fav thermal paste?

Discussion in 'hardware' started by zfactor, Nov 23, 2011.

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  1. zfactor

    zfactor Registered Member

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    up till now my absolute best results were with ocz freeze but they no longer ship it which sucks and im down to my last few tubes i had the BEST temps of any paste with this stuff and bought a few cases of it and now im almost out i need to find a replacement. so which do you use and why? my second choice is mx3 right now...
     
  2. Meriadoc

    Meriadoc Registered Member

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    If it help you, Dow Corning 340.
     
  3. tgell

    tgell Registered Member

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    Last edited: Nov 23, 2011
  4. zfactor

    zfactor Registered Member

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    those are leftovers as it is officially not sold anymore. i just called ocz again to verify as i have a direct account with them. it had a shelf life of 24months so i would hesitate buying any of those. any anyway i used to pay ALOT less for it lol. ocz has not sold it for a decent amount of time now so im sure those are almost expired or possibly separating by now which it used to do when on the shelf for a few years

    this is why im looking for something to replace it. mx3 is pretty good but i thought maybe there would be something better out there. i usually buy it by the case so im not sure where i would get the dow corning from.
     
  5. tgell

    tgell Registered Member

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  6. Spooony

    Spooony Registered Member

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    Thermal Paste is to suck the heatsink against the cpu as tight as possible. Theres no miracle paste as one is almost as good as the other. Theres no magic paste just a correct applied one as your temps will be in the end be determined by your cooling and your ambient

    Heres a good round up of the most common thermals
    http://forums.hardwaresecrets.com/thermal-compound-roundup/7728
     
  7. Searching_ _ _

    Searching_ _ _ Registered Member

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    I like ICDiamond because it has 92% micronised diamonds. Diamonds are great thermal conductors.
    I'm waiting for diamond to replace silicon.
     
  8. Ranget

    Ranget Registered Member

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    i use a cheap one work great without overclocking

    called coca thermal paste
    really cheap and reliable
     
  9. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Ummm, no sorry. That is incorrect. The purpose of TIM - thermal interface material is ONLY to fill the microscopic imperfections - pits and valleys in the two mating surfaces, pushing out any air that may be trapped. Air is a great insulator/lousy conductor and therefore unwanted.

    The absolute best heat transfer occurs with direct metal-to-metal contact. Therefore you only want TIM in those pits and valleys. And until Man can create perfection 100% of the time, there will always be imperfections in the materials and manufacturing - even with professional lapping. Any excess TIM is in the way, counterproductive and the reason TIM should be applied in a layer as thin as possible. The mechanical clamping mechanism is what is used to hold the heatsink against the CPU - not the TIM.

    Now there are "adhesive" type TIMs, but they are NEVER used on CPUs. They are only used on devices that do not have any sort of mechanical clamping mechanisms, like some chipsets and GPUs.

    As noted in my sig, heat is the bane of all electronics. But that does not mean it is essential to run as cool as technically possible. As long as your keep your temps in a reasonable temperature range, you can expect your CPU to last a normal life span. I get nervous only when CPU temps hit 60°C.

    Any TIM is MUCH better than no TIM, even the OEM pads. The only reason I don't like those pads is I don't like the idea of paraffin melting all over the place, though in reality, most of that simply vaporizes. I use Arctic Silver 5 with no problems though I like MX-3 too. The Tuniq TX-4 is great, but too expensive, IMO.

    IMO, if you are not doing extreme overclocking and if you are not looking for bragging rights, then any good TIM will do - AS LONG AS it is properly applied - that is, not too thick.

    That said, if you are overclocking (or not), it is the case's responsibility to provide cool air, and exhaust the hot air. So a good case should not be overlooked.
     
  10. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

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    I've had good luck with IC diamond
     
  11. zfactor

    zfactor Registered Member

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    first off i am NOT NEW to thermal paste just that we have been using the same paste for a couple years now with near perfect results and im sad to see it go i wish i knew who made it for ocz as honestly id have it back on the market under my own branding..

    the only drawback to ic diamond is it will scratch some cpu and gpu dies up. specifically the gpu ones or a laptop exposed die. yes we build systems here...

    i do also do a lot of oc'ing with dice and ln2 etc i also spend some time over at xtreme systems among other places...

    i agree tx-4 is expensive, im one of the ones in the camp who have never had great results with as5 ocz freeze BLEW it away i saw 5+ degree differences and imo thats significant...

    i need a quality pastee that also will last which is another reason i have not used as5 it seems to need to be reapplied more than some others. since we sell systems i am also wanting something that can last for years without hardening up and drying out. since i have not been looking for a while i was thinking maybe something new was out there..
     
  12. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    It depends on the starting point. 60°C to 55°C is significant. But 50°C to 45°C is not.

    The biggest disadvantage to AS-5 is it's curing time. But since curing only improves cooling, I don't see that as a big disadvantage. It certainly is not the best TIM out there, but it is the standard, compared to pads or plain old silicone grease.

    I am certainly not saying the more advanced TIMs do not have their place. If you are overclocking, your case is already providing maximum cool air intake/hot air exhaust, and your temps are still approaching 60°C, then by all means, you do what you can to lower them.
     
  13. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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  14. DVD+R

    DVD+R Registered Member

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    Halnziye it's Generic and all you need plus it only costs $5 :cool:
     
  15. zfactor

    zfactor Registered Member

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    looks possibly interesting.. where to buy it though? remember if it works well i would need qty's of it...i would love to try it since that looks to be one i have not used before
     
  16. Fuzzfas

    Fuzzfas Registered Member

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    Hello z-factor.

    Everything you wanted to know about thermal pastes:

    http://skinneelabs.com/tim/comparison-2011/

    Knock yourself out.

    Basically, the best of the best is Coollaboratory Liquid Pro/ultra, which is liquid metal. It's not so easy to work with though nor to clean. Prolimatech pk1, Noctua Nt1, Arctic Mx-4 and all the rest are good, but you are looking at 0.5-1c difference and at the end, what counts more is how well you apply it rather than what you use.

    Since you buy large quantities, you should look at large quantity syringes. Let the Mx-3 go, it was a flop. Hard to apply, no change from mx-2 Your best deals are:

    - Arctic mx-2 30g syringe.
    - Arctic mx-4 20g syringe.
    - Arctic ceramique 2 25g syringe.

    Both 3 are very good, they mx series are certified for 8 years storage, non conductive.
    The Ceramique is slighly worse than the mx series, it's thicker, but it's all purpose (you can use it to VGAs, chipsets etc) and also long lasting, doesn't separate, non conductive.

    I have both Mx+2 and ceramique 2 right now and they all good. As you can see in the link above simply with ceramique you need to have better mounts. Don't use loose coolers. You need coolers with tight retention clips that hook on well on the CPU. Other than that, 25g of ceramique 2 here cost 7 euros, while 1,4 ml of Noctua-NT1 costs 9 euros and 5g of Prolimatech Pk-1 cost 9,70 euros. Also 30g of Arctic mx-2 cost about 14 euros.

    You are a professional, judge for yourself. These big syringes of 25g and 30g are intended primarily exactly for professionals. Besides, you will see that most thermal pastes are shy of telling their durability. Noctua says 3 years. Arctic says 8 years from the MX. Ceramique isn't supposed to separate and many people have used if after 6 years and it wasn't dried up.

    Just an advice: Keep the syringes tip down when stored. It's better to prevent separation, yet another thing that only a few specify.

    P.S.: Don't confuse Ceramique 1 with Ceramique 2 if you decide to buy. Ceramique 1 was worse than Arctic Silver 5, ceramique 2 is better.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2011
  17. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    That's good find, Fuzz, thanks for posting it. Bookmarked.

    My personal opinion here is TIM simply does not go bad or wear out - as long as the cured bond is never broken. As an electronics technician for 40+ years for military, commercial and consumer hardware, it is my experience if you don't dink with it, it will last and last almost forever. The problem is, computers tend to be moved, kicked and even knocked over breaking the cured bond. This is especially true with oversized and very heavy aftermarket coolers. Then air (and other contaminants) gets in and does it's thing. But if the device being cooled is not rough handled, then it is more likely the fan bearings will wear out before the TIM needs changing.
     
  18. Fuzzfas

    Fuzzfas Registered Member

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    Well, tgell beat me to it. :D

    I have searched about this too a lot about the internet and i have arrived to the conclusion that yes, once it's in place the paste can go on for years, but, some seem to support that after a point there is a slow degradation in performance, which is due to alteration of the synthetic oil used or oxidation of silver particles inside the paste. But in general, it's acceptable still. I 've read one person claiming excessive drying up of some pastes. Drying up does happen with some pastes more than with others. It's the cases of people who say in a forum "help, i tried to remove my cooler and i broke my cpu's pins because the cooler wouldn't let the cpu go". What's certainly true is that many pastes separate during storage. The components separate from each other and the paste is worthless. It's visible by naked eye, you can see different colours.

    At the end, it's a bit of vodoo science. People are like having religious beliefs when it comes to pastes. There are still divided over how to apply (spread vs rice dot vs pea dot vs x dot vs...).

    Honestly, the best bang for buck and all-purpose is the Ceramique 2 in the large syringe. If you want to spend a bit more, MX-2 is the logical choice. It's the current benchmark for other pastes and it's very easy to work with, no cure time either. MX-4 is slightly better than MX-2, but it's not worth the difference in money to get 0.2-0.5C difference. Also, since you order a large stock, having a stock of thermal paste with guaranteed long shelf life is better than not.
     
  19. Fuzzfas

    Fuzzfas Registered Member

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  20. Fuzzfas

    Fuzzfas Registered Member

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  21. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Well, for certain, the oxidation will NOT occur if no air can get inside. So again, if the cured bond is not broken... .

    I have seen the claims about synthetic oils before too, but nothing substantiated so not sure I buy them - unless the oil is subjected to extreme conditions - such a super high heat, or again, exposed to air.

    As for those images of dried TIM - I am not buying that either. Let's see the TIM that is between the mating surfaces - not the stuff that oozed out along the edges that has been exposed to air for months or years.

    And besides, as I noted above, the best heat transfer occurs with metal-to-metal contact. Even if the TIM between the mating surfaces dries, as long as it does not shrink, and the cured bond is not broken to allow air to fill any microscopic pits and valleys, I see no problem.

    As for slow degradation, there are many factors that come into play. While the hunks of metal are not likely to change, electronics age and change characteristics over time. It is highly unlikely the voltages on the CPU are exactly the same from day 1 through year 5. Certainly the fan rotation speed is likely to change, as are the PSU voltages, and resistances in all the associated circuits. Unless all those factors are taken into consideration in measuring this "slow degradation" testing, I am not willing to conclude heat transfer efficiency of the TIM is the deciding factor.

    I am more willing to accept that any improvement seen from applying a fresh new layer of TIM is due to improvements in TIM technologies between the original application and the new application. Not to mention the probable cleaning of dust that when on during the process.
     
  22. Fuzzfas

    Fuzzfas Registered Member

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    I really have no idea what exactly happens with pastes. Something does go wrong with time in the suspension fluid (which i think is the role of the synthetic oil) , since it can separate and it's why Arctic on the package of the MX has a big "8 years" logo on. Theoretically, a sealed air-free syringe shouldn't expire at least due to oxidation. So something else must happen. In the oil? I don't know.

    The air will certainly attack only the periphery and only once that is dried will start working its way in. At what rate, i don't know. Probably low quality pastes will suffer more and the more it hardens the more the original thermal conductivity decreases. With good paste it will probably take many years, by then you will have replaced the PC.

    Recently, i removed the cooler from my video card and the paste was all hardened up and too much. But it has a small core and they probably use the lowest quality paste that they can get the cheapest.

    At any rate, i always reapply thermal paste on the CPU at least once a year. Usually more than once when i clean up the PC. So i guess i will never see with my own eyes what happens.
     
  23. DVD+R

    DVD+R Registered Member

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  24. zfactor

    zfactor Registered Member

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  25. zfactor

    zfactor Registered Member

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    yeah i have seen many times dried up paste.. not a good thing and since i need long term i have to be careful of course which i use in customers builds.

    and yes the large tubes are always what i buy. i used mx2 for a good while till i started using the freeze which i miss dearly. ill see what my cost is on the mx4 and then decide which to use for now.. i go through those large tubes pretty quickly so i buy a lot of them lol..i do really like mx4 and think its the closest i have used to freeze temp wise and handling wise mx2 is pretty close also handling wise
     
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