! That's all she wrote.
Well, it sort of started like that. Got the old CPU out OK, put the new one in without hassle, got the heatsink cleaned, and began wondering just how fluid is thermal paste when I pushed on the serringe with some force. A lot more came out than I thought, but I said "what the heck, and left it on there". Put the cooler in, snapped in place with some wiggling, 775 could have used a more accurate mounting system.
Started up, posted, loaded windows, it detected the new CPU, installed it, so I thought I'd check out the temperatures. I'm not sure what they were on my other CPU, since it was a Pentium D, it was made before thermal probes were invented, so I never had a clue. Using my old Athlon 64 as a benchmark wasn't going to work, since that one died out at 40 Celsius, while this one was idling at 45 on one core, getting lower to about 38 on the fourth. It's a "brand new" second hand Q6600 G0 in case you were wondering.
So, I thought they were a bit much, but no sweat, the temperature of my X1950 was 50% that my 6600LE, in the video card deperment, and that spooked me for quite a while before I got accustomed to it. Heard there was this nifty program to test stability, Prme 95, so I loaded it up, and in about 5 minutes, core 1 got to 78 celsius, point at which I stopped it out of fear. Tried 3D Mark 2011, and it got to 73 at max. Temperatures weren't making me feel safe, though the performance, hot dang, jumped a thousand!
So, I got to thinking. My old heatsink has a bigger fan. It's the same thing in every other aspect except the fan, and the guy that sold me the CPU said that he didn't have the stock fan, he replaced it with this one, since the one he had stock was a lower profile one, he also suggested that it may be the thermal paste.
Powered down the rig, got to removing the heatsink, and boy was I suprised to see what was in there. Immagine if you will, so much thermal paste that it got on the heatsink, it got on the CPU, it got on the mount, it got on the board, it got on my hands, it got on my shirt, it got on my furniture, I'm afraid to look in the mirror because I can guess where else it got. Every time I cleaned a spot and turned around, there it was, back, like magic. It got everywhere, it got in places I never knew existed. But in an hour or so, I managed to get rid of most of it, though I may paint the coffee table silver and audition as the next Silver Server.
After that mishap, I installed the other heatsink, with less paste, booted up, and the temperatures were even higher. I was at wits end now, so I took it off again, only to see that the other cooler, with the smaller fan that the guy gave me with the CPU, uses more amps, so I guess it's better, tough in the BIOS it runs at about 1000 RPM, whereas the other one goes to 2000. So I clean off the grease again, this time I used less, which is good, since I've almost run out of paper towles and qtips. I put even less paste, though at one point I had a bit of a conflict, since it looked like there was too little of it, so I dabbed a little bit more.
I booted up, entered windows, and now it's sitting at very light load at 42 for the first core and down to 36 for the fourth. In complete idle, the first core is at 38-39, and the rest are a bit lower.
This is where I am now, I haven't run any stress tests, any 3D Marks, any Prime95, since if it all goes kerfuffle again (if that is a word), I will cry myself into a chemical bath, since there isn't anywhere left to get thermal paste onto myself through sheer incompetence. I'll probably sleep on it, the paste that is, since it's everywhere, and do those tests in the morning, when my brain is rested and better equipped to handle psichological torture.
I felt the need to write this down somewhere, so that if anyone else ever goes trough something like this, they would know, what not to do. NEVER PUT TOO MUCH PASTE ON IT.
Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go weep. But at least I'm not lugging around a Pentium D anymore.