k|ngp|nNice post. Definitely don't overthink it. In the 20 years I have been overclocking, pea size blob in the center and usually let the pressure/contact of the cooler spread it out always worked the best for me. On LN2, the tim application is very critical actually. Get it wrong with a bad uneven spread and you get cracks and huge temp deltas and poor Ln2 overclocking. Sometimes I will flatten it out with grease spoon to a small centered square prior to mounting the pot and sometimes I will just cover the whole IHS with thin layer but that's wasteful and unnecessary IMO.