I just read the link above from actic silver and it scares me as muchas the razor blade suggestion.
Sharp and or metal applications tools are not a good idea. Especially on the AMD cpu's where the silicon die is exposed.
Use a flat toothpick preferably plastic because the wood ones can shed fine fibers that will increase the gab between sink and die. If you only have foow just make sure no little threads are visible on the die.
I don't do any of that junk and my system has never over heated ( ok well this one time but it was 115 outside!!!! I live in a desert....)or even ran "hot" I think AS tells you to do it that way because if u get that crap anywhere else on the cpu and u will burn it up (stupid silver particles!!) I usally get from 104 to 109 idle and 110 to 120 full load which is I don't even know what in cel. cuzz I live in america and we are stubborn bastages!!!!!
celsius is more accurate anyway since that's what the motherboard measures the temps in. if you view it as fahrenheit, the program just converts it using the (9/5)C+32 formula.
i apply a small dab on the core and simply tap around on the core with the tip of the as3 syringe until it's covered. i don't worry about it being flat. then i put a tiny dab on the contact patch of the heatsink and rub around clockwise and counter-clockwise with a palstic bag like 2zzColt said. even if your heatsink appears to have a smooth finish on the bottom, this will help get it in the microscopic valleys and holes that exist.
my athlon 1400 puts out 78watts of heat and my temps never go above 45 in a quiet case with only one exhaust fan and power supply moving air, and a silent 60mm fan on the cpu. of course, having a good heatsink helps.
yeah, i've been known to do that when i'm rushed or am taking the heatsink off and on multiple times.
but even if doing that, i still suggest rubbing some compound into the heatsink bottom to assure best contact. if you take the heatsink off and go to put it back on and still have some from before rubbed in, then you don't really need to.
lay heatsink down, with bottom facing towards you, get arctic silver, locate a fishing catapult (the one you blast maggots into walls with) fill the pouch with thermal grease pull back far as you can, aim at heatsink let rip. et voila. evenyl spread
Ep, glad to see you come back and tidy up...did want to ask a one day favor, I want to enhance my resume , was hoping you could make me administrator for a day, if so, take me right off since I won't be here to do anything, and don't know the slightest about the board, but it would be nice putting "served administrator osnn", if can do, THANKS