[SOLVED] Conductonaut liquid metal TIM *storage* temperature?

NP

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I built a new rig a year ago with 5900x and Noctua D15. I used liquid metal between the cooler and IHS. I think I may have used too small amount of TIM, or at least the performance was mediocre. Also, I dislike the shifting fan speed. So, I was able to find Arctic Freezer II 420 for $110, and bought it, and will replace my noctua with that.

Now, I still have some of the conductonaut TIM left, but I realized I had stored it in an outside garage, where the temperatures have gone as low as -22C for at least two weeks. The packaging says: "Temperature: 10C - 140C". My question is: is that temperature range only for the operating temperature, or does that range also pertain to the storage temperature? Is there any reason to believe that the TIM has somehow deteriorated during the cold storage?
 
Maybe not exactly an answer but: liquid metal's raison d'etre is for extreme overclocking with LN2, when temps run down to -200C or so. It makes no sense to me to set a low temp limit at 10C. It might be (pure speculation) more of a concern with packaging. If the temp gets too cold the plastic package may crack or burst, for instance, leading to the stuff leeching out all over and making a mess.

...
Also, I dislike the shifting fan speed.
...
"shifting" fan speed? Is that when fan speed is surging even when the CPU is at idle?

That's typical of Ryzen CPU's when the fan speed is kept too slow during idle. Ryzen boosts aggressively for even light processing loads and that spikes temp so the fans will surge. Boosting causes the spikes but the temp sensors are also "hot spot" temps reporting from tiny areas of the CPU die and impossible to actually cool off. I doubt the AIO cooler will do any better than the NH-D15.

The only good way to fix fan surge is a custom fan curve that won't let fans rise up in speed until higher temps: usually 65C to 75C is about right. You paid good money for a great cooler in that Noctua so you should be able to set those ultra-quiet fans to a fairly high base speed that won't annoy before they start to rise. Also, make sure your case is well ventilated so the cooler gets fresh air instead of just recirculating hot GPU exhaust air.

The bad way (IMO) to fix it is to limit it's aggressive boosting; bad because it can hurt light threaded gaming performance that likes the aggressive boosting. You can do that by either using the Power Saver power plan...or change to the Best Energy Savings mode in the Power and Sleep settings applet when using the recommended Balanced power plan. There are other ways but these are easily changed even while inside of Windows and doesn't need a restart to have effect.

BTW: be very careful with that liquid metal TIM. You may already know but it bears repeating: get it on the CPU substrate, socket or motherboard and they are highly likely ruined. It's pretty much impossible to remove once in the fibers. It seems a lot of bother and potential for disaster for such a tiny improvement potential with air or AIO cooling. It's helpful with LN2 because the temp gradient is so extreme with the LN2 pot at -200C and the CPU up to +95C. Such a huge gradient means even a tiny improvement in heat transfer helps immensely.
 
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Maybe not exactly an answer but: liquid metal's raison d'etre is for extreme overclocking with LN2, when temps run down to -200C or so. It makes no sense to me to set a low temp limit at 10C. It might be (pure speculation) more of a concern with packaging. If the temp gets too cold the plastic package may crack or burst, for instance, leading to the stuff leeching out all over and making a mess.

...
Also, I dislike the shifting fan speed.
...
"shifting" fan speed? Is that when fan speed is surging even when the CPU is at idle?

That's typical of Ryzen CPU's when the fan speed is kept too slow during idle. Ryzen boosts aggressively for even light processing loads and that spikes temp so the fans will surge. Boosting causes the spikes but the temp sensors are also "hot spot" temps reporting from tiny areas of the CPU die and impossible to actually cool off. I doubt the AIO cooler will do any better than the NH-D15.

The only good way to fix fan surge is a custom fan curve that won't let fans rise up in speed until higher temps: usually 65C to 75C is about right. You paid good money for a great cooler in that Noctua so you should be able to set those ultra-quiet fans to a fairly high base speed that won't annoy before they start to rise. Also, make sure your case is well ventilated so the cooler gets fresh air instead of just recirculating hot GPU exhaust air.

The bad way (IMO) to fix it is to limit it's aggressive boosting; bad because it can hurt light threaded gaming performance that likes the aggressive boosting. You can do that by either using the Power Saver power plan...or change to the Best Energy Savings mode in the Power and Sleep settings applet when using the recommended Balanced power plan. There are other ways but these are easily changed even while inside of Windows and doesn't need a restart to have effect.

BTW: be very careful with that liquid metal TIM. You may already know but it bears repeating: get it on the CPU substrate, socket or motherboard and they are highly likely ruined. It's pretty much impossible to remove once in the fibers. It seems a lot of bother and potential for disaster for such a tiny improvement potential with air or AIO cooling. It's helpful with LN2 because the temp gradient is so extreme with the LN2 pot at -200C and the CPU up to +95C. Such a huge gradient means even a tiny improvement in heat transfer helps immensely.
 
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NP

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Maybe not exactly an answer but: liquid metal's raison d'etre is for extreme overclocking with LN2, when temps run down to -200C or so. It makes no sense to me to set a low temp limit at 10C. It might be (pure speculation) more of a concern with packaging. If the temp gets too cold the plastic package may crack or burst, for instance, leading to the stuff leeching out all over and making a mess.
Interesting! I have two products from thermal grizzly, as I have understood it is one of the more esteemed producers of TIM. The ones I've got are Kryonaut and Conductonaut. Both the naming and packing information suggests that Kryonaut is the one intended for sub-zero LN2 stuff. Kryonaut's listed temperature is: "-200C - +300C".

Anyway, as I will not be doing sub-zero, plus I want the best possible performance, I think I will be trying the conductonaut. It is just such a pain in ass to take off and apply, that if I go through all the trouble again, and it still performs poorly, I think I am gonna lose my marbles. o_O

"shifting" fan speed? Is that when fan speed is surging even when the CPU is at idle?

That's typical of Ryzen CPU's when the fan speed is kept too slow during idle. Ryzen boosts aggressively for even light processing loads and that spikes temp so the fans will surge. Boosting causes the spikes but the temp sensors are also "hot spot" temps reporting from tiny areas of the CPU die and impossible to actually cool off. I doubt the AIO cooler will do any better than the NH-D15.

The only good way to fix fan surge is a custom fan curve that won't let fans rise up in speed until higher temps: usually 65C to 75C is about right. You paid good money for a great cooler in that Noctua so you should be able to set those ultra-quiet fans to a fairly high base speed that won't annoy before they start to rise. Also, make sure your case is well ventilated so the cooler gets fresh air instead of just recirculating hot GPU exhaust air.

The bad way (IMO) to fix it is to limit it's aggressive boosting; bad because it can hurt light threaded gaming performance that likes the aggressive boosting. You can do that by either using the Power Saver power plan...or change to the Best Energy Savings mode in the Power and Sleep settings applet when using the recommended Balanced power plan. There are other ways but these are easily changed even while inside of Windows and doesn't need a restart to have effect.

BTW: be very careful with that liquid metal TIM. You may already know but it bears repeating: get it on the CPU substrate, socket or motherboard and they are highly likely ruined. It's pretty much impossible to remove once in the fibers. It seems a lot of bother and potential for disaster for such a tiny improvement potential with air or AIO cooling. It's helpful with LN2 because the temp gradient is so extreme with the LN2 pot at -200C and the CPU up to +95C. Such a huge gradient means even a tiny improvement in heat transfer helps immensely.
Thanks for the tip! That is exactly what I have been trying. I have been tuning the fan curve for several hours in total. And I think I have achieved the sweet spot with NH-D15, but I just don't think the sweet spot is sweet enough. Obviously when I'm gaming, I don't care about the fan noise, because I won't be hearing it anyway. But sometimes applications that only stress the cpu very moderately (like Chrome & Word) still stress the cpu to the extent that the fan speed changes. It's not like the shifting in fan noise that it generates is actually bad bad, but it's still something that annoys the little obsessive/compulsive part in me. 😬

I've cooled my CPUs with big air for some 20 years now, never tried water. But I read that changes in cpu stress only change the fan speed after some time when one is using a big closed loop water cooler with a huge radiator, so let's see if this works.
 
Interesting! I have two products from thermal grizzly, as I have understood it is one of the more esteemed producers of TIM. The ones I've got are Kryonaut and Conductonaut. Both the naming and packing information suggests that Kryonaut is the one intended for sub-zero LN2 stuff. Kryonaut's listed temperature is: "-200C - +300C".

Anyway, as I will not be doing sub-zero, plus I want the best possible performance, I think I will be trying the conductonaut. It is just such a pain in ass to take off and apply, that if I go through all the trouble again, and it still performs poorly, I think I am gonna lose my marbles. o_O



Thanks for the tip! That is exactly what I have been trying. I have been tuning the fan curve for several hours in total. And I think I have achieved the sweet spot with NH-D15, but I just don't think the sweet spot is sweet enough. Obviously when I'm gaming, I don't care about the fan noise, because I won't be hearing it anyway. But sometimes applications that only stress the cpu very moderately (like Chrome & Word) still stress the cpu to the extent that the fan speed changes. It's not like the shifting in fan noise that it generates is actually bad bad, but it's still something that annoys the little obsessive/compulsive part in me. 😬

I've cooled my CPUs with big air for some 20 years now, never tried water. But I read that changes in cpu stress only change the fan speed after some time when one is using a big closed loop water cooler with a huge radiator, so let's see if this works.
I'm only familiar with liquid metal TIM's as a class so product differences between Kryo and Conducto nauts truly escape me. I DO stay away from them, Noctua's NHT-1 is more than good enough. In an application with frequent temp swings over 30 degrees in use, shaving 1 or 2 degrees is just not going to matter.

The way I set up systems for my CPU fan is..find the highest fan speed I can tolerate sitting at my screen concentrating on editing. Then set it flat at that speed all the way up to 70C, no variation. With a fan that puts out overtones as pleasant as Noctua fans, that can be a pretty high fan speed. Then pop it up to something fairly loud, but still not really annoying, till about 80C. Only let it get annoying above 80. That's a Ryzen CPU's operating temp range and it's good in there so let it have 75C, for instance, if it wants it.

I also use maximum delays for ramp up and ramp down.

Above 80 I don't care: I'm probably transcoding a video or something else extreme and it's nice to know it's working hard for those few minutes.

That only falls apart with my Asus motherboard: it follows one sensor only for the CPU fan and that's a CPU case sensor in the socket. I have to adjust things a bit, but it still works out just more slowly.

The one thing to avoid is pulsing fans, even a raspy fan speed is more tolerable at a fixed high speed than pulsing up and down.

Also, gaming is not demanding on a 12 core Ryzen. It just isn't. The temp spikes are highly localize, like people lighting matches in a room. They are really hot but you don't chase them with a fire extinguisher since they burn out quickly anyway and the room never warms up because they're just matches. I use an AIO, while gaming my CPU radiator fan stays on low speed the whole time. Only the case fans spin up because the GPU's getting super hot and they are keyed to that. Case fans are a different matter.
 
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kognak

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Maybe not exactly an answer but: liquid metal's raison d'etre is for extreme overclocking with LN2, when temps run down to -200C or so. It makes no sense to me to set a low temp limit at 10C. It might be (pure speculation) more of a concern with packaging. If the temp gets too cold the plastic package may crack or burst, for instance, leading to the stuff leeching out all over and making a mess.
Liquid metal is one the worst TIM materials for LN2 overclocking. It simply turns solid in subzero temps and it will separate from surfaces due different thermal expansion rates. Traditional paste doesn't work well either for same reasons so couple companies have created compound materials which can withstand extreme low temperatures without solidifying issues. Kryonaut is one of them, Kingpin KPx is another.

About liquid metal storage temperature, gallium amalgam probably doesn't change when it gets solid and melts again. Metals create strong bonds and it's very difficult to get them separated again. If container stays intact, it should be fine.
 
Liquid metal is one the worst TIM materials for LN2 overclocking.....
True enough...but then I've always understood the term "liquid metal" as applied to CPU thermal interface materials to be a misnomer anyway. That because it's not really a "liquid metal" like pure gallium...or mercury...but some (usually) proprietary concoction, probably finely powdered metals or a gallium amalgam of some sort, as you say. It's probably also too-broadly applied.

It might be a bit mysterious, I'll admit. But then it's something I feel should be simply avoided since its benefit is too small for all the potential risks. It's a tool for extreme overclockers and benchmarkers (even if not on LN2) and not 24/7 users.

But I am a bit perplexed...it seems to me that turning solid at extreme cold shouldn't be all that bad. After all soldered heat spreaders do just fine with Ryzen processors and some later Intel processors. They use a special purpose low temp metallic solder that is solid at room temperature and stays solid at operating temperatures. They've even been LN2 overclocking un-delidded Ryzen (Zen 2 at least) ever since launch. It must be the tendency to de-bond from surfaces isn't an problem since when performed properly soldering results in a metallurgical bond...of course, that also assumes the term is being correctly used.
 
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Karadjgne

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Toss the Conductonaut. Don't even bother using it. It's intended purpose is between the silicon and IHS, not between IHS and cooler.

With dynamic shifting of cpu temps as loads change, you'll not see any reliable differences in temps between the Conductonaut and Kryonaut.

And liquid metals will invalidate any warranty on the cpu since they destroy the surface over time, which etches out the laser imprinting.
 
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Karadjgne

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Haven't seen a liquid metal Tim yet that wasn't primarily gallium. The only difference usually is the amount of gallium present differs between brands.

What happens is the gallium slowly 'travels' from itself and forms a gallium alloy out of mating surfaces. It's why you should repaste every year or so, the gallium literally gets absorbed like water to a sponge. The process is usually complete in 3-4 years, after which the rate of absobtion slows to a crawl and will last 3-5 years on average.

https://www.gamersnexus.net/guides/3362-how-liquid-metal-affects-copper-nickel-and-aluminum-corrosion-test
 

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