If you buy the CPU with the AMD standard HSF, you're supposed to get thermal compound... if you buy the CPU and HSF separately it's just a bonus, but most often you get some silicone crap you're not really supposed to use.
If you are not planning to overclock your CPU, and your heat sink has what looks kinda like lead tape on the bottom of it, then you do not need to use thermal paste as this is almost the same as thermal paste, just not as good. You should remove the thermal tape from the heatsink if you decided to use thermal paste, be very carefull when doing that as to not scatch the bottom of the heatsink.
If you want to read more about it search google use key words like "thermal paste" "CPU heatsink" "computer cooling" theirs tons of information out their on the world wide web.
Originally posted by Eck What's the best way to get "thermal tape" AND thermal grease off of your CPU and heatsink? I'm getting to switch out motherboards and I also bought some Arctic Silver III which I plan to put on.
D'oh, too late. I wasn't able to get online and look into this more before I put my new Asus P4P800 in. Basically what I did was just slap some arctic silver on there, spread it around with the tip, and throw on the heatsink. It has helped, it's running at around 40C idle as opposed to 48C before.
So basically, the instructions on the website say this:
Spread on the arctic silver with a razor or something like that, put your finger in a plastic baggy and rub it into the all the tiny grooves, scrape the rest off with a lint free cloth? I'm not quite sure if I read that right, but I do need to know (so I'll be good when I get my P4 3.0 GHz FSB 800) :-D.