[SOLVED] Arctic Silver 5 vs Arctic MX-4

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tandlion13

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Hello everyone.

Recently, I just bought a tube of Arctic MX-4 thermal paste to re-apply on my graphics card.
But today I just found out that I already got a tube of Arctic Silver 5 in my house.
The AS5 must have been not less than 5 years old now from when I recall buying it.
The package has never been opened so it is more or less new (is it?).

Is the AS5 still good to use despite its age?
If so, which one is better in terms of cooling performance? AS5 or MX-4?

My graphics card is GTX 970 HOF air cooled.
And I do overclock the graphics card.

So, what should I use?
 
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Karadjgne

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AS5 dries out. That in itself isn't bad, paste doesn't conduct heat, the silicates and diamond dust and other impurities are what actually conducts the heat transfer. So dry paste will work just fine. As long as it's still bonded. That's the issue. Doesn't take long for vibrations, shifting, knocks or other impacts to break the seal and when that happens, dry paste is useless.
 

tandlion13

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AS5 dries out. That in itself isn't bad, paste doesn't conduct heat, the silicates and diamond dust and other impurities are what actually conducts the heat transfer. So dry paste will work just fine. As long as it's still bonded. That's the issue. Doesn't take long for vibrations, shifting, knocks or other impacts to break the seal and when that happens, dry paste is useless.
So are you suggesting that the AS5 is better once it dried out?
Or are you talking about all other pastes in general?
Also I don't know what was on my graphics card before I'd take it apart.
It works fine after 4+ years though. 74 C under load not bad at all.
 

Karadjgne

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There's no telling exactly what's on any gpu, they do come pre-assembled and the vendors sure aren't giving out any real info.

No, AS5 is not better once dried out, it just IS. It works the same wet or dry, but once it starts drying, any vibration or knock can break the seal and then it's useless.

Years ago, nobody cared much about temps. As long as it functioned, it was good enough. Cpus had crappy coolers, paste was seriously expensive because there was no demand, giant tower cases had next to no airflow. Then ppl started caring when pc gaming started really taking off. But paste was still expensive, over $20 for 2-3 applications. Then Arctic got smart. It mass produced AS5, you could get a tube with 8 applications for $6. Didn't take long, everyone with a pc knew about AS5, and it went global.

Didn't make it an excellent paste, it's always been mediocre, but it's cheap and ppl have heard of it. Name recognition. MX-2 and MX-4 are made by the same ppl, but because MX-4 doesn't dry out, and it's slightly better than AS5, it's recommended for gpu applications, since gpus are subject to fan vibrations that cpus aren't so much.

For cpus I personally always use Noctua NT-H1 or Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut.
 

tandlion13

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Oh, I got it now. So the MX-4 is better in any given way.
I'll use it with my graphics card then, cus I don't want to mess around with it much.

As for the AS5, I don't wanna toss it away for nothing. I'll try it with my cpu, see what it do.
For experimental purpose you know.

Thank you very much everyone.
Have a nice day.
 
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breathtaken

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Sorry for the old thread revive but it's important that people know thermal pastes should not be used if the paste itself is over 2 years old, this is the manufacturer's advisement.
 
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