Repasting chipset - pads or paste?


New Member
Dec 2, 2017
Hey all, running a Supermicro X8DTL-iF with two xeons, they're kept cool and quiet by two Noctua coolers. My issue is the chipset, even with active cooling on it it'll still reach around 80c - whilst this is fine (or atleast within the heat spec of the chipset which is afaik 95c), this also requires having basically every intake fan in the case at 100%, along with the chipset fan which ends up being considerably loud. I'd imagine this heat stems from multiple factors; the board was most likely designed to be in a 2u etc with multiple fans on it, my Define R5 which I have the board in isn't too great for front airflow, and Intel providing some pretty weedy heatsinks for the 5500/5600 platform (Intel 5500 chipset heatsink tuning)

I have ordered a Phanteks P400A as it sports a mesh front with support for 3 120mm fans. As I'm going to be swapping the entire system into it, I figured I'd take the time to sort out the chipset - question is, do I use thermal paste or pads for this? Any advice is appreciated, cheers.


Active Member
Aug 18, 2013
Paste is always better at conducting heat, pads are really only better when you're cooling something like little chips on an uneven surface. Like a pcb with a bunch of SMD components all around.

I'm a little bit chicken so I always use non conductive paste. I hear Arctic MX-4 is pretty good and is non-conductive; although personally I use Arctic Silver Ceramique 2 on everything because I have a huge syringe of the stuff and it's good enough.


Active Member
Nov 7, 2018
Paste is better than pads. Very thin layer. Thermal Grizzly, Noctua and others all make quality thermal pastes.