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Digital Paradox

M.E.K. to clean heatsink insead of 99% isopropyl?

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Ok, i have always heard that 99% isopropyl alchohol was the best to use for cleaning used thermal compound off the base of heatsinks/processors. As i have been completely unable to find more than 90% pure (and have been told by people that do things where even the smallest amount of residue can ruin the project) that even 90% leaves a good amount of residue. I decided to visit a hardware store and ask for advice. I went to the solvent section and asked the first person I saw to find me the person in the store that knew the most about that type of product. When he came I told the guy I needed something that would: 1)Clean off silver thermal coumpound as good or better than 99% alcohol. 2) Not leave ANY reside to interfere with heat concuctivity and 3) Not be abrasive to the copper or processor heat spreader metal at all. He then recommeded Methyl Ethyl Ketone (M.E.K.), and said that even though it is a much more potent than alchohol (should not come in contact with skin) it would clean heatsink compound at least as good or better than 99% alcohol.

I want to know before using this if anyone has any knowledge about this being good or bad when used for this purpose.

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garfx32    0

I do not have any past experience with this cleaning agent, but..

In my opinion, I would go for the 99% Alcohol instead. A little residue that may bring the temperature up 2 or 3 degrees C is worth not having my skin burned, or the substance soaking into my skin and working its way into my bloodstream.

Just make sure you don't have any cuts on your fingers when applying the alcohol.

Ow.

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Osiris    0

Wow that sounds like very strong stuff!

I personally use 90% isopropyl alchohol every time i clean a GPU,CPU,

heat sink and never had the problem of residue so i dont know y you

would need something that strong and dangerous.I dont think i would recommend this (M.E.K).

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Varry    0

I used to work in a cd/dvd replication plant, to clean the moulds (mirros) we used acetone, because acetone does not leave any residue, but beware it is agressive to some plastics and paints, i use it to clean heatsinks and cpu cores, never had a problem with it.

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Well, thats good info, but i was basically looking for this: The most powerful possible solvent that would not damage my copper heatsink or my cpu heat spreader and leave absolutly 0% Residue. I am hoping M.E.K. is the stuff, if anyone has heard of anything that meets that critera better pls reply. Thx,

Brian

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Varry    0

ACETONE, we used to clean optical disc replication moulds with it: one fingerprint on those mould (5000$) and u can use it as an ashtray! Trust me acetone is the stuff u need

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WesleyF    0

You can buy 99% at most good electronics stores. 2 that come to mind are TechniTool and Contact East. I don't have a website but I'm sure doing a search online will give you good results. By the way I've used 91% from any drugstore and really haven't noticed any problems.

Good Luck

Wes

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camshaft    0

I think you might actually be obsessing over this a little too much. I'd just use the 90%. ...

you're looking for:

"The most powerful possible solvent that would not damage my copper heatsink or my cpu heat spreader and leave absolutly 0% Residue"

You really don't think there are a thousand other variables that would come into play before this difference would really matter? You really mean you're cooling system is so perfect that 1% (i'm not sure what you mean by % residue anyway) residue would noticeably affect it? I just mean at the level you're talking about have you taken care of everything else at that precision?....

-called intel/AMD to insure your CPU die was taken from the best silicon die lot

-installed an in-line voltage stabilizer to help your PSU keep your voltages within .001 volts

-polished all electrical contacts to minimize resistance

-installed air baffels in your room to assure temperature fluctuations in the air currents don't affect your cooling

-isolated the computer from all other electrical components in the area to insure resultant magnetic fields don't vary the potential of the computer's capacitors

-aligned your hard drive spindle with the Earth's magnetic fields so that the motor doesn't have to work against the magnetic field

I'm just trying to say how minor I think this is. Anyway, people worry far too much about their CPU overheating. They don't realize that the heat affects the lifespan, rather than causes instant death. In the production of a CPU, the COLDEST stage of assembly takes place at about 400 DEGREES CENTIGRADE, albeit it only lasts several minutes, but that's just to give you an idea. You're CPU will begin to miscalculate before it would actually burn out. This only happens because the ions can migrate through the silicon more easily as the temperature rises. As more migrate through they slowly weaken the silicon, which is what decreases the lifespan. Our CPU's don't see the temps necessary to decrease these lifespans noticeably, unless you have a bum CPU.

Sorry if I sounded harsh. I didn't mean to. I just get somewhat frustrated when I see people obsessing over CPU temps, thinking that running a prescott at 80C is going to kill it.

On the otherhand, I myself have a dangerden watercooling setup. Is it because I wanted to run my CPU alot cooler? No. It's because its fun and looks cool through the window :lol:

Austin

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Echo    0

We use MEK at work for degreasing surfaces, I have used it to clean heat compound off CPU's before and it works well. If you are going to have prolonged contact with it then make sure you don't breath the fumes (respirator mask) and avoid prolonged skin contact (wear rubber gloves) Our technicians that work with it on a daily basis have been advised to drink 2ltr of milk a day as this helps the kidneys deal with the toxins that are absorebed through the skin.

So bottom line, MEK works well but then again so does ACETONE or 90% ALCHOHOL. Safest bet if your worried about toxins and worried about residue, then go with ACETONE.

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T-shirt    0

avoid MEK and acetone, while both are effective cleaners they also are aggressive to the epoxies Plastics and lacquers used on your MB, and few spilled/splatered drops could cause mysterious problems later.

The isopropyl alchohol (even 70%) is a good safer choice, but you may need to clean twice.

BTW make sure you buy " isopropyl alchohol " not rubbibg alcohol (which is isopropyl alchohol with 3-6 % oil added to it) because that will leave a flim behind.

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