While I was researching this board before deciding on it for the article, I found a few threads discussing the lack of thermal paste applied to the Northbridge and its heatsink. Since I would be overclocking on this board and I already had it out of my case, I decided to remove the heatsink and check this particular board. The results were a bit disturbing.
To remove the Northbridge heatsink, flip the board over and locate the two push-pins, as seen above. Using a pair of pliers, carefully squeeze the prongs together and push them through the board. Repeat this for the other pin and, depending on how much paste is applied between the Northbridge and the heatsink, the sink will either fall off or require a little effort to remove. In my case, it fell off with no extra effort, indicating a possible lack of paste.
It doesn't take a genius to realize that this is certainly not enough thermal paste. Shame on MSI for this. The least they could have done was center the little bit of paste on the chip.
Fortunately, I have a tube of Arctic Silver 5 in my toolbox. Using some 91% isopropyl alcohol, I cleaned off the Northbridge and the bottom of the heatsink, then applied a fresh coat of AS5.
With a fresh coat applied, simply reinstall the heatsink and you're good to go. Continue ahead as we check out the memory selected for the article.