Heatsink Confusion

  Mastermind 21:20 17 Apr 2003

I have just bought an AMD Athlon XP 2000+ and a Cooler Master CP5-6J31-01 heatsink.

I already had some Arctic Silver and a CPU & Heatsink Cleaner from Akasa.

I have used this to clean the heatsink and have read the instructions for the Arctic Silver. However, they say, "Never use any oil or petroleum based cleaners (WD-40, citrus based grease removers and many automotive degreasers) on the base of a heatsink. The oil, which is engineered to not evaporate, will fill in the microscopic valleys in the metal and significantly reduce the effectiveness of any subsequently applied thermal compound."

The Akasa cleaner is a citrus based solvent which contains petroleum distillates, but surly this is what is was designed for.

This has left me confused. I want to make sure that I get this right so any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  doctor-al 22:21 17 Apr 2003

WD40 is not really a cleaner its a lubricant and so leaves an oily film behind. Same goes for automotive degreasers but those are even more oily.Citrus based cleaners can also contain natural oils which are just as bad. I think what you need is a solvent such as a two pack paint thinner but be careful as it can soften a lot of plastics. Use a cotton bud dipped in and squeezed to reduce the risk of drips

  Installer. 22:42 17 Apr 2003

Acetone (nail varnish remover) will do the job.

  RobbyMac 00:29 18 Apr 2003

I use a solvent to get rid of the original stuff, then polish the surface with a mild abrasive, such as Solvol autosol
good luck

  Offline 09:41 18 Apr 2003

While on the subject, has anyone had problems removing the pink gunge then sticks to the CPU die after using one of the AMD Heatsinks that come with the pink pad instead of thermal paste. I would be glad of suggestions that have worked. :-)

  -pops- 09:48 18 Apr 2003

I removed some of the pink stuff some time ago using lighter fuel (Ronsonol - for petrol lighters). This is a pure petroleum spirit with no non-volatile additives. Careful not to get the aerosol stuff - Ronsonol is in a rectangular tin with a red flip over spout.

Useful for the other types of gunge as well.


Totally against all the advice on the subject, what I do to remove the pink gunge is use White Spirit, yes, oil based and all!! This will remove the gunge very easily and cleanly (It will also remove all old heatsink compounds Incl Silicone based)...Then...

To get rid of the oil that has been left behind I use isopropyl Alcohol (Get it from a chemist), this removes the oil and evaporates completely to leave no trace.

Obviousely, you will leave "some" traces but so minimal so as not to be important (In my opinion).

I have removed and replaced many heatsinks and have never had any tempreature problems following the above.

  Mastermind 10:00 18 Apr 2003

So I won't have done any harm using the cleaner that I've got if I use something else, such as isopropyl alcohol afterwards?

  -pops- 10:04 18 Apr 2003

Isopropyl alcohol is perfect if you can get it. I've found that a lot of pharmacies can't be bothered to stock it or get it in for you. Especially applicable to multiples (you know the ones!)

If you have access to a small independent pharmacy - go for it!!!


No, as I have said, I have "Cleaned" many heatsinks with many different cleaner and the actual CPU's are really quite robust. The actual reason for not cleaning with anything are given in the Coolermaster Website and as above, refer to the "microscopic pits" that become full of the oil, cannot take the heatsink compound and therefore insulate the heat. In practice, this rarely is a problem as the built in tolerance is enough to allow effective cooling in any case.

Clean the CPU with alcohol and dry, you wont have a problem.

  DieSse 10:29 18 Apr 2003

At this stage, I would do the following. Put a blob of Arctic Silver on the heatsink, and then clean the heatsink fairly hard with it - this should displace any residues, and fill any heatsink surface imperfections with heatsink compound. Wipe it off - then apply to the processor as normal - very sparingly.

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