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I have just popped the case off of a hp pavilion dv2310us to replace its motherboard. It has an integrated graphics card (which I believe is toasted), between the graphics processor and hdd (130+ deg F).

The graphics processor has a nice blob of thermo past sitting there with no heat sink or heat pipe. Is this paste serving any purpose? Looks like the there is an open plane from the fan to the chip, and a few quarter inches punched out of the aluminum 'shield'.

Is this normal? is the paste serving a purpose?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

The purpose of thermal paste is to provide a better thermal contact beween a processor (for example) and a heatsink.

If there's no heatsink or heat pipe, the paste is not serving any purpose.

Although I'm not entirely clear what you meant by the reference to

an open plane from the fan to the chip, and a few quarter inches punched out of the aluminum 'shield

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There is an open space / airspace ... between the above the mother board for airflow. The aluminum 'shield' perhaps framework would be a better term that supports the keyboard, mouse, and mountings. I suppose this aluminum frame work is also a shield for interference. There might be airflow across the thermo paste though I am doubtful to why it is there. – greyDrifter Jan 10 '10 at 3:38

I would expect that if there is thermo paste but no heat sink, the heat sink fell off and is in the case somewhere. I can't imagine a modern graphics chip without at least a small heat sink.

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No stray parts in the laptop and I believe I am the first to open this machine since the factory. I've browsed through hp's replacement parts "…;. but I have not seen anything that looks like it would attach there. The fan does have a heat pipe that crosses the underside of the motherboard encompassing the main processor. My thoughts were missing piece from factory; as there isn't enough space to let it escape the enclosure much less not short something. – greyDrifter Jan 10 '10 at 4:08
If the motherboard is close enough to the graphics chip, the paste might connect it to the case (or that heat pipe) directly, thus using this big chunk of aluminum as the heat sink. – CarlF Nov 17 '10 at 13:31

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