[SOLVED] Thermal paste - Does it dry out faster with higher CPU temperatures?

ShangWang

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Mar 26, 2021
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I'm planning to re-paste my laptop with arctic silver 5 soon, it seems it needs to be replaced every 9 months for my case.

What I'm wondering is do higher sustained temperatures cause the paste to dry faster/become less efficient quicker?

Is it ok to run games that cause high CPU temperatures as soon as you put on new paste? Will doing this make it cure faster or just degrade faster? Is cure time real?
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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I went with the dot method, maybe I put too much but even if that was the case wouldn't the excess paste just get pushed to the side? Most of the time too much is better than too little?
'Too much' is worse.
It is hard to apply 'too little'.

All you want it to do is fill and smooth out the imperfections in the CPU face and whatever cooler thin is on there.
 
It's not the paste that's drying out faster. It's that laptop cooling solutions can experience a phenomenon called "pump out" more easily due to the cooler having a lighter mounting pressure. The pressure has to be lighter than a desktop cooler because the cooler is directly touching the the die, so higher pressures risk cracking the die.

You have to find a thicker paste if you want something longer term. Supposedly Arctic MX-4 works well enough here, as does Thermal Grizzly's Hydronaut (I haven't verified either on my own systems). Liquid metal TIMs also work well too, but those are a lot more complicated to apply correctly.
 
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ShangWang

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Mar 26, 2021
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You can crank it up to 11 on Day 1.
You have to find a thicker paste if you want something longer term. Supposedly Arctic MX-4 works well enough here, as does Thermal Grizzly's Hydronaut (I haven't verified either on my own systems). Liquid metal TIMs also work well too, but those are a lot more complicated to apply correctly.
Thanks, I was thinking of getting a thicker paste sometime later but I still want to use the last of what I have for now.
Do you think it would be better if I pressed down on the heat sink to make sure its snug and tight? Can you overtighten the screws?

I think when I put the heatsink down last time maybe it was slightly tilted to one side as opposed to going straight down on top of the die, is this a problem with spreading the paste properly or no once it has been pressed down?
 

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