How to apply thermal paste to your AMD Athlon XP CPU (Barton)

Here’s a quick guide to how you can apply aftermarket Thermal Paste to your AMD CPU (I’m using a Barton 2500+), I’m using Artic Silver 5 in this guide, so more information/instruction can be found on it’s website, which is really, informational. To be honest, I’m really a happy user for Artic Silver, and it really has quite a lot of good reviews from a lot of overclockers, but it also does really serves well for non-overclocker. You can get it at Lowyat Plaza for around RM30-RM35 per stick. But i’d guess this guide is general enough for you to understand how to apply even on your Graphic Card’s core.
So I’d guess to share this brief guide to applying thermal paste to your cpu, since my old Coolermaster Aero 7+cooler just died last week :(. For a price of RM90 (last 1 1/2’s year price?), it does really serve me well from being a normal user to a hardcore air-cooling overclocker.


And so I decided to get this Coolermaster’s XDream III, which is really sufficient to most of the normal users out there. Really. On the package itself includes a tube of thermal paste from Coolermaster, but I guess I’ll just save it.


And, so I decided to use the legendary Artic Silver 5 🙂


Both thermal paste in size comparison. And the not-so-friendly manual. Who the world will understand, i mean for a noob to install the heatsink with such many detail only?

Installing the CPU onto the motherboard

The motherboard I’m using are DFI Lanparty NF2 Ultra, which doesn’t reall matter because most of the Athlon XP processor’s motherboard using the same socket, known as Socket A (Look picture).


Note the lock on the right side, pull it up before inserting the CPU. Make sure it’s totally unlocked.


And here’s bottom of the processor. Note the gold triangle on the top. Be careful not to bend the pin and let the thermal paste touch the pin.


And the top of the processor, the purple-ish square in the middle are the ‘Core’ (brain). Please be careful so that you won’t break it. It’s fragile, yes.

Notice the top-right golden triangle? When the lock is totally lifted up, you can put the processor in, but with the triangle facing the correct way. There is no way you can really misplace or placed the processor on the wrong side, unless you break the pin.


Once you have make sure that the processor is properly seated on the socket, pull down the lever/lock and lock it from dropping out. Wipe off any dust on top of the core.

And now here we are to prepare, in applying the thermal paste. Please take note that we only need really small amount of it, so to avoid overflowing the processor with thermal paste, please control your pressure when you want to inject the paste out from the tube.


Too little of thermal paste might make the heat transfer inefficient, too much will make the heat traps in within the heatsink and processor, so it’s also a no-no. But the amount I applied as per on the picture are what I’m using right now. This takes practice of course, but once you’re familiar with it, you’ll know how much is ‘enough’.


Now we’ll install the heatsink onto the socket itself. Notice the Copper color on the bottom middle of the heatsink? While the rest are aluminium? The copper of the heatsink would be the touch-point in between cpu core–>thermalpaste–>copper–>heatsink. And notice there is a ledge? You need to make you NEVER install the heatsink in the reverse side else you’ll crack the processor.


Look closely, which on the picture above illustrates the ‘extruded’ part of the heatsink will be touching the processor’s core. Do refer to an experienced person that has installed a heatsink onto a processor before or refer to the manual. I’m here, do not liable for any damage you did to your processor for misinstalling of your heatsink :P. Just do it carefully. Somehow this article only covers for applying thermal paste, on installing heatsink, fans, I’ll write a detailed one later.


Once you’re done. Make sure the fan is connected to a power. Else you’ll risk burning your CPU.

And of course, do check in both BIOS and inside Windows for your CPU temperature changes, to make sure that the thermal paste is given sufficiently, not too much or too little. But it will really only take effect to it’s fullest potential in 48-72 hours. We normally call these period, the ‘burn-in’ period. Do some game test, and some software that really stresses the CPU.

For CPU temperature monitoring inside Windows, I recommend using Motherboard Monitor. Enjoy!

4 thoughts on “How to apply thermal paste to your AMD Athlon XP CPU (Barton)

  1. Michael

    This is a great how-to, back when i did this i put a little to much on, it was a mess. i’ve since learned from my mistakes.

  2. Gregg K.

    Well documented instructions with good pictures.

    FYI: I’m also looking for a guide for removing old thermal “gunk” stuck on the CPU and re-appling new paste three years later.

  3. ManMeng Post author

    thanks for the compliment,

    well as for that, will probably put up one in few weeks time, not so soon yet. trying to restructure the contents. but thanks for the suggestion 😀

  4. Pingback: Replacing CPU Fan - TractorByNet.com

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