HEY! We see you are wanting to learn computer lingo! We are happy to help! We are hoping to post these new Education Friday posts at least 2 times a month in order to help you learn and become more knowledgeable about what it is we are fixing. Just like cars, computers have just as much lingo and words that need to be learned! But don’t worry or fear through our trained and certified technicians we will help you learn!
WHAT IS THERMAL COMPOUND OR PASTE!!??
You may hear us say the phrase “We Replaced your thermal paste” But what is thermal paste or compound?
In your computer, you have a component called the CPU (Central Processing Unit). This is the brain of your computer. Because of this, it uses a lot of power and where there is power usage there is heat. In the CPU case, there is A LOT of heat. Enough to fry an egg. A CPU without a cooler can reach over 100C or 200F. That is if it does not break before then.
To combat the heat to keep your computer from melting, we use coolers or cooler pipes. Unfortunately, due to the processing of metals, there is no way to make the metal on the bottom of your cooler and the top of your CPU perfectly flat or even. There will always be bumps or valleys in the metal. With the bumps and valleys your cooler or heat pipes are not fully making contact with each other. Without this contact or thermal bond, your CPU will overheat and that’s NEVER GOOD
THIS IS WHERE thermal compound comes in! Thermal compound is a paste-like substance made from a conductive material and is designed to fill in all the bumps and valleys giving your cooler and CPU a strong thermal bond. This thermal bond allows your CPU to cool properly and forces heat to pass from your CPU into the cooler found in desktops or heat pipes usually found in laptops.
Most manufacturers cut cost and use low quality thermal compounds. Because of this, you may not always get the best cooling. With the cheaper thermal compounds after about a year, they start to dry out and become crunchy and crusty. When this happens, you will lose that thermal bond that is so important. When this happens your computer will overheat and start slowing down, crashing, or randomly shutting down.
When we clean up a computer, we pull off your CPU Cooler usually held on by 4 screws (Laptops are more complicated) and replace it with a high-quality thermal compound such as our favorite brand Arctic Silver 5. One this has been done the thermal bond has been restored and your computers will start running like they did when they were new.
If you want to learn more check out this video from Linus Tech Tips