lesterb wrote:Just curious (I'm not trying to steal your business secrets): What do you use for CPU cooling, and case cooling? My main system is running Ivy Bridge, an i5 3570K. It has a small CPU air cooler and runs around 40 deg C when idling. I had to replace the motherboard a couple of years ago, and I wasn't sure how much thermal compound to use. I overclocked it to the motherboard max once, just for anyhow, and ran it full throttle for a while. But I couldn't get it over 80 deg C.
No secrets in that area. I use the heatsink & cooling fan that comes with the CPU, and an additional 80 mm fan. I have added more ventilation and modified the exhaust fan area to accommodate a 92 mm fan on the last batch (30), because a customer of one of the dealers in PA had an issue with overheating in a system that has an add-in graphics card. I'm not sure what to make of that, because I have a number of customers here in Ohio with pretty fast i7s & graphics cards as well, and haven't had any issues with overheating. (I later built another system for the same customer, and at his request I added two more fans, one exhausting, and one throwing air right onto the graphics card. I didn't really think it was necessary, and kind of lost on the deal because of so much extra hand work, but the customer is always right...) Well, actually, just once. One of these i7 systems kept shutting down after a while. When I pulled the CPU cooler, I found that there was not enough thermal compound there to make a good heat transfer. (I don't add any to what Intel puts on, unless I've removed it. That is the only time I've seen insufficient compound on an Intel CPU.) Some guys that are really pushing the CPU will work over the surface of the heatsink, and maybe the CPU as well, but I've never done that. (I also don't ever over-clock these. Partly because I don't know what I'm doing with that sort of thing, and also because very few of these systems go into air conditioned offices - some places are so hot one office worker I know eventually took another job, at another company, because he would pass out from the heat in his office - afternoon sun. Even then, that word processor has never shut down because of heat.)
But in regards to how much thermal compound to use, if I pull one, I just make sure the entire surface is covered. That's how they look with the amount Intel puts on, in every case I've seen, except that once. I've never used the peal & stick thermal pads myself, but did get some direct shipped to a dealer who was going to need to reseat a CPU heatsink for the first time. I just wanted to make it as easy for him as possible.
[Edited to add: In respect to what I said about adding more fans, etc, I should have explained that the word processors are built into custom cabinets (solid Oak, actually) that we designed, so as to make them distinctively different than any computer case available on the open market.]