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I'm new to PC building and am building my first system.

I chose to simplify things as much as possible and chose the Ryzen 2700 with an included wraith cooler with pre-applied thermal paste. This item was purchased new from NewEgg.

This is what the bottom looks like though upon opening the product. This doesn't look right though. Should I build with the fan in this state? I would like advice if there is something wrong and what I should do to fix the issue if there is one.

FWIW, I called a computer store and they said to try wiping it off with isopropyl alcohol and a rag. And if it did come off, just buy new paste and reapply. I thought I'd try wiping it off tomorrow with 70% iso and part of a rag i'll throwout after. I'll have to go to said computer store to get paste anyways. But I was debating whether to just buy a different cooler entirely. I have three concerns about using the existing wraith one:

  1. ixing new and old thermal paste especially when they are different kinds, I'm concerned might create toxic fumes or something when the computer is running.

  2. The box holding the cooler looked like there were smudges, as if the person who packaged or applied the paste might have gotten some of the paste or something greasy on the other parts of the product, I'm concerned there might be trace amounts on the fan etc, that something might breakoff and maybe get in the air or something that might be toxic… grasping at straws here, I'm fairly concerned.

  3. Noise is a small but present issue, I'd want a fan that ran fairly quiet. I was always concerned about the wraith being too loud but couldn't find much reliable info on sound on sites like pcpartpicker etc....I had to go by individual reviews and I didn't see much complaints about the wraith. The computer store in question recommended the hyper 202 by coolermaster, which they had in stock and I could just pickup with the arctic paste.

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  • If this was purchased new I would simply return it. The heatsink should absolutely not look like that. It should be polished. The if you can still build in that state is difficult to determine without knowing if it can be cleaned.
    – Ramhound
    Jul 20, 2019 at 1:37
  • Updated post, I bought new from newegg. Would it be okay to try wiping it off before returning? I'm guessing not, but that would freeup more options on what I could do. It says I have 2 days left to return it. So that's an option, assuming it only has to be dropped off to be shipped back within 48 hours. The build is already way behind cause I had to return the motherboard and that took 2 more weeks to get a new one. The new motherboard has marks that look like something got burnt on it, I'm making a separate post about those issues when I can repost. Wasn't sure if I can piggyback it on this.
    – kite
    Jul 20, 2019 at 1:44
  • If you want to return it, best to leave it as is. That said, you could just clean it good with some alcohol and cotton swab, apply new paste and be good to go. It probably just got a little dust/dirt in it during assembly or packaging.
    – kicken
    Jul 20, 2019 at 1:47
  • I don't have any experience, but I'd be concerned about the cotton sticking even when doused with iso, I read online that the wraith stock coolers have really sticky paste. I have microfiber cloths I can cut pieces off of and dispose of, I'm less concerned about waste and more about what's less prong to problems, I guess.
    – kite
    Jul 20, 2019 at 1:52
  • Just use multiple passes with fresh cotton swabs until it's clean. I usually use about three. First one gets the bulk of the paste, some fibers may stick. Second one gets the rest of the paste. Last one clears up any fibers/dust that may be there. Just avoid touching or setting it on something after cleaning it. There are many videos on youtube that show the process.
    – kicken
    Jul 20, 2019 at 2:07

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yes it needs to be cleaned off, or returned.

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