I used to do the spreading thin and all as well. Tried the dab in the middle, and... it works. If you put too little, sure it won't reach everywhere. But use the right amount and it hits 90% of the surface and you avoid air pockets like Aurelius stated. In fact there's guides about it out there. Here's one for example. http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=170&Itemid=38 Edited, Sep 24th 2010 3:26am by ispanolfw
That test just showed me that on a square processor using a small dab is quite possibly the worst thing you could do. Your post acts like it says it worked fine. That was not the case. on a circular fixture it was ok.... on a SQUARE(which is what most of us have) It failed miserably in most cases not even getting 70% of it. Thanks for proving my point for me lol
Would you I rather have found something ONLY promoting one method? With no testing at all? I wonder how you would have responded to that? I've tested it personally, applying a small amount to the HS and letting it do the spreading vs me doing it. I lost a few degrees. Will that work for everyone? No, of course not, BUT guess what? It's not bad advice, for one main reason. You know the heat spreaders on CPUs these days? Typically larger than the core they are in contact with, which is usually in the center. Now these heat spreaders don't really do much to "spread" the heat to the outer edges, hence the small circle on stock Intel heatsinks. They do however, do a great job of keeping the core from getting damaged.
In any case, any of these methods is far superior to the stock slab of goop that come on stock heatsinks.