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Thermal Compound

Also known as thermal paste, this compound is applied between the CPU heat spreader and the CPU Cooler. Its purpose is to facilitate better thermal conductivity by filling in the small imperfections in the surfaces of the CPU heat spreader and the heatsink, allowing heat to transfer more efficiently.

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CPU Cooler Fans

Many active CPU Coolers have fans attached to the heatsink. They can be replaced by other CPU Cooler fans. This is especially useful if a builder wants to exchange a stock CPU Cooler fan with one that offers LED lighting. Additionally, some passive CPU Coolers can be upgraded to active cooling with the addition of a CPU Cooler fan and appropriate bracket.

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CPU Cooler Brackets

These devices secure the CPU Cooler to the CPU. In some cases, older CPU Coolers may be unofficially rated to perform adequately as a Cooler for newer socket types. Unfortunately, as CPU sockets change, so do their mounting configurations, e.g. socket 775 CPU Cooler brackets do not fit socket 1366 CPU Cooler mounting holes. The solution is to replace the old mounting bracket with a new one that accommodates the new socket type. Computer building enthusiasts may also want to purchase new brackets to replace the stock brackets that came with their Cooler, which sometimes don’t offer the best stability – especially true on some very large and heavy CPU Coolers.

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