Thermal Paste Comparison, Part One: Applying Grease And More

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alidan

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please tell me yo are also going to do the solder the heatsink to the cpu method? i forget what its called, but that is what i want to use for my next computer and would love to see how it stacks up.
 
Huh, I do turn my heatsinks sometimes for optimal alignment so the heat pipes are perpendicular to the die. Depends if I got the room in the case and what ram is being used. Also heatsink dependent
 

slatts1024

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Nov 4, 2012
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One of the best articles I've read on Tom's in years and that's saying something. Looking forward to part 2.
 

nukemaster

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How many volts does this "7 volt" unregulated power supply put out?

Just curious. I have some 8/9/12 volt regulators that would eliminate the guessing games for resistor fan adapters(voltage depends on the fans current draw).

I have seen unregulated 6 volt power supplies range from 8-over 12 volts at low loads.

For a rather low price you can use a regulator to get whatever voltage you want :)

ohh yeah and...
I can't wait for the next part of this to be release
 

jimmysmitty

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From what I have seen it depends on the materials. AS5 was great for a while but thee are better ones out than that now such as Noctuas or Zalmans.

I also enjoyed using the IC Diamond thermal paste as it proved to cool very well but since it has a diamond based substance it can scuff the heat spreader.
 

SteelCity1981

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"don’t apply too much. Otherwise, the paste will ooze out on all sides. If your paste is electrically conductive, you can almost be assured of hardware damage."

Tell this to OEM's ever seen a hp, dell, Lenovo, Asus, Acer cpu after you take off the heatsink with thermal paste on it? it's oozed all over he place...
 

JimmiG

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I experimented with different application methods when I built my 4770K-based system. Small dot, large dot, X, line. No real difference, but the small dot produced the best results by ~2C. I used MX-4, which is so easy to apply that you can't really mess up.

When delidding and applying Liquid Pro between the IHS and die, I "painted" a very thin layer. It was very difficult until the surface tension broke, then it was easy from there.
 

giovanni86

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Nice article, you guys ripped me a new one with the spread all over cpu method. Been doing that for a long time hah. Based off what you guys said i feel like it need to reapply paste considering the hot spot on my ivy bridge processor. I feel as if that method works although its very tedious and takes a long time to apply a even surface, i used Arctic MX-2 and it seemed to apply easy with some resistance to spreading evenly flat.. 30 minutes later walaa.. haha painted flat all over.. But i like that pea method in the middle seems to cover the hot spot quite well. Will have to try that out. Can't wait for the next part.
 

urimiel

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Dude! this is great. This the first time since the Coppermine era that we started using thermal pastes widely that somebody put all the information together. Congrats guys great job. Well done.
 

James Hood

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Hey Tom's, I realize that you guys have limited time for these articles, and have to limit the scope. But I think it should be pointed out that not every one reading these articles are complete novices. In fact, I would wager those of us wanting to see the subtle differences between paste and cooler combinations are intermediate to advanced users. As such, in the future I think the risks involved should be left up to the reader. Having the comparison data to go with the risk would be helpful. Gaining .5C better temps for me would not be worth it. But if it dropped 2C on a GPU for my laptop... now that is tempting. As it stands, this data will not be available for those of us that would be interested.

Otherwise, great article, can't wait to see the results.
 
Nice Job Igor, You have your ambient controlled for the tests and very good illustrations of contact imperfections and CPU hot spot area!

I know you're glad to be nearing the end as that was a lot of time invested to completion.

Congratulations sir, on one of the best reviews I've seen come from Toms yet!

Ryan
 

edlight

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Aug 14, 2006
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Direct touch heat pipe heatsinks do not have air between the pipes where they contact the cpu. There's the block that they are set into. No mention was made of lapping heatsinks. 16 and 8 hour breakins for paste is way too little, so the fast breaking in paste will have an advantage.
 

Tass1234

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Oct 11, 2013
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Hi, i would love to see tests done with a couple of the best pastes comparing the amount of cooling between the paste been applied spread with a credit card or similar and applied by the pressure done by the sink. Would be much better than just saying spreading is bad because you can create air bubbles because we can't compare by the sayings here what is better, if spread by pressure or spread by hand if is done well and without bubbles (and of course with an easy to spread paste like MX4). Thanks :D
 

besterino

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Mar 19, 2010
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IMHO Igor's articles are the best (any maybe not only on Tom's). Always a worthy read, sometimes even a funny one. :D And dammit, he's versatile (not only the nomral stuff, but also keyboards, speakers, you name it, he's got it covered - in detail.)

Yeah, I'm a fanboi.
 
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