How to Build a Gaming PC: Step by Step

« Step 2: Install the CPU | Step 4: Install the RAM »

ModCrash's step by step guide on how to build a gaming PC

Build a Gaming PC: Install the Heatsink

In this part of our build series we will be using the stock heatsink that came with our i5 4670K.

Clean up your CPU heatsink

Clean up your CPU heatsink

We like to use aftermarket thermal paste and through our lab testing we found Arctic Silver 5 to be one of the best. So we will use rubbing alcohol to remove the stock thermal paste from the heatsink. You can use either a coffee filter, paper towel or micro fiber cloth to do this. Clean the copper surface until you wipe it and your cleaning cloth is spotless when you wipe it down. Try not to touch that copper surface with your fingers. The oils from you hands could interfere with the surface which could hurt the cooling.

Thermal paste install.

Thermal paste install.

Next apply the thermal paste on the CPU. There are several methods to do this and since our heatsink has a round copper base, we opted to do the pea size method. To do this, apply a small pea-sized amount of thermal paste right in the middle of the CPU. Once you do that, place the copper part of the heatsink right on top of that pea-sized dab and lightly rotate left and right about a 1/4″ both ways. This will help spread the thermal paste across the heatsink and CPU. Once you do that, push in the pins one at a time in a diagonal pattern. Finally plugin the fan cable to the CPU fan header on the motherboard.

« Step 2: Install the CPU | Step 4: Install the RAM »