Question Thermal Paste vs Graphite Pad?

TimH77

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Jul 21, 2017
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I'm about to do my first build [Ryzen 7 2700 (65W TDP) with Prism cooler... at least to start + MSI B450 Gaming Carbon Pro] and bought both Conductonaut by Thermal Grizzly (recommended by YouTube reviewer) and an IC Graphite Thermal Pad.

Conductonaut + Graphite Thermal Pad

Has anyone used a Graphite Thermal Pad?

How did it perform vs Thermal Paste?

I almost bought Artic Silver but then saw the reviewer mention using Conductonaut for all of his builds.

I like that the Graphite Pad is reusable and not messy. Which would you use?

Thanks,

Tim
 
The general consensus from those who have reviewed the graphite pads is that they perform similarly to a lower end thermal paste. A higher end thermal paste like Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut will perform better than the pad, but the pad is less messy and is re-usable. If you are going to be swapping coolers a lot, then the pad has its benefits, otherwise paste would be better.

Do note that Conductonaut is a liquid metal compound and is not meant to be used as a conventional thermal paste. It's meant to be used for delidding on Intel CPUs, replacing the paste between the die and IHS, you should not use it between the IHS and the cooler. Kryonaut is Thermal Grizzly's conventional thermal paste. Another thing to note is the Prism cooler should have paste pre-applied, so unless this is a used cooler you shouldn't need new thermal paste or the graphite pad.
 
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TJ Hooker

Illustrious
Herald
From what I've read the main advantage of the graphite pad is that they're reusable and easy to apply. Probably really handy if you're frequently swapping out coolers, CPUs, etc. (i.e. if you're a reviewer), otherwise they don't seem to offer much benefit compared to traditional paste.

As said above, liquid metal is not typically used between heatspreader and cooler. If any leaks onto your motherboard or other components, it could cause a short circuit and damage your PC. If used at all it's typically used between die and heatspreader, but this is not applicable to your CPU as it already uses solder to do that (compared to some other CPUs, which use a less effective paste).
 
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Karadjgne

Titan
Herald
What that reviewer who used it for all his builds either fails to care about or doesn't understand is that Conductonaut is a liquid metal. This means 2 things. You are now using a mixed metal contact, which is corrosive over time and detrimental to the IHS, the cooler base and temps. You'll get plenty of that white gunk like you find on a car battery terminal. Second, in order to keep that liquid in a liquid state, it's combined with acid. While this will promote corrosion, it's almost immediate effect is it will literally eat away the print on the top of the IHS. That means kiss any cpu warranty goodbye. Neither amd nor Intel will replace a cpu they can't read the serial number from.
 
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TimH77

Commendable
Jul 21, 2017
114
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The general consensus from those who have reviewed the graphite pads is that they perform similarly to a lower end thermal paste. A higher end thermal paste like Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut will perform better than the pad, but the pad is less messy and is re-usable. If you are going to be swapping coolers a lot, then the pad has its benefits, otherwise paste would be better.

Do note that Conductonaut is a liquid metal compound and is not meant to be used as a conventional thermal paste. It's meant to be used for delidding on Intel CPUs, replacing the paste between the die and IHS, you should not use it between the IHS and the cooler. Kryonaut is Thermal Grizzly's conventional thermal paste. Another thing to note is the Prism cooler should have paste pre-applied, so unless this is a used cooler you shouldn't need new thermal paste or the graphite pad.
I misspoke, the cooler is a Wraith Spire, which it may also have preapplied thermal paste.

I'm actually considering just going with an AIO.

Thanks for pointing out the Conductonaut issue. I've should have figured that out by the name. Haha
 

TimH77

Commendable
Jul 21, 2017
114
4
1,595
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What that reviewer who used it for all his builds either fails to care about or doesn't understand is that Conductonaut is a liquid metal. This means 2 things. You are now using a mixed metal contact, which is corrosive over time and detrimental to the IHS, the cooler base and temps. You'll get plenty of that white gunk like you find on a car battery terminal. Second, in order to keep that liquid in a liquid state, it's combined with acid. While this will promote corrosion, it's almost immediate effect is it will literally eat away the print on the top of the IHS. That means kiss any cpu warranty goodbye. Neither amd nor Intel will replace a cpu they can't read the serial number from.
Yeah, it was a popular YouTuber, someone on here referred me to. I'm glad you all brought that to my attention before I used it. :-/
 

TimH77

Commendable
Jul 21, 2017
114
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Less is more or should there be a thin layer covering the entire area?

I'm debating using the stock Wraith Spire cooler or going with an AIO. I was thinking I'd use the graphite pad to try each for a week or two (easier to swap and consistency for fair comparison) then use the paste once I decide.

Thanks!
 

Karadjgne

Titan
Herald
Well that would depend on what you are looking at. Idle temps would be almost the same. The cpu doesn't put out enough wattage to really even challenge the efficiency of either cooler. Loaded temps are somewhat different. The 240mm has a serious advantage in sheer surface area and cooling capacity. Both will get to 80°C the difference being the wattage needed to get that temp is much higher in the aio.

At stock settings, the cpu won't put out enough wattage to challenge the aio, so temps will be much lower under load as a result. If you OC the cpu, you raise the wattage output, closing the distance between actual and wattage limits.

The thermal pad won't change any of that if used on both coolers. The results will only be higher, not the amount of capacity or gap. The Wraith is somewhere around 130w capable, the aio around 180w capable.
 

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