Question Thermal paste gets too liquid when hot - thicker paste?

Jun 22, 2021
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Hey!
I got a MSi GeForce RTX 2080 GAMING X TRIO which had really bad stock application of thermal paste, like almost half was bone dry.
I took it apart and applied some Arctic MX-4 thermal paste to the processor. Everything was awesome.
Some months later and temps slowly climbed on my GPU until I was wondering if I messed something up. Took it apart again and saw that all the thermal paste was around the processor and it was pretty clean itself.
It kinda looked like it had gotten very hot and had run out the sides.
Cleaned it, reapplied paste and same thing happened some months later.

Am I messing up somehow? Or is there maybe a different thermal compound that would work better? A more viscous one?

I'm using the same thermal compound for my CPU, which works wonderfully.
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
Where are you buying the thermal paste? Source?

Update your post to include full system hardware specs and OS information.

Include PSU: make, model, wattage, age, condition.

Take a closer look at the cooling for the GPU. May not be working as expected.
 
Jun 22, 2021
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There was a discussion here floating around that if you're doing direct die applications, a viscous thermal paste is a must because thinner ones "pump out" in a relatively short time.
That sounds exactly like what I thought.
Do you have any examples of more viscous thermal compounds? :)
 

iPeekYou

Distinguished
Jul 7, 2014
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That sounds exactly like what I thought.
Do you have any examples of more viscous thermal compounds? :)
ICD, CM Mastergel Nano, Arctic Silver 5-- non-silicon based.

Thermal Grizzly Hydronaut, Kingpin KPx, Thermalright TFX, Gelid GC Extreme, Phobya Nanogrease -- silicon based, i.e. common thermal paste.
 

lordmogul

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Jun 14, 2014
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I've used MX-4 before as well, and so far had no issues of it flowing off the die.
Might be retention pressure? After all, paste that get's squeezed out shouldn't be an issue. Your temps might also just come from dust buildup.
As for a different paste. When going direct-die, look for one that is non-conductive, just to be sure it won't short anything.
 
Jun 22, 2021
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I've used MX-4 on GPU blocks many times. I think I might actually have it on my 2080 right now, to be honest.
Hmm weird then. Which 2080 do you have?

I've used MX-4 before as well, and so far had no issues of it flowing off the die.
Might be retention pressure? After all, paste that get's squeezed out shouldn't be an issue. Your temps might also just come from dust buildup.
As for a different paste. When going direct-die, look for one that is non-conductive, just to be sure it won't short anything.
I have been considering this a bit. There's not really much in terms of pressure. Just 4 screws with tiny and very weak springs. And they are pretty tight.
I clean my PC very regularly, so it's not dust at least.

It's just so weird that reapplying paste fixes the issue for a while, and that the die looks very clean when I take it apart to reapply.
Can there be too much pressure on the die, squeezing it all out? Shouldn't that just give you exactly what you want?

I'm drawing a blank.
 

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