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LOLOLOL I thought y'all were being harsh on the dude about his thermal paste, but I laughed out loud when I saw it :D I personally push a little out of the tube and use the tip of the paste to dab and spread it out as thinly and evenly as possible. You did teach me to not use a credit card lol
CPU's don't wear out. I have found that if I have a system that is slow AF and all the usual software and hard drive fixes don't work, I clean the chip and the heatsink, check the fan, and reapply thermal paste. I think the thermal paste not functioning correctly is way more common and the source of a slow system than a lot of articles will lead one to believe.
looks like you have no ventilation. clean out the heatsink and cpu, then apply a very thin EVEN coat of thermal paste on the cpu. replace the heatsink, careful to put it straight down on the cpu. I usually keep the heatsink as level as possible when i put it back on and tighten the screws little by little in a star pattern, like lugnuts on a car
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