DaClan Review: Thermal Interface Shootout

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Drez143

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Now I am a little confused. AS5 is rated at thermal conductance of 350,000W/m2, while Artic Ceramique is rated at 200,000W/m2. How could Ceramique perform so much better with actual lesser stats?
 

HotFoot

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Company claims and independent analysis are often in disagreement. And the conductivity is rated in units of W/(m^2*K), but I'm sure everyone knows what you meant.
 

HotFoot

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Ninja,

I always wonder what the variability might be between applications of the same TIM. Using Arctic Silver 5, I've had a difference in temps of 5 C, but the first application was clearly not as good as the second when I removed the HSF afterwards. Have you done any repitition of tests?
 

highchris

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After reading this article I went and bought a set of x23. Tested it....

From AS3 (OLD) I saw a rise in temps of 3-4C with TAT.

This is on a E6600@3.5GHz.

Although I haven't done any break in... Final temps should be higher than when you have just applied it.

I did apply a LOT more of AS3 than I did the x23. I followed the correct procedure to apply AS5 onto a dual core CPU. So, is AS3 the winner?
 

HotFoot

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In my first applicatin of AS5 to my Pentium D, I used the "grain of rice" method. The HSF did squish the TIM over the centre of the heat spreader, but the TIM didn't cover the entire surface. I could only inspect this after removing the HSF. I don't know of any "non-destructive" testing method. Really, the TIM should only need to cover the area over the actual CPU die, not the entire heat spreader, so it shouldn't have been a huge concern.

However, in my second application, I followed AS's instructions and put a thin line of TIM in the prescribed position. My temps were 5C better, and when I removed the HSF, I found the TIM had been spread very nicely over the entire contact area between the heat spreader and HSF base.

I think human factors bring about a margin of error here. I would suggest re-applying the X23 and seeing if you get better results the second time around.
 

highchris

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Actually will do because I am totally shocked.

Anyways... I did apply it with a nice thin line on the center and added the pressure evenly in a X fashion (I am using water cooling).
 

clue69less

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Ninja,

I always wonder what the variability might be between applications of the same TIM. Using Arctic Silver 5, I've had a difference in temps of 5 C, but the first application was clearly not as good as the second when I removed the HSF afterwards. Have you done any repitition of tests?
Read earlier posts to this very thread...
 

HotFoot

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Heh... 8 pages is about where I decide to just ask the question if it's not on the first or last page of discussion... ever read through the entire thread for THG folding@home on the CPU forumz?

But since you've told me it's there, I'll go looking for it.

EDIT: So I've skimmed the whole thread, and I guess I missed the part you were talking about. I couldn't find any data on repeated applications of a thermal paste. I did read something where doing 10x applications with each paste plus 100 hours curing time for each application would be impractical. However, I would be interested to see what the variability of results is with a single TIM.
 

clue69less

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EDIT: So I've skimmed the whole thread, and I guess I missed the part you were talking about. I couldn't find any data on repeated applications of a thermal paste. I did read something where doing 10x applications with each paste plus 100 hours curing time for each application would be impractical. However, I would be interested to see what the variability of results is with a single TIM.
Read, don't skim messages 57 to 69 or thereabouts.
 

HotFoot

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Yes, I'd read those posts. The answer I'm getting is that variability due to TIM application is not tested, but is not thought to be a big variable so long as it's done right. I'm not saying that this invalidates the review that's been done. I'm just saying I have a specific question in my mind and this is the most likely place I'll find an answer to it. I have not yet found that answer in its entirety.

From my experience with the one temperature being 5 C higher than the other, I was able to see a difference in the way the TIM had spread when I removed the HSF. I imagine the Clan reviewers did not have such amateur results as my own.
 

clue69less

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Yes, I'd read those posts. The answer I'm getting is that variability due to TIM application is not tested, but is not thought to be a big variable so long as it's done right.
On one of my Opteron boxes, I did a TIM application repetition test quite a few times. In general, after idling 4 hours a day for 3 or 4 days, the idle temps would bottom out. At that point, I'd run dual prime for an hour or so to get a load temp. After a few more days of collecting data, I'd pull the HSF, clean all surfaces and then do the test again. When I first started doing this, the day 3 or 4 idle temps varied by a couple of degrees C.

To back up a bit, I did this stuff in a temperature-controlled box that could typically holds temps within 1C of the set point. Rather than just measure idle temp, I'd measure the tempered air temp (set point 25C) and the CPU temp as a function of time, plot the difference and then integrate over a 15 minute time window once temps stabilized. So like I said, early on, I was seeing about a 2C variation, then a couple of weeks later, I was seeing 0 to 1C variations more often than 2C variations. Again, this was at idle. At load, variations of 1 to 2C were typical. If you try to do this stuff with no control of your ambient temps, the results will have more scatter and monitoring the delta T becomes more important.

From my experience with the one temperature being 5 C higher than the other, I was able to see a difference in the way the TIM had spread when I removed the HSF.
With practice, you can get to the point that your TIM application will be very reproducible. Find a scheme that works and stick with it. OTOH, most people apply TIM as seldom as possible and this is probably meaningless to them.
 

highchris

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I would like to add something up...

By changing to x23 not only did my temps rise (3C) but my stability went to hell... I really advise against the x23. With my previous overclock of E6600@3.5GHz @1.26v, I was getting constant lock ups. I even raised the voltage to a whooping 1.34v and still got instability issues.....

Reverted back to AS3 and.... my stability came back.. my overclock was stable and I was able to go back to my 1.26v.

Something is not right with that paste... I am using a thermaltake 745 cooler with an extra 120mm radiator.

This is not to contradicts da sick ninjas review... but maybe another testing should be used like, Overclocking potential...

Even if temp is higher, if you have a better overclocking potential...

Its like cars and timing... not always more timing give more power... so not always higher heat will lower overclock...
 

clue69less

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I would like to add something up...

By changing to x23 not only did my temps rise (3C) but my stability went to hell... I really advise against the x23. With my previous overclock of E6600@3.5GHz @1.26v, I was getting constant lock ups. I even raised the voltage to a whooping 1.34v and still got instability issues.....

Reverted back to AS3 and.... my stability came back.. my overclock was stable and I was able to go back to my 1.26v.

Something is not right with that paste... I am using a thermaltake 745 cooler with an extra 120mm radiator.

This is not to contradicts da sick ninjas review... but maybe another testing should be used like, Overclocking potential...

Even if temp is higher, if you have a better overclocking potential...

Its like cars and timing... not always more timing give more power... so not always higher heat will lower overclock...
Something seems to be missing from your analysis. Assuming your TIM and HSF application/setups are trouble-free, I don't see how a higher load temp can be beneficial to OC stability.
 

dasickninja

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One, you have to clean the chip and heatsink surfaces with isopropyl alcohol. Two, warm the HSF and syringe of Shin-Etsu with a hair dryer.. Apply small dots to the masked off area of the heatsink and flattening the dots down with a small piece of plastic card or a sharp razor.

Don't work it, as n don't make repeated passes over and over the compound. Just apply more dots as needed and scrap down.
 

Arctucas

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@tool_462

Why do you think it's a waste of time?

I'm curious if RAM heatspreader performance cannot be improved by replacing stock TIM?

I mean, if it works for CPUs why not other things like chipsets, MOSFETs, RAM etc.?

@DaSickNinja

If you could, I sure an evaluation would be appreciated by many.
 

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