was put on with a thermal pad [also known as a phase change pad], basically the heat from the CPU changes its state from a solid to a paste. Just checked, http://www.cyberguys.com has the tape as item 148 0012.
I would worry not, though. I have bought Retail box AMD CPU's [they include the HSF], some had the pad, some had the paste. The ones with paste appeared to be a pad until I touched the stuff, and found it was paste, it is put on so perfectly in a square.
The AMD website has a tutorial (http://www.amd.com/us-en/assets/content_type/DownloadableAssets/section5-high.wmv) that states the following:
"Use a thermal pad for long-term production installations..."
"...Thermal grease is only recommended for development, test and validation purposes. In a production evironment, thermal grease may disperse over time, leaving no interface material between the heatsink and processor. Only use thermal grease when the heatsink needs to be replaced multiple times over a short period."
I intend to attach a heatsink permanently to a CPU, so heeding the above advice I visited a couple of computer stores asking for a thermal pad. Unfortunately, all they had was thermal paste in syringe-type dispensors. In fact they did not appear to have heard of thermal pads.
There are still one or two few computer supplies stores in my city that I did not have time to check, but if it turns out that they too do not sell thermal pads, then am I best advised to adhere strictly to AMD's dictum and place an order for one, or is the grease really just as effective?