Question Can thermal paste make my GPU hotter?!

Mar 8, 2020
49
2
35
0
Hello everyone, I have recently noticed that my XFX RX 570's temps go as high at 75 C even without increasing the power limit and running it at 1120 MHz, And even if I increase the fan speed it doesn't lower the GPU's temps, This problem started happening after I replaced the GPU's cooler (heatsink+fans+shroud) with an identical one because it was malfunctioning and I had warranty from the shop I bought it from, they replaced it for me, (No, the new cooler is not malfunctioning, it's working perfectly and I checked it very well) but while they were replacing it for me I noticed a few things they did wrong, But I decided not to interrupt them,

First: they used a very low quality old thermal paste,
Second: they didn't wipe the GPU from the thermal paste well as they didn't wipe the huge amount of thermal paste that dripped from the GPU's core onto the pins (I will link my drawing),
Third: They applied too much thermal paste, because the thermal paste they used was light like hell as if it's water, They applied maybe 10x the safe amount for thermal paste... (Will show you in the drawing)

I tried increasing the airflow to the limits in my case and it didn't do anything as if fans don't have any effect at cooling my GPU!

Here are my drawings, sorry for in-accurate drawing as I did it in Microsoft paint and this is the way I remember it, The black square is the Frame of the core, the yellow square is the core, the purple points are the pins (I don't remember exact pin locations so I just did random locations)

So can the thermal paste be the reason of all these problems? I just want to make sure because I bother spending money on a new high quality one as it's expensive where I live, what types of thermal paste do you recommend?
View: https://imgur.com/a/1cMJy40
 

R_1

Illustrious
Ambassador

in the picture you see the GPU (blue-green - the actual CHIP is what I am referring to from here on when I use GPU) and you can see some circuitry on the top of the GPU chip. if thermal paste gets on these it should be no issue. the GPU is secured onto the PCB (Printed Circuit Board) by a BGA (Ball Grid Array) these balls are the pins that must stay clean. Thermal compound is generally not electrically conductive which is why it is necessary to keep it away from the pins/balls, like paint it can prevent contact between the contacts, in your case the balls are melted into the PCB and any thermal paste applied after manufacture should be harmless to the GPU.

a crude example of a BGA socket and chip

the balls melt into the voids making contact, once installed its unlikely thermal paste could cause an issue.

I cannot comment on what was used but the top of the GPU (still talking CHIP) should be cleaned between TP installs, if old paste was left on the die you will experience issues across a range of overheating symptoms.
were the thermal pads replaced too( the purple strip in the picture)? thermal pads on a GPU are not optional for long.
 
Last edited:
Too much thermal paste reduces thermal conductivity. TIM is meant to fill microscopic voids between the two metal surfaces being mated. Ideally, once spread, it would be so thin that you could see through it in most places, but still covers the entirety of the GPU die. It doesn't take much for GPUs. For CPUs, they recommend a "log" the size of a grain of rice, for GPUs, half that much is plenty.
 
Mar 8, 2020
49
2
35
0

in the picture you see the GPU (blue-green - the actual CHIP is what I am referring to from here on when I use GPU) and you can see some circuitry on the top of the GPU chip. if thermal paste gets on these it should be no issue. the GPU is secured onto the PCB (Printed Circuit Board) by a BGA (Ball Grid Array) these balls are the pins that must stay clean. Thermal compound is generally not electrically conductive which is why it is necessary to keep it away from the pins/balls, like paint it can prevent contact between the contacts, in your case the balls are melted into the PCB and any thermal paste applied after manufacture should be harmless to the GPU.

a crude example of a BGA socket and chip

the balls melt into the voids making contact, once installed its unlikely thermal paste could cause an issue.

I cannot comment on what was used but the top of the GPU (still talking CHIP) should be cleaned between TP installs, if old paste was left on the die you will experience issues across a range of overheating symptoms.
were the thermal pads replaced too( the purple strip in the picture)? thermal pads on a GPU are not optional for long.
OK I get it, but is my thermal paste causing Heat problems? And the MOSFETs of my GPU already got a thermal pad or something (I don't remember it's name) but it's like the thermal pad in that photo you uploaded...
 
Mar 8, 2020
49
2
35
0
Too much thermal paste reduces thermal conductivity. TIM is meant to fill microscopic voids between the two metal surfaces being mated. Ideally, once spread, it would be so thin that you could see through it in most places, but still covers the entirety of the GPU die. It doesn't take much for GPUs. For CPUs, they recommend a "log" the size of a grain of rice, for GPUs, half that much is plenty.
OK, they didn't apply a grain of rise, they applied the amount of maybe 20 grains of rice which is kinda too much... So should I replace that thermal paste?
And I am planning on applying the same amount that dude applied in the video minute 9:04 , Did he apply the right amount?
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYSg5R1FsB8
 
Mar 8, 2020
49
2
35
0
Too much thermal paste reduces thermal conductivity. TIM is meant to fill microscopic voids between the two metal surfaces being mated. Ideally, once spread, it would be so thin that you could see through it in most places, but still covers the entirety of the GPU die. It doesn't take much for GPUs. For CPUs, they recommend a "log" the size of a grain of rice, for GPUs, half that much is plenty.
OK, they didn't apply a grain of rise, they applied the amount of maybe 20 grains of rice which is kinda too much... So should I replace that thermal paste?
And I am planning on applying the same amount that dude applied in the video minute 9:04 , Did he apply the right amount?
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYSg5R1FsB8
 
I'd say he applied a bit too much in that video, but it's close. It's pretty easy to trial-and-error it by screwing down the heatsink, then removing the heatsink to see how much squished off the edges of the GPU die. Then clean everything back off and re-apply.

If the shop applied 20x that...they should be fired. And yes, do it yourself.
 
Mar 8, 2020
49
2
35
0
I'd say he applied a bit too much in that video, but it's close. It's pretty easy to trial-and-error it by screwing down the heatsink, then removing the heatsink to see how much squished off the edges of the GPU die. Then clean everything back off and re-apply.

If the shop applied 20x that...they should be fired. And yes, do it yourself.
And is it OK for a little amount of thermal paste to drip off the edges?
 

R_1

Illustrious
Ambassador
yes, the die, the center rectangle is what gets the hottest and when talking about TP (Thermal Paste) that little bit is most of the picture. too much applied you end up with some TP in the trough around and below the heat source squeezed out when the cooler is applied correctly. too much in this application, while not ideal it is not harmful just messy. the TP squeezed out will act like an insulator just like the air layer that would be there if the "perfect" amount were applied.

too much TP that is too thick applied to the DIE is catastrophic. too much TP that does not flow will impede the thermal characteristics. TP will cure and thicken over time but it should flow freely at application.

all that being said the adage "if you want it done right, do it yourself" seems apropos right now. if you feel comfy doing the job yourself, eyes open, you could make it worse or better, it'll be on you. arm yourself by watching several videos from youtube on the topic and get a good idea of what is involved before even starting.
make sure you have the tools and cleaners and pastes needed
to clean TP I suggest coffee filters and alcohol - isopropyl - hard to find these days
the filters are lint free and the alcohol will evaporate quickly leaving no residue.

a word on grounding if you do continue.
Canned Grounding Rant-
shut down system and remove side panel. with the power cable plugged into the PSU touch a bare unpainted metal area of the case. (my favorite spot is an unpainted screw securing the PSU) once you have grounded yourself you can unplug the computers power cable from the PSU and can touch the system.
if you move your feet, or shuffle in your chair, plug in the cord, reground yourself and unplug again.
end canned rant-

you will have the GPU out of the case so you can reconnect the cord after GPU removal. Every minute or when needed just touch an unpainted metal part of the case and you are grounded again.
when inserting the GPU, ground yourself, unplug the computer and insert the card.
 
Last edited:
Reactions: AverageGamer24
Mar 8, 2020
49
2
35
0
yes, the die, the center rectangle is what gets the hottest and when talking about TP (Thermal Paste) that little bit is most of the picture. too much applied you end up with some TP in the trough around and below the heat source squeezed out when the cooler is applied correctly. too much in this application, while not ideal it is not harmful just messy. the TP squeezed out will act like an insulator just like the air layer that would be there if the "perfect" amount were applied.

too much TP that is too thick applied to the DIE is catastrophic. too much TP that does not flow will impede the thermal characteristics. TP will cure and thicken over time but it should flow freely at application.

all that being said the adage "if you want it done right, do it yourself" seems apropos right now. if you feel comfy doing the job yourself, eyes open, you could make it worse or better, it'll be on you. arm yourself by watching several videos from youtube on the topic and get a good idea of what is involved before even starting.
make sure you have the tools and cleaners and pastes needed
to clean TP I suggest coffee filters and alcohol - isopropyl - hard to find these days
the filters are lint free and the alcohol will evaporate quickly leaving no residue.

a word on grounding if you do continue.
Canned Grounding Rant-
shut down system and remove side panel. with the power cable plugged into the PSU touch a bare unpainted metal area of the case. (my favorite spot is an unpainted screw securing the PSU) once you have grounded yourself you can unplug the computers power cable from the PSU and can touch the system.
if you move your feet, or shuffle in your chair, plug in the cord, reground yourself and unplug again.
end canned rant-

you will have the GPU out of the case so you can reconnect the cord after GPU removal. Every minute or when needed just touch an unpainted metal part of the case and you are grounded again.
when inserting the GPU, ground yourself, unplug the computer and insert the card.
Thank you, that pretty much solves the problem, Do you recommend thermal grizzly kryonaut? as I am planning on overclocking my GPU in the near future...
 
Mar 8, 2020
49
2
35
0
all pastes are within a few degrees of each other.
any paste will do you - avoid the metallic pastes like Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut as they do not stay put and conduct electricity.

https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/thermal-paste-comparison,5108.html
What happened in my case is that after the thermal paste was replaced the temps went up by 15~20 Degrees, so that's a huge difference, so I think the type of thermal paste and the right amount and application method and mounting the GPU cooler the right way are what matter.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS

Latest posts