I had recently opened up my Dell XPS 15 L502X to replace the thermal paste on my CPU and Nvidia GPU.

I noticed that the Intel graphics Chip also had a thermal pad on it. To the best of my knowledge it does the same thing as thermal paste and I replaced it with Artic Silver 5. However when I was re-installing the heatsink it felt as if the heatsink is not touching the graphics chip.

However it has been almost a month since I did this, and so far no hang ups.

I am still a little worried. Should I have replaced the thermal pad with AS 5 or not ? or should I buy a new thermal pad and put it back on top of the intel graphics chip ?

  • ...is it overheating? If no, then you're fine. You went through the trouble of reseating a heatsink, yet you can't verify your own running temperatures? May 30 '13 at 21:19
  • Thats it ... the intel graphics chip doesn't have sensors. My idling temp for my cpu is 55-60 and according to this ... tomshardware.co.uk/forum/69930-35-l501x-temperature its pretty high, so I will have to re-apply the paste (I think I applied too much being over enthusiastic) I was worried for my intel graphics ...
    – SidSen
    May 30 '13 at 21:56

You have no need to worry. The thermal pad that comes with Intel chips is a very cheap thermal paste that is just designed for quick usage with an Intel heatsink. So basically it is designed to be ready to go out of the box.

The Artic Silver 5 thermal paste you put on is far more effective at wicking away heat from the processor. Assuming that you've properly applied the paste in a nice even coating, you should have nothing to worry about. Your heatsink should definitely be touching.

If it were not touching, your system would go down almost immediately. Without the heat being drawn away the CPU chip overheats fairly quickly and your system will shut down to protect the chip.

  • 1
    You're right that AS5 is much better at conducting heat. But the pads are usually better to leave in laptops, mostly because they're thermally bonded already. AS5 takes a bit to actually thermally bond.
    – nerdwaller
    May 30 '13 at 16:06
  • 1
    I didn't even notice it was a laptop. Good catch! I would agree that it is probably a good idea to leave it alone in a laptop. Since he has already crossed that bridge though, assuming he doesn't experience any power offs he should be fine.
    – Will
    May 30 '13 at 17:09
  • Yup the system never crashed, Though the idling temps of the CPU and GPU are way high according to tom's hardware post (refer to above post) So I will probably re-apply my paste as i think I applied too much. I only have issues playing games ... even older ones like Just Cause 2 keeps crashing
    – SidSen
    May 30 '13 at 22:00

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