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I'm going to use a TEC-12726 (50mm by 50mm, 240W QMax) to cool an FX-8120 (40mm by 40mm, 125W TDP) CPU, and I want to use the full size of the TEC by putting a sheet of copper between the CPU and TEC, but I what copper sheet thickness should I use? Or should I not bother with a copper sheet at all?...

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  • \$\begingroup\$ You haven't provided enough info about what you regard as acceptable performance of this system. My hunch would be to use a 2mm thick and provide some mechanical support to it to stop is slipping out of position. 2mm gives you enough metal to put screws through to restrain it. However you should ensure that the two important surfaces are machined surfaces and not simply pressed. Any roughness or curvature will ruin the thermal transmission between the metal parts and waste thermal paste. \$\endgroup\$ – user98663 Jul 31 '16 at 11:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Wossname If the copper is machined, would I still need thermal paste? \$\endgroup\$ – Matthew Aug 1 '16 at 10:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ yes it's always a good idea to use thermal paste even with machined surfaces - it fills in the tiny invisible pits and scratches. The key to thermal paste is "less is more". Ideally you just coat both surfaces and then press them together firmly so that some squeezes out (which you wipe away with a rag). \$\endgroup\$ – user98663 Aug 1 '16 at 12:04

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