A few months ago, we tested seven methods for applying thermal compound in order to determine which was the best. At the time, we concluded that a small dot in the center of the CPU is the best method to apply thermal compound.

But this conclusion may be applied only for the hardware we used, and, since we ran our tests using a CPU cooler with a mirror-like base, we couldn’t extrapolate that result for coolers with different characteristics, such as direct touch heatpipes coolers. In those coolers, there are gaps and irregularities on the base of the cooler which may need a different quantity or procedure to apply thermal compound.

That’s why we are testing again. This time we will try to answer the question, “What is the best way to apply thermal grease on direct-touch heatpipes CPU coolers?”

Figure 1 shows the base of the cooler we chose for this test: the Corsair A70.

What is the best way to apply thermal grease part 2Figure 1: Base of the Corsair A70 CPU cooler

Each different method is presented in three pictures: one of the thermal compound applied to the cooler base or to the CPU before installing the cooler, one of the CPU after the test with the cooler removed, and one of the base of the cooler after the test.


Rafael Otto Coelho is a physicist with a master’s degree in Education, and is a college professor in Brazil.