I am about to install a new i7 Ivy Bridge CPU and I am wondering whether it would make any sense at all to replace the thermal paste that is pre-applied on the stock cooler. There are three stripes of slightly malleable gray material, which I expect will spread over the CPU when the heatsink assembly is pressed on.
That said, I have a tube of Xilence X5 laying around and I am considering replacing the stock paste with it. According to a couple of reviews, the X5 seems decent enough - it is not the best thermal conductor around, but there are several other products that are far worse. What I do not know, of course, is how the stock cooler paste rates against the X5 and the other after-market products.
Now, I am not planning on seriously overclocking the CPU on the stock cooler - most probably nothing past the common trick of pushing all cores to their individual TurboBoost maximum frequency. On the other hand, where I live we often have room temperatures of 35C in the summer - the PC case will be very well ventilated, but that is still a quite high starting temperature.
So my question is two-fold:
Would it make sense to replace the stock thermal paste with the Xilence X5? If the X5 is even slightly better, I am willing to go into the trouble...
If so, would 100% pure alcohol (the same kind that is used in drinks) work for removing the stock paste from the cooler? Or do I need a more powerful solvent?