Thermal Grease

Discuss cases, PSUs, and various cooling techniques in here.
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Skippman
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Thermal Grease

Postby Skippman » Tue Dec 20, 2011 9:23 am

What's the latest word on thermal grease? What are people using and what do they like? Is Artic Silver still considered good stuff or are there better alternatives. I've been using the eVGA Frostbite stuff that came with my motherboard but wonder if it's really as good as they claim. I'm going to be ordering the 1155 mounting bracket for my cooler and can easily add a tube of thermal compound if there's better stuff out there.

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Re: Thermal Grease

Postby smack323 » Tue Dec 20, 2011 9:23 am

I still use artic silver.
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Re: Thermal Grease

Postby vbironchef » Tue Dec 20, 2011 9:39 am

I use Noctua NT-H1 Thermal Compound because it came with my cooler. Nothing wrong with artic silver.

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Re: Thermal Grease

Postby Sparky » Tue Dec 20, 2011 10:25 am

Another vote for Arctic Sliver here.
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Re: Thermal Grease

Postby bubba » Tue Dec 20, 2011 10:52 am

Gelid GC Extreme, MX-3, Noctua NT-H1

Haven't used AS5 in a LONG time. I use GC Extreme on the test system, and my personal rigs.

AS5 takes FOREVER to cure to get the "best" results from it, the ones I listed perform on average 2-3*C better with less cure time from all the tests I have seen. The GC Extreme has NO cure time.

Now if you want to get into the exotic stuff, Indigo Extreme. http://indigo-xtreme.com/
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Re: Thermal Grease

Postby kitkat » Tue Dec 20, 2011 11:09 am

Hi, this is my first post on Legit Reviews.

My Dad (Scott Loves Dogs) used the Indigo Xtreme "Engineered Thermal Interface" when he recently upgraded his system (see his signature) from an Intel E6600, OC'd to 3.2GHz, to an X6800. When installing the Indigo Xtreme, there is a "reflow" procedure that involves turning off all the cooling system, and the BIOS protective mechanisms. The motherboard is placed horizontal, not close, but horizontal. You then run a temp monitor that will graph, Speedfan will do, in graphing mode, and a stress program, Prime 95 will work. The C{U should be heated up to about 90 deg. C, after a few, or several, seconds the temp. will drop, then climb back up to about 90 deg. C. When the temp stabilizes at 90, the Indigo Xtreme has reflowed and the computer can be turned off and set back to normal.

As soon as Dad started up Prime95, his computer let out a loud SNAP that sounded like the CPU had popped from severe overheat and shut off. It never did the proper reflow graph. It did start up after a cooling off period, though. He is using it now, OC'd to 3.4GHZ, but he says the temps are no better than the Shin-Itsu X23-7783D that he used for a few days on the X6800 to play with it before permanent installation. In fact, the idle temps are higher than the E6600 w/Shin-Itsu, at 3.2GHz he removed.

He is going to email Indigo Xtreme about the problem he encountered, and he or I will post the response if you like.

Meanwhile, he says the Shin-Itsu X23-7783D seems to test far better than all of the other compounds, and very close to the Indigo Xtreme. Depending on the response from Indigo, he may remove the Xtreme from his computer and reinstall with the Shin-Itsu. Here is a review of the Indigo and Shin-Itsu stuff at Skinneelabs, it is pretty thorough: http://skinneelabs.com/thermal-paste-v1-1/

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Re: Thermal Grease

Postby Skippman » Tue Dec 20, 2011 11:17 am

Well that doesn't sound good at all! I think I'll avoid that. Anything that makes a snapping sound causes me some "concern".

The Gelid GC Extreme is only $10 so I'll probably order that along with the 1155 bracket for my waterblock. Still debating on swapping it out.

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Re: Thermal Grease

Postby Major_A » Tue Dec 20, 2011 11:32 am

Welcome to the forums.

I found this review. I like the fact they are using some levity with their writing also. Hope this helps.
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/ ... -2011/1445

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Re: Thermal Grease

Postby FZ1 » Tue Dec 20, 2011 11:47 am

To be honest, most are within 2-3 degrees of each other which is trivial unless your are hardcore OC'ing. I'd be more concerned with application technique than the brand (obviously some brands are duds though).
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Re: Thermal Grease

Postby vbironchef » Tue Dec 20, 2011 12:09 pm

I also agree with FZ1. I also have thermal grease from dow corning TC-1996 compound intel. It came with my 980x cpu. I would be happy to send you the Noctua NT-H1 or the dow corning for free.

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Re: Thermal Grease

Postby Skippman » Tue Dec 20, 2011 12:23 pm

FZ1 wrote:To be honest, most are within 2-3 degrees of each other which is trivial unless your are hardcore OC'ing. I'd be more concerned with application technique than the brand (obviously some brands are duds though).


Technique you say? I've looked at several YouTube videos. The concensus I could find seemed to be use a dallop about the size of a grain of uncooked rice, which is what I did. The first time I applied it to this proc I tried the "thin layer" method using a credit card as a spreader to apply an extremely thin layer.

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Re: Thermal Grease

Postby vbironchef » Tue Dec 20, 2011 12:33 pm

I highly doubt that the thermal grease is the issue here. I'm sure once you get the 1155 mounting bracket you will won't have any issues no matter what grease you use. bubba is right about curing times and also some thermal grease is very conductive. The Noctua is not one of them.

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Re: Thermal Grease

Postby bubba » Tue Dec 20, 2011 12:38 pm

The pea size dot works for thin pastes, thicker ones like the GC Extreme you need to butter the CPU with the card method.

Too much is as bad, if not worse, as not enough. Too much it can ooze out the side making a real mess, compounded if its conductive. Best bet is to apply as directed by the brand maker, seat the cooler, and pull it to see how the spread is.

The Indigo is a liquid metal, not really a paste, end up with a custom fit thermal shim basically. There is a bit of a process to get it installed, not like paste that is a "squirt and run" thus the exotic label. Some have reported over 5*C lower temps over most pastes.

Here is a shot of indigo pulled off a chip after installing.

Not my image, from http://translate.google.com/translate?j ... l=ro&tl=en
indigo.jpg
indigo.jpg (112.78 KiB) Viewed 8377 times
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Re: Thermal Grease

Postby Skippman » Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:58 pm

Wow!! That's crazy! I guess the bubbles are from where there wasn't enough of the compound on the proc at the time. Looks like it pulled the ink right of the processor die!

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Re: Thermal Grease

Postby bubba » Tue Dec 20, 2011 2:43 pm

Not ink, laser etch.
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Re: Thermal Grease

Postby sbohdan » Tue Dec 20, 2011 3:52 pm

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Re: Thermal Grease

Postby kenc51 » Tue Dec 20, 2011 4:02 pm

I just use Ceramique, 1x 25gm tube and it lasts forever; IMO the other "speciallty" or small tubes of TIM are pointless.
I prefer to buy one tube and be done with it.
www.arcticsilver.com/cmq2.html

~4 to 5; degrees does it matter that much?

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Re: Thermal Grease

Postby eunoia » Tue Dec 20, 2011 11:09 pm

Major_A wrote:Welcome to the forums.

I found this review. I like the fact they are using some levity with their writing also. Hope this helps.
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/ ... -2011/1445


My guess is that there's really no difference in the higher-end TIMs. A few degrees difference is more likely due to methodology variances. Not sure why they tested IC Diamond twice, 7 Carat and 24 Carat are different sizes of the same product. They also got a better result with the larger tube, so we can deduce that the delta would be lower for tests done at higher room temperatures, all else being the same.

I've also read reports that the IC Diamond is abrasive enough to remove markings on the CPU, which will void the warranty.
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Re: Thermal Grease

Postby PassionMangoboom » Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:47 am

I'm using the MX-4 now and is very good in performance. :-)

There are actually many good thermal compound out there. Arctic Silver 5 is one of them.


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