Does thermal paste get old?

kuhwks

Reputable
Apr 21, 2014
8
0
4,510
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Since building my system 5-6 years ago, I have never replaced or remounted the CPU cooler. Is it possible for thermal paste to get old and ineffective? I have been having bsod that seem to be heat related periodically, and I don't really tax my system all that much. Anyway, contemplated removing the CPU cooler and replacing the thermal paste with new. Obviously, it wouldn't hurt, but it did raise the question in my mind about thermal paste aging from repetitive heating and cooling, etc.

Thoughts?

CPU - i7 2600K
MEM - 16GB
HD - 256GB Samsung 850 SSD
GPU - EVGA GTX970 FTW 2.0+
Running 4K on a Dell P2715Q @ 60hz
 

James Mason

Polypheme
Moderator
yes, after 5-6 years it will get old.
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Thermal Compound: ARCTIC - MX4 4g Thermal Paste ($5.79 @ OutletPC) <Highly rated thermal paste
Thermal Compound: Thermal Grizzly - Kryonaut 1g 1g Thermal Paste ($11.99 @ Amazon) <A little better though, if you want to max your cooling as much as possible.
Total: $17.78
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2017-06-13 12:56 EDT-0400

You'll also need a thermal paste cleaning kit to remove the old dried out thermal paste:
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835100010
https://www.amazon.com/ArctiClean-60ml-Kit-30ml/dp/B0007TOR08

And an article about how to apply it properly:
https://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Thermal-Paste-Application-Techniques-170/
 

LilDog1291

Honorable
Jan 9, 2013
313
0
10,960
56
Yes thermal paste does dry out and lose effectiveness. My rule of thumb is to clean my computer once a year anyway (blow out the case/vacuum the filters) and I replace it at that time. Depending on your use I could see thermal paste going 2-3 years but not 5-6. I recommend going with some thermal grizzly Kryonaut if youre in the market to buy a decent size tube to last you a while.

https://www.amazon.com/Thermal-Grizzly-Kryonaut-Grease-Paste/dp/B00ZJS8Q6S/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1497372867&sr=1-2&keywords=thermal+grizzly

I hear the Aeronaut stuff is pretty good as well if you want to save a few bucks.
 

James Mason

Polypheme
Moderator
yes, after 5-6 years it will get old.
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Thermal Compound: ARCTIC - MX4 4g Thermal Paste ($5.79 @ OutletPC) <Highly rated thermal paste
Thermal Compound: Thermal Grizzly - Kryonaut 1g 1g Thermal Paste ($11.99 @ Amazon) <A little better though, if you want to max your cooling as much as possible.
Total: $17.78
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2017-06-13 12:56 EDT-0400

You'll also need a thermal paste cleaning kit to remove the old dried out thermal paste:
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835100010
https://www.amazon.com/ArctiClean-60ml-Kit-30ml/dp/B0007TOR08

And an article about how to apply it properly:
https://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Thermal-Paste-Application-Techniques-170/
 
Hello... Basically if the Thermal paste has dried out then it's time to replace it... it's is also possible to "Cook" "Boil" it if you have given it a "Boiling point" temperature... and when you cook or boil anything, you will release gas into the environment... Exactly what you Don't want between your heatsink and CPU.
 

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