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Oily stains on brand new MAXIMUS XII APEX VRM heatsinks

weztmarch
Level 7
Installed new i9-10900K processor into new ASUS ROG MAXIMUS XII APEX Z490 motherboard and immediately after I finish putting everything together (prior to first attempt to boot) I notice a significant amount of oily staining between the extended VRM heatsinks around the LGA socket... Attempted to clean with 99% isopropyl alcohol the best I could and I succeeded in removing most of it, but I didn't have time to remove the heatsink itself and examine closely yet because I needed to get back to work. As best I could tell from inspecting the front of the board I didn't notice any bulging or leaking capacitors, but I can't be sure with the heatsinks obstructing my view. So far everything is OK and I see nothing obviously wrong Windows 10 installed and PC behaves normally so far. Should I be more or less worried? Any insights into what this is? Electrolyte fluid, oil from a thermal pad, excess flux? Gonna remove the heatsinks later today when I find time, but this is a concern right now for the risk to my components.

Photos taken after cleaning with 99% iso
https://imgur.com/a/SG0lAF7
2,186 Views
5 REPLIES 5

howxcore
Level 10
weztmarch wrote:
Installed new i9-10900K processor into new ASUS ROG MAXIMUS XII APEX Z490 motherboard and immediately after I finish putting everything together (prior to first attempt to boot) I notice a significant amount of oily staining between the extended VRM heatsinks around the LGA socket... Attempted to clean with 99% isopropyl alcohol the best I could and I succeeded in removing most of it, but I didn't have time to remove the heatsink itself and examine closely yet because I needed to get back to work. As best I could tell from inspecting the front of the board I didn't notice any bulging or leaking capacitors, but I can't be sure with the heatsinks obstructing my view. So far everything is OK and I see nothing obviously wrong Windows 10 installed and PC behaves normally so far. Should I be more or less worried? Any insights into what this is? Electrolyte fluid, oil from a thermal pad, excess flux? Gonna remove the heatsinks later today when I find time, but this is a concern right now for the risk to my components.

Photos taken after cleaning with 99% iso
https://imgur.com/a/SG0lAF7


sounds like a case of someone eating fried chicken over at asus manufacturing, and forgot to wash their hands before assembling your mobo 😛

howxcore wrote:
sounds like a case of someone eating fried chicken over at asus manufacturing, and forgot to wash their hands before assembling your mobo 😛



No I don't think so.... ASUS motherboards are made in a fully automated machine assembly process.

weztmarch wrote:
No I don't think so.... ASUS motherboards are made in a fully automated machine assembly process.


It is from the thermal pads I would imagine as most of them do that. It is normal. Look at he back on many GPUs and you can see that. https://forums.evga.com/Oil-on-GPU-m2952345.aspx

XYchromosone
Level 10
luckily it's the thermal pads, the silicone based oil that separates from the thermal pads is non conductive so it shouldn't effect any electronic or electrical components/circuitry. However, one would prefer that this leakage of silicone oil onto the motherboard/heatsinks etc. not to occur in the first place.

Chaz69allen1
Level 7
Hey all, little late to the party but my maximus 7 hero leaked grease onto my 1080ftw and fried it last night. Be careful out there.
87872
v/r

Chaz