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Question Which thermal paste do you prefer ?

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ak195

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I think people WAYYYYYYYYYYY overthink the thermal paste question. It isn't going to make monumental differences in temps with the exception of using liquid metal compounds, which are kind of a pain to work with. Even so, it's only a few degrees Celsius difference at very most.

There is a large societal issue with knowing 'what is best' but not really caring to ask or find out what actually IS the best. Also, 'what is best' isn't necessarily by pure performance and I see this all the time with cooler selection.

'What is best' ends up being something more like 'what is the best for my specific criteria which includes being the cheapest possible alternative while also providing groundbreaking performance, even over something which costs much more'.

PC components are firmly planted in the realm of science and physics, not magic and wonderment.
Its true that even with good thermal paste there will be only minor Celsius difference. And there's no doubt that Good CPU cooler is more important and creates a large Celsius difference instead of thermal paste.
But good quality thermal paste is better for long term and stable temps.
 

rubix_1011

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Yes, but, define quality? All the pastes I've tested have a pretty generous 5 year application lifespan...at least. Some even state 8-10 years.

And cost doesn't really define what is more quality than another - liquid metals are by far the most expensive at around $13 to $25 per half gram up to close to $40. They also are not really designed to run for a long period of time due to being prone to 'pump out' whereas most traditional pastes aren't as susceptible to it.

Just having thermal paste is better than not having it, and many coolers are supplied with either pre-applied paste or a small application of what is actually some really good stuff. Spending $5 on a 3.5g tube that can last several applications should be in everyone's toolkit.
 
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ak195

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Here quality means, life span, bond with cooler, and its hand in heat transferring, that's what I think regarding Thermal paste.
Yes, high cost doesn't means good quality, and till now I was using thermal paste which was provided with the Cooler and it worked well while there was no model or name of it, just CoolerMaster name written on it.
Many shops here have GD900 thermal paste or those one which are fully non-branded and no one can know that its really a thermal paste or not(just a simple tube).
So those unknown and GD900 paste are not recommended by some tech fellows specially for heavy users.
 

mamasan2000

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I think people WAYYYYYYYYYYY overthink the thermal paste question. It isn't going to make monumental differences in temps with the exception of using liquid metal compounds, which are kind of a pain to work with. Even so, it's only a few degrees Celsius difference at very most.

There is a large societal issue with knowing 'what is best' but not really caring to ask or find out what actually IS the best. Also, 'what is best' isn't necessarily by pure performance and I see this all the time with cooler selection.

'What is best' ends up being something more like 'what is the best for my specific criteria which includes being the cheapest possible alternative while also providing groundbreaking performance, even over something which costs much more'.

PC components are firmly planted in the realm of science and physics, not magic and wonderment.
Meaning diminishing returns, as they exist in hardware too. Paying 100% more for 20% gains, not worth it for most people. 20 dollars is about as high as I would go for paste. I hear good things about KP, KingPin paste. Supposed to be one of the best. But will I buy it? Probably never. Looking forward to the round-up.
 

ak195

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Meaning diminishing returns, as they exist in hardware too. Paying 100% more for 20% gains, not worth it for most people. 20 dollars is about as high as I would go for paste. I hear good things about KP, KingPin paste. Supposed to be one of the best. But will I buy it? Probably never. Looking forward to the round-up.
No one will buy such high cost product just to reduce extra 1-2C. But at least go towards normal product having better quality with reasonable cost, and getting tube more than 4g is useless, at least for me.
People heard many good thing but not go with them, because we don't need it.
rubix_1011 is right that thinking about product causing minor difference with high cost are almost useless
 

ClapTrapper

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I think people WAYYYYYYYYYYY overthink the thermal paste question. It isn't going to make monumental differences in temps with the exception of using liquid metal compounds, which are kind of a pain to work with. Even so, it's only a few degrees Celsius difference at very most.

There is a large societal issue with knowing 'what is best' but not really caring to ask or find out what actually IS the best. Also, 'what is best' isn't necessarily by pure performance and I see this all the time with cooler selection.

'What is best' ends up being something more like 'what is the best for my specific criteria which includes being the cheapest possible alternative while also providing groundbreaking performance, even over something which costs much more'.

PC components are firmly planted in the realm of science and physics, not magic and wonderment.
It is much more important to reapply thermal paste every couple years then stress over what brand names are better than other brand names.
I have a 5 year old i5 that will be a fantastic system for someone and I'll be using whatever thermal paste I have handy. But it will definitely be needing a redo of paste. I'll post the temps before and after here soon.
 
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keith12

Illustrious
@rubix_1011 Can you confirm if any of the testing you've done was on a gaming laptop?

The reason I'm asking is two fold. I'm wondering if the closed system of a laptop with limited airflow (apart from internal fans and heatpipes) might be different from a gaming desktop? The second reason, is, although the 5c delta in performance from top of the chart to the bottom of the chart, whilst it doesn't seem much in terms of a desktop, can mean the difference between the CPU laptop throttling or not. Of course, I know a desktop CPU can throttle, but possible less likely than a CPU in a gamin laptop which has 'just about' adequate thermal solution to cool CPU's at even just stock speeds. Any thoughts?
 

ClapTrapper

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whoa,whoa whoa...I didn't test yet. And my testing will be I'll run HWMonitor before and after, Its not like I will be in a silicon clean room in a biohazrd suit.
But when I post temps,it will give you a ballpark figure.
----
Many people seems to miss this very important factor with laptops-do you have it elevated so the hot air can freely leave. You would be surprised what a difference that makes.
 

ak195

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It is much more important to reapply thermal paste every couple years then stress over what brand names are better than other brand names.
I have a 5 year old i5 that will be a fantastic system for someone and I'll be using whatever thermal paste I have handy. But it will definitely be needing a redo of paste. I'll post the temps before and after here soon.
And I have 9 years old i5.
Brand doesn't matter a lot for many users, but still you need decent product to use which has good reviews.
 

keith12

Illustrious
whoa,whoa whoa...I didn't test yet. And my testing will be I'll run HWMonitor before and after, Its not like I will be in a silicon clean room in a biohazrd suit.
But when I post temps,it will give you a ballpark figure.
----
Many people seems to miss this very important factor with laptops-do you have it elevated so the hot air can freely leave. You would be surprised what a difference that makes.
Are you asking me? :) If so, yes. Laptop cooling pad (adjustable height for more airflow), undervolting, and re-pasting CPU/GPU. At this stage I'm an expert in the application of thermal paste (at least on my own laptop) :) I've tested quit a few thermal pastes which is why I've a keen interest in this article. Interesting to see a comparison of these same pastes, and results for laptops as well as desktops.
 
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Flyfisherman

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Hi,
Don't ever think a thick cooling paste will solve a temperature problem! Actually it will worsen this!
The reason is:
The only sole purpose of a cooling paste is to even out the microscopic uneven and un-leveled surfaces between the cpu and its cooler.
NOT to create a layer of paste between the parts.

Metal to metal is of course the best cooling and if one put to much paste in between, well that is not an optimal way of how to do it.
Cooling paste by its nature has worse temperature transfer than a clean metal to metal.
That is the reason for my advice below:

Just a small, very thin layer of the cooling-paste over the surface - Not more.
That is enough to fill the gaps in the microstuctrure and every un-even surface.
So, how to do this: Just a small dot in the center of the CPU or preferably use a a credit-card and with same amount of small application, just smoother it out - remember it has to be thin, very thin almost unseen.

Otherwise the cooling paste will serve as a another poor heat spot.
- Also it will take approx 15 to 20 temperature cycles before the cooling paste gets to its optimal performance, meaning for ex. Arctic or similar it will then drop temperatures from 2-5C.
Temperature cycles in this regards meaning you run the system at full power and then shut i off, which will be made by natural usage, no need for excess.
 

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