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Nando

Thermal Compound/Paste, brands, comparisons and how to apply

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I did not know exactly where to put this thread but i think is a good idea to discuss and share something about the thermal paste. I have read enough of this topic, and the best known brands are:

IC Diamond

Arctic Cooling MX-2 / MX-4

Arctic Silver 5

Tuniq TX 2 / TX 4 Extreme

COOLER MASTER IceFusion

I found a new one (at least i did not know) that promises to be better than the others, called GC-Extreme Solutions GELID, here are the link to a review: GELID Solutions GC-Extreme Thermal Compound Review - Page 1/5 | techPowerUp.

$13 on Newegg

Also found several videos on YouTube explaining the methods of applying thermal paste, and i want to share with you a couple of them:

Also found some pictures here that show (basically) how to apply the thermal paste on the AW M11x, i think internally is quite similar to M14x

so, if any of you know a method or have any pictures/videos/reviews that you can share i'll be more than interested in seeing them and if they are of the M14x that would be better!

greetings!

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good idea! moved the thread to a more fitting forum.

thanks for that info!

btw, how come shin etsu is not in the list?

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Indeed nice thread, for sure spreading the paste is not the recommended way, those videos posted are very interesting.

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Interesting thread, yes no shin-etsu there... also what of the rice sized piece technique? The video here is hard to see and I don't think its the right way but it seems that latex glove may help smotth surface of paste to start with... he seemed to apply to much... but you could wipe the edges away to make sure there wasn't too much.

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I think that's certainly way too much paste. The idea for the paste is to fill the gaps between bumps and holes, not to serve as a passive cooler. :P

OT: Anyone thought it was cool how you get the fractal patterns like here:

I wonder why does it look like that. :)

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seems to me certain sections stick different so maybe if the surface is prepped thoroughly with alcohol or something then maybe it would not bead up like that? Yes that guy wanted to spill a entire tube over the cpu lol!

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Yeah spreading the paste is wrong, the amount varies and only ofter trial and error you can get the best result, plus you need to keep in mind that with temperature the paste will get thinner and cover more area than that shown in the videos.

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my favorite paste is still ocz freeze, super cheap and easy to work with, its pure win for me. also i think thermal pads is super important too, using the premium stuff from frozen cpu, has anyone tried any others?

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Yeah, I tried some pads from Phobya, but I didn't like them... they're too hard, the heatsink can't really press them together.

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good idea! moved the thread to a more fitting forum.

thanks for that info!

btw, how come shin etsu is not in the list?

MASSCOOL G751 Shin-Etsu Thermal Interface Material $4 in Newegg ;)

Thermal Paste Comparison:

1. Arctic Silver 3

2. Shin Etsu G751

3. Silicone Paste

4. Nanotherm Blue II

5. Nanotherm Silver XTC

6. Nanotherm PCM+

7. Silver Grease

Edited by Nando

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Interesting thread, yes no shin-etsu there... also what of the rice sized piece technique? The video here is hard to see and I don't think its the right way but it seems that latex glove may help smotth surface of paste to start with... he seemed to apply to much... but you could wipe the edges away to make sure there wasn't too much.

comments on youtube about this video is too funny LMAO asian condoms?!? WTF? lol

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Btw, I think we're missing ketchup, Nivea creme and honey on that list. :D There's a video somewhere in offtopic of Heinz ketchup beating AS5 ^^

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LOL indeed, for the first 5 minutes, I am not sure what happens after an hour...

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Thermal paste is thermal paste, if it's applied right any of them should work. Ketchup would last a day before burning up. So there should be a saying, it's not the brand of paste but the way you paste it.

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wow that looks cool, but could be potential dangerous if used incorrectly since its metal and conductive.

yep...agree

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especially on laptop CPUs where the surface of interest is much smaller and mistakes in the amount could be catastrophic

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So if we applied the liquid metal, as long as it didn't go over edges is this stuff good at heat transfer... Is it better than any non-metal pasteV

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I repasted my GPU's 4 times until I got it right. Used AS5. I did the retaining clip mod and tweaked screws everytime for optimal temp.

1. pea size dot - system actually ran hotter than factory paste.

2. pea size dot, credit card spread - Reallly bad, system got super hot.

3. grain of rice spread, spread thicker - still too hot, idled at 55-60 max 105

4. recreated factory glop , 3 grains of rice next to each other - finally! Max low 80's idle 39-42

Not sure why it wanted so much, I wasted 3 tubes of as5 experimenting with different amounts and viewing the contact patch. I had to keep any excess cleaned off as AS5 is capacitive and can short out.

I still feel like I have too much as i'm sure I'm getting some sweater effect, but I'm happy with the temps so I'm not screwing with it.

Edited by GetFound

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AS5 isn't conductive so it's probably not going to matter, but still it's a cleaner job if you don't mess everything else with the paste (+ why risk it). :)

Another note from Arctic Silver website: Arctic Silver Incorporated - Céramique 2

Important Reminder:

Due to the unique shape and sizes of the particles in Arctic Silver 5's conductive matrix, it will take a up to 200 hours and several thermal cycles to achieve maximum particle to particle thermal conduction and for the heatsink to CPU interface to reach maximum conductivity. (This period will be longer in a system without a fan on the heatsink or with a low speed fan on the heatsink.) On systems measuring actual internal core temperatures via the CPU's internal diode, the measured temperature will often drop 2C to 5C over this "break-in" period. This break-in will occur during the normal use of the computer as long as the computer is turned off from time to time and the interface is allowed to cool to room temperature. Once the break-in is complete, the computer can be left on if desired.

Btw, just noticed if you e-mail/call them you can buy 1kg container of AS5. lol.....

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They have confusing verbage on their website but it will short a board.

(While much safer than electrically conductive silver and copper greases, Arctic Silver 5 should be kept away from electrical traces, pins, and leads. While it is not electrically conductive, the compound is very slightly capacitive and could potentially cause problems if it bridges two close-proximity electrical paths.

My temps are actually creeping up by about 2-3 degrees now after about 150 hours of medium duty cycles, off -on , idle- pushed hard. I hope it levels off soon, I was expecting a drop after burn in.

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I'd go with MX-4 over AS 5. It costs more but there's no burn in time and you see the results right away. I repasted my M18x GPUs and saw 10C drops almost immediately. I use liberal amounts of paste going from one end of the die to the other in a straight thin line of paste. Dot method or credit card method simply doesn't work on these mobile GPUs.

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